News & Politics

The Two Trump Presidencies

(Craig Hudson/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP)

As I begin writing this column I am sitting at a desk in a Manhattan hotel room staring down at a theater on Broadway. It’s a fitting view for what I’ve been heavily pondering since yesterday and am about to write about.

I have a book coming out at the end of this month that’s sort of a retroactive journal going from the 2016 primary races to the present day and examines how I ended up being a guy who is still steeped in politics but doesn’t get worked up about anything. At all. I occupy a strange position where I’m often taken to task by people all over the political spectrum for not being angry at the outrage du jour.

The big reason for this is that I no longer view politics as something I have to live or die with. These days, it’s all just theater to me. The actual politics, the news, and the public reaction to both are just one big show provided for my daily entertainment. This offends a lot of people. Guess what? Their reactions amuse me too.

This detached view has allowed me to witness and enjoy the various ways President Trump and what he does in office are perceived. It’s a lot more stark than merely the oft-talked about dichotomy between the coastal media bubbles and flyover country, where acknowledged differences in interpretation of the same events drive the conversation. A lot of those differences existed long before this president.

What I marvel at now is that the coastal media bubble people are so invested in hating President Trump that they are basically participating in one long creative fiction writing class. Some may argue that they’ve always been doing that, but I’ve been writing about media bias for two decades and I can’t assure you it wasn’t always like this.

The old MSM bias model involved spinning actual events to tell the public what they should be thinking about them. The spinning was usually heavily influenced by talking points from the Democratic National Committee. Every liberal you know will deny this, but that’s how bias works.

This updated version of bias offers a slight variation on the old theme. The knee-jerk spinning still happens (the poor dears can’t help themselves) but, because they hate this president so much, almost every story gets an added treatment about how this is going to be the thing that finally brings him down. There need not be any remotely possible way that could be true, that doesn’t matter. It’s not about reporting anymore, it’s about being part of a mass-hysteria feelings journal.

The American political press is gleefully in a wishcasting movement to overthrow a presidency.

Yet they wonder why he doesn’t like them.

The presidency that they are watching and describing is a rickety house of cards, eternally on the brink of collapse.

The one the rest of America sees involves a steady stream of good economic news, foreign policy victories, and tax cuts that not only haven’t killed anyone yet, but have given workers all over this great land unexpected bonuses.

The left has spent six months trying to make a stripper’s lawyer famous.

Tuesday was a huge news day all around. President Trump’s former lawyer was revealing a thing or two.  The news about Paul Manafort hit just as I was about to join Tom Shillue on his Fox News Radio show. Just minutes later, the tragic report about the killer of Mollie Tibbetts became public. We had both Fox News and CNN on in the studio, and CNN just ignored the latter story.

Next we heard Trump’s reaction to the Manafort news as he arrived at his rally in West Virginia. He was unruffled, to say the least.

After the show, I watched most of the rally speech from West Virginia. Then I went to Twitter.

The contrast between the smiling, exceedingly relaxed president I had just watched speaking to his supporters at a rally and the “Trump’s worst day” (they coordinate their messages) hue and cry from the MSM Twitter feeds was unreal. Perhaps “galaxy-sized chasm” would be a better description than “contrast.”

I rarely watch political events on television. If I must pay attention, I watch the Twitter reaction. I’m glad I watched this time because I needed a refresher about just how out of their minds the leftist media have gone.

The news about Cohen and Manafort may be embarrassing for Trump but I think we’ve all learned that he doesn’t embarrass easily, which I sort of admire about the guy. Watergate it wasn’t, though.

I was provided another real-world glimpse into the different presidencies we are witnessing when I was the token conservative guest today on a very progressive radio show.

They’re still talking about Russia. All the time.

Mind you, it’s refreshing that people on the left finally think Russia is bad. We couldn’t get them there emotionally during the Cold War, after all. Even I feel sad watching them flog that dead commie horse though. The guests and the callers all (but one) still believe that, even after all this time, Robert Mueller is going to find the Russian bullet that destroys the Trump presidency. I don’t know why they need that bullet, given that they are all also convinced that the Manafort convictions will bring him down.

A version of this shows up almost every week in The Washington Post or The New York Times:

It’s like watching the movie “Groundhog Day”.

No president could survive the presidency that they’re watching.

That media-created sideshow isn’t the presidency that Trump is having, however.

So he’s looking good for 2020 thanks to that.