Diary

If He'd Be This Guy....

I didn’t give a whole lot of thought to Donald Trump’s #JointAddress to Congress last night before it began. I certainly didn’t have firm plans to watch it. The Blues were playing, after all, and I’m battling some weird sinus/cold/sickness that has my eyes identifying as my nose.  And, frankly, I expected it to be a fairly cringeworthy spectacle.

Nevertheless, I took a deep breath, steeled myself, and tuned in. And found myself…not horrified.  I followed along on Twitter, as one does.  And shared some of my own thoughts on it as the speech progressed.  Here are a few:

(Well, it was crooked when he entered the chamber!)

Thought it smart to start off with that.  I tried to assess him fairly:

I even found some agreement:

Honestly, I appreciated the fact that he was staying (mostly) on script.

Then came the tribute to Ryan Owens, and to his widow, Carryn.

Yes, I get the unease over invited guests and essentially using them as political props.  I share in it, whether employed by Republicans or Democrats. But anyone who wasn’t moved by the image of Carryn Owens, tearfully looking skyward during the two minute standing ovation honoring her husband, needs to get their feelz checked.

Really, my overall take on the speech was best summed up with this:

It must have resonated a bit (no doubt, in large part, thanks to @JimGeraghty retweeting it), because it’s gotten a fairly good deal of response:

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There has been no shortage of Trump acolytes rushing to let me know that he really is this guy (because they have a secret line on him that I don’t.)  Nor has there been a shortage of detractors informing me that it’s just a con job.  Not to mention the one dear soul who encouraged me to keep holding my breath.  #SheSeemsNice

I realize that such is the nature of Twitter, but as I noted earlier this morning, I really love waking to a bunch of non-followers (i.e., people who’ve no clue as to my views or positions) “Trumpsplaining” to me as though I haven’t been following along until now.  Newsflash, Twitterland: I’ve been a political junkie since I was a toddler. I didn’t just wake up last night and wonder, “Who’s this Trump dude?”

I’ve been a harsh critic of Trump, and am sure I’ll continue to be.  I didn’t want him to run, and sure as hell didn’t want him to win. I’ve watched him and listened to him all throughout his candidacy and nascent presidency, and while I’ll be the first to acknowledge he hasn’t been given remotely even-handed treatment by the media, I base my views of him on what he actually says and does – not what WaPo, the New York Times, Fox News or even RedState feed me.  Many have touted his unconventional use of Twitter and approach to media as refreshing, allowing him to go around the media and speak directly to “the people,” sans filter.  That works both ways, folks.  I can read the Twitterz and follow the #TwittererInChief just as well as you.  So, please, disabuse yourself of the notion that anyone who looks at him with a skeptical eye is just an unknowing victim of media bias.

And, no, his managing to stay on message and still exhibit some humanity last night doesn’t have me awash in warm fuzzies for him or many of his proposed policies.  Fixing “everything” sounds lovely. I wish him well in his endeavor, even while I cling a little tighter to my already anemic wallet.

No, friends, I’m not under the illusion that he will  “be that guy” most — or even much — of the time. Experience and observation counsel otherwise. But the bottom line is this: When you have both Chris Wallace and Van Jones agreeing that Donald Trump became “President Donald Trump” last night, you have to recognize that he can be that guy when he desires to be.  One can only hope that the accolades he’s receiving in response to last night will serve, as John Podhoretz suggested last night, as a positive feedback loop, and encourage him to strive to be more like “that guy” going forward.