Because personal dueling with journalists, celebrities, and politicians is not only becoming superfluous, but it is now distracting Trump’s audiences from a growing record of achievement.
Nine months ago, critics left and right were writing off Trump as an irrelevant buffoon without a clue of what to do in the White House. They predicted perennial sloth and inaction.
Not now. Trump’s Cabinet and judicial appointments, executive orders, and deregulation measures are systematically overturning the progressive Obama project.
Abroad, the Trump national-security team has recalibrated U.S. foreign policy from an apologetic recessional to engaged, principled realism.
Republican politicians once grumbled about the utopian Paris climate accord but never thought of doing much about it. Trump, like him or hate him, summarily withdrew America from the agreement — and shrugged off the ensuing green outrage.
Members of Congress occasionally expressed support for the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel — but on the expectation that no barnstorming candidate would ever dare to officially recognize Jerusalem as such if elected president.
Prior to 2017, conventional economic wisdom dictated that the Dow Jones industrial average would not soon climb above 22,000, that the unemployment rate in peacetime could not fall to 4 percent, and that the GDP could not grow at an annual rate of 3 percent. All those shibboleths have either been blown up or may yet be blown up in 2018.
Trump is no longer written off by the Left as a sleepy dud. Instead, he suddenly is being redefined by many of his progressive enemies as a dangerous workaholic and right-wing revolutionary.
Never-Trump Republicans no longer insist that Trump is a liberal Manhattan wolf in conservative sheep’s clothing. Grudgingly, they now confess that he is ramming through a conservative agenda not seen since the days of their heartthrob, Ronald Reagan.
In other words, Trump’s record speaks louder than his tweets and now transcends his electronic spats.
The daily spectacle threatens to destroy the party but only if we as Republicans allow it to. Fortunately the Roy Moore debacle is behind us. Let the Democrats think they are winning.
It’s all lining up. Democrats have an 11-point edge over Republicans in the generic congressional ballot. The president’s approval rating is barely scraping 37 percent. Nearly six in 10 Americanssay the United States is on the “wrong track.”Isn’t revenge in 2018 starting to taste sweet — and 2020 even sweeter?
Don’t bet on it. Democrats are making the same mistakes Republicans made when they inhabited their own house of outrage, back in 1998.
You remember. The year of the wagged finger and the stained blue dress. Of a president who abused women, lied about it, and used his power to bomb other countries so he could distract from his personal messes. Of a special prosecutor whose investigation overstepped its original bounds. Of half the country in a moral fever to impeach. Of the other half determined to dismiss sexual improprieties, defend a democratically elected leader and move on with the business of the country.
Oh, also the year in which the Dow Jones industrial average jumped by 16 percent, the unemployment rate fell to a 28-year low, and Democrats gained seats in Congress. Bill Clinton, as we all know, survived impeachment and left office with a strong economic record and a 66-percent approval rating.
If nothing else, 1998 demonstrated the truth of the unofficial slogan on which Clinton had first run for president: It’s the economy, stupid. Prosperity trumps morality. The wealth effect beats the yuck factor. That may not have held true in Moore’s defeat, but it’s not every day that an alleged pedophile runs for office. Even so, he damn well nearly won.