Saturday, July 06, 2019

Scared Straight

If you're looking for naif of the week, you need look no further than CNN's Stephen Collinson, who in the early hours of July 5 wrote

Donald Trump was as good as his word Thursday: He saluted America.

In one of the least polarizing speeches of his presidency, Trump paid tribute to America's armed forces at a July Fourth appearance before the Lincoln Memorial in Washington that unfolded amid stormy skies and criticism that he was politicizing the nation's Independence Day celebrations....

As warplanes roared overhead and the jumbo jet used as Air Force One performed a rare flyover over the National Mall, Trump spoke as critics accused him of exploiting the nation's birthday party for his own political ends in an event he had dubbed "A Salute to America." Trump's speech lacked the partisan rhetoric of his rallies. But the event nevertheless bolstered the President's narrative that he is a strong commander in chief and a decisive leader....

Collinson claimed "the outrage stirred over his plans among the Washington media and establishment reinforced the President's position as a scourge of the East Coast establishment." More accurately, the President's speech spurred another opportunity for media to misinterpret Donald Trump's character.
In the months after McCain was diagnosed with cancer, President Trump criticized him twice. The Senator died in August of 2016, but that didn't stop Trump:

He complained about the deceased, again, three days later. 

Trump did so because that's how Trump rolls. He is defended, by supporters and even a few critics, as a "counter-puncher." But Donald Trump is no counter-puncher. He is a puncher. Labeling him a "counter-puncher" is crediting him with holding his fire until and unless he is criticized. The myth is perpetuated that he is only defending himself. 

Fortunately, one Trump critic has him figured out, unafraid to point out
At least we scared him straight in his speech.  The President backed off and gave a fairly tepid, albeit bad, speech because he was intimidated by pre-Independence Day criticism. That's how it is with people like Trump. Bullies bully and are bullied.

And it's something House Democrats, especially Ways and Means Committee chairperson Neal and Speaker Pelosi, should consider when they continue to slow-walk even consideration of impeachment.

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