THE DOVISH WING OF THE WAR ON TRUMP
In December 2016, the many people who objected to the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency took to the streets in great numbers and considerable eloquence to voice their objections. There was a brief lull for the holidays, but the tumult resumed for the inauguration, culminating in the massive women’s march the day after said gala.
About that time, I found myself wondering whether these street protests were going to become a regular feature of the Stable Genius’ tenure in office, as with the Vietnam and civil rights era protests; extended campaigns such as these require a considerable attention span and public stamina, qualities which meseems are difficult to find huge quantities of in America today.
And so it has proven. The only particularly large street demonstration in the intervening months has been the day of marches in favor of gun control and/or school security. Certainly most of those marchers seemed to have no love lost for the Stable Genius, but their primary concern was one issue: if the president had endorsed their desiderata (which were rather diffuse and occasionally somewhat contradictory), they would have gone home quite happy, and in any case, they seemed at least as much exercised by Congress as the President.
But the War on Trump (which seems to mostly have been declared by the man himself) has two other fronts. One front is intellectual and political, led at first by conservative eggheads, largely centered around National Review types, and later by dissident legislators who didn’t buy into the totality of the Stable Genius’ agenda. Perhaps predictably, the intellectuals fell into line for the most part the moment that they were delivered a tax cut. One would think that they would regain their outrage over the administration’s proposed tariffs, at least as much of an affront to conservative orthodoxy as high taxes, but it remains to be seen how lasting their initial outrage will prove.
And as for the uncooperative legislators, Senator Flake is quitting, Senator McCain is quite unwell, and Senators Graham and Paul are very clearly going to evaluate each proposal which heads their way on a case-by-case basis. As for the Democrats? Two Democrats, Robert Casey and Sherrod Brown, took the floor to endorse the Trump tariffs, and another, Elizabeth Warren, came about as close as she could without jeopardizing her pole position for the next presidential nomination.
Which leaves the media, clearly The Donald’s main villain in the ranks of the people he perceives as his enemy. I can’t say that I see much of the NY Times or WaPo, two of the War on Trump’s mainstays, but I do watch television, and his other supposed nemesis, CNN, does feature in the evenings a doughty young man named Don Lemon who gets in some pretty good jabs at The Donald, especially when his buddy from the Obama administration joins him, but if there’s a panel discussion on tap (and there always is), you can bet the mortgage that there will be a Trump supporter included, and overall the network seems determined to cover this administration as just another gig; there may be a few scandals to be worked, but the idea that the demonstrators had when they started out, that the Trump presidency represents a unique danger to American democracy, seems quite dead now in the American press. Indeed, yesternight I got to read who the real threat to our democratic ways is: Robert Mueller. Eh?