The man who lost the election by nearly 3 million votes and yet somehow ended up in the White House is giving his first State of the Union. May it also be his last.
Donald Trump delivers his first State of the Union to Congress Tuesday, in the midst of an ongoing constitutional crisis he created, historically low approval ratings, and an American public that would rather see him impeached than re-elected.
The American public doesn’t think highly of him either and never has. Last May, the top terms Americans used to describe him were “ignorant,” “incompetent,” and “liar.” His approval rating currently hovers at 38 percent.
Meanwhile, more than a dozen Democratic lawmakers are boycotting the address to protest his overt bigotry, incessant lying, and general divisiveness.
Trump’s speechwriters have undoubtedly crafted a speech for him of propaganda and outright lies, but whatever he says Tuesday about the state of the union he seems intent to destroy, a powerful resistance awaits him tomorrow.
Follow along with our liveblog below.
9:06 p.m.: Trump has just arrived at the Capitol.
“So much about this moment in history has never happened before,” says MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. Because Trump is the most unpopular first-year president in modern history? Because Trump is up to his neck in a constitutional crisis? Because America is holding its breath in fear of what Trump will say tonight and what he will tweet tomorrow?
All of the above.
9:14 p.m.: Trump: “This is our new American moment.”
That line sounded better in the original Hillary Clinton in 2010.
9:19 p.m.: Trump gives a shoutout to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who survived a shooting last June. It’s the first time Trump has addressed gun violence in America out loud in a long time. His last mention of it was on Twitter and he had to be shamed into offering condolences after a school shooting in Kentucky.
9:23 p.m.: Trump is shamelessly taking credit for low unemployment levels.
He’s not mentioning Harley-Davidson’s announcement of layoffs, in part because of the Republican tax scam.
Or … Well, you get the idea.
9:27 p.m.: Trump is still claiming the GOP tax scam is helping to create jobs. But he still hasn’t mentioned that job growth has slumped to a six-year low during his first year in office.
9:29 p.m.: Trump: “This is, in fact, our new American moment.” Still sounded better when Hillary said it.
9:32 p.m.: Trump: “The motto is ‘IN GOD WE TRUST.'”
Seems like it was just a couple weeks ago we learned that Trump’s lawyer paid $130,000 in hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels, right before the 2016 election, so we wouldn’t find out that Trump had been carrying on an extramarital affair with her while pregnant Melania was at home.
9:34 p.m.: And now for a lecture on “why we stand for the national anthem.” From the man who dodged the draft five times and doesn’t even know the words to the national anthem. No, thanks, we’ll listen to four-star Gen. Michael Hayden instead:
As a 39-year military veteran, I think I know something about the flag, the anthem, patriotism, and I think I know why we fight, he writes. Its not to allow the president to divide us by wrapping himself in the national banner. I never imagined myself saying this before Friday, but if now forced to choose in this dispute, put me down with Kaepernick.”
9:37 p.m.: Trump says taking care of vets has been his promise to them since the beginning. But when he and his party shut down the government earlier this month, they didn’t bother to ensure that members of the military would continue to receive their hard-earned pay.
You know who did during the last shut down? President Obama.
9:39 p.m.: Trump says he has revived the American economy which was humming along nicely, thanks to President Obama because of all the regulations he cut. Quick reminder on that:
— Shareblue Media (@Shareblue) January 31, 2018
9:40 p.m.: “For many years, companies and jobs were leaving us,” Trump says. “But now they’re coming back.” Well, actually …
9:44 p.m.: Now for some boasting about trade agreements. Trump hasn’t actually delivered on all those new trade agreements he promised.
“We’ll negotiate new ones, and they’ll be good ones,” he says.
While he was busy not negotiating deals, 11 countries just moved forward without him and the United States and made a major trade deal of their own.
9:46 p.m.: And another thing about trade deals … Trump trade pullout angers rural America: He fooled a lot of people
9:50 p.m.: Trump has yet to address the 800,00 DREAMers he’s about to deport. But he’s just warming up his attacks on immigrants and “open borders” and “alien minors.”
You know, children.
9:54 p.m.: Trump calls on Congress to crack down on immigration. Still no mention of how he’ll protect DREAMers. But we already know how: if he gets the $30 billion ransom he has demanded to pay for his dumb border wall, he’ll consider protecting them.
Anyone have a spare $30 billion handy?
9:56 p.m.: Wow. Just … wow. “My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too.”
That’s the only time the word “dreamers” has escaped his lips tonight.
10:00 p.m.: Trump is now laying out his specific demands in exchange for protecting young immigrants. The same young immigrants Republican Rep. Paul Gosar asked Attorney Jeff Sessions to arrest at the Capitol tonight.
10:02 p.m.: Trump calls for an end on “chain migration.” He hasn’t called for an end to gun violence. Guess which one takes more American lives every year.
10:04 p.m.: P.S. on “chain migration.”
And by the way, "chain migration" is a derogatory, racist term.
— Shareblue Media (@Shareblue) January 31, 2018
10:05 p.m.: Now a promise to end the opioid epidemic in America. With this 24-year-old kid Trump put in charge of ending it.
10:10 p.m.: “As we rebuild Americas strength and confidence at home, we are also restoring our strength and standing abroad.” Reminder: Trump just got home from a trip to Davos, where he was booed on the global stage.
10:12 p.m.: Trump is spending a lot of time in this speech talking about people dying. Pretty depressing for a man who claims he’s made America so great again.
10:15 p.m.: For those keeping score at home, approximately one hour into this speech: four mentions of MS-13, one mention of Puerto Rico, which is experiencing the worst blackout in U.S. history.
10:19 p.m.: This sums up … everything.
10:22 p.m.: This speech is just about death and dismay. There is no hope or inspiration from Trump.
10:24 p.m.: Who needs some hope and change right about now?
10:28 p.m.: Trump is praising monuments to Washington and Lincoln. It’s a nice change of pace from his typical praise of monuments to Confederate traitors.
10:32 p.m.: “It’s the people who are making America great again,” Trump says. He’s about a minute away from telling people to go to his website to buy his hats the way he advertised his campaign hats during Hurricane Irma.
10:36 p.m.: That’s a wrap.
Trump’s first, and hopefully last, State of the Union address was long, boring, racist, and depressing. But we already know pundits have a very low bar for this address. He didn’t choke, he didn’t fall down, he didn’t get his own name wrong though he did get Obama’s wrong so the pundits will probably say tonight is the night Trump finally pivoted, reset, and became president.
Don’t believe the hype.
Make America Obama again.