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Monday, December 25, 2017

"His yuge ego is the worst thing about his presidency"

First, merry Christmas. I spent time with family this Christmas, and contemplated the birth of Christ and the travails of Joseph and Mary. There was a story in the Daily Mail about a miracle baby born the size and weight of a can of soda who finally went home for Christmas. And it snowed in Poca. We woke up to an unexpected snowfall that just covered the grass, and melted decently by afternoon.

But along with the "over-reaction figure" of The Donald (and a phone call from a loved one half a world away) my best present was the realization by Trump's critics that, hey, maybe he is getting the job done.

Trump's critics have a point. I separate them from the crybaby liberals and the get-off-my-lawn Never Trumpers.

These critics had doubts, and I respect the Doubting Thomas because they do not have blind faith one way or another. Skepticism is healthy, and I encourage it.

In linking my piece, "Trump Is Checking Off Hugh Hewitt’s List" -- and thanks for doing so -- Glenn Reynolds wrote:
Trump is turning out to be considerably more conservative in office than he ever was as a public figure. And while he’s no libertarian, with his judicial appointments and deregulation, he’s more libertarian than any recent GOP president or nominee.
Not to mention his tax cuts.

I understand the difficulty that some people had in voting for him. They had to hold their nose and cross their fingers that he would not bring the end to civilization.

But after a year of the Trump presidency (he went right to work the day after we elected him) smart people -- those wise enough to be reluctant -- are pleased with the substance, even if they hate the style.

I like the style, but it is not for everyone. Hot Air quoted a Trump tweet and invited comment.

From Trump:
People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again. I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!
This prompted a comment from John Allcott:
Trump "proud"? I'm shocked, SHOCKED!
His yuge ego is the worst thing about his presidency.
And God himself opposes he proud, as the Scriptures say repeatedly.
While Trump's policies and appointments have been generally very good, his pride-generated personal behavior has often been embarrassing.
I see Allcott's point on pride -- it is a deadly sin -- but if Trump's boasting and tweets are the worst you can come up with, well, that is an admission that you have one hell of a president.

And you do.

Ben Shapiro listed 15 things he liked about Trump's presidency, and 14 Shapiro did not like. All 15 good things were policy decisions and accomplishments. Only seven of the 14 bad things were about his policies or lack of accomplishments. The rest were personality conflicts.

From Shapiro:
As you’ll notice, Trump’s accomplishments aren’t minimal — and a huge number of his setbacks are self-made and rhetorical. All of which demonstrates why Trump is beloved by his base but carries an approval rating of 35%, the lowest approval rating of any president at this point in modern American history (every other president since Kennedy was above 50%, except for Reagan in 1981, who clocked in at 49%).
If Trump could just curb his own appetite for the spotlight and stop feeling the need to sound off like a commenter on Breitbart on every issue, he’d be in much more solid position to keep winning on the issues Americans care about.
If he can't, he'll continue to polarize Americans, drive young voters away from him, and help lead to losses in the Congress that will prevent him from winning — and may prevent his re-election, too. Rhetoric matters when you're the president, contrary to popular conservative opinion, and Trump should remember that. In fact, he should know that better than anyone else: he's a salesman first, and he's not selling himself or his accomplishments. That's a mistake he should work to rectify, if it's not too late.
So he is getting the job done, but is noisy about it.

Good point. Duly noted.

And dismissed as irrelevant.

Or more precisely, dismissed as missing the point.

President Trump is not just about wonky things but he is about the culture, too.

And that makes people uncomfortable because while they know conservatism is the American way of running the government, they are not so sure that they can take on the cultural bullies and win.

They question whether taking on the NFL or saying Merry Christmas are worth the price paid.

I ask why not? He is taking a nightly pummeling from a half-dozen scolds on late-night television. Why not punch back, or at least try to set the agenda?

The NFL kneeling once was noble. Black players were saying Black Lives Matter, and no one was willing to protest the protest and risk being called racist.

Trump came along, made it about him, and now it is OK to protest the protest.

I trust Hewitt, Reynolds, Shapiro, and others will continue in 2018 to look at President Trump with eyes wide open, and an open mind. They are valued members to the conservative cause.

The real ones, not the Never Trump kind.

@@@

Please enjoy my two books about the press and how it missed the rise of Donald Trump.

The first was "Trump the Press," which covered his nomination.

The second was "Trump the Establishment," which covered his election.

To order autographed copies, write DonSurber@GMail.com.

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As always, Make America Great Again.

28 comments:

  1. Leave us not forget, as the above tweet proves, we now have the hottest FLOTUS ever, one that puts even the sainted Jackie Kennedy to shade. Yowza!!!
    ---Fred

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  2. LOOK! SQUIRREL! Yes, President Trump is a bit "noisy," but that is his signature method of distracting attention with one hand while simultaneously making substantial accomplishments with his other hand. As far as I'm concerned, MOAR COWBELL! - Elric

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    Replies
    1. Frankly, I don't give a dam* what the "tea and crumpet" DC insiders think about his style. This President is NOT going to be silent like GWB. Oh, how they would like to sit back, criticize every move of his with no repercussion.

      Delete
  3. When you're the last one standing it isn't boasting, it's just commentary on the score.

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  4. And, of course, Obama didn't have an outsized opinion of himself; no, not at all. Completely ego-less; like, TOtally, mannnnnnnnnnnnnn.

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    Replies
    1. Mine too, Felix. Great post, Sam! These psuedocons STILL don't understand that we in the know see through their double standards. Show me a Ben Shapiro column that focused on The Uber Narcissism of The Black Jesus, and maybe I'll change my mind.

      Delete
  5. Trump's ego? Remember when THE WON said that he'd be remembered for healing the planet, ending climate change, and stopping the rise of the oceans? So glad the Faculty Lounge Warrior is out of the White House.

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  6. As Scott Adams predicted in the summer - by years end people would be saying that President Trump is getting things done, but they don't like it.

    This does not make Scott Adams a guru. It's been said for decades that this is how change comes about. Andrew Young used to quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Goes something like this:

    o First they say your crazy.

    o They call you a tyrant. Autocrat. Etc.

    o At some point they admit you have a point, but you're going too fast.

    o As the change begins to hit and make things better - they admit you are accomplishing things, but don't like it.

    o Finally they admit that things are better, but question why you did it the way you did it.

    This works for everything from making social changes in society, to Bill Belichick turning around a morbid football franchise, to successfully raising children, to accomplishing anything else in life.

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  7. Criticism of a leader is a way of demonstrating, or trying to demonstrate, one's own superiority. My take is that if the likes of Shapiro defended Trump half as much as he has to without them, his rhetoric would go from being bad cop all the time to being a bit of good cop. This is unlikely to happen. So what we are seeing will probably be the status quo.

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  8. As usual the Zman has the goods on little ben shapiro http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=12172

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  9. "They question whether taking on the NFL or saying Merry Christmas are worth the price paid."

    Conservatives are always terrified that there will be some price to pay. So they always surrender. And they get stuck paying the price of defeat. Every. Goddamn. Time.

    Trump is evidently smarter than conservatives. This is no bad thing.

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    Replies
    1. Mainstream Conservative are the same as the boys in high school that talk all day and night about taking a girl to bed. And when one shows any interest they tell their friends what's wrong with her and go scurrying back home to mom.

      Delete
    2. You're right. The Conservatives get to DC and cower in the corner.

      Delete
  10. This country was in desperate need of in your face truth and reality.And fixing. President Trump is delivering in spades. And dragging the swamp along as they dig in their heels.And the swamp and the vermin in our society are self destructing.

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  11. I read Glenn Reynolds every day. I'm t sure how he voted, but he's far more supportive of PDT than the other two. Glenn is a libertarian so I'm sure he uses that filter to judge PDT, but he doesn't belong on the same list as the other two.

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  12. From Foreign Policy via the conservative blog Zero Hedge:

    The United States of America Is Decadent and Depraved

    The problem isn’t Donald Trump – it’s the Donald Trump in all of us...


    We cannot blame everything on Donald Trump, much though we might want to. In the decadent stage of the Roman Empire, or of Louis XVI’s France, or the dying days of the Habsburg Empire so brilliantly captured in Robert Musil’s The Man Without Qualities, decadence seeped downward from the rulers to the ruled. But in a democracy, the process operates reciprocally. A decadent elite licenses degraded behavior, and a debased public chooses its worst leaders. Then our Nero panders to our worst attributes — and we reward him for doing so.

    “Decadence,” in short, describes a cultural, moral, and spiritual disorder — the Donald Trump in us.

    Trump functions as the impudent id of this culture of mass contempt. Of course he has legitimized the language of xenophobia and racial hatred, but he has also legitimized the language of selfishness.

    1st Zero Hedge Commenter:

    RawPawg Dec 25, 2017 3:08 PM

    The problem isn’t Donald Trump – it’s the Donald Trump in all of us...

    "Don't You Put That Evil On Me, Ricky Bobby"

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    Replies
    1. Wow. Wisdom from a Zero Hedge commenter.

      Steve in Greensboro

      Delete
  13. “he went right to work the day after we elected him”

    You can sit on your hands and do nothing.

    Or you can hit the ground running and at least TRY to do something worthwhile.

    Guess which one get you the “Good and faithful servant” accolade?

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  14. Trump has to boast about WH accomplishments. It's the only way Americans hear about it.

    The media embargoes everything positive about him, his administration, and this country.

    His upcoming SOTU Address is going to be a doozy, I can promise you that.

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  15. I agree with almost everything in this essay (and your others as well), but Ben Shapiro is not a "valued member of the conservative cause" -- at least not for this conservative.

    Steve in Greensboro

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    Replies
    1. They are not conservatives, they are whores.
      Name one thing these b@$+@rds have conserved.

      Delete
  16. Sure is a good thing obozo was so incredibly humble and had such awesome ego control.

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  17. I think it's hilarious whenever a Republican lectures Donald Trump on how to get popular support. Now, add that the lecture is being given by the squeaky-voiced beta-male Ben Shapiro, and it becomes a prime-time comedy hour all by itself.

    My advice to Mr. Shapiro is, before he lectures Trump on how not to repel young people, is to figure out how not to repel young people himself. Or were those riots at college campuses where he was supposed to speak actually vows of fealty?

    My advice to Ben is simple:

    1. Shut up about Trump.
    2. Get some voice coaching. Try to lower your voice by about an octave.

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  18. "he’s no libertarian" is one of the reasons I voted for him.

    He isn't into weird, quasi-Lefty policy ideas and he fights back.

    Two things that mark most Libertarians.

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  19. Trump is the ultimate showman, but he would not have been as successful in life as he has been were he not a more complex and nuanced thinker than the coarse language of his tweets suggests. I prefer less sound and fury from the POTUS, but not if it means less action than the nation needs. And i would not for a second trade the noisy Trump for the "dignified" Obama who did, as we are starting to learn, his many illegal dirty deeds in the quiet of the night.

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  20. I do think trump has a big ego and pride, but I'm here to tell you, so did obama. He was well known to be very arrogant and condescending, and he has even acknowledged it. I saw him say it in an interview. So let's stop acting like DJR invented ego in a president. Who rises to that level and doesn't have a big ego?

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  21. Don
    As you can tell from the comments.You need to change this"I trust Hewitt, Reynolds, Shapiro, and others will continue in 2018 to look at President Trump with eyes wide open, and an open mind. They are valued members to the conservative cause.".Take Hewitt and Shapiro out and leave Reynolds.You actually think POTUS only has a 35% approval,really.

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