President Donald Trump delivered an address to both houses of Congress, finally delivering the type of speech that (relatively speaking) most pundits and reporters can call “presidential.” Below you can find the highlights you need to know from the hour-long speech.
One highlight was that the president finally got the “murder rate” statistic correct. As we’ve reported, the current murder rate is not the highest its been in nearly five decades. In fact, the rate is at a historic low. That’s why it’s true the increase in crime from 2014 to 2015 was, as the president noted, “the greatest single-year increase” in decades. Of course, that’s misleading.
Because the murder rate was at an historic low, the rate can have a sharp increase that doesn’t translate into that significant an increase in raw numbers. While it’s worth it to examine why the rate has spiked, it does not represent a new trend.
Trump's VOICE office announcement was met by audible groans pic.twitter.com/Zr600GZe09
— VICE News (@vicenews) March 1, 2017
The president earned a few groans and jeers from Democrats, such as when he claimed he “drained the swamp” and mentioned refugees. However, the most controversial proposal he seemed to make was the “VOICE” program, which is essentially a governmental office meant to track (and, likely, propagandize) crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.
This controversial proposal invites the very comparisons to fascist regimes gone-by that the administration gets very angry about. For example, during the pre-World War II era, the Nazis used lists of Jewish and Polish crimes to justify their aggression. For an administration that has (unfairly at times) found themselves compared to these sorts of governments, they continue to make choices that make the comparisons almost compulsory.
Still, it wasn’t all fascistic proposals of law-and-order and the removal of immigrants and refugees. There was some old-fashioned silliness as well.
When you're not sure whether to clap or not pic.twitter.com/gwQmBrtbZZ
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) March 1, 2017
Of course, half the fun of a speech like this is not the substance of the speech but rather the funny reactions that cameras catch from audience, such as the clip above. Though the person who stole the reaction show (and launched a thousand progressive memes) was House Minority Nancy Pelosi whose facial expression highlighted a unique confluence of boredom and disgust.
I think Nancy Pelosi must not feel well. I have this same expression when I eat too much grass. pic.twitter.com/gs6osTU2CJ
— K Dog (@thelifeofkdog) March 1, 2017
As we reported, Pelosi and a number of Democratic women wore white as an honorific to the suffragette movement and a subtle warning that they want to continue to focus on women’s rights. While some Democrats did stand and clap at certain moments (such as the touching extended applause for the wife of the late Chief William “Ryan” Owens), but for the most part they did not applaud and stayed seated.
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 1, 2017
Finally, let’s all enjoy this gif of the president of the United States sipping water like it was from a sippy-cup and then sneakily hiding it out of view of the camera.
What do you think? Did we miss anything? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Featured image via screengrab