Trump is all that matters

Well, to Donald Trump, at least.  I love the Frank Bruni email newsletter, though I wish it were actually on-line at the same time it goes out to email.  So, you’ll have to trust that I’m copying and pasting accurately, as this is only the link to sign-up for it.  Anyway, loved this part of Bruni’s SOTU take:

I was struck, for example, by this snippet of the president’s remarks: “An economic miracle is taking place in the United States — and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations.”

Hmmm, ridiculous partisan investigations. That immediately brought to mind President Nixon’s statement, during his State of the Union speech in 1974, that “one year of Watergate is enough.” Obviously, Nixon couldn’t wish his troubles away. I suspect Trump can’t, either.

But his “economic miracle” argument boldly confirms his worldview and character. He’s basically saying: I’m an agent of prosperity — what else could matter? Would you really let ethics mess with money?

He wouldn’t and, in his own life, hasn’t, and it’s a facet of his narcissism that he expects others to make the same calculation.  [emphases mine]

He keeps coming back to this theme. In an interview with Bloomberg last August, he expressed doubt that Congress could impeach “somebody that’s doing a great job.” He made an identical claim in comments to reporters outside the White House in early January.

His “great job” seems always to boil down to wage growth, low unemployment and other economic indicators; how much credit he deserves for these is very open to dispute. But leaving that aside, is material comfort everything? No matter the route and no matter the person at the helm? And is it likely to last under the watch of someone so rash that he presided over the longest shutdown of the federal government in history? Interesting how that shutdown wasn’t expressly mentioned in Tuesday night’s speech.

Also, has any president so readily given himself such expansive compliments? I’ll never get used to that, nor to his zest for denigrating everyone else.

Good stuff.  Of course, it’s not actually very much open to dispute.  It is eminently clear that Trump is just riding a wave that started with Obama.  Drum has posted chart after chart that is pretty much this:


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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