February 16th, 2017

I will not always be commenting on the Trump story du jour

Not every single day, anyway.

There is a repetitive pattern to it that has become extremely boring. “Boring” doesn’t mean “unimportant.” It’s important, and I will continue to cover these events and react to them and analyze them. But I will not hop to deal with every single one. I will not play continual whack-a-mole, as the pace increases.

The pattern? The stories all push the following lines about Trump: chaos/turnoil, the brave “resistance” (or “Resistance,” a la WWII) to him, innuendos of terrible wrongdoing without evidence, calls from random people for his resignation and/or impeachment, condemnation from the Times and its fellows for things that in Obama would have been ignored or praised, and the latest supposedly dumb and/or outrageous (or maybe actually dumb and/or outrageous) tweet from our Tweeter-in-Chief.

All I will say today about this is that Trump apparently gave a press conference in which he unloaded on the press. Good. That link I just gave illustrates that there was plenty of substance in the presser, too, including the fact that Trump says he will issue a new and revised immigration EO soon. Good.

43 Responses to “I will not always be commenting on the Trump story du jour”

  1. Griffin Says:

    You could add to your timeline the quiet rollback of the most damning parts of most of these hysterias. Seeing it now with the Flynn/Russia kerfuffle.

    These things really have become the ‘boy who cried wolf’ to the max.

  2. parker Says:

    Its about time a president unloaded on the msm and called out their bias. Bravo! Perhaps the msm will figure out that their behavior drives people towards djt, not away. But naaah, they can’t help but believe they are a special class that is much more intelligent than we morons in flyover country.

  3. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    My question is: can the overt press bias, and the press’ utter hostility to the conservative point of view, survive four years (or perhaps eight) of Trump? Or can they take a beating for that length of time, cheer when a Democrat is again elected President, and get back to their old tricks?

    I’m betting on the latter… with great regret.

  4. Oldflyer Says:

    I don’t know how effective President Trump’s attacks on the press will be; but, his press conferences are certainly entertaining.

    He obviously enjoys them.

    I think the hacks, er correspondents, may be getting the message that they are badly over matched when they engage him in person. Much safer for the ego and reputation to do it from afar, and maybe anonymously. The one advantage they have is that they outnumber him. Kind of like the deep state; their numbers are legion. Of course it will help if he ever gets his full team in the “game”.

    Off topic; but, I see that the Grand Poobah of NATO told his membership that they need to step up their defense spending after “Mad Dog” counseled them. Quite a bit seems to be falling into place–considering media reports of turmoil in the Administration.

  5. AesopFan Says:

    I listened to the whole thing. Trump enjoys baiting the press. My favorite: when he told them flat-out that when they ask questions about what he will do in this or that foreign affairs situation, he doesn’t have to tell them — and he won’t, because then the other side will know as well.

  6. AesopFan Says:

    Hot Air had a good live blog, but very abbreviated.

  7. AesopFan Says:

    Or maybe my favorite is when the responded to an attempted interruption with, “Quiet, quiet, quiet!”

  8. AesopFan Says:

    (I’m listening to the press conference right now.

    Trump offered to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss inner cities; then tells how Elijah Cummings backed out of a meeting because he fears repercussions.

    To a reporter with two questions: “This room can’t handle two. Give me the better of your two questions.”

    “I didn’t come along and divide this country; it was seriously divided before I got here.”

  9. Gringo Says:

    Many prominent figures in the Venezuelan opposition to Chavismo have been pushing the “blonde Chavez” meme- that Trump is like Chavez or Trump is like Maduro. You’ve seen one populist, you’ve seen them all. Then the “blonde Chavez” does this. Trump urges Venezuelan government to release ‘political prisoner’ Lopez.

    President Trump on Wednesday evening called on the Venezuelan government to release imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who is serving a 14-year sentence for allegations that he incited anti-government violence during protests in 2014.

    Tweeting a picture of himself alongside Vice President Mike Pence, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), and Lopez’s wife Lilian Tintori, the president wrote that Venezuela should “immediately” release “political prisoner” Leopoldo Lopez.

    So much for the “blonde Chavez.”


  10. Paul in Boston Says:

    If you can, livestream Howie Carr on WRKO Boston, 680 AM, from 3 to 7 pm Eastern. He’s a good buddy of Trump and had him on many times during the campaign, long before anyone thought Trump had a chance. Howie is an encyclopedia of politics and knows all the dirt on the MSM reporters. He was using it today to skewer the stupidity and hypocrisy of the reporters at today’s press conference. He’s always a good antidote to the mood here that can sometimes get overwhelmed by the left’s attacks.

  11. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Getting in the media’s face, calling them out at every turn is the only way to handle them. Drain the Swamp. Prosecute leakers to the full extent of the law. The leakers are almost certainly high up in the bureaucracy. Lay traps to expose them.

  12. neo-neocon Says:

    Paul in Boston:

    On Howie Carr.

  13. Big Maq Says:

    Thing is, for it to be meaningful / impactful, trump needs to do more than just “skewer” the msm.

    Of course they are deserving of recrimination in many respects, but trump has his own problems that are big enough to deflate any argument he has about the msm being “dishonest”.

    At least, that’d be true for anyone not already on board with trump who can do no wrong.

    “Drain the Swamp”

    Ya, right! What did he say about clinton?

    Was it “Lock her up”?

    I’d have enormous respect for trump if he started with his own affairs and become the model he thinks everyone else must live up to wrt transparency and accountability.

    Perhaps walking the talk would go a long way to give power to his complaints.

    Tax returns, anyone?

    The media is already at historically low levels of public trust. And their hyperbolic reactions don’t help them.

    Given this, pointing at the msm accusingly doesn’t even serve as a reminder, but highlights trump’s own unctuousness.

    Someone said elsewhere “character is destiny”.

    And, our destiny is in the hands of this questionable character.

  14. AesopFan Says:

    It occurred to me after watching this press conference to recall the famous declaration of President Obama’s team:

    “Rhodes, 38, said in the article that it was easy to shape a favorable impression of the proposed (Iran) agreement because of the inexperience of many of those covering the issue.

    “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.” ”

    That was in 2016, so he’s talking about a birth year of 1989-1990.
    By 1989, Donald Trump had been owner of the Trump Organization for 17 years, since 1972; he opened Trump Tower in Manhattan in 1983; he published “The Art of the Deal” in 1987. His foray into the wrestling biz and his TV show “The Apprentice” were still in the future.

    However, he entered WWE with a bang:

    “The Donald’s Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, N.J., hosted both WrestleMania IV (March 27, 1988) and WrestleMania V — the only venue to present The Show of Shows two years in a row. Since those unforgettable nights, Trump has remained a familiar face in the front row of WWE events, but it wasn’t until 2007 that the billionaire got in on the action.

    In January of that year, The Donald interrupted Mr. McMahon’s “Fan Appreciation Night” on Raw and dropped tens of thousands of dollars from the rafters of the arena onto the WWE fans below. Red-faced that a rival would steal the spotlight from him, Mr. McMahon challenged Trump to a “Battle of the Billionaires” at WrestleMania 23 with the stipulation that the loser of the bout would have their his head shaved bald.

    A record number of viewers tuned in to watch The Donald back Bobby Lashley to victory over Mr. McMahon’s Umaga and subsequently shave the WWE Chairman’s signature mane in the center of the ring.

    The business magnates locked horns again in June 2009 when Trump purchased Monday Night Raw and immediately announced that next week’s show would air commercial-free and that every WWE fan that who purchased a ticket would be given a full refund. The trademark Trump public relations flourish nearly made Mr. McMahon’s head explode and forced him to buy his show back from The Donald for twice the price.

    The point being that President Trump has been giving press conferences before many of the current crop of journalists filed their first story, and before some of them were even born.

    Does he mispeak, make mistakes, get his “alternate facts” wrong sometimes? Sure.

    But if they think they can surprise him into saying something that he does not want to say, they are just — naive.

  15. AesopFan Says:

    Big Maq Says:
    February 16th, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    In re character, Trump said this today (lifted from HotAir’s liveblog) with a couple of other good sound-bites:

    Update: Trump and Jim Acosta had a pretty funny moment over the name of the Labor nominee. Trump claimed he checked out Alexander Acosta to make sure Jim was no relation, and Jim replied, “I like the sound of Secretary Acosta.”

    Update: Trump offers up a pretty good question: Why didn’t Hillary blow the whistle on getting the debate questions herself?

    Update: Takes a shot at Hillary Clinton for getting debate questions and the press for largely ignoring it.

    Update: “I’m okay with bad stories,” Trump says, “as long as they’re true.” Takes another shot at CNN, and then promises Acosta a chance to respond.

    Update: Jim Acosta got his question, too. Good question on reorganizing the intel community and the pursuit of leakers.

  16. AesopFan Says:

    Just to clarify, I’m responding to Big Maq’s long comment.

  17. AesopFan Says:

    Roger L. Simon at Pajamas Media (my all-time favorite blog NAME, btw): https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2017/02/16/the-media-bulls-have-met-their-matador-in-trump/

    A few excerpts and commentary, then the coup de grâce:
    “The press in general believes and acts as if they are a protected class. But this leads to them behaving like bulls at a corrida, rushing around everywhere, attacking every possible target until the matador arrives, focusing their attention. Yes, Trump gives them plenty of possible targets — more than he should and doubtless would like to. On this particular occasion, he blabbed on about having won more electoral votes than anyone since Reagan, when he didn’t.* But this obscures the larger issues on which he is so often right and in sync with the public. And on this day, he was able to play the press like a picador, banderillero, and matador all rolled into one.

    Before they get into the arena again, the press would be best to remember this: Whatever your attitude toward bullfighting (I used to like it, now I don’t), ninety-nine percent of the time the matador wins.”

    *Trump qualified this later by saying he meant Republican winners.

  18. AesopFan Says:

    If anyone here is still under the illusion that Nate Silver is non-partisan, or at least professionally neutral, this will disabuse you of that notion (and to forestall trolling, I’m not saying he’s “wrong” (IMO, he is on some things), I’m saying he’s biased in his presentation); the points he makes about the press, however, are basically spot-on.


    “To work as someone who covers Donald Trump for a living is to sometimes doubt your own memory. Quite often, a story that everyone else treats as a new and stunning revelation seems to you like something you’ve heard before. …
    The formula behind which news stories become salient — which ones dominate the news cycle for days and weeks on end versus which ones quickly fade from memory — reflects a complex interaction between news organizations (what are their incentives?), readers (what are they watching or clicking?) and the principals behind the stories (who’s pushing the story and who’s trying to rebut it?). To some extent, it may even reflect a degree of randomness and chaos stemming from herd behavior:* If a few highly influential news organizations like the Times, the Post and the Journal all decide that a story is relevant, everybody else probably will too. If they throw shade on a story, conversely, it may die fairly quickly.

    Obviously, the inherent newsworthiness of the stories can matter too. A story about Trump groping women is more likely to blow up than one that accuses him of cheating at golf. But this can be a fairly rough correlation. On the one hand, there’s so much news that it’s hard for news organizations to cover everything at once. On the other hand, low- or medium-importance stories can feed back upon themselves and receive a disproportionate amount of attention. Your mileage may vary, but — especially in light of what’s happened since — the incredible amount of coverage devoted to Clinton’s email server during last year’s campaign doesn’t hold up very well in retrospect.**

    Trump can also seek to influence coverage priorities, of course. During the primary campaign, his tactic of constantly changing the subject and creating shiny objects for the media to chase often proved to be highly effective. During the general election, he wasn’t always as successful at this, instead digging in on stories such as his feud with the family of American soldier Humayun Khan, which turned minor issues into medium-sized ones. Still, Trump was often bailed out by a Clinton-related story or by reporters who lost interest and went looking for another shift in the horse race.

    As president, Trump might find it more difficult to avoid sustained coverage of a single issue. The stakes for every action he takes are much greater, making him less nimble. And the media’s incentives are a lot different. I’m making generalizations, but major news organizations are usually willing to take a more openly adversarial posture toward a sitting president — especially one they don’t like ***— than they would be toward a presidential candidate (especially one they didn’t expect to win). Many of them would regard publishing stories that led to Trump’s resignation or impeachment as the ultimate badge of honor, in fact. If there’s any chance of that happening, the media will need fire and not just smoke — and they’ll need a whole lot of persistence when Trump tries to change the subject.”

    * Or maybe some concentrated collusion? Journolists, anyone?
    ** Come on, Nate; really???
    *** Tell us something we don’t already know.

  19. AesopFan Says:

    This was a good excerpt.

  20. Frog Says:

    Trump has equanimity.
    The goads, the pompous self-serving bias of the MSM does not get to him, does not ruffle him.

  21. JuliB Says:

    Big Maq – “Lock her up” wasn’t a campaign promise. It was a throw-away statement which was picked up by his followers.

  22. Tom G Says:

    I’m now thinking that a big reason for Flynn to resign was his lie to VP Pence.

    “He lied, he has to go. I do not tolerate this behavior.” << possible future Trump quote, as he starts firing the top guys of the Deep State.

    He has to get rid of a LOT of them, before they find a way to get rid of him.

    I'm rooting for Trump over the Deep State and the lying Dem media right now.

  23. Big Maq Says:

    “Trump has equanimity.” – Frog

    Wow! Really! Guess you’ve never heard of twitter.

    “the MSM does not get to him, does not ruffle him”

    Come now. How about the size of the crowd on the Washington Mall?

    That was day one / two of his admin.


  24. Big Maq Says:

    @Aesopfan at 8:53 – re: the questions about clinton’s behavior: two wrongs don’t make a right.

    BOTH POTUS candidates had questionable character.

    Me thinks much of the country understood this, and is a good part of why so many either stayed home or voted third party.

  25. Big Maq Says:

    @JuliB – give me a break!

    If I had the resources to definitively prove it, I’d bet your lifetime savings that a majority of trump supporters thought he’d follow through with his debate declaration that he’d appoint a special prosecutor to investigate clinton.

    “Lock Her Up!” emanated from that.

    You didn’t see trump saying “No, no, no” when the chant started. He let the expectation be set.

    It goes hand in hand with “Drain the Swamp!”.

    This all did two things during the campaign.

    1) It fed the notion that trump is the champion against DC corruption.
    2) It deflects any concern about trump’s own corrupt practices, and about potential for corrupt behavior from trump in the WH.

    Like I said above, trump needs to walk the talk.

    And, so far, it has been profoundly lacking.

    Just on example: Remember his non-promise of providing his tax returns after he is elected?

    Somehow it turns into, “since trump was elected, evidently, people don’t care about his returns” (to paraphrase KAConway), ergo, he doesn’t need to provide them.

    Shutting down any notion of prosecuting clinton shortly after inauguration is minor, but is an expectation set and broken, nonetheless.

    Transparently walk the talk, if you want to be rewarded with trust and integrity.

    Don’t do so, but don’t complain at being called a liar and a hypocrite – and, especially, don’t try to argue your way out by pointing to and decrying others’ like behavior.

  26. Irv Says:

    It’s obvious Trump’s enemies are the only ones asking for his previous tax returns and it’s also obvious that they want them to use against him.

    Tax returns are so complex that it’s easy to use half-truths and outright lies when going over those of a billionaire to make him look like a crook, regardless of the real facts. Trump is not that stupid to provide that kind of ammunition to those who would do him harm.

    All anyone has to do is look at who’s doing the asking to figure out what they intend to do with the information.

  27. Mike K Says:

    f you can, livestream Howie Carr on WRKO Boston, 680 AM, from 3 to 7 pm Eastern.

    I listened to him when I lived in New Hampshire 25 years ago.

    Trump reminds me of Reagan responding to one more derogatory comment about his acting career. He said, “I wonder how anyone who has NOT been an actor could be president.”

    Bush was painful to watch in pressers. Trump is an artist at it.

  28. Kyndyll G Says:

    “If I had the resources to definitively prove it, I’d bet your lifetime savings that a majority of trump supporters thought he’d follow through with his debate declaration that he’d appoint a special prosecutor to investigate clinton.”

    Sorry, Maq, but that smacks of full-on banana republic status. I can’t speak for Trump supporters, since I was wasn’t one, but I for one was not rooting for that. Clinton was just one head of a slimy, corrupt Medusa and I’d much rather see some attempt to go after the vastly more extensive and dangerous shadow structure that is now emerging from the swamp, than fritter away resources and time for a showboat trial that not only fixes nothing, but distracts from – and therefore probably even helps shield – the real problem.

    As I watch this mess unfold I have ever-greater doubts that anyone, Trump or otherwise, can win this battle, but for the first time, the true extent of evil has emerged or at least has come close enough to surface for us to get an idea of what’s down there. Some people were blissfully unaware, but now it’s plainly obvious.

  29. JuliB Says:

    Kyndyll G – Heck – I wish Obama would have pardoned Clinton, if for nothing else than for the good of the country.


    Not one person I knew took it seriously – not to say that there weren’t a couple that got great enjoyment out of the thought. Most people I know are looking forward – to set the country back on course, whatever that may be – but certainly not the same setting that Obama and crew had us on.l

    Once again, we come back to the idea that his supporters took him seriously but not literally.

    Actually, bringing that up is similar to the judge who brought up campaign statements by Trump wrt/the EO.

  30. Big Maq Says:

    @Irv – Oh it is so complex and can be used against the candidate!

    Ya, right! Heard that before, and really is an excuse that any candidate can use to avoid transparency.

    Besides, he said he would release them.

    It says more that trump has something to hide, rather than how the public is so dumb that they cannot understand it for themselves, so would fall prey to any “lies” people could make of them.

    There are not any really good reasons not to release them.

    But, if releasing them was too high a price to pay to be (and demonstrate) transparent, then he ought to have thought about that before deciding to run, and, especially, before later promising to release them.

  31. Big Maq Says:

    @Kyndell – of course following thru would have been on the path to banana republic.

    I’d say “Drain the Swamp” is not different.

    If trump had really shown integrity in this campaign, or even since inauguration, he’d have broad credibility and support in following through on these things, as no doubt a solid majority in this country would like to see corruption and abuse of power eliminated in DC.

    The problem is that trump doesn’t walk the talk. He doesn’t live to the expectations he sets for others.

    He’s not the one to “drain the swamp”, as, truthfully, it would likely have to expose himself.

    I firmly believe “the battle” can be won, but it needs far better leadership than we have at the moment.

    My only hope is that trump’s cabinet can contain the worst of his impulses, and that the good might then outweigh any fallout from the rest.

  32. Big Maq Says:

    @JuliB – No one took it seriously!

    Ya, right.

    Nobody takes anything seriously, until it becomes reality.

    Say or lead people on anything, all is fine, because it means nothing, and nobody will hold you to it.

    Yet, people keep repeating these things like “Drain the Swamp”.

    Funny how that is.

    To play it back for you, how about…

    “You can keep your doctor if you want … you can keep your plan if you want”

    It’s as specific as trump’s “I’ll appoint a special prosecutor to investigate you”.

    Suppose somebody said, “well you are taking obama seriously, but it was merely for the entertainment of his base”.

    It doesn’t quite sound right does it?

    We don’t get to cherry pick what to take seriously and what to ignore to suit our own purposes.

    And that’s the core problem … trump’s campaign has been a series of contradictions it was all mutable, leaving people to guess at what he might do.

    It’s not that people didn’t take him seriously. They couldn’t decipher what exactly what trump would do.

    People need to know what they will be getting.

    It’s a big part of the reason trump received an historically low proportion of eligible voters.

    Not a good basis to be elected upon, and hardly a way to build credibility and support to do what one wants in DC.

    Bringing it up is not in any way like the judges talking about the EO.

    The EO in question is a matter of the law, and the Constitutionality of its implementation as written.

    What he says on the campaign trail is an expectation he set about what he will do, whether it was explicitly made as a “promise” or not.

    What he said may not have any legal bearing on the law for a specific EO, but it sure has everything to do with what people who voted for him are convinced / hopeful he will do in office.

  33. AesopFan Says:

    Tom G Says:
    February 17th, 2017 at 10:32 am
    I’m now thinking that a big reason for Flynn to resign was his lie to VP Pence.

    “He lied, he has to go. I do not tolerate this behavior.” << possible future Trump quote, as he starts firing the top guys of the Deep State.

    He has to get rid of a LOT of them, before they find a way to get rid of him.

    I'm rooting for Trump over the Deep State and the lying Dem media right now.
    * * *
    Not a bad chess move; downright Byzantine.
    I like it.

    PS: I'm fine with putting Hillary in jail. She broke the laws multiple times, deliberately, and damaged national security for private gain. IF (big if) it is ever proved that Trump does the same, I'm fine with putting him in jail too.

    PPS: I'll agitate for Trump's tax returns after I've seen Obama's school records. All of them. Unredacted.

  34. AesopFan Says:

    Big Maq:
    Obama was making a specific claim about a specific piece of legislation in order to corral votes in Congress, by soothing the public’s understandable fears.
    As a sitting president responsible for executing the law he was pushing.

    And HE LIED: knowingly and repeatedly.

    Even Politifact admitted that.
    It was a catchy political pitch and a chance to calm nerves about his dramatic and complicated plan to bring historic change to America’s health insurance system.

    “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” President Barack Obama said — many times — of his landmark new law.

    But the promise was impossible to keep.

    So this fall, as cancellation letters were going out to approximately 4 million Americans, the public realized Obama’s breezy assurances were wrong.

    Boiling down the complicated health care law to a soundbite proved treacherous, even for its promoter-in-chief. Obama and his team made matters worse, suggesting they had been misunderstood all along. The stunning political uproar led to this: a rare presidential apology.

    For all of these reasons, PolitiFact has named “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” the Lie of the Year for 2013.

    — Donald Trump spawned a rallying cry, as a candidate, stating a position which, unlike Obama’s, had no legal authority and little chance of obtaining it — it was an opinion, remember what those are? —

  35. JuliB Says:

    Big Maq – I think you are missing my point. The idea of taking him seriously but not literally is not *my* personal opinion, but was from an article in the Atlantic which was prior to the election. It was comparing reactions from supporters to the press.

    I thought I was pointing to a known popular thought, and you’d understand where I was coming from. Instead, you take me too literally and attempt to deconstruct a connotative reference.

  36. Big Maq Says:

    @JuliB – ok, then I misunderstood when you said…

    “Not one person I knew took it seriously”

    Thought you meant yourself.

    My argument about that line of thinking still stands.

  37. Big Maq Says:

    @Aesop – I was rather careful (in paraphrase) to point to the specificity of what trump said during one of the debates.

    That was the precipitation to “Lock Her Up!”.

    He let that impression stand without giving folks reason to think he’d back down on what he said in the debate.

    Was he just lying in the debate?

    Keep in mind, this is just one example of many contradictions and lies in trump’s campaign.

    It was so bad, we had discussions here at great length about how trump was so mutable.

    Even recently, he bragged about how he had “the most EVs since Reagan”, and now claims that he was “given the wrong information”.

    It’s a pretty good bet that the guy was effin lyin, as it follows the same pattern of the lies we saw in the campaign.

    And this all hits at the point I was making.

    trump needs to come from a position of credibility when he wants to talk about eveyone else’s bad behavior.

    He needs to walk his talk.

    That he is not means we won’t really ever “Drain the Swamp” as people keep repeating here.

    What may well happen is trump places his own “alligators” in the “swamp”, while publicly clearing out the old ones and declaring “victory”.

    I’d much rather see a radical reduction in the size and scope of government, with trump working with Congress to tighten presidential powers, so the next POTUS (especially if dem) doesn’t have as free a reign as obama and trump.

    These are the things that could be lasting changes, but trump needs more than his base of support to make it all happen and be locked in.

  38. Irv Says:

    Big Maq – You really ought to think about the difference between significant lies and exaggerating unimportant facts to make a point. The facts of the size of his win may be off but the gist of what he’s saying is correct. It was a really big win even if someone else actually had more electoral votes. When you consider the headwinds he had from the press, the entertainment industry, the education industry and the public employee industry, his win really was more historic than the count would indicate. That was the point he was making that was not negated by the use a faulty statistic that he got from an unreliable source.

    Also, what I took Trump to mean when he said “Lock her up!” was that we need to start holding the ruling elite accountable for breaking laws that they enforce against people who are not favored members of their group. It never even occurred to me that he might mean it literally.

    Very little of what Trump says should be taken literally but it all should be taken seriously as an indication of the direction in which he plans to govern, and so far I really like that direction.

  39. Big Maq Says:

    “When you consider the headwinds he had from the press” – Irv

    Well, see, right there.

    I can point to recent articles elsewhere, and even Neo herself has pointed out that the msm had given trump a free ride up to the convention.

    Getting $2B worth of publicity is NOT a “head wind”.

    The rest of the opposition you point out would have been there regardless of who the GOP candidate was.

    Secondly, it was well discussed here how trump says so many contradictory things, and outright provable lies, that he was effectively mutable.

    “Very little of what Trump says should be taken literally but it all should be taken seriously”

    Sounds very much like someone else’s thinking and rationalizing.

    If nothing can be taken as the truth, then there is no accountability.

    To be taken “seriously” must, as a condition, to be taken for your honest “word”.

    Tax Returns?

    Furthermore, if one continues to make outbound statements, one has to be prepared to back it up, if challenged.

    Mexico pays for the wall.

    Lock her up!

    Drain the swamp!

    A clever slogan does not represent the whole reality.

  40. Big Maq Says:

    More on “seriously”…

    trump wants us all to hold certain beliefs about him.

    Simultaneously, many claim that he is deliberately trying to be “unknowable or unpredictable” so as to not reveal his “real strategy or intentions”. His extreme statements are then articulated to be his “negotiation positions” (forgetting for the moment that trump has proven mutable).

    Now, you cannot have both be true – to be believed and trusted while being “unknowable”.

    I’d say that he is taken “seriously” in the sense that he represents a real risk.

    But he is not taken “seriously” as a man that can be trusted.

  41. Big Maq Says:

    “One that confounds good and evil is an enemy to good.” – E Burke

    Perhaps an apt description of what we are facing wrt trump.

  42. neo-neocon Says:

    Big Maq:

    Actually, to get nitpicky with you, Trump was only given a headwind for part of the time prior to his winning the nomination.

    At first, he was ridiculed, although given a lot of coverage. The coverage was very very negative, treating him like a bigot (about the Mexican rapists) and a clown. Dangerous and stupid and foolish, all it once. They thought he’d be a flash in the pan and then out.

    However, once they realized that was not going to happen (it took maybe 2-3 months to realize that, I think), the coverage became even heavier, and it was heavy to begin with. But the tone changed somewhat; now it was more respectful. They saw him as a twofer for them. First, he was ratings gold. Secondly, he had a chance for the nomination, which in their minds meant a sure win for Hillary. Win/win for them.

    He got the nomination, and then the coverage got far more negative again. They thought he was toast. He wasn’t.

  43. Big Maq Says:

    @Neo – $2B worth of free publicity! That was reported in March. And, the value only increased from there, as trump still dominated the news thereafter.

    trump himself became newsworthy. His more extreme statements, contradictions and mutability were all part of what made it so. trump, all the while playing jujitsu with the media, early on taunting them and blaming them for “unfair” coverage, feeding them with something to run with, often blatantly false (another example, Cruz’s father).

    Competitively, the msm couldn’t ignore it.

    trump’s operational theory seemed to be that if he could keep his name in the news, for good or bad, he’d take the oxygen out of the news cycle from his competition.

    He was right.

    However, some of the worst coverage after the convention wrt trump were from his own words and actions. His gratuitous and unnecessary attack on the Muslim parents who spoke at the dnc convention. His “grab her p*ssy” because he felt empowered to do so. Etc. Etc.

    This stuff was sensational, well beyond the usual manufactured “gotcha” news from the msm, but a whole lot more tangible.

    One can see the poll response on each of them.

    The msm couldn’t forego the ratings, but, even with material like this, they couldn’t box him in, either. No he wasn’t toast, afterall, trump could shoot someone on 5th Ave and enough voters would still love him.

    Perhaps there was too much, too quickly to really do so. A media “shock and awe” so to speak.

    trump kicks it up a notch (could almost hear a Lagasse “BAM!”), the msm / left kicks it up in response.

    Rinse and repeat, with each pointing to how bad the other is for the latest news / escalation.

    Much of that “head wind”, to the extent is was above what any “normal” GOP candidate would have received in years past, seems as much a product of trump’s media “strategy” than it was some independent decision across all the individuals in the media to decide “this time” they need to escalate things.

    I’m not denying the msm / left have escalated, but it is an escalation that trump has been more than a willing player in, and not some innocent bystander.

    Symbiotic? Or, being played?

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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