The State of the Union is Wrong
See What I Did There?
I often find myself missing Barack Obama at odd moments, but tonight, I know I will feel his absence acutely during the State of the Union. As I listen to Trump project the illusion of coherence before the joint session, it will have been two years since I last heard my Captain ritually repeat the words “we’re going to cut tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas” to Congress, and exactly two years since I responded with my traditional “Ugh, shut the fuck up!” It was the only habit of our 44th president that I found irritating, but good lord, that shit was insufferable.
It has been nearly a year since Trump delivered his famous Feb. 28th speech to congress, which Fire & Fury alleges ex-adviser Steve Bannon derisively called the “Goldman Speech,” as it was written mainly by Jared and Gary Cohn, and because he despised it for its squishy, cosmopolitan, conciliatory [Jewishness]. Steve’s anointed white champion had expressed unforgivable remorse at the wave of hate crimes that had accompanied his election on a pro-hate-crime platform, and offered solidarity with European terror victims without castigating 1.5 billion people for their complicity in the attack. Stevie B did not approve, for the very reasons that everyone else did.
It was the first time that Trump had acted like a president since the inaugural, and the media swooned at their first whiff of a sentient adult in our highest office. He not only read from the teleprompter without crass asides, but he even managed not to shit himself at the dais. It was a bravura performance, such an unmitigated triumph that we were all able to forget about the travel ban, and the golden shower video, and the recent departure of Mike Flynn under a dark cloud, at least until Trump accused Obama of tapping his phones three days later.
Eleven months have passed, in which time we have watched the Republican Party devolve from a radical protest movement masquerading as a political party into something much worse. Their state-level turn to third-world-style one-party rule should’ve been a clue that their federal delegation would be disinclined to defend the Republic, once the evidence of Trump’s guilt mounted. As it becomes clearer and clearer that he is malfeasance made manifest, they have only hardened their resolve.
President Trump wanted cover fire, so Rep. Devin Nunes (Analingus-CA) has rallied the Congressional GOP behind some easily-disproven conspiratorial horseshit typed up by a few of his aides to the vocal chagrin of the DOJ. Deputy Director Andy McCabe was just bounced out of the FBI for insufficient loyalty to a traitor. Said traitor is threatening to fire everyone responsible for investigating his betrayal, while refusing to uphold the law and sanction his Slavic pimp. This is either very bad for him, or very bad for us.
I’m either reassured that he’s flailing like a cornered animal as death approaches him, or haunted by the sense that Trump might get away with this nonsense and bring about the death of the United States as we know it. I don’t know if the GOP is vociferously defending everything he does in their last gasps before their inevitable electoral and political doom, or because they’ve abandoned the American Experiment and have the will to destroy it.
Tonight, Trump addresses a nation unsure if its president or its system of government is doomed, but certain it’s one or the other. It’s unclear whether we are presently wading through the Jordan or the Rubicon, towards salvation or unto the denouement of the Republic, and all we can say for certain at this point is that our asses are wet.
So I will watch tonight with the mixture of hope and dread that has defined every waking moment of the last year. My heart will sing every time his voice drops and he says the words “by the way…” in defiance of his teleprompter’s will, knowing that he’s about to say something reaaaally stupid, and my soul will despair every time his conference applauds an authoritarian sentiment — apparently “one year of Russiagate is enough” will be among them.
He claims to be seeking unity, but he will not unite us, because he has no inclination to, and he does not know what the concept means. His only proven instinct is a knack for exploiting every point of human fragility and weakness in our government and our national character, and since he only cares about winning, he will win the only way he can: talking trash. Whether that trash will be heretofore woven into the American fabric is the question.
The only thing we can count on is that he’ll be interrupted less than Obama was. He is white, after all.