Drunkblogging Trump's Alternative State of the Union
Never heard applause like Ryan Owens is getting, now for a second time.
Let's play a little post-speech game.
Leave aside Trump's delivery, which I thought surpassed his best-yet election night speech.
Strip away -- and this might be difficult, but please play along -- your personal feelings about Trump. Love him? Forget that for now. Hate him? Let it slide for a minute or two.
Forget who you supported in the primary. Try not to remember past slights, gaffes, exaggerations, or prevarications.
If you have some kind of financial stake in the pre-Trump GOP -- a consulting gig, an advisor spot, whatever -- set aside for now your pocketbook.
Let's even strip away Trump's weird hair and orange skin -- but not in a Jame Gumb way, because that would be gross and wrong.
Let us leave our baggage on the carousel, and listen to the speech as liberty-lovers first, last, and always.
You might have heard some proposals you disagree with, maybe even vehemently. I know I did. You probably wished for some hard spending/cutting/taxing numbers, like the news stories promised us over the last 48 hours. I did, too.
But you had much bigger differences with Barack Obama. You probably had serious differences with George W. Bush. And his father, for that matter. And if you think back, you can remember a time when it didn't matter whether you agreed or disagreed with anything Bill Clinton might have said (in his overly lawyerly way) because you couldn't trust in a single damn thing that smooth-talking, lying S.O.B. ever said.
But if you listen without prejudice (hat tip to the late, great George Michael for that phrase), then you just heard the most Reaganesque speech since The Gipper himself.
And sitting there in front of the man giving it was the most conservative cabinet assembled since... since I don't know when. Maybe in my lifetime. Maybe longer than that.
It was a good speech, and as Reagan Himself said, "My 80% friend is not my 20% enemy." In this day and age, liberty lovers might have to comfort ourselves with 70% friends, or 60% friends, or even 50.1% friends.
So get used to the high-wire act, the occasional crudity, shady dealings, and all the rest -- those are all part of Trump's hugely, luxuriously successful schtick. And get ready for some bigly disappointments -- he is, after all, a politician. But look at his better appointments and appreciate the good in tonight's speech, and realize we have an at-least 50.1% friend in the White House.
It's been a long time, hasn't it?
I'm going to drink to that. I hope you'll join me.
Before I wrap, enjoy this telling juxtaposition, served up to me by Twitter.
Trump came in significantly under the announced 90 minute running time. In business, that's called "under-promised and over-deliver," and my liver certainly appreciates that.
I'll have a wrap for you shortly.
"The time for small thinking is over. The time for trivial fights is behind us."
Good rhetoric, about to smash against the rocks of Capitol Hill. But do please appreciate the rhetoric.
Al Franken looks like... well, he looks like a guy who remembers that he used to be a guy who was funny and liked.
The short version of that is: Bitter.
"My job isn't to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America."
Great line, followed by a practical appeal to the kind of foreign policy which has often, but not always, define American greatness overseas since 1942.
If you were like me and have long hoped that Trump would turn his back on his silly electioneering appeals to isolationism -- here it is.
This is the most honest and sustained POTUS applause since I don't know when.
I forgot to mention this, so I'm glad Ben did.