Pulse of the Peninsula: What wasn’t in Trump’s State of the Union

Pulse of the Peninsula: What wasn’t in Trump’s State of the Union

Trump’s first State of the Union was the longest (mainly because of Trump constantly applauding himself and keeping applause going), but not, as Trump constantly said, the most watched in history (was ninth, well behind Clinton, Obama, and Bush).

The lies and misstatements and frankly hollow clichés (he used “America” or “American” 86 times) were massive, but here I want to remind what wasn’t in the speech:

Women. I mean, what could Trump, credibly accused by more than 20 women of sexual assault, who bribed a porn star to shut up just weeks before the 2016 election, who actively campaigned for Roy Moore who was accused of sexual assault on teenagers as young as 14, actually say?

He even attacked women senators who deserve the dignity and respect of their office, like Elizabeth Warren (Pocohantas) and Kirsten Gillibrand (suggesting she begged for campaign money and would have done anything to get it).

If he had mentioned women, he would have had to own up to being the first sitting “president” to address the Pro-Life conference, who forcefully lobbied for Congress (but was defeated) to pass a no-holds-barred ban on abortions after the 20-week mark, no matter the life expectancy of quality of life of the fetus, or the condition or situation of the mother or her family.

Nor did he mention the ongoing policies to destroy health care for women and families, to make it easy for employers to shut off access to contraception, to reverse course on campus sexual assault, to shut off aid to foreign countries for family planning.

No, instead he boasted how clever he was to sabotage the Affordable Care Act by eliminating the individual mandate.

Indeed, he never mentioned “health care.” Not once. He never mentioned that after the years of increases by the millions of Americans with health insurance as a result of Obamacare that brought down the uninsured level to just about 10 percent, that in just Trump’s first year, 3.5 million more Americans are without health insurance, the rate of uninsured is up by 1.4 points to 12.3 percent.

He did not mention the crisis in funding that is resulting in hospitals and clinics shutting down. No care and no clue how to resolve the health care crisis.

And after the sentimental line, “My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans, to protect their safety, their families, their communities,” weren’t you expecting him to talk about finally taking some action to restrain the scourge of gun violence, especially after the two most monstrous massacres in history?

Instead, he said, “We are totally defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.”

No, instead of pointing to how immigrants have built this country, how immigrants are the entrepreneurs, the innovators, the valedictorians and the Nobel laureates, the doctors and teachers, the health care workers and elder care helpers, the construction workers and the farm laborers, the Trump conflated “violence” with “immigration,” and all immigrants with the vicious M13 gang.

But he did not offer any plan or reasonable “compromise” to resolve the daily human tragedy of people now living in fear of government shackling them and hauling them away to jail and deportation without even the ability to say goodbye to their family.

This is Trump’s America, Trump’s American Dream.

Trump boasted about America becoming an energy exporter (which happened under Obama), and cheered, “We have ended the war on American energy, and we have ended the war on beautiful clean coal” though there is no such thing as “clean coal.” And he boasted about reversing regulations to promote clean air, clean water, clean environment.

What he didn’t say? Climate change. Clean energy. Clean renewable energy. He didn’t mention that he is using trade policy – imposing 30 percent tariff on solar panels – and tax policy to unfairly tilt back the economic edge to dirty fossil fuels, harming clean renewable energy, the growth industry which has produced tens of thousands of new jobs, helped consumers and municipalities to save money.

Nor did he mention “science” or “innovation” or “research and development.” He didn’t mention how his administration is shutting down science – websites and studies that present inconvenient truths for the Trump agenda have been shut down, that science advisors have resigned that the Trump budget cuts off funding for research.

He spoke with zeal about “modernizing and rebuilding our nuclear arsenal” because “making it so strong and so powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression by any other nation or anyone else” – effectively reversing decades of American policy aimed at reducing the nuclear arms threat globally – but didn’t mention “diplomacy” or “State Department” once. Not once.

Infrastructure: He talked a good game about wanting $1.5 trillion to fund infrastructure, but never mentioned where this funding would come from, or the fact that his idea is to make the requirements on municipalities so onerous, they are unlikely to pursue projects. What he did say was that he would overturn the environmental review process as well as local say over what is built.

Moreover, his administration’s rejection of the Gateway Tunnel, between New York and New Jersey, is a clear sign that even without an “earmark” process (which he wants to resume), he will use infrastructure spending as a political slush fund.

Trump boasted especially about the booming economy but failed to mention that the trend merely continued what was happening as a result of Obama’s policies, including the steady rise in the stock market. Jobs creation?

As Bernie Sanders noted, “his first year in office marked the lowest level of job creation since 2010… 254,000 fewer jobs were created in Trump’s first 11 months in office than were created in the 11 months before he entered office.”

While wages are going up, he failed to mention that is largely because of Obama’s push to raise the minimum wage.

Indeed, Sanders noted that after inflation, workers’ wages rose 4 cents an hour, $1.60 a week (Speaker Ryan thinks that is a fortune for which workers should be grateful to Trump).

On the other hand, the three richest people in America saw their wealth increase by more than $68 billion since March.

Moreover, only 2 percent of Americans are getting the one-time bonuses (no substitute for actual wage increases), and major employers like Walmart, AT&T, General Electric and Pfizer are laying off tens of thousands of workers while Kimberly-Clark said it was using its tax-cut to restructure and close 10 plants, laying off 5,000 workers.

He never mentioned education, yet another topic that is usually of concern to a president. He touted over and over the Republican tax cuts, but never mentioned how his administration would support public education, which by eliminating deductibility of state and local taxes – not to mention cuts in federal education spending by $10 billion – will be severely harmed.

He called for “bipartisanship” (exactly once), which Trump and Republicans define as: “Democrats, you do what we want,” and Trump adds “show loyalty to me.” (Indeed, he blasted Democrats for failing to applaud, calling it “un-American” and even “treasonous” behavior.)

But he looks to bipartisanship only because he has to (since McConnell does not seem willing to use the nuclear option and end the 60-vote threshold for cloture).

But rather than describe how might encourage bipartisanship – urge Republican leaders to engage Democrats and respect – immediately after, when freed from the teleprompter, he renewed his personal attacks, insults, sniping at Democrats, chiding Senator Schumer for “caving” on the government shutdown.

How is that supposed to engage true bipartisanship?

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