Trump Now Knows the Dems Want to Take Him Down
That's the official and appropriate motto of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan — doubly appropriate because the US aircraft carrier fleet is perhaps the single most potent keeper of world peace that exists and because Ronald Reagan was the epitome of a strong leader who understood that strength fosters respect which in turns conduces to peace.
"Peace Through Strength" was also an unofficial motto of Donald Trump during his campaign for president. All signs — his speech at the new U.S. aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, for example — suggest that he intends to follow through on that injunction during his administration.
I hope that he does. And I hope that he and his team appreciate some corollaries of the phrase. One such corollary is summed up in the dictum "the best defense is a good offense." It has obvious application on the stage of international relations.
It also has application on the stage of domestic partisan politics.
It is that theater that must be of exigent concern to the Trump administration at the present moment.
I believe that Donald Trump has been astonishingly swift and successful during the first 40-odd days of his tenure as president. He has moved with commendable dispatch and energy to fulfill multiple campaign promises on immigration, trade, regulation, cutting the size of government, and other matters. He has assembled a cabinet of scintillating distinction. He has nominated an ostentatiously qualified and non-partisan judge to fill Antonin's Scalia's seat on the Supreme Court. He has even taken concrete steps to shed some illegitimate aspects of executive power —for example, by returning jurisdiction over the question of "transgender" bathrooms to the states.
Notwithstanding his many successes, however, President Trump is everywhere besieged by a juvenile but implacably hostile and unscrupulous opposition -- the Twitter-wielding Lilliputians. Their number includes many politicians with "D"s after their names, of course (along with some "NeverTrump" Republican renegades). But it also includes their faithful lapdogs and public relations department, AKA the mainstream media, the media that (for example) leaked debate questions to Hillary Clinton and declared that Donald Trump was so far beyond the pale that objective reporting was no longer desirable.
The result is a blizzard of misinformation, tendentious claims, and outright lies. The entire "Russia hacked the election" meme belongs in the last category, as do the serial melodramas disgorged by the locusts of the press: Was Gen. Flynn a Russian plant? Did Jeff Sessions lie to comedian-turned-Senator Al Franken? The New York Times, in one of the most shameful exercises in partisan mendacity in recent memory, ran an hysterical (by which I do not mean funny) editorial yesterday under the headline "Jeff Sessions Needs to Go." Watergate! Nixon! Worse than Watergate! "A bombshell of a story."