There has been a lot of mainstream fluff and misdirection over Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech, with mesmerized and inaccurate headlines speaking of “bipartisanship” and “consensus”.
I joined Phil Upton of BBC Coventry and Julia Hartley-Brewer of talkRADIO to cut through the spectacle and illusion of an on-script Trump to bring out the key points of substance, with a view to what happens next.
Because he stuck to the script, a lot of US media headlined “He Appealed for Bipartisanship” because they got suckered in by the rhetoric. But once get you beyond that and into the substance, there’s some real hardline stuff.
Trump’s style: “He read a teleprompter successfully. He didn’t fall over, and his head didn’t blow up. So that’s a win.”
On the “bipartisan”: “It wasn’t. This was Trump playing to his base, to the Republicans in Congress, trying to claim credit for the economic growth of all of the past nine years and hooklines like ‘Make America Great Again’.”
On policy: “There were only two initiatives. The $1.5 trillion infrastructure proposal, which is kinda magical given that the Administration hasn’t even passed a budget yet, and a ‘compromise’ on immigration which is actually an ultimatum.”