Mon. May 20th, 2024

State of the Union addresses have become Washington kabuki theater at its worst. Everything is for show — the staged applause, the invited guests in the gallery, the self-congratulations, the empty promises. The insincerity on all sides oozes from the chamber. Worst of all may be the chin-stroking pundits who pretend this is significant.

They will intone — if President Trump makes it through the prepared remarks without foaming at the mouth about the Russia investigation — that he was “presidential.” If he could only be like that all the time, they earnestly proclaim. Yes, if Trump were not Trump and spoke others’ words that he likely doesn’t entirely grasp (quick, have him explain what the trade deficit really is), we’d all be better off. But he doesn’t, and we’re not.

Forgotten will be Monday’s events – the reports of a raving Trump calling the wife of acting FBI director Andrew McCabe a “loser;” of the president being irate over the Department of Justice’s attempt to prevent the release of a memo damaging to national security; and of him being determined to fire McCabe, who was told about former FBI director James B. Comey’s conversations with the president, making him a witness to alleged obstruction. Rather than point out that those revelations confirm Trump is temperamentally unfit for the job, and is uninterested in anything other than protecting his own hide, he’ll be patted on the head for reading off a teleprompter.

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