Trump: A Brawler for Democracy

Trump: A Brawler for Democracy

  • A weak and unlikely and untutored president beats back a concerted campaign of delegitimization.

    His partisan opponents and those who believe Donald Trump unfit can still try to remove or at least defame him with allegations that he sought to obstruct Robert Mueller’s investigation even if the investigation found no underlying crime.

    That’s part of the political game but context is required. If a statement by John Dowd, Mr. Trump’s lawyer, to reporter Byron York is an accurate reflection of reality, then it reflects well on Mr. Mueller. Of his conversations with the special counsel, Mr. Dowd said: “Bob was a big boy about the political side of it. He understood the president had to address the politics of [the collusion investigation]. . . . People were pounding him about this thing every day, both privately and publicly, and he had to take [Mueller] on.”

    Politicians, by the time they’ve asked millions for their money, their time, their support and their votes, are obliged to do just about anything to win. Once elected, they have an even bigger responsibility to defend their power and ability to govern. Ask any president: This, and not governing, is what they spend much of their time doing. And one thing you can say about President Trump: This most unlikely and in some ways weakest of presidents has brawled his way to victory over the most concerted delegitimization campaign any president has ever faced.

    He was under attack from day one from partisan and media enemies who promoted the Russia collusion theory without especially caring whether it was true. He had every reason to wonder (and still does) whether he was getting a fair shake from the FBI and intelligence agencies. He has good reason to wonder, especially after Mr. Mueller revealed himself this week to be largely a figurehead in his own inquiry, whether the investigation was dragged out for two years in hopes of inducing him to commit obstruction crimes in place of the nonexistent collusion crimes.

    It ain’t beanbag, as somebody once said, and the Obama administration was not an administration of beanbag players. Don’t kid yourself: Obama veterans played and continue to play key roles in the Trump delegitimization campaign, including as members of the Mueller team.

    A moment of honesty is in order even from Mr. Trump’s critics about the fight the president won. Start with the colossal confection of assumed guilt that was Rep. Adam Schiff’s opening statement in Wednesday’s hearing, whose real mistake was reducing everything that is interesting and wondrous (in a sense) about the events that began on the escalator in Trump tower in 2015 to the narrow aperture of Russia. Otherwise, many of Mr. Schiff’s characterizations were true:

    Mr. Trump did launch his campaign as an infomercial to promote his personal brand. He didn’t expect to be president. Paul Manafort and others signed up not because they thought he’d win but to advance their business interests. Mr. Trump, expecting he would soon return to private life, kept trying to parlay his newly stratospheric celebrity into a Trump Tower deal in Moscow well into the 2016 campaign.

    As this column judged early and often, nobody needed to instruct Vladimir Putin’s trolls to promote the Trump boomlet once it emerged in 2015. It was exactly the kind of democratic unseemliness the Kremlin’s troublemakers exist to exploit. Whatever Russia’s effect, it was trivial in the end. It did not conjure 63 million votes for Mr. Trump—votes that came to him despite an onslaught of innuendo, vilification and authentically disgraceful material covering every aspect of his life, from his sex habits to his racial attitudes, to his business practices and even his alleged eagerness to commit treason with Russia.

    The real lesson is the one many continue to ignore: A large part of the electorate so thoroughly defected from the authority of the established media and related elites that it thought anybody with Mr. Trump’s enemies couldn’t be all bad.

    If Democrats want to win in 2020, they need to stop lying to themselves about this. They need to stop trying to ignore or shame these voters somehow out of existence.

    One more thing: In a rare moment of perspicacity, Mr. Schiff allowed to the New Yorker magazine that the Kremlin’s most consequential impact on the 2016 race may have been the role that still-hidden Russian intelligence played in sparking the shambolic interventions of former FBI Director James Comey.

    Mr. Schiff is right about this. Mr. Comey himself indicated that the information is of such sensitivity that it will likely remain hidden “decades from now.” So here’s one reason to support Mr. Trump’s re-election no matter how much nose-holding it requires: It may be the only way to reach the truth of 2016.

    Copyright ©2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8
    Appeared in the July 27, 2019, print edition.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-a-brawler-for-democracy-11564175760?shareToken=st5c1ef9431c684f4ab18607e721c59e75

  • Discussion
  • As an independent I have yo say the tactics the democrats used throughout this campaign against every aspect of Trump's personal and professional life have turned me wholly against them, probably for life. They did win one contest, though - the limbo, AKA just how low can you go.
    Our system needed a game changer, someone who would shake things up. Providence gave us Donald J. Trump, a choice ratified by the people.
    I didn't hold my nose in 2016 when I pulled the lever for Mr. Trump, won't hold my nose in 2020 when I pull it again to re-elect President Donald J Trump!

  • I'll be honest, i held my nose pretty firmly in 2016 when checking that box. However, the simple fact, as I've said before, that he has been able to draw the true character and hypocrisy out of these lifelong politicians that are expertly trained at never letting that out into the public view, has been well worth it, to say the least. Along with the fact that he's kept on working on some tough issues despite constant pressure, lawsuits, setbacks, his own missteps etc. Has been impressive. It'll be easier to check that box next time if for nothing else than, as your article states, knowing we have a brawler moreso than a politician, even if only slightly.

  • wilburngross said... (original post)

    The real lesson is the one many continue to ignore: A large part of the electorate so thoroughly defected from the authority of the established media and related elites that it thought anybody with Mr. Trump’s enemies couldn’t be all bad.

    If Democrats want to win in 2020, they need to stop lying to themselves about this. They need to stop trying to ignore or shame these voters somehow out of existence.

    It's a little late ..... I think the Dems have already hung that albatross around their own neck. I think they recognize that after the fact, ... and I believe that is why they continue to exhibit signs of thrashing and desperation ...

    Democrats know that their only hope is to create an “impeachment” distraction so as to mitigate the political damage that will result when the American people find out what Obama and the democrat party have been up to since 2012 ... when they began illegally using the NSA database to spy on Americans.

    To keep that illegal activity hidden Democrats corrupted and weaponized the FBI/DOJ/CIA to illegally influence the 2016 Presidential election, and when that failed they launched an illegal counterintelligence investigation to overthrow the duly elected President. This is all about to be exposed to sterilizing sunlight ..... by Bill Barr and John Dunham.

    The louder they scream, ... the closer we are to finding out what really happened over the past seven years.

    This post was edited by cadillacattack 3 months ago

  • Trump is a brawler for Trump. I’m very displeased with how the left in the Democratic Party has been acting as well, but Trump could not care less about Democracy, He prefers authoritarian government .

  • AU9377 said... (original post)

    Trump is a brawler for Trump. I’m very displeased with how the left in the De...

    From a management style/perspective I think you are right. He is a negotiator and our politicians no longer negotiate and work together to find common ground. I think it a bit much to say that he prefers that federal government to be authoritarian (i.e. no constitutional authority or rule of law). I think he and most other presidents would prefer the ability to negotiate in good faith and not be skewered by media and political opponents.

  • AU9377 said... (original post)

    Trump is a brawler for Trump. I’m very displeased with how the left in the De...

    I'll agree with that characterization of Trump, although caring about democracy is irrelevant since this country has never been supposed to have been a democracy.

    He's used to giving orders and having people carry out his orders and he doesn't like it when he finds out that he usually can't just do that as president (he's also quite ignorant of how the system works...that's what you get when you get an outsider in office).

    The left, however, is equally (if not more) dismissive of the fact that we are a constitutional republic, and have been so for a lot longer than Trump has been in office. They cannot deal with the fact that the things they want are often not constitutional, so they simply appoint activist judges or ignore federal laws to get around that reality. And they do so knowing exactly how the system works.

    So given those two choices (and indeed, those are the only two it seems we'll get any time soon), I'll go with Trump every time.

  • No one is doing a better job shooting themselves in the foot than Democrats. Reparations, impeachment, 80% tax brackets, and late-term abortions are by themselves enough to give us MAGA again. A kind of Greek tragedy, 21st century, American style.