Thursday, March 02, 2017

Donald Trump, Master of Low Expectations

Andrew Rosenthal MARCH 1, 2017, NYT

First as a candidate, and now as president, Donald Trump has drawn fire for promising the moon and stars without giving the slightest hint of how he intended to obtain them. In fact, as Tuesday night’s speech to Congress demonstrated so clearly, the president is actually a master of the art of diminished expectations.

On Tuesday night, we are told, he looked sober and presidential, when all he actually did was read a speech from a Teleprompter without veering off into one of his incoherent rants. It’s hard to believe that even the ill-disciplined and narcissistic Trump would have stood in the well of the House of Representatives and tried to lead a chant of “lock her up” or slapped journalists with the “enemy of the people” label that has been a favorite of dictators for more than a century.

Americans are supposed to be delighted, or at least relieved, that Trump began his speech by denouncing anti-Semitic threats and attacks, which have proliferated since he took office. But it took the president long weeks to make that simple statement, and just a few hours before his speech in the Capitol, he was suggesting to a group of state attorneys general that anti-Semitic attacks might actually have been carried out by people who want “to make others look bad” (in other words, his political opponents).

At one point, Republican lawmakers in the chamber leapt to their feet, cheering in sycophantic approval, when Trump announced that he was going to put an end to the “uncontrolled entry” into the United States of people “from places where proper vetting cannot occur.”

(More here.)

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