From The Reporter's Notebook
What Trump ultimately delivered was somewhat more subdued than the apocalyptic rhetoric of his RNC acceptance speech and inaugural address. He vowed at the outset of the speech to "deliver a message of unity and strength,” and he struck a compassionate note by expressing concern about the recent waves of bomb threats against Jewish community centers and the vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, TPM's Alice Ollstein wrote. But after that relatively moderate opening, Trump went on to paint a dark and often misleading portrait of a country with "dying industries," "crumbling infrastructure," a "terrible drug epidemic," "neglected inner cities," and a general "environment of lawless chaos." It was, in short, "American carnage" all over again, though less angry.
Agree or Disagree?
Josh Marshall: "I can't in good conscience not add here that the speech was strewn with demonstrably false claims. But we expect this now. The President's advisors, especially Steve Bannon, can read the polls as well as anyone else. But they've set as their goal not shifting those numbers (at least not worrying about them for now) so much as providing repeated evidence and claims to convince his base supporters that he's following through on what he promised he would do. I said I would do this and I didn't. You can count on me. I'm different."
"For people who are not Republicans and already committed to the President and his agenda, Donald Trump did indeed become presidential tonight. And I think we'll see that reflected in a higher approval rating."
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Tuesday that President Donald Trump became "presidential" during his address to a joint session of Congress.
BUZZING: Today in the Hive
From a TPM Prime member: "Conservatives in the main want to be free from regulations imposed by Washington. Can we look at a few? Civil Rights Environmental protections Workplace safety These all require states to protect individuals from unwarranted discrimination, from degraded air and water, and from disregard of workplace safety. So conservative states want to be free to let their residents or visitors be injured by these conditions or actions. Some liberal-government states want to be free to increase personal freedoms (cannabis, LGBTQ protections) and resist Washington preventing them from doing that. Examples: The continued classification of cannabis as Schedule 1 by the DEA is a top-down limit on personal freedom. The relaxing of environmental limits on emissions imposes damages on downwind states or states that share a watershed. It is not symmetrical. It is like trying to equate the freedom to discriminate with the freedom to not be discriminated against. Your freedom to swing your fist around ends at the tip of my nose. Your freedom to dump waste ends at your property line, or before if water or air is involved."
Related: Sessions Sets Goals: Robust Enforcement Of Drug, Gun, Violent Crime
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