I watched most of Donald Trump’s latest press conference. He is a performer par excellence; batting away the ‘fake news’ media. What a refreshing change from the soporific, long-winded tedium of Obama answering dorothy dixers from a fawning media.
He knew what they would say, and he told the media throng as much. You’ll say I was “ranting and raving,” he predicted. Sure enough, no doubt taking a lead from the Democratic Party’s propaganda headquarters, aka CNN, the word “unhinged” became the word of choice. Take my word for it. He wasn’t a bit unhinged. He was measured and good humoured, as you see if you view the video embedded below
If you want ‘unhinged’ watch Nancy Pelosi explaining the origin of the word ‘scapegoat’, which came out of a counterfeit tweet posing as one from General Flynn. She obviously thought that lots of Spanish-speaking illegal voters would be unfamiliar with the word.
Trump is, of course, spot on. For the most part, the MSM in America is effectively part of the Democratic Party. You gotta treat your political enemy as your political enemy. Maybe if (now embittered) John McCain or (nice guy, turned nasty, turned nice again Mitt Romney) had not cowered when confronted by the gnashing enmity of the Fourth Estate they might have won the top job. Who could forget Romney’s craven Candy Crowley moment? Voters didn’t.
At one point Trump said that he hadn’t seen such hate as is directed at him by parts of the media. This prompted a CNN reporter to preamble his question by saying that they didn’t hate him. But they do! I have seen it personally; for example, on CNN panel discussions. Their desire for him to fail is palpable and in the most miserable of fashions possible. Wanting someone to fail miserably is the best definition of hate I can come up with.
But what gets me most are not the left-wing media hacks (i.e., most of the media), they are beyond disdain, but putative conservative commentators advising Trump not to be so thin-skinned; to be more presidential. It reminds me of that joke about bad-boy English footballer George Best. George is discovered by a reporter in a fancy hotel bedroom with a half-naked model, quaffing a bottle of champagne. Where did it all go wrong, George, the reporter asks?
Donald Trump won against the odds and all expectations. It has never been satisfactorily explained to me why he should change a winning formula. He actually stands there, accepts all questions, and speaks his mind. Part of the mess that we are in is precisely because political leaders are now practiced in the art of not giving straight answers. They are particularly practiced in hiding their underlying belief system. So practiced, that I suspect some have reached a stage where they no longer have any underlying beliefs to guide them, or even know what such beliefs are.
You might recall that it wasn’t good enough for Winston Smith (1984) to say that two and two made five, he had to believe it, if the Party said it was so. Analogously, perhaps only complete empty heads are now suitable for political office. It is not good enough to have candidates who express no firm beliefs. Now they must be mystified at the very thought of having them. That’s unfair. There are one or two exceptions. I know that because they stand out.
Another conservative canard is that Trump’s sideshows are distracting from his agenda. What is distracting from his agenda is the US Senate slow-walking his cabinet nominations and Democrat moles in the bureaucracies. The first will soon be overcome. The second will be mitigated; though never resolved. Bureaucracies everywhere have become left-wing cess pits. They are akin to Augean Stables and as good as Trump is, he isn’t Hercules. Memo to perennial critics: Trump himself is not going to write a new tax code or health-care package or personally build the wall. Having press conferences, rallies and tweeting can all be done while he is chewing gum and walking.
I heard even a respected, balanced, commentator Chris Wallace (Fox News) unfavourably compare the time it is taking Trump to get legislation done to reform taxation and repeal and replace Obamacare with Obama’s stimulus package in 2009. I don’t like to doubt the intelligence of other people, but really this kind of thing is mind-blowingly stupid.
Any old group of ramshackle political hacks can get money spent quickly and uselessly to (purportedly) cure recessions. Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan showed that. Most world governments showed that. Trying to get serious tax reform through is a different kettle of fish entirely, as is health-care reform. Surely Wallace would know that?
I have often heard it said that the Republicans in Congress have had eight years to develop their proposals to reform tax and health care. So why aren’t they ready? The reason is clear enough to anyone with real world experience in business or in government — which evidently excludes many life-long reporters and commentators.
Proposals which have no chance of being enacted are extremely easy to put together and, seemly, draw support. No-one expected Trump to win, least of all Republican congressional leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. Now that he has; everyone with a special interest comes out of the woodwork scrutinising and finessing any and all policy proposals. It is called real life when the rubber hits the road.
Paul Ryan has a 200-day plan, he explained, to get tax reform and health care reform done. It will be a miracle if it happens so quickly. To think it could possibly happen more quickly is imposing a timescale on the Trump administration which is delusional; and, perhaps, deliberately undermining.
Trump has already a done lot: on the deregulatory front, in jawboning companies to remain in the US, in making a series of strong nominations to his cabinet (including Scott Pruitt to bring sanity to the EPA), in nominating Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, and in beginning to repair the vital US-Israeli alliance. But, domestically, his most important role is simply to be there as a resolute leader anxious to sign reforming legislation into law. I can’t believe that even weak-kneed Republicans in the Senate and House will contrive to miss the opportunity. Just in case, his second most important role is to make sure they don’t.
President Trump is doing well. Read or listen to most MSM news outlets and you would think chaos reigns. Unfortunately, that is where most people get their news. Maybe his administration isn’t yet the “fine-tuned machine” he claims it to be. But the hiccups so far are not at all unusual in the first weeks of a new administration. They are just portrayed as being worse. His splendid conservative policy agenda shines through the weeds of a few hiccups for those willing to look.