Kicking Them When They’re Down

Ideas and Issues

Boston     Around Boston, this is their time of the year.  Another Super Bowl football extravaganza, and once again, yawn, the New England Patriots are in the big show.  The Boston Globe sports section was full of comparisons of future Hall of Famer Tom Brady’s matchup with recent backup quarterback Nick Foles for the Philadelphia Eagles.  I haven’t read any report where victory was so clearly expected and in the bag since the 2016 pre-election reports, when everyone was sure that Hillary Clinton would clean Donald Trump’s clock.

Which brings me back again to Trump and his state of the disunion speech.  If this was his best shot at unifying the country, he failed miserably.  This regurgitation of hardline immigration proposals tore to shreds any thought that there was a deal cooked up and ready, just waiting to hear the blessing.  He sent the fact checkers running again, but at least that kept them alert and awake for the 80 minutes of this speech, one of the longest state of the union addresses since anyone starting keeping time.

No one briefed the President that the football season was all over except the shouting though.  Darned if he didn’t take a thinly veiled shot once again at the players who had the temerity to speak up and stand down and take a knee or raise a fist in protest of police brutality and the treatment of African-Americans in the country.  Why did he do that?  The season is over, the protest had almost petered out by the end of the season except for some stalwart few.  The tactic has been exhausted, but rather that let it go, somehow President Trump thought that this notion of having a bully pulpit meant that he had to be a bully whenever he could stand in that pulpit.

Why can’t the President take public control of his private racism?  What is it about black athletes that drives him over the edge?  How could any speechwriter or White House staffer have thought this was a good idea, except for their desperation to keep the dog whistle blaring to his base so that he can hold onto the last shreds of his 37%, record low base?

You just know that the President was trying his best to be dignified.  He was maybe even trying to reset and unify.

As long as he can’t control his racism, his chauvinism, and the fear of foreigners from non-Scandinavian countries, trying a new shtick is not going to work, no matter how long he talks, when his heart is clearly not in it.