Donald Trump

No, President Trump, It's Not 'Treasonous' to Be Chill During the State of Union

"You have the other side, even on positive news, really positive news… they were like death, and un-American."

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Trump
Screenshot via CNN

During a speech at a factory in Ohio on Monday, President Trump called Democratic Congressmen "un-American" for failing to cheer enthusiastically during the State of the Union address last week. He even suggested that their behavior was "treasonous."

"You're up there, you've got half the room going totally crazy, wild, they love everything, they want to do something great for our country," said Trump, referring to his Republican supporters in Congress. "And you have the other side, even on positive news, really positive news… they were like death, and un-American."

Someone in the factory audience apparently called out "treasonous," which prompted Trump to respond, "Yeah, I guess, why not." Again, that was Trump casually affirming the idea that his political opponents had committed treason in failing to applaud him.

But treason has a specific definition: it involves levying war against the United States, or giving aid and comfort to its enemies. "Aid and comfort" means actually helping a declared enemy of the United States—by sending them money, leaking sensitive information to them, etc. Merely signaling dissent from, or disapproval of, the current commander-in-chief is not treason; if it was, members of the out-of-power political party would have no real means of challenging the president's agenda. Thankfully, the First Amendment guarantees everybody the right to criticize the government and its chief executive.

Trump's statement about treason echoes his previous comments in support of jailing flag burners and broadening the scope of libel laws. Rhetorically speaking, the president is no friend to free speech—he would clearly like to criminalize all kinds of anti-Trump political expression. Fortunately, Trump has not attempted to actualize his stated preference for censorship, and if he did, the Supreme Court would stop him.

In any case, Trump really shouldn't be too eager to broaden the public's definition of the word treason. Many on the left have accused Trump himself of treason because his campaign allegedly colluded with elements of the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Under the strict definition of treason, this doesn't count, since the U.S. remains formally at peace with Russia. The strict definition is vastly superior to the "yeah, I guess, why not" definition nonchalantly endorsed by Trump in his remarks today, even for the sake of Trump's own political interests.

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    1. It’s like the last two centuries of American politics never existed.

      1. Exactly

    2. You’re fired.

    3. Obviously that was a terrible breach of protocol against the gentle correction of a magnanimous president sharing his great wisdom.

  1. Treasonous? No.

    Petulant? Undoubtedly.

    1. This is another banal and unwarranted article by Robby. I’ve had bowel movements more insightful than this drivel.

      1. I have to agree. Trump’s use of words, like any salesman, tend toward exaggeration, and look to the elections. Trump is right to point out the Democrats lack of support for a better country or applause of anything good, because it shows they are all animosity towards Trump ahead of the country’s best interests. It seems the Democrats are only for animosity and amnesty (though on amnesty, it seems they’ve abandoned the Dreamers to keep chain migration and the visa lottery).

        And frankly, working for the country do poorly, is arguably aiding our enemies, which is treason. But I agree that the Democrats are being petulant.

        1. Never watched a SOTU?

          I daydream of how you people would have reacted if Obama had behaved like Trump for 10 minutes of his entire 8 years. We’d still be talking about it.

          1. If you like you insurance you can keep it.

            1. “You didn’t build that”

            2. Thank you yes, just like that.

          2. Remember how the Rs complete sh*t their pants when Obama said: “I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” They accused him of trying to intimate SCOTUS. McConnell said: “This president’s attempt to intimidate the Supreme Court falls well beyond distasteful politics; it demonstrates a fundamental lack of respect for our system of checks and balances.”

            Compare that pretty mild statement with Trump’s weekly rants about court rulings that go against him.

            1. Considering what a totalitarian Obama was, Trump is a pussycat in comparison.

          3. I daydream of how you people would have reacted if Obama had behaved like Trump for 10 minutes of his entire 8 years. We’d still be talking about it.

            He did. Regularly.

            Hell, he criticized Bush as un-American for his deficits.

            Ain’t that a hoot?

          4. If only Obama had gutted the ACA,eliminated stupid regulations, appointed a Supreme Court Justice that enforced the constitution as written, we would all be a lot richer. Who knows, we might also have a Democrat as president too.

          5. He *did* behave like Trump – for the whole 8 years he was in office.

            Jesus Christ man, did you ever watch him talk? ‘You can keep your doctor’, ‘You didn’t build that’.

        2. In an alternative universe, where President Hillary called a Republican “treasonous” for not applauding her SOTU, Reason commenter MoreFreedom did NOT write this:

          I have to agree. Hillary’s use of words, like any salesman, tend toward exaggeration, and look to the elections. Hillary is right to point out the Republicans lack of support for a better country or applause of anything good, because it shows they are all animosity towards Hillary ahead of the country’s best interests. It seems the Republicans are only for animosity and sexism. And frankly, working for the country do poorly, is arguably aiding our enemies, which is treason. But I agree that the Republicans are being petulant.

      2. No shit. Much ado about nothing; Robby’s stock and trade.

    2. Dem caucus trying to out petulant Trump? good luck! Lol

      1. They are way out of their league.

  2. It was a sad spectacle none the less.

    1. Well, yeah. It was a State of teh Union address.

    2. The first episode of The Apprentice got better ratings than the SOTU. Oh well, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  3. Trump has clearly stated he would like to make libel easier to prove in court, but that is not criminlization of speech against him. Trump is clearly thin skinned about criticism of him, but it really is not much more than whining. Why match him in hyperbole?

    1. It can’t be hyperbole to quote someone.

      1. it can be when the original statement is hyperbole…

        1. He’s the fucking president of the United States. He doesn’t get to use hyperbole. Christ, you people!

          Pretend he’s Obama and saying the same things and then see how you feel.

          1. Well, Obama did joke about using the IRS to attack political foes……

          2. You didn’t build that.

          3. “doesn’t get to use hyperbole. ”

            Says who? and Why? and who cares if he does?

            I’m beginning to understand why you post here, and think that way. You don’t understand what credibility is.

            1. “He’s the fucking president of the United States. He doesn’t get to use hyperbole. Christ, you people!”

              And, what does this have to do with your original claim that a quote can’t be hyperbole?

              Who are you to admonish anyone when you can’t even keep up with the things you post?

              What is wrong with you?

          4. If I had a son, he would like just like Donald Trump!

            1. I laughed so hard I nearly choked.

          5. Yet you gave Obama a pass for all the hyperbole he spouted.

    2. For someone who is supposedly “thin skinned,” he sure doesn’t seem to shy away from speaking his mind.

  4. Trump wants to be like Joseph Stalin, where he gets 30 minutes of applause because everyone is afraid to be the first person to stop clapping.

    1. I’d think most people would be afraid to start clapping thus risking their cocktail party invites.

      1. That at least explains the SOTU reactions.

    2. No Stormy, unlike you, Trump is not communist. In fact, as a business mogul he is near the opposite of Stalin.

      1. Calling Trump a business mogul is like calling a john at the Bunny Ranch a master seducer.

        1. No, he’s a fucking business mogul. You can not like him al, you want but reality is what it is.

          1. “business mogul”

            1. Yes, does the term confuse you, or do you deny he is because you don’t like him?

    3. That’s only 9-in-10 politicians in general.

  5. Trump says something stupid that has zero chance of remotely becoming reality. Media barks. Rinse. Repeat.

    zzzzzzzzzzz

    1. Hey, the man Made Twitter Great Again.

      1. The Man made Twaddle Great Again!

        Just as ye ken git busted fer scratchn’ yer ass during the National Anthem at the Phootball Game…

        Ye kin git yer ass busted for NOT having a RAGING HARDON when the POTUS Speaks!!!!

        1. Trumpty Dumpty, He’s quite off-the-wall,
          Trumpty Dumpty won’t stay in His toilet stall
          He just goes ahead and takes His shits,
          Totally regardless of whereever He sits
          Whenever He simply, no way, can sleep,
          He Twits us His thoughts, they’re all SOOO deep!
          He simply must, He MUST, Twit us His bird,
          No matter the words, however absurd!
          He sits and snorts His coke with a spoon,
          Then He brazenly shoots us His moon!
          They say He’ll be impeached by June,
          Man, oh man, June cannot come too soon!
          So He sits and jiggles His balls,
          Then He Twitters upon the walls
          “Some come here to sit and think,
          Some come here to shit and stink
          But I come here to scratch my balls,
          And read the writings on the walls
          Here I sit, My cheeks a-flexin’
          Giving birth to another Texan!
          He who writes these lines of wit,
          Wraps His Trump in little balls,
          He who reads these lines of wit,
          Eats those loser’s balls of shit!”

          1. Here I sit, on the pooper,
            Giving birth to another state trooper.

            1. Here I sit, on the crapper
              When I breath, I smell Jake Tapper.

              1. I had to look him up…

                OK, you mean THIS Jake Tapper…

                http://libertyhangout.org/2017…..ke-tapper/

    2. “Trump says something stupid that has zero chance of remotely becoming reality. Media barks. Rinse. Repeat.”

      Except in this case he didn’t even do that.

      “Someone in the factory audience apparently called out “treasonous,” which prompted Trump to respond, “Yeah, I guess, why not.” Again, that was Trump casually affirming”

      This is just too thin of material to make into an article. Is there a weekly minimum on Trump articles? Can we cut back the number, because apparently Reason has outpaced even Trumps ability to make stupid comments.

      1. It was still stupid. Typical Trump, never thinking before speaking. Always playing the crowd.

        But yes, real thin gruel to be wasting a breath on.

        1. Well, Robby is as Robby does.

      2. One has to wonder if the volume of articles decreased, would the volume of output from Trump increase?

    3. Obama said cling to guns and religion once… TREASONER INpEACH.

      1. He said it once, then it leaked to the media and was controversial and then, strangely, he didn’t say it again. As far as I know. I guess he had a change of heart.

      2. Thereby impugning the first and second amendments, and the entire bill of rights. It is hard to be much more of an America-hating twat.

      3. No, no Tony. Obama is a treasonous marxist for SO MANY other reasons. Just like you.

  6. Robby, you might want to look up the definition of hyperbole.

    I’m no fan of Trump, but you are ridiculous.

  7. Someone in the factory audience apparently called out “treasonous,” which prompted Trump to respond, “Yeah, I guess, why not.”

    OK, maybe that means he actually agreed with the guy. But I’ve often said pretty much the same thing in response to simply dismiss someone saying something ridiculous that I have no interest in arguing about.

    1. Yeah, I guess, why not.

    2. Now that I’ve heard his actual remarks, it doesn’t seem like he was doing what I suggested and dismissing the crazy person. Maybe he just doesn’t know what treason actually is.

      1. Yeah, I guess, why not.

  8. Clearly people didn’t watch this speech, as I did, home with the post-Superbowl flu.

    It was unhinged by any definition. UnAmerican by any definition. Let me remind you:

    Again, that was Trump casually affirming the idea that his political opponents had committed treason in failing to applaud him.

    That’s our Trumpie! is no excuse for the president of the United States, and none of you would be making one if he had a (D) after his name. You damn well know it don’t you?

    1. If you say so.

    2. “UnAmerican by any definition. ”

      Forgive me if I refuse to allow you to be the arbiter of that.

      1. So you think it might be American in some way to call not applauding the dear leader treason?

        1. Take that up with that guy in the audience.

        2. I know I don’t care what you think about it, and wouldn’t use your standards to judge it.

        3. No, but you’re definitely a traitor for scores of other reasons.

      2. Forgive me if I refuse to allow you to be the arbiter of that.

        You’re an ostrich, head buried in the sand, fanny flapping in the breeze.

        Trump did say his supporters would stand by him, even if he shot somebody to death in broad daylight, with witnesses … so he called them mindless puppets. totally devoid of any moral sense, totally lacking in ANY shame … and they stood by him!

        So we may never know how low they are willing to sink into the gutter.

        1. You’re not fooling anyone Robert.

    3. You can get the flu from watching the Super Bowl? (At least, I assume that’s what you meant.) I wonder how that works. Does that virus actually get transmitted along with the television signal?

      Now I’m even more glad I’ve never watched a Super Bowl. I guess I can add this to the hundreds of other reasons not to watch football. (So far, I’ve yet to learn any good reason to watch football.)

      1. It’s called a hangover dude.

    4. Tony, considering who you are, it sounds like the speech was probably really good , and he said good things about America. Which would be horrific to a treasonous piece of shit like you.

      1. Hitler said good things about Germany, (snort)

        1. You’re not fooling anyone Robert

    5. Yeah, I guess, why not.

  9. “At last, after eleven minutes of non-stop clapping, the director of a paper factory finally decided enough was enough. He stopped clapping and sat down?a miracle! “To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down,” Solzhenitsyn says.

    “That same night, the director of the paper factory was arrested and sent to prison for ten years. Authorities came up with some official reason for his sentence, but during his interrogation, he was told: “Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding!””

    Josef Stalin – he ran a regime where it was dangerous *not* to have the clap.

  10. Certainly not treasonous, but I also wouldn’t call the dems’ petty politicking and virtue signaling “chill”.

    1. Siting in silence! Cut the bullshit.

      1. You’re not fooling anyone Robert

  11. I understand Trump’s first language is hyperbole, but from reading these comments, you’d think that a careless vocabulary from the sitting POTUS isn’t cause for concern. Ignore most of it by all means, but at some point, even the cynical need to have standards.

    1. I have such low expectations of politicians it’s hard for me to be shocked.

      I can put up with a lot from a politician as long as (s)he doesn’t go around killing babies…i. e., as long as (s)he isn’t a Democrat or a RINO.

      1. Trump has killed more babies (and other civilians) in the lingering overseas wars than Obama did in 8 years. I’ll keep repeating it until someone listens.

        1. How about until its true?

        2. Hey, hey, Donald Trump, how many kids did you kill, how many models did you hump?

          1. Hey, hey, DJT, how many kids did you kill with glee?

            Better.

        3. Tony, wishing won’t make it true. You lying shitbag.

        4. As per usual, nice evidence of your baseless claims Tony

    2. “you’d think that a careless vocabulary from the sitting POTUS isn’t cause for concern”

      It isn’t.

      ” even the cynical need to have standards”

      Virtually every President in history has been a clown. There’s your standard.

      Now grow up and stop worshipping an office please.

      1. “Virtually every President in history has been a clown.”
        This guy gets it.

        1. And you both intended to be equally as cynical and dismissive of the personal behavior of President Hillary Clinton, undoubtedly.

          1. Yes, she would also be a clown.

          2. What difference, at this point, does it make?

  12. Jesus Fucking Christ, Robbie. Just eat a Tide pod whydoncha? This isn’t Vox

    1. It’s not Breitfart either.

  13. In an alternative universe, where President Hillary called a Republican “treasonous” for not clapping during her SOTU, every single Republican here, and about 90% of the libertarians, would be shitting bricks and having a cow. They would not be equivocating or rationalizing “oh, well, it’s just hyperbole!

    Now I don’t think Trump meant it, just as I wouldn’t think Hillary would have meant it in the alternate universe, but he still deserves to be called out on it, and it is just wrong for the guy in charge of the nation’s police force to be calling out political opponents as enemies of the state. That is what caudillos in banana republics do, not enlightened Western republics.

    Hey Trumpists: You want libertarians to support Trump when he’s right? Well, then *don’t defend the indefensible*. You make it HARDER when you try to defend Trump putting his foot in his mouth.

    1. “Now I don’t think Trump meant it,”

      Yeah. That’s why the people you are bitching about are calling it hyperbole. It’s like you don’t understand what’s happening and your TDS and Hillary whataboutism are clouding your mind.

      Believe it or not people are capable of making discrete judgements in individual cases.

      1. It’s still wrong to say it even if he didn’t mean it.

        1. If you care what Trump says I guess.

    2. To be fair that’s because Hillary would be serious about it and not a rambling buffoon with a room-temperature IQ spewing nonsense every time he opens his mouth. Like El Chapo saying “I’m placing a contract on you.” versus a toddler crying “I hate you I wish you were dead!”.

      1. I don’t like Trump either, but that really isn’t fair. He is a smart enough guy, it seems to me that he tends to suffer from foot-in-mouth disease however, and he attempts to cover it up with a brash persona.

        1. Oh come on, yeah I was being a bit hyperbolic but even if you support his agenda in full, it’s facially absurd to suggest this is an intelligent man. Foot-in-mouth is one thing, having the vocabulary, sentence structure, grammar, comprehension, and depth of understanding of a gradeschooler is another, and objective reality.

  14. Trump speaks in ridiculous hyperbole. Half the country and the media shit their collective pants and make it the biggest deal ever. Repeat the cycle enough and Trump gets elected President. Keep doing it and he gets re-elected. Who are the fools again?

  15. Again, that was Trump casually affirming the idea that his political opponents had committed treason in failing to applaud him.

    No, no it wasn’t. You’re long out of college now Soave – put the herd-mentality behind you. You don’t need to participate in the two-minute-hate anymore.

    1. Says the raging hater, a brainwashed puppet.

      1. Michael, stop bullying.

      2. You’re not fooling anyone Robert

        1. Republicans bail on Trump … vote UNANIMOUSLY to release the Democrat rebuttal. Final straw may have been when even TREY GOWDY announced as one one six Republicans would vote with Democrats for full release .

          (This action also HUMILIATES Sevo, Last of he Shitloards, Sammi and Elias Fakabrain, among others.)

          Left – Right = Zero

          (snort)

          1. You’re not fooling anyone Robert

          2. Nothing says lunatic like excessive CAPS and bolding.

            1. Dunno.
              How about repeating some lame mantra:
              “Left – Right = Zero”
              Remember Doctor Bonner?
              “ALL ONE! ALL ONE! ALL ONE!”
              Lunatic nonetheless.

  16. I wrote this song in the key of Em – it goes Em to G to Am

    It should’ve been U !

    I can remember,
    As if t’was yesterday
    It was November 8, 2016
    A day that’ll go down
    In infamy

    Was watching the Rachel Maddow Show
    On the color TV
    When she gave me the news
    That Hillary lost.

    I sat dumbfounded
    How could this be?
    How could some one so accomplished lose
    To someone so lame?

    Well I hit the bottle
    That very night
    It was a bottle of
    1998 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame
    And that don’t come cheap
    But I was a feeling down
    And could not sleep

    Well I’ve been angry
    Since that very day
    I even broke up with some friends
    Who wore MAGA hats

    Oh Lord, when will this feeling end?
    Trump in the White House
    Where Hillary should a been!

    Oh, I’m cryin’ my eyes out
    In misery
    It should a been U
    Oh – It should a been U
    Oh Hillary !!!

  17. He is SUCH a fucking asshole. What his own party did to Obama .. even REJECTED the original BIPARTISAN Obamacare, which would have killed single-payer forever. The dumbfuck GOP forced Obama to his far-left and THEY created the worst parts of Obamacare — the very last backroom deal was for the Rockefeller Democrats. (farthest left)

    Obama had campaigned as a moderate on health care, even ridiculing a mandate, as per the famous Gary Johnson ad in 2012.

    When Kennedy presented HS bipartisan tax cuts, Republican support allowed Kennedy to ignore HIS far left ,. which fought the tax cuts tooth-and-nail. But that’s before the GOP went ape-shit.

    Clearly TODAY’S GOP is totally incompetent to govern, and is literally handing control to the progressives
    And Trump’s base is mostly like him, bellowing blowhards/bullies. Be afraid for America,

    1. Michael Hihn|2.5.18 @ 8:56PM|#
      “He is SUCH a fucking asshole.”…

      Projection is soooo Hihnian, doncha’ think?

    2. You’re not fooling anyone Robert

  18. BTW Robbie, you really ought to spend some time reading some history.
    After his policies caused a second recession in 1936, FDR claimed business people sought “the restoration of their selfish power…power for themselves, enslavement for the public”. Dalleck, Pg 240; picked at random from among many.
    How about Johnson’s “Daisy ad”?
    HRC’s “vast, rightwing conspiracy” if you do not support the Clinton machine?
    Yes, Trump’s a blowhard and a loose cannon, but he’s in what is considered by many to be excellent company.

    1. Unlike the other examples, Trump’s was just a throwaway comment. It’s Soave making a big deal about it. And relative to the hyperbole from the ‘traitors’ in question, extremely mild.

  19. Republicans bail on Trump … vote UNANIMOUSLY to release the Democrat rebuttal. Final straw may have been when even TREY GOWDY announced as one one six Repubkicans to vote with Democrats for full release .

    (This action also exposes as fools, Sevo, Last of he Shitloards and Elias Fakabrain, among others.)
    (snort)

    1. You’re not fooling anyone Robert

    2. “(This action also exposes as fools, Sevo, Last of he Shitloards and Elias Fakabrain, among others.)
      (snort)”
      This post exposes Hihn as the raging fool he is! (laughter!)
      Fuck off, Mike. Embarrass yourself on a site where the IQ level matches your own 2 digits.

      1. Maybe we should start a discussion on what to do about Hihn. I think everyone has had enough at this point. Maybe we should look at getting rid of him (on the comments).

        1. 83% of commenters agree. The other 17% want to watch him choke on his latest meal of kitty litter encrusted cat poop.

          1. It’s just so much spam anymore. Some articles we can’t even have any legit discussion because of his thread fucking.

    3. Why would you think that libertarians would not want to see the Democrat rebuttal?

      Where do you get the idea that there is so.e broad coalition of libertarians supporting Trump?

      Is it just one of those “if yer not wit’ us then yet again us” partisan things? That because we consider Trump marginally preferable to Clinton then we’re an enemy you must crush?

      1. I would say Trump is more than ‘marginally’ better. Especially since every viable alternative is currently worse.

  20. So, the endless accusations of treason that have gone the other way since November 2016 are okay, but “Yeah, I guess, why not?’ is beyond the pale?

    Do you like wearing your own ass as a scarf, Rooby?

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