On February 28th, Donald Trump gave what some in the media are calling his most "Presidential" address, but we're confused. All he did was communicate the same hateful agenda in a softer voice.
As the New York Times reports, "Why the sudden shift? Numbers. Mr. Trump’s approval rating is the worst for any new president in recorded history — between 38 and 50 percent at a time when many presidents are in the 60s."
In fact, the Trump team is so happy with his performance last night, they decided to post-pone the signing of Muslim Ban 2.0—to let it have its own "moment."
Here's a breakdown of key moments in Trump's speech, including analysis from progressive leaders, activists, and organizations across the country who are defending the most vulnerable communities and our democracy.
WHY PUNDIT PRAISE IS DANGEROUS
Some sources in WH are frankly surprised at how pundits are warming to the speech. Say Trump has not changed, no big shift in policy coming.— Robert Costa (@costareports) March 1, 2017
Last night, Trump viciously attacked immigrants and told a string of lies. This is what the media is focusing on this morning.— Jack Mirkinson (@jackmirkinson) March 1, 2017
Just 5 hours before starting his address with a condemnation of antisemitism, Trump suggested the recent bomb threats at JCCs across the county could be “the reverse, to make people—or to make others—look bad."
Is Trump saying we desecrated our own cemeteries & terrified children at JCCs for political gain? Someone please help us decipher. pic.twitter.com/8ZYZIEro7o— JewishAction (@jewishaction) March 1, 2017
Yes, Trump said some nice words, but they are empty without any specifics about how to implement them. "While we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms." Great! We'd love to hear how his administration is taking action. (Besides blaming his opponents.)
He didn't blame Jews for threatening to bomb their community centers, so that's progress https://t.co/ppgHoIW0DT— Eli Valley (@elivalley) March 1, 2017
Please, please remember: White supremacists are attacking our communities and desecrating our holy places in a way they didn’t before Trump's campaign.
Lotta Jewish kids had to be evacuated from their preschools today because of the guy being praised for meeting lowered expectations— Alex Halpern (@HalpernAlex) March 1, 2017
White supremacists are attacking our community & holy places in a way they didn’t before Trump’s campaign—JCCs, Jewish cemeteries, mosques.— JewishAction (@jewishaction) February 27, 2017
Including mosques, which Trump did not mention during his speech:
3 of the 4 mosques burned in last seven weeks were victims of arson. 😞😡https://t.co/DyQ8BwH61p— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) March 1, 2017
ON IMMIGRATION & REFUGEES
Just to be clear on the facts first ...
And since 1975, jihadis from 7 banned countries have killed 0 Americans in US--while guns killed 1.34 million https://t.co/KGl5s9Eqvd— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) March 1, 2017
Once again, immigrants commit violent crimes at lower rates than U.S.-born citizens. https://t.co/J9IrCkSIju— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) March 1, 2017
Trump's policy proposal? A new agency called VOICE—Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement—and plans to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by unauthorized immigrants living in sanctuary cities.
Sound familiar? We've seen this before.
Trump’s VOICE plan is straight out of the nazi playbook: https://t.co/aFH26llNqv— Mijente (@ConMijente) March 1, 2017
Apparently Bannon’s original name for the organization, Schutzstaffel, tested poorly. https://t.co/zxLb4r4Pvr— Jim Snowden (@snowdenlit) March 1, 2017
ON CIVIL RIGHTS
After invoking African American History Month, Trump commented on the work that's left to do on civil rights. Interesting, given that his selection for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, just pulled the DOJ out of a voting rights case in Texas.
Trump feigning concern for civil rights is despicable, considering the rollback of civil rights that took place at DOJ today. #JointSession— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) March 1, 2017
ON THE ENVIRONMENT
When Trump said we need to promote clean air and clean water, I had a hard time not laughing. Today he rolled back clean water rules.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) March 1, 2017
Break the cycle of poverty? Then don't cut $54B from part of budget that funds early ed, K12, Pell grants https://t.co/f0cxJvOI2I— Shannon Buckingham (@ShannonCBPP) March 1, 2017
If Trump won't take action, we're calling on Congress to use the powers they have to challenge white supremacy, antisemitism, Islamophobia, and racism in the White House.
You can't be "a country united against hate" when your AG is a racist, your VP attacks LGBTs, and your top advisor is a White Nationalist.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 1, 2017
Trump’s speech to Congress highlights influence of Ivanka, Bannon https://t.co/BGATYaczB8— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 1, 2017