Stumped by Trump's 'Nice' Speech?
"DO YOU you feel better?” Cat asked me this morning.
“What do you mean?” I said.
“You know exactly what I'm talking about,” Cat retorted. “Trump’s speech last night to Congress. The BIG Speech.”
Of course I knew what Cat meant. But I was hoping that he wasn’t going to crow about what everyone said was a clear win. In fact, I figured Cat had skipped the talk. The Nice One, saying that she just couldn’t stand to hear the man’s voice, went to bed right before he came on TV. And Cat, who always tries to play nice to Our Humans, had followed her upstairs.
I had stayed down in the living room, with the Grouchy One, who is, if nothing else, a masochist. He’s not exactly getting any younger, and you’d think he would make better use of his remaining years.
As for myself, I had to watch it, given that I’m a working journalist - obviously.
“Miserable,” I said, finally answering Cat’s question. “The speech made me feel miserable.”
“You’re kidding!” Cat retorted. “I’d thought you would welcome the New Trump. You get so upset with his attacks on immigrants, on the media, on America’s allies, on the CIA, on Nordstrom, on federal court judges, on POWs. None of that last night. Nada. No mean Tweets. Zero insults. No mine-is-bigger-than-yours comparisons,” Cat said.
“Almost everyone described it as a kinder-and-gentler Trump," he said The Punditry went crazy. They said Trump was ‘presidential.’ He gave the best speech of his life. He’s already headed to reelection in 2020.”
CAT'S ENTHUSIASM astonished me, and I have to admit, he caught me off guard. But not for long.
“You mean the part where he invited relatives of people killed by illegal immigrants to sit in the House gallery, so he could use them as foils for his campaign to demonize all undocumented peoples as criminals?” I said to Cat.
“And how Donald-Draft-Dodger used the widow of Ryan Owens, the Navy SEAL killed in Yemen, as another prop to boast about the ‘success’ of that mission, only hours after he blamed the generals who he said ‘lost Ryan?’ “
“And worse, as the TV camera focused relentlessly on the woman’s face, Trump said to her: ‘Ryan is looking down right now – you know that – and he’s very happy because I think he just broke a record,” meaning the long stretch of applause (for which Trump took credit). Yup, Mr. and Mrs. Owens are really happy.”
“You are such a cynic,” Cat said. “You know what I think? You’re in shock because the guy didn’t give you a brand-new ‘outrage’ to rant about in your stupid blog or on Facebook.”
Cat was on a roll. He’d sure done his homework. The polls were out, he said, showing that it wasn’t just the pundits who liked the speech - lots of people did. Trump even sent the stock market soaring.
“And how about that opening?” Cat said. “Trump knew that it was the end of Black History Month, and he said how upset he was about Jewish cemeteries being desecrated, and that there’s no place in America for bigotry.”
“Right, Cat,” I replied. “Trump read that opening with all the conviction of a schoolyard bully forced to read an apology in front of the class, but planning to beat the crap out of the kid who squealed on him at recess.”
“FACE FACTS, Liberal Fuzz Brain, you were outmaneuvered,” Cat gloated. “Just like during the campaign. And it scares you.”
“You keep thinking that Trump is going to self-destruct. That eventually he’ll say something, do something and there will be that elusive ‘Last Straw Moment’ that will drive him from office, with him being impeached or hauled off to the funny farm.”
“Not going to happen,” he said, flashing what passes for a smile on his fickle feline face, which is not unlike the sort of grimace Trump manages occasionally in lieu of a smile.
“Trump’s a survivor,” Cat said, going for the kill. “If you want to get rid of him, you’re going to have to work at it.”
“You’re going to have to organize. You’re going to have to come up with the right programs, and the right messages. You’ll have to talk to people who don’t like you, but who maybe will work with you. And, by the way, you’re going to have to win some elections.”
“But rest assured, Pal,” said Cat. affecting a TV anchor's deep voice of Authority. “Donald J. Trump is not simply going to go away.