Democrats remained seated for most of Donald Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night when he recycled empty campaign rhetoric and offered no real solutions to the problems he promised to address as president.
As the White House has been plagued by incompetence and in-fighting during its first month, it’s a sign of Democratic unity that the new president – who is hitting the “reset” button after just a month – likely didn’t hope to see.
The speech delivered by Trump was essentially a “greatest hits” of talking points from the campaign trail last year – all talk, no action.
He promised to “make America great again,” reminded Americans that he wants to build a “great, great wall,” repeated the myth that the military is depleted, and once again did his best to scare the country about immigrants and refugees, which have been the main targets of his policies thus far.
Trump also took credit for saving thousands of jobs, many of which were part of plans made by companies before he even took the oath of office.
In one of the biggest GOP applause lines of the night, Trump reiterated his commitment to kicking 20 million Americans off of their health insurance and repealing the Affordable Care Act. Aside from the usual rhetoric, he predictably offered no real answer to the question of what would replace the law he plans to repeal.
Democrats recognized that nearly all of the president’s speech contained empty campaign rhetoric that Trump repeatedly spewed on the campaign trail. They refused to take the bait and act like the first month of this presidency has been normal.
Trump supporters will likely be infuriated by the display of opposition – particularly Democratic women who showed up wearing all white – but the Democrats are standing firmly on the side of the American people.
Trump took office with the worst approval rating since the invention of polling. Before he even set foot in the White House, most Americans said they thought he wasn’t prepared to be president and didn’t have the temperament to be commander-in-chief.
After a month in office, whether it’s his unstable behavior or dangerous policies, many of those concerns have been confirmed – and his speech on Tuesday did nothing to change them.
Trump and Republicans may not like it, but the Democrats who spent much of Tuesday night planted in their seats are representing the majority of Americans. For that, they deserve a round of applause.