February 6, 2019

SO ONE OF THE INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT TRUMP’S SPEECH LAST NIGHT is how it seemed calculated to demolish all the standard anti-Trump tropes from the media and from the left and to do so with compelling imagery. Consider:

Trump’s a Nazi: Praise for Holocaust survivors, and a touching rendition of “Happy Birthday.” (With Trump waving his fingers like a conductor).

Trump hates minorities: Brags about record low black, Hispanic, and Asian unemployment — while white-clad Democratic women, overwhelmingly white themselves, sat prune-faced.

Trump’s a Russian tool: Withdrawing from the INF Treaty.

Trump’s a warmonger: Without me, Trump says, we’d be at war on the Korean peninsula. Also, I’m looking at pulling out of Afghanistan.

Trump hates women: Except he got even the prune-faced white-clad Democratic women up dancing (and chanting “USA! USA!”) when he talked about record female employment in and out of Congress.

And his rebuke to socialism was designed to strip the glamour that the media have tried to imbue it with by tying it to the abject misery of Venezuela.

In debate, I think this is called cutting across your opponent’s flow. And I think it’s Trump’s opening shot at 2020, as well as an effort to undercut the “Resistance” in and out of Congress. Plus, as Ann Althouse notes, despite the predictions of lefties like Robert Reich (see below) it was all wrapped in optimism and sunny American exceptionalism. Genuinely Reaganesque.

And, of course, the sour, shallow responses from the lefty apparat just underscore that:

But outside the apparat, it played well even with a lot of people who didn’t vote for Trump:

Ouch, indeed:

UPDATE: I remember when Robert Costa was supposed to be a conservative: