This past week I asked a friend at the White House about how the president was holding up against the onslaught of media attacks. "They didn't even deliver a glancing blow," was the response. It wasn't for a lack of trying.
Has any president in modern times been the target of such a Blitzkrieg of orchestrated assaults -- from John McCain's funeral turned anti-Trump scrum to Bob Woodward's discredited new book trashing the president to the media infatuation with the anonymous New York Times op-ed by a disgruntled federal employee who hates President Trump.
Here we go again. Trump is (for the umpteenth time) characterized as dangerous, deranged, delusional, infantile, racist and amoral. But Trump is like Muhammad Ali playing rope-a-dope while George Foreman (the media) is flailing away and punching himself out. The only people who pay attention to the anti-Trump screeds are already frothing at the mouth with Trump hatred. What is the point?
After all this time the "resistance" movement is still utterly clueless about Trump, his followers and the appeal of his "America First" agenda. Just why is he "deranged"? Because he is overturning trade deals, pulling the United States out of anti-America climate change treaties, building a wall to keep out undesirables, cutting taxes, slashing regulation and insisting that Europe pay it's fair share of NATO's costs.
Well, yes. Guilty as charged. When dismayed reporters ask me why he is doing all these things that are so offensive to the chattering class, my response is almost always the same: "Um, because this is what he promised voters he was going to do. Weren't you paying attention?"
Voters sure were. It turns out Americans outside the beltway weren't so enthralled with the New World Order or the anemic Obama economic program that is being dismantled.
And what is the result of all this "chaos" and "mayhem" in the White House that the media is in such a frenzy about? Well, as we learned last week, we now have the lowest number of American workers on unemployment insurance since Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, the biggest manufacturing boom in 14 years, the lowest black unemployment rate ever recorded, and an economy that is growing at 4.4 percent this quarter, on top of 4.2 percent growth last quarter.
The surging Trump economy is arguably the news story of the decade and yet it is covered, if at all, as a ho-hum yawner.
The first rule of journalism is: Never bury the lead. The media does this every day.
Perhaps that is because the press corps and their economist sources are having a devil of a time explaining how a "deranged" president has been able to turbocharge the economy so decisively.
The only story line that The New York Times could conjure up -- and I'm not making this up -- is that Trump is riding an Obama wave. Sure. And Tony Eason is responsible for Tom Brady's Hall of Fame performances. This "Obama effect" might be semi-plausible except for the fact that every policy Trump implements reverses President Obama's policy.
It is a virtual guarantee that when the economy does start to slow down (alas, booms don't last forever), The New York Times will gleefully shout: Aha, Donald Trump's economic policies are a failure!
Yes, there is a bit of chaos and disorder at the White House. Yes, some of the characters that Trump has hired had no business being anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. By contrast, Obama had an orderly and statesmanlike White House, and he hired a cadre of highly respected and well-intended people. Yet all of this still produced the worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression.
The other day I was on a panel with media reporters and I suggested in all seriousness that Donald Trump deserves the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics. My fellow panelists almost visibly popped a vein in their heads. They ranted and raved about how stupid and dangerous Trump's policies are. Just who is deranged in this picture?