Donald Trump gave a State of the Union address on Tuesday evening which, while racist and fascist in nature, and lifeless in a charismatic sense, wasn’t psychotic in tone. Trump did what his handlers told him to do: he read a speech off the teleprompter which packaged his evil ideas into reasonable sounding phrasing. There’s nothing Trump hates more than having to reel it in for the sake of trying to impress the people in the middle.
Because Trump delivered his speech in such obviously bored and semi-catatonic fashion, it would be difficult to argue that he did indeed impress anyone. His base doesn’t matter; they’re already with him. Some pundits in the mainstream media tend to give him credit for not having accidentally set his podium on fire, because the bar is indeed that low. But that seems to be far less the case this time around, as pundits on CNN and MSNBC seem more inclined to call this for what it was: a crappy, if non-lunatic speech from a failing president who desperately needed a win and didn’t get one tonight. Regardless of how quietly the speech may have failed or how quickly it’ll be forgotten, the bottom line is that this is not the kind of speech Trump wanted to be giving. Now his handlers are going to pay the price for it.
We all know how this works, because we’ve seen it too many times before. Maybe it’s tomorrow morning, maybe it’s the next morning, but Trump is now going to rebel against his own decision to behave for the State of the Union. His prior history of sucking it up for major speeches suggests that he’s about to launch into a demented rant about Hillary Clinton, or perhaps newly accuse President Obama of having wiretapped Trump Tower, or spin up a new fictional conspiracy involving the FBI and the cast of Seinfeld.
If Donald Trump is able to figure out that the mainstream (non-Fox) media is not giving him the level of obligatory kudos that he was expecting from the likes of CNN and MSNBC, he’ll be even more upset upon realizing that he “behaved” for no reason. He’ll want to rebel against his own good behavior, and against the advisers who talked him into it, even more thoroughly. Once Trump does explode, his inevitable Twitter meltdown is likely to be his most deranged yet. Brace yourselves: here comes Trump’s self immolation by tweet.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report