The prospect of civility in America following the outcome of the Midterms seemed so hopeful as both Republicans and Democrats could claim some victories. The whiney, snarling Democrats narrowly captured the House. Perhaps now they would settle down and get to work on building some policy. On the Republican side, The President and Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R. KY) engineered a surgical win to keep their Senate majority. Donald Trump even reached across the aisle and tweeted his support of Nancy Pelosi (D. CA) for Speaker. It was all very well… civil; and then the President’s “presser,” intervened and all hope of civility evaporated.
Here are some observations:
Donald Trump will never conform to presidential norms.
Civility just isn’t his thing. He opened the press conference with an attack on his fellow Republicans who chose not to “embrace” him by asking for help during the Midterms. They suffered defeat and he rubbed their noses in it. It was kind of creepy and weird. I support many of Trump’s policies, but for the first time, I got a glimpse of why the Left dislikes him so much. He was boastful and petty. Clearly he was enjoying the purge of the House Rinos.
He also sent out a clear warning to the Democrats that if they wanted a war and sent the subpoenas flying, he’d respond in kind with the help of his pal Mitch. Two could play at the “investigations game.”
The Republicans hold on the Senate is no small thing.
The thing is, that there was no need for the rancor. The President and Mitch McConnell had constructed a strategy to expand the Republican control of the Senate and they pulled it off brilliantly against the odds. The importance of this win shouldn’t be undervalued. He is now insulated from any mischief the House can throw at him, especially impeachment. He also has a clear path to fill even more Conservative Federal Judge positions without Democrat interference. This is a huge win but somewhat upstaged by his scorched earth approach to his foes.
Trump unnecessarily made Jim Accosta a martyr
Yes, the Whitehouse Press Corps fawned over President “you can keep your coverage” for 8 years. Nothing was said as he weaponized the Department of Justice and the IRS against Republicans. They put up with his irritating tendency to take 20 minutes on each of their questions to lecture them like a college professor. I never once heard a reporter badger him and push his or her own policy positions on President Obama, and they never openly confronted him.
CNN’s Jim Accosta and some of his colleagues’ reprehensible behavior was on full display after the Midterms. Accosta acted like he was a political demonstrator as he badgered Trump and showed his contempt. For those of you that don’t watch the “pressers” everyday like me, you should know that this has been going on ever since The President was inaugurated. Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been badgered and treated to some very bad behavior by Accosta and his pals.
Accosta is a self-appointed crusader for the Left against a “dangerous” President. That’s the role he’s assigned himself and CNN has backed him all the way. His boorish and petulant behavior was on full display and if the President had simply laughed him off or used some other tactic with him it would’ve been fine, but Trump clearly lost his cool and looked bad. He needs to learn the Reagan chuckle and “there you go again” line.
In the end, the Administration had the Secret Service yank his credentials and by doing so made him a martyr of the First Amendment. This only added gasoline to an already raging fire.
The President loves conflict.
I know that a lot of people like it when Trump fights with his critics. Indeed, I find it refreshing sometimes. I also like that The President is accessible to the press and his personality makes him very transparent. You pretty much know what he’s thinking.
The media should love this, but his combative nature makes for a lot of stress. It remains to be seen if people will grow weary of the level of conflict he generates as he punches back every time he’s confronted.
On the other hand, Trump’s critics in the media are proving that he’s right about them and the more they confront him, the stupider they look and that they are actually helping his cause.
Ultimately, Trump will always prevail when it comes to fighting a battle with the media, but it all makes you want to turn off the sound, you know?
Trump could have waited another day to resign Jeff Sessions
He has a perfect right to get the person he wants to run the Justice Department. He has been frustrated by the Mueller “hoax” and is ready to move on. His public criticisms of Sessions are cringe worthy, all true. But why muddy the waters on a day when you’re celebrating turning back the “blue wave?” Have Sessions resign on Friday night after 5pm. Predictably, the MSM went berserk following the Sessions announcement. They always take the bait.
A return to civility is up to the House Democrats but don't count on it
Ed Rendell, the former Governor of Pennsylvania, who in his own way is as candid as Donald Trump, gave House Democrats some great advice. He told Fox News that Democrats should spend their time legislating, not investigating.
I agree. There are actually some pieces of legislation that could be passed in a spirit of cooperation including solving the DACA problem, immigration reform, infrastructure, etc. Solving some of this stuff is in America’s best interests. Trump would probably be amenable to their efforts and he’s said so.
However, the Democrats are already making noises about impeaching Kavanaugh, and sending limitless subpoenas to the White House. Americans are plenty sick of unhinged Democrats (see the Senate results), a real effort by them to appear statesmanlike would go a long way toward regaining power in 2020.
Expect the rancor in Washington and the country to continue for now, especially if another seat opens on The Supreme Court. If the Democrats continue to come unglued, the Republicans will continue to expand their majority in the Senate and perhaps even take back the House in the next election. If they continue to give in to their far left demons they will be setting the stage for a Trump victory in 2020.