Mid-Day Digest

Feb. 6, 2019


“The ingredients which constitute energy in the Executive are, first, unity…” —Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 70

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Editor’s Note: Stay tuned after lunch for Mark Alexander’s comprehensive analysis of Donald Trump’s second State of the Union.

The 2019 SOTU Review: A Trump Administration Triumph

Mark Alexander and Nate Jackson

Today is Ronald Reagan’s birthday. In the years since his presidency, through the Bush (41), Clinton, Bush (43), and Obama years, analyzing State of the Union addresses has been more about endurance than inspiration.

But, surprisingly, that changed last year with Donald Trump’s first address, “Our New American Moment.” His second address last night was even better than the first. These SOTUs did not follow the worn template of providing a wish list, but instead were a running recap of administration and congressional successes over the last two years.

In both instances, President Trump’s remarks strongly contrasted the difference in Republican optimism and Democrat pessimism — Republican advocacy for Liberty and self-reliance versus Democrats’ advocacy for dependence, statism, and now unapologetic socialism based on their failed policies of the past.

We concluded years ago that the Democrat Party was not one of the oppressed but of the depressed. And that deranged institutional depression has become epidemic.

Again in his latest SOTU, Trump instilled pride in who we are as a nation. It was framed by unity rather than partisanship. “Victory is not winning for our party,” he declared. “Victory is winning for our country.” He began and ended his address with calls for unity and he highlighted numerous areas that should enlist universal agreement, largely about America’s promise and historical achievements. There were several issues in the middle of his speech that should unify Americans, especially the Trump administration’s strong economic record. But the Democrats would have no part in a call for unity.

Trump opened, saying, “Members of Congress, the state of our union is strong.” Yet over his shoulder, Nancy “Sourpuss” Pelosi shook her head. Clearly, good news is bad news for Democrats, whose best political hope is to drive the nation into recession before 2020.

Americans may disagree on how to achieve border security and an orderly legal immigration process, but we should all be able to agree that caravans of migrants should not be free to cross our border.

Trump noted, “In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall — but the proper wall never got built. I will get it built.” He completely shifted the immigration debate to protecting American jobs and people.

Trump declared, “Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” That shouldn’t be controversial, although socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders and other socialist Democrats looked like they were suffering heart failure.

Record-low unemployment — especially for black and Hispanic Americans — rising wages across the board, and an overall strong economy are not partisan issues; they are facts. Yet in each instance when we should all agree, many if not most Democrats sat on their hands rather than applauding. However, Trump did get almost the entire room chanting “USA, USA” after mentioning the stats on the number of women now in the workforce.

People may not see eye to eye on when abortion is appropriate — there’s not much common ground between “never” and “most of the time.” But it should be beyond dispute to say that children should not be killed at the moment of or even after birth.

“Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life,” Trump said. “And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: All children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.”

Notably, Trump did receive almost unanimous approval for what we believe was the best gathering of gallery guests in any State of the Union.

Trump concluded, “We must choose whether we are defined by our differences — or whether we dare to transcend them. We must choose whether we squander our inheritance — or whether we proudly declare that we are Americans: we do the incredible, we defy the impossible, we conquer the unknown. We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction. Tonight, I ask you to choose greatness.”

We rate this high among the best modern-day SOTUs, and many who viewed it agree. The Leftmedia network CBS reluctantly reported its findings regarding public approval of Trump’s State of the Union: 76% of those watching the speech approved, including a 30% approval rating among Democrats and 82% among Independents. Notably, 72% approved of his immigration plan. (We hope Trump will not derail the success of this SOTU, as is his penchant, with some petulant, dis-unifying social-media post.)

Of course, chief among those not approving were Pelosi and DNC Chairman Tom Perez.

For her part, Pelosi concluded: “It will take days to fact-check all the misrepresentations that the president made tonight. Instead of fearmongering and manufacturing a crisis at the border, President Trump should commit to signing the bipartisan conference committee’s bill to keep government open and provide strong, smart border security solutions. … President Trump must now take concrete steps to work with Democrats to strengthen the health and economic security of families across America. After two years of the president’s empty words, the American people deserve real results.”

Actually, this is a fine example of Pelosi’s “alternate universe” perspective. The Trump administration and Republican Congress have clearly strengthened “the health and economic security of families across America” and, demonstrably, the American people are experiencing “real results.”

And for those watching the SOTU, there is now a consistent Pelosi poker tell — when she knows Trump has succeeded where Democrats have failed, she starts doing that smirk thing, as if trying to get the spinach out of her teeth. The Demo/MSM machine was certainly consumed with what it claimed was a teenager’s smirk two weeks ago — but not a word on Pelosi’s smirk, and all the others on the left side of the room last night.

Predictably, according to Perez: “After attending Trump’s State of the Union tonight, I know this for certain: The only way that we will be able to stop his outrageous, divisive agenda is by taking back the Senate and putting a Democrat in the White House in 2020. I am going to fight like hell to make sure we’re building the infrastructure necessary to continue to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in the months and years ahead.”

The bottom line: There will be no unity in the next two years, because Democrats and their Leftmedia publicists thrive on division and partisanship, the antithesis of unity. They have reconstructed their political platform on a “Hate Trump” foundation, rejecting Rule of Law, the most basic tenets of morality, and America’s First Principles.

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For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.


  • Among those in attendance last night were three D-Day veterans. President Trump stated, “Here with us tonight are three of those heroes: Private First Class Joseph Reilly, Staff Sergeant Irving Locker, and Sergeant Herman Zeitchik. Gentlemen, we salute you.” (The Daily Signal)
  • $1 trillion deficits are on the horizon, but that was conspicuously omitted from the State of the Union. “The deficit is not a sexy issue and it’s not something that’s likely to get solved quickly,” says Reason. “And, of course, talking about something in the State of the Union Address is not the same as actually doing something. Still, the talking matters.”
  • Tax reform for the win: “On Tuesday, ExxonMobil announced it would invest a whopping $10 billion in America’s infrastructure as it develops the Golden Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Sabine Pass. According to Exxon Mobil, ‘Construction will begin in the first quarter of 2019 and the facility is expected to start up in 2024.’” (The Daily Wire)
  • “The U.S. government is preparing to begin construction of more border walls and fencing in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, likely on federally owned land set aside as wildlife refuge property,” according to the Associated Press. “Congress last March approved more than $600 million for 33 miles (53 kilometers) of new barriers in the Rio Grande Valley. While President Donald Trump and top Democrats remain in a standoff over Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion in border wall funding, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has pushed ahead with building what’s already funded.”
  • Abortion crackdown? “A boring, low-stress Supreme Court term just got substantially more interesting,” National Review’ David French writes. “Within two short days, we may learn a great deal about Justice Kavanaugh’s approach to abortion rights and about the willingness of the Court to roll back recent, abortion-friendly jurisprudence.”
  • “Pope Francis acknowledged for the first time on Tuesday that priests and bishops have sexually abused nuns and several of those clergy have been suspended. Some clergy have abused nuns to the point of ‘sexual slavery,’ the pope said, adding that the Church is addressing the problem and ‘for some time we’ve been working on it.’” (National Review)
  • Village academic curriculum: “New Jersey will be the second state to mandate that middle and high school students learn about LGBTQ contributions. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed Senate Bill 1569, which requires schools to adopt curriculums that ‘accurately portray political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.’” (The Daily Caller)
  • Humor: Nancy Pelosi blinks “Please send help” in morse code during the State of the Union (The Babylon Bee)
  • Policy: This week, Sen. Patty Murray single-handedly quashed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which addresses the Democrats’ new tolerance for infanticide. Alexandra DeSanctis explains “Why a Ban on Infanticide Is Necessary” in National Review.
  • Policy: Heritage Foundation experts weighed in with analysis of the president’s policy proposals. Here’s what they had to say on immigration, the economy, law, defense and foreign policy, life, energy and infrastructure, health care, and education.

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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Star Parker: “Given that the Democratic Party chose to select a recently defeated political candidate to give a response to the president’s State of the Union address because she is black and a woman, I feel I should also step up and give my response. Although I have not recently lost a governor’s contest, I am black and I am a woman. Democrats want Americans, particularly minority Americans, to believe that a left-wing agenda is what they need and what will define America’s future. I am here to say today that the agenda of the left is the problem, not the solution. For too many years the left — and I am talking here about those with a hard-core secular humanist and socialist agenda — have been dominating discourse in our minority communities. America’s future is in the values that defined it from the beginning. Christianity, capitalism and the Constitution.”


For the record: “I’m not surprised, but some part of me can’t believe we’re at a place where the President of the U.S. said ‘we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country’ and the Democratic speaker of the House deliberately did not applaud.” —Mark Hemingway

Re: The Left: “Don’t get me wrong, I’m all into the strong-woman applause going on, but it has to be said that it is a little sad that the first thing House female Democrats really chose to celebrate [last night] was … themselves.” —Kimberley Strassel

Demo-gogues: “There’s very little nice to say about [the State of the Union Address]. It’s sort of like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and the excitement and the enthusiasm was all in the Mr. Hyde parts. You can’t talk about comity and working together and give a speech that is so divisive. That just doesn’t fly. So in the areas where he tried to reach out — drug prices, transportation, infrastructure — there was no meat. There was no enthusiasm. All the enthusiasm was for the divisive parts like immigration, abortion, things like that. So it was not a good speech.” —Chuck Schumer

Belly laugh of the week: “I think Stacey Abrams showed the president what real leadership was last night. She was thoughtful, she was caring, she talked about her family — and the American dream is fading out of reach for too many American families — and the president was political, divisive, calculating, even nasty at times.” —Chuck Schumer

Braying Jenny: “I don’t even know why [Trump] wants to come and give the State of the Union. The state of the union under him has not been good. And he has been divisive. And I think he’s putting us all in harm’s way. And so he is not worthy of being listened to. … I’m not looking forward to his State of the Union, and I hope people will turn the television off!” —Rep. Maxine Waters

Braying Jackass: “One of the most difficult conclusions for me in the last two years as I looked into Russia’s meddling in our affairs, as well as the growing trend towards autocracy around the world, is the realization that the threat to our democracy right now is most pronounced from within. … That doesn’t mean that the other threats are also not serious. They are. Russia and China are trying to push forward their authoritarian models and really challenging the idea of democracy. But that is, I think, secondary to the threat we face right now from within.” —Rep. Adam Schiff

And last… “I guess I’m supposed to well up with tears of pride because a bunch of women were elected to Congress. Sorry, no. Most of the new congresswomen are self-obsessed, infanticidal, socialist radicals. The fact that they happen to have two X chromosomes is no consolation.” —Matt Walsh

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher

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