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Opinion

Donald Trump Is Having a Very Good Run

By all accounts, this is the best of time for Donald Trump since he took office as president. During the last week, he cut a deal with Canada and Mexico which, though criticized by his opponents, was apparently endorsed by union representatives. He also got great economic news when the government announced unemployment is lower than it’s been since man landed on the moon. Finally, he got the man the GOP desperately wanted—an aging frat boy who still likes beer, Brett Kavanaugh—seated as a junior justice on the Supreme Court.

A small sliver of justice, but Kavanaugh as the junior member must serve Ruth Bader Ginsburg her coffee when she wants it. Trump can now argue (and with some validity) that he has done more for this country in the last two years than some have done in four or eight. And yet some would argue he has done more to this country.It is also the worst of times for President Trump, for within his own success lies the potential for his greatest defeats. Cue Kanye West, who came to lunch with Trump on Tuesday to discuss “manufacturing resurgence in America, prison reform, how to prevent gang violence and what can be done to reduce violence in Chicago.”

West’s previously unknown diplomatic, economic and social justice abilities aside, Trump really only wants to be seen with people who love and shower him with blatant affection, for he is a ruffian in demeanor and in tastes. Ostentatious without apology and condescending and negative to those who don’t drop to their knees in fealty, he nonetheless can count several good deeds for all of us in this country.
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So why do so many people seem so angry with Trump? Why, for so many people, does it feel as if someone put frosting on a dog turd and served it to us as cake? Good economy? They’ll argue it began under President Obama and that deficit spending will ruin us. Tariffs will destroy us. A signed deal with North Korea? You can’t trust that country. Trade deals with Mexico and Canada? It’s nothing but a warmed-over NAFTA deal with a new name.

But with a little less than a month before the midterm elections, it appears Trump has never flown higher. The jovial atmosphere at the White House on Monday night for the ceremonial confirmation party for Kavanaugh seemed to justify everything the president has done up until this point—at least to those in the president’s inner circle tribe. The Democrats may be screaming about a Blue Wave, but no one at the White House seems outwardly worried about it. “Winning!” has come back into fashion at the White House.

Cold Turkey has got the Democrats on the run, to steal a John Lennon quote. Contrast this to just a few weeks ago when I shouted on the South Lawn at the president “Who is in charge?” after an anonymous op-ed piece appeared in The New York Times, claiming there were adults inside the administration actively working to suppress the president’s baser instincts. Trump has faced and lived through scandals up until this point that would surely fell lesser men.
Instead of hosting Kanye at the White House for a lunch to discuss the issues, I implore you to invite Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to the White House. I don’t suspect you’ll do it.
The EPA scandals, the Betsy DeVos scandals, his own problems with “collusion” with the Russian hackers—any of this would be a lethal dose of arsenic to someone else. Yet, there was Trump on Monday flying out of the White House with Rod Rosenstein in tow, the man responsible for the Mueller investigation. The president? Seemingly not a care in the world except to say “no collusion,” as if he were a “Chatty Cathy” doll and someone pulled his string.

“The man is like an alley cat,” bewildered Democrats have said of his ability to survive scandals. “He’s immune to his own poison,” others have said. Senator Mitch McConnell says the recent Kavanaugh hearings have energized the GOP base and Senator Lindsey Graham has sworn vengeance upon the Democrats for holding up their “very good man” Kavanaugh. By all accounts, it is a “win for now,” as some have said about the Kavanaugh confirmation. Or, as Trump said about his accusers, “It was a disgraceful situation brought about by people who are evil.”

Some are waiting with trepidation and some with anticipation for the other shoe to drop. Trump, after winning Kavanaugh’s nomination, called the accusations against the newest Supreme Court Justice “a hoax.” This is the high note of the Trump administration.

Monday night at the White House, Trump hosted a party/rally to celebrate and gloat some more over his recent achievement. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is known for the New Deal and “A day that will live in infamy.” Truman dropped the bomb. Eisenhower warned about the growing military industrial complex. Kennedy engaged us in new frontiers. Johnson fought for civil rights. Nixon, on the other hand, burdened us with Watergate. Jimmy Carter couldn’t find five helicopters to work in order to free the hostages. Rasta Ronnie Raygun wanted to “Tear down that wall” while George Herbert Walker Bush decried Reagan’s “voodoo” economics. Clinton never had sexual relations with that woman, George W. Bush had problems with hanging chads and Barack Obama bailed us out of a financial crisis brought to us by Bush, Dick Cheney and company.

Trump? He will go down in history for tilting the Supreme Court strongly to the right with no trepidation and no worry about calling a woman who only wished to do her civic duty “evil.” It is Trump’s own gloating and gleeful debasement of those he doesn’t like that most harm him and taint any of his administration’s accomplishments.
At the end of the day, Donald Trump has turned the entire Republican party into a bunch of grumpy old white men screaming, “You get off my lawn!” Their victories seem to portend a misogyny heretofore unseen after the beginning of the Renaissance. The president’s sins include debasing women, the press, his own intelligence community, the Department of Justice, Democrats, scientists, teachers, NFL players, legal and illegal immigrants, refugees, children, minorities, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, The New York Times and everyone who doesn’t agree with him.

Instead of hosting Kanye at the White House for a lunch to discuss the issues, I implore you to invite Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to the White House. Listen to her and what she has to say without the glare of the cameras, without the divisive and brittle nature of tribalism that is consuming the country. I don’t suspect you’ll do it. I don’t expect she would accept such an invitation.

Mr. President, there are those who will vilify me or you for the mere suggestion of such a meeting. But true victories are won by leaders willing to bridge gaps and take chances. The “united” part of the United States seems to be irrevocably broken. Our president presides over a fractured nation led by a party that flouts its disdain for the rule of law, openly courts misogyny, loathes immigrants and shows its contempt for a free press every day. These are the best of times for Donald Trump. It is the worst of times for Donald Trump. The midterm elections are upon us.

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