The media meltdown over President Trump’s presser with Russian President Vladimir Putin did little to chip away at his approval ratings. After days of accusing the president of treason by the liberal media, which is abjectly insane and inaccurate, all it did was allow Trump to reach the highest approval rating of his presidency (via WSJ):
President Donald Trump’s approval rating edged higher during a week in which he faced withering criticism following a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, signaling that he is positioned to weather the latest controversy sparked by his unusual brand of politics.
Mr. Trump’s job approval rating rose to 45% in a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, the highest mark of his presidency and up 1 percentage point from June. The survey was taken over a four-day period that started July 15, a day before Mr. Trump’s news conference with Mr. Putin in which he questioned the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the 2016 election.
Underpinning Mr. Trump’s job approval was support from 88% of Republican voters. Of the four previous White House occupants, only George W. Bush, in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, had a higher approval rating within his own party at the same point in his presidency.
Now, 45 percent isn't the best, though at one point it was not considered to be a sign of total ruin either (at least for the Senate), especially if GOP support is solidly entrecnhd behind the president. Then again, the latest shifts in the House races don't bode well, but we'll get to that in another post.
On top of the media's meltdown from the presser, the media stepped on a landmine when a reporter tweeted a photo allegedly showing recently arrested Maria Butina, who is allegedly a Russian intelligence agent, near the Oval Office last week. Oh my God, Russian collusion, right? Nope. It wasn’t Butina. It was a NSC staffer, but she had red hair, so close enough, right? The talk about treason, how the Russian interference was like the 9/11 terror attacks, or better yet—how this is a modern day Pearl Harbor are way off the mark. The American people know this, which is why they tune out. It’s straight trash. It’s all sour grapes. Hillary Clinton lost; that’s the reason why people keep framing anything Trump does as a step closer to the apocalypse.
Trump's approval rating appears to have barely budged after a week of nuclear meltdown-level media histrionics, possibly without precedent in modern history. The fundamental futility of 24/7 hysterical outrage has been obvious for years now, but media will never get the hint— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) July 24, 2018
There is a case to be made that this wasn’t the best moment for the Trump presidency with the Putin presser, but the outrage machine never ceases to stop, leading to overreach and outright insanity. It seems there’s an endless supply of heroin for these people to mainline, which leads to things going totally off the hinges. As a result, Trump doesn’t get bucked off course. And it will remain this way because the elite media is fraught with insufferable arrogance. Besides the media hyperventilating all the time, it could be another example of the American voter not liking Trump personally, but finding his policies sensible. Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute admits that the president’s rhetoric is “stupid,” but his foreign policy agenda items are not:
…it’s Trump’s words that are terrible. His policies are, in the main, not. The United States has crushed Russia beneath escalating sanctions, pulled out of the dreadful Iran deal, armed the Ukrainian opposition to Putin, stood up to China’s theft of American intellectual property, actually bombed Syrian chemical-weapons sites, and increased defense spending. Sure, there’s plenty to dislike in Trump’s foreign policy, including his trade wars, his dismissal of allies, his toying with nato, and his Obama-esque desire to skip out of Syria. But his stupid rhetoric masks a mostly normal, if not always sensible or desirable, foreign policy. And Trump’s national-security strategy is at least coherent when compared with the incoherent global retreat embraced by the last administration.
But that’s substance, not feelings. Many in the national-security establishment are mad at Trump. Mad he’s still mad at them, mad he sounds like a fool, mad he brought in Rex Tillerson to screw up the State Department, mad he’s rude to America’s friends—and mad that he’s not interested in sage advice. But mostly, they are mad that Trump just can’t bloody well be bothered to be an adult and do his homework and stop obsessing about Mueller.
For a good part of the Trump-hating right, and those who have publicly parted ways with the right over Trump, among Trump’s greater sins is his own unhinged, egomaniacal rejection of anyone who ever tweeted a bad word about him. And for too many, their response is to mirror the man, crackpot move by crackpot move.
Okay, maybe not the most glowing profile of the president personally, but take it for what it is: Trump has a coherent foreign policy compared to the dithering mess of the Obama years. Maybe we’ll come to appreciate it more once the liberal media becomes less insane. A tall order—I know.