In these unusual times, our nation’s most unusual president is shooting for normalcy in his State of the Union Address. According to Politico:
To put it simply, “he has to be normal,” said Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary to President George W. Bush. “People knew he was 100 percent different from every politician who came before, but they thought he could go to Washington and get things done. He’s entering the must-get-things-done part of his presidency and a big part of that can be driven by a State of the Union speech that’s normal and gets bipartisan support.”
Must appear normal to get things done?
Given that Trump’s “to-do” list often seems to involve things like war with North Korea, spending tens of billions on a wall that won’t work, and firing Robert Mueller, it’s likely that a sizeable number are just fine with him getting very little done. Being “normal,” on the other hand, might have been a worthwhile goal two years ago, but no one is un-baking this pizza. Republicans understand,
“We’ve never seen a president like this before. It’s different,” said retired Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican and fellow at the Manhattan Institute. “Half of America likes what he’s doing. They don’t like him, necessarily, but they like what he’s doing. He’s got to talk to all Americans. He’s got to explain what he’s doing and why he’s doing it.”
Wait, wait, wait.
The ratings for the last six months never eclipse 39% approval, and under our constitution Republicans have to use the same math as everyone else.
Regardless, if Donald Trump wants to speak to the “65%-half,” he could begin by explaining why he feels compelled to fire everyone who investigates him, Trump might tell us why he favors Russian interests at every foreign policy turn and many might enjoy being convinced we won’t be baited into nuclear war by a man-boy with a small button. These very basic concerns likely will go unaddressed by this atypical president.
The State of the Union circa 2018: A week following a government shut down, news of an order to fire the special investigator, and school children hearing of bribes to a porn star, the WhiteHouse seeks to look “normal” on the biggest presidential stage.
Let’s not normalize any of this.