Donald Trump’s visit to Detroit yesterday seems to have made news largely because he didn’t say anything outrageous and wasn’t goaded into lashing out at over a dozen protesters who interrupted his speech. He stood quietly during each outburst then said, “Thank you”, as if he were to be commended for not telling the crowd to beat the daylights out of the protesters. It was an uncharacteristic show of self-restraint that turned his teleprompter-aided speech into a lackluster, low-energy appeal to upper class, wealthy Americans. As Mark Sumner put it at Daily Kos, “Trump appeared to be observing a competitive ping pong match as he apparently looked back and forth between a pair of teleprompter screens, observing each side of the room for a paragraph at the time. Perhaps that’s what he means by pivot.”
(This is from a guy, by the way, who just last year said, “I say we should outlaw teleprompters for anybody, right? — for anybody — for anybody running for president.”.)
Trump was so proud of himself for sticking to his scripted speech, in fact, that he used it to raise funds in an email later that afternoon. “[A] group of left-wing protesters interrupted me over ten times in an attempt to get us off message,” he wrote (referring to himself in the royal “us”.) “I have news for them: IT DIDN’T WORK! We stayed on message and delivered our positive platform to America. Give me all your money.”
It’s an astonishing reality this year that the biggest news out of a Trump speech is that he didn’t lose his … stuff and didn’t say anything epically stupid (unless referring to “titties like Detroit” counts.)
However, his speech did have some other things worth talking about, particularly as they pertain to Michigan and Detroit, in particular. In Trump’s view, the cause of the economic disaster in Detroit is over regulation and high taxes. “She supports the high taxes and radical regulation that forced jobs out of your community,” he said. “Upon taking office, I will issue a temporary moratorium on new agency regulations.”
As anyone who has paid even the slightest amount of attention over the past five decades knows, Detroit’s problems have little to do with over-regulation. They have more to do with the systemic racism since World War II described in Thomas Sugrue’s must-read book The Origins of Urban Crisis and the offshoring of manufacturing that benefits people like Donald Trump himself.
It’s also a little ironic to come to Michigan to talk about the burden of regulations when just a half hour north, Flint residents are still bathing in bottled water because their water is poisoned with lead.
His moratorium on new agency regulations will put a halt to new consumer protections under the Dodd-Frank bill along with a host of other very beneficial protections. In fact, this moratorium is a boon for corporate America. I know, you’re #shockednotshocked.
Here’s the Washington Post‘s take:
Freezing all pending federal regulations would include many Wall Street regulations created by the Dodd-Frank legislation passed in the wake of the financial crisis. Trump’s energy agenda would open new sections of American coastal waters to offshore oil drilling and sweep away the Obama administration’s efforts to fight climate change. Both moves have frequently found widespread support among Republican lawmakers and in conservative policy circles.
You can read their entire fact-checking of Trump’s Detroit speech HERE.
With apparently no self-awareness whatsoever, after decrying regulations in America, Trump went on to decry the lack of regulations in China:
China is responsible for nearly half of our entire trade deficit. They break the rules in every way imaginable. China engages in illegal export subsidies, prohibited currency manipulation, and rampant theft of intellectual property. They also have no real environmental or labor protections, further undercutting American workers.
Trump’s biggest announcement in Detroit was the creation of a new, simplified tax code that would have only three brackets: 12 percent, 25 percent and 33 percent. He would also repeal the estate tax, establish a maximum corporate tax rate of 15 percent, and allow families to deduct their childcare expenses. This all sounds enticing until you realize that only the wealthy will actually benefit from his proposals. Again, I realize that you are #shockednotshocked.
The Clinton campaign pounced on this with a hard-punching ad:
Trump may have made news by not making an idiot out of himself yesterday but it has done nothing to help him. Major Republicans have declared they aren’t voting for him including Sen. Susan Collins of Maine just yesterday. A cadre of 50 senior GOP national security officials signed a letter saying Trump “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president and “would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.” His poll numbers continue to plummet. His campaign isn’t just a train wreck or a dumpster fire. It’s a train full of burning dumpsters plunging off a cliff.
It’s not enough for Hillary Clinton to defeat Donald Trump. She must CRUSH Donald Trump. That will help ensure that the Republican Party never nominates someone like him ever again and it will show the world – which is watching in horror as our election unfolds – that we are better than this. That we won’t elected a racist, sexist, bigoted, narcissistic bully to be president. And, more importantly for a state like Michigan, it will ensure that he drags his entire Party down with him so that Democrats can regain control over the House of Representatives and put an end to policies and laws that are based on the disproven premise that government should be run like a business. Trump epitomizes that way of thinking and Michigan is its unfortunate poster child.
The time for talk is over. It’s now time for all of us to suit up and start knocking doors and making calls to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in November. Don’t sit on the sidelines this year. There is simply too much at stake.