During the first term in the presidency of George W. Bush, how often did his critics on the left sneer the phrase ‘tone deaf’? They misfired and President Bush was re-elected. Here we go again.
If body language and looks can launch a thousand ships, then here comes an armada from the left. Continuing their sour attitude, this fleet will most likely suffer the same crushing losses the Spanish faced in 1588.
Because, tonally speaking, President Trump’s speech was a home run. Optically speaking, the Democrats fouled out.
Just like words matter so, too, do optics. So why did Democrats, with very few exceptions, snicker and sit on their hands and shake their heads ruefully throughout the address?
They most likely expected candidate Trump rather President Trump. The country heard the following healing phrases: “The time for small thinking is over,” the President declared. “The time for trivial fights is behind us”, he continued. Does that not warrant applause?
President Trump used language worthy of Kennedy and Reagan. His speech was peppered with strong words such as “pride,” “optimism,” “daring” and “bold.”
And for the party of ‘everybody have some pie’, there were plenty of slices for all. So what’s not to love? There was enough talk of more spending than many Republicans can probably stomach. That is called leadership.
The President discussed increasing wages for all Americans and “even immigrants”. A massive bipartisan infrastructure deal is most certainly on the horizon. The unions will definitely embrace that plan. So should the Democrat rank and file in the House and Senate. It’s what voters want.
Speaking of unions, the President reiterated his support for coal miners. Smartly, he used the term “coal miners” rather than “coal industry”. Throughout his address, the President was talking to Americans in fly over country not The New York Times and The Washington Post editorial boards, both of which the GOP can live without no matter what the topic.
To his credit, Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia found reason to applaud every so often. He even commented afterwards that he “loved the presidential tone” of the President’s remarks. No doubt Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has a scarlet “T” sweater ready for Manchin to wear at the next caucus meeting.
The President also forcefully voiced his support for a strong and healthy NATO. Across the pond our allies applaud while Democrats here at home sit at scowl. Tax reform has bipartisan support, was promised by the President, and the crickets were audibly chirping on the left.
Getting back to optics, can anyone get the response right? Democrats trotted out a washed-up former Governor sitting in a diner with so-called neighbors doing the mannequin challenge. The silver lining for former Kentucky Governor Beshear is, since his political career is already over, there is nothing left to ruin.
Misfire again, my Democrat friends, and expect for Republicans to have a great midterm. The Republicans only problem is they are at such a nadir it’s hard to make too many more gains. That’s a problem the GOP can applaud.