Donald Trump Read His Speech. Nancy Pelosi Ripped It Right Up
We love the traditions of the State of the Union speech! The House Sergeant at Arms announcing, "Madam Speaker, the President of the United States!" The standing ovations from one side of the aisle and the stony silence on the other. And, of course, the inevitable list of all the neo-Nazis Donald Trump retweeted the next day while he was trying to puff himself up.
Donald Trump stepped out into the House of Representatives last night and read two entire State of the Union addresses from his teleprompter, very presidentially. One was a load of lies and exaggerations about how great America's economy is doing, and then the other was a load of American Carnage lies calculated to whip up his biggest fans. There were also bits of a third speech in there, where he went to a black church and transparently lied to convince the congregation that he's got their interests at heart, but that speech only showed up in snippets woven into the other two. The event also featured some reality-show gimmicks, and possibly some circus animals, although we can't be sure.
Then after it was all over, Nancy Pelosi calmly, silently ripped her copy of the speech in half, and it's virtually the only thing Donald Trump has been able to think about since. His Twitter feed this morning is almost nothing but retweets of people saying Pelosi was very tacky and mean; we assume he's just retweeting anything with the hashtag "#PelosiTantrum." That list of neo-Nazis he retweeted may be out sooner than the results from the Iowa Caucuses.
The first part of Trump's speech -- the "American comeback" bit -- was "positive" in tone, if by positive you mean lying about how the economy is the greatest and bestest in all of history, when in mere reality it's doing OK and continuing the 10-year recovery that started under Barack Obama. The fact-checks of the details clarify that Trump was mostly employing the old trick from C.M. Kornbluth's story "The Marching Morons," where cars' speedometers are calibrated to show they're traveling at fantastic speeds when they're really going a sedate 45. The strongest economy ever? Nah. Amazingly high job growth? It was higher in Obama's last three years. A turnaround from Obama's disaster? Obama took office during a recession, you dipshit.
Still, Trump managed some impressive Lying with Statistics, like saying the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is at "an all-time low" -- which is a bit less impressive when you know the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics only started tracking that statistic in 2008, during the goddamned recession. And he managed another fun trick, insisting that during his three years in office, the "average unemployment rate" has been the lowest of any president in history. But oops, he's comparing his three years to other presidents who had even lower unemployment, like LBJ's second term -- but also served eight years, which brings down the average. Then Trump and Bill Gates went to a bar and Trump bragged about how all the people there had the highest average net worth in their lifetimes.
Soon enough, Trump got to the really (or rally) fun stuff, telling America that Democrats want to take away your beloved private insurance with its high deductibles and copays. And even worse, once they've left you without the chance to go bankrupt from a major health crisis, they're gonna give free healthcare to illegal aliens, and probably nobody else! Plus the Sanctuary Cities are all going to protect the killer immigrants who are coming to get you. In other words, the same crap as ever, that weird concoction of red meat and bath salts his fans love so much. Trump has perfected a political version of slasher flicks: It's lots of fun to be terrified while sitting comfortably in your own living room.
And of course there were Trump's completely insubstantial gestures at pretending to give two shits about black people. Trump trotted out an adorable little fourth-grade girl and her mom and said the mean Democrats forced the poor sweet kid to attend "failing government schools," and then he told them the girl had been awarded a "school choice" scholarship, yay! He introduced a real hero, Charles McGee, a 100-year-old member of the Tuskegee Airmen from WWII, and his photogenic great-grandson, 13, who wants to be an astronaut. (Trump somehow didn't offer the kid a spaceship.) He loves his African-Americans so much! As long as he doesn't have to rent to them.
To cap off his bid for black votes, Trump and Melon gave Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom right there during the speech, thanking Limbaugh for his "tireless devotion to America," as long as you're an angry white dittohead. Truly a great honor for the guy who mocked Michael J Fox's Parkinson's symptoms -- twitchy people with neuromuscular diseases are fucking HILARIOUS to both Trump and Limbaugh -- who said feminism "was created to force popular culture to accept ugly women" and who thinks sluts take more birth control pills than decent women, and who just wondered one time why "all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?" Anyone who called Limbaugh a racist after the speech is a hater. And completely accurate.
In other reality-show antics, Trump even reunited a military family there on the House floor, which was nice, but did he give them a BRAND NEW CAR? He did not.
Then Nancy Pelosi did this:
And just like that, Trump was upstaged and he is VERY VERY MAD about it all. The White House immediately put out a tweet saying Pelosi hates all the good and dignified (and grievancey) parts of America that took up perhaps two minutes of the speech's runtime:
Speaker Pelosi just ripped up: One of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen. The survival of a child born at 21 week… https://t.co/LdO007KayR— The White House (@The White House)1580874388.0
For her part, Pelosi said tearing the speech in half was the "courteous thing to do, considering the alternative. It was such a dirty speech." She left those alternatives unsaid. Then later, Pelosi issued a statement saying
The manifesto of mistruths presented in page after page of the address tonight should be a call to action for everyone who expects truth from the President and policies worthy of his office and the American people
Sure, ripping a speech in half doesn't actually end any of Trump's policies. But since trolling and governing are now indistinguishable, it was a pretty good move.
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