If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
This seems to be the mantra of leftist Democrats and their followers these days, as the frustrated and largely defeated establishment media continues its mission to destroy 2024 GOP frontrunner (and according to them, 2020 election loser) Donald Trump. It’s curious how the people who can’t stop talking about Trump are the same ones who insist he can’t possibly win the upcoming election, and his latest “scandal” is always billed as the one that will ultimately bring him down.
As regularly alluded to in this space and others, Trump is far from perfect and it’s hardly a foregone conclusion that he’s a shoe-in to win the Republican Party’s 2024 nomination for president, but he’s definitely not being hindered – or even slowed -- by his enemies’ herculean effort to be rid of him.
So yes, Democrats and leftists are trying – and not succeeding – so they’re trying and trying and trying again. Last week’s CNN town hall forum was a perfect example of the failure. In an opinion piece titled “Why Trump Can’t Lose” that literally drips with contempt, longtime Republican establishment insider pundit Rich Lowry wrote at Politico Magazine:
“Trump has constructed an impenetrable political force field. In his own telling, he’s strong and a fierce fighter at the same time that he’s a victim — because his adversaries are out to get him since he’s so strong and such a fierce fighter. Pretty much anything that happens fits in one of these two buckets: a validating strength or a validating victimization. All of his administration’s victories, his large rallies, his successful endorsements fall in the first category of confirming Trump’s power.
“The Alvin Bragg indictment — as well as all manner of negative news stories about him, other accusations and impeachments — falls into the second. If Trump weren’t such a threat to the establishment, weren’t on the front lines of the culture war, weren’t a hated figure for everyone Republicans despise and fear, the other side wouldn’t bother to charge him with crimes and otherwise malign him.
“The worse things are for him, the more unfairly he’s being treated, and the more Republicans should feel obligated to rally to his side.”
As is usual for him, Lowry offered some interesting points, but is he right? Does whatever happened to Trump, good or bad, “validate” him?
I’m not sure of the answer, but everything Lowry and his crooked and biased cohorts in the establishment media does tends to advance the greater argument that Trump-hate, or more commonly referred to as Trump Derangement Syndrome, is a very real phenomenon and shows up just in time to do the impossible: make Donald Trump appear to be a victim… or at least a sympathetic character.
As Trump often says when referencing his opponents, “They’re not after me, they’re after YOU.” And he’s right.
Take last Wednesday’s Trump appearance at the CNN town hall in New Hampshire as a prime example. I didn’t see all of the made-for-TV inquisition last week, but I did catch the last half and a brief glimpse of the aftermath when CNN liberal idiot talker Jake Tapper began recapping it by saying “The first lie Trump told came in his first sentence”, or something like that.
What I did see of the forum helped reinforce why Trump remains so popular with his base – and so hated by Democrats and establishment media outlets like CNN. The torpid back-and-forth between Trump and CNN “moderator” Kaitlan Collins demonstrated why the network will likely never again attract conservatives to its programming and also why many, many Republicans are not only giving Trump another shot in their own minds right now, they’re guaranteed to support him in the GOP primaries next year.
“Let him answer the [darn] question!” I found myself repeatedly shouting at the screen, fully realizing that neither the device itself, Trump, Collins, or the audience could hear me – but maybe the neighbors could. Here’s speculating there were millions of like-minded folks conducting this similar type of ritual, so I probably wasn’t alone.
Similar to the infamous Candy Crowley (in the 2012 town hall presidential debate between plastic Mitt Romney and the smooth as silk ultra-liar Barack Obama, where Crowley live fact checked several of Mitt’s answers), Kaitlan Collins arrived at the town hall with her own pre-conceived “correct responses” to hers and the citizens’ questions regarding all of the topics – the 2020 election, Ukraine, abortion, the border wall, the so-called document scandal – so much so that she kept correcting Trump in mid-sentence whenever he said something.
No wonder Trump called her a “nasty person” and said she was “not stupid, but you have an agenda”. Trump’s assessment was being charitable.
The portion of the evening where Collins allowed “real” people to pose questions to the candidate, Trump did very well – he was calm, deferential, complimented the interviewers and mostly stuck to answering their queries about the economy, abortion, the Second Amendment, etc, which didn’t quite portray the type of Trump that CNN’s establishment butt-protecting management wanted to depict, though they probably pulled Collins to the side during a commercial break to compel her to step up the interrogations into Trump’s “lies”.
Again, nothing that Trump said was all that surprising or new. None of the material or quotes or the way Trump made his signature hand gestures or phrased his responses should have been unanticipated to the CNN powers-that-be or Democrats in general. This was the same Donald Trump we saw in 2015/16 and the never-give-in president America loved or despised in his first term.
Yet Collins and CNN still weren’t willing to let Trump articulate his thoughts on the issues. If this were senile Joe Biden, they would’ve just rolled over and let him babble falsehoods about son Hunter “never doing anything wrong” or that the Afghanistan pullout was handled cleanly and efficiently. Or more bull crap about “climate change” and the need to save the planet with electric cars, or that abortion is “reproductive healthcare” instead of murder and “birthing humans” must be permitted to “make a decision with their doctor” in private without limits.
Maybe it was because Trump looked pretty fit – seemingly having lost weight from his final days in the White House and clearly rested from the non-strain of having to endlessly defend himself from the daily onslaught of media sleaze… oh yeah, he still has to do it all the time. Scratch that.
In essence, by continually interrupting Trump and “converting” his answers into CNN-speak, Collins effectively handed Trump another free hour-long campaign commercial. If the CNN lords are so certain (along with their pals at MSNBC, NPR, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.) that Trump is a liar and a cretin, why wouldn’t they just allow the well informed (cough, cough) American public decide for themselves?
Or why would they see it as vitally necessary to correct Trump in mid-sentence if the public is already irreversibly sold on the 2020 election being legitimate? Why? Why? Because they hoped to distract the viewer away from his other ideas, namely on how best to fix the problems created by crusty senile Joe Biden – the sputtering economy, the open southern border with Mexico, the fentanyl epidemic, the fact the U.S. is dumping hundreds of billions of dollars into Ukraine (for what benefit?) and last but not least, the Biden family’s corruption and criminality.
Or was the unfair grilling, as Lowry hinted in his piece, just another Trump-ian claim of being “validated” by criticism and disrespect in front of an interested national audience?
As one gathers by regularly reading Rich Lowry’s columns, he is no Donald Trump fan. Lowry is the longtime editor-in-chief of National Review, a publication that once commanded deep admiration in conservative circles, but basically “left the reservation” once the populist-inspired Trump candidacy caught fire eight years ago. NRO’s stable of writers, including Lowry, Kevin Williamson, Jonah Goldberg, David French, George Will (and others) must’ve all attended the same #NeverTrump staff meeting, because they bashed Trump as not “presidential” and haven’t let-up since.
It's this kind of implicit bias from the establishment media that “validates” Trump’s claim of “victimhood”, not the actions of the various liberal prosecutors who pursue any insinuation that the former president did something wrong.
You don’t have to be a huge Trump fan to recognize the smear-job the anti-Trumpers are try, try, trying again to persuade voters that Trump’s a megalomaniac who’s only in it for himself. That’s why there’s an all-out media war on Trump. And they’re losing, hence the desperation of CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and others when Trump performs well in a “neutral” forum.
As the CNN show went on, I wondered whether Trump would ever agree to take part in another one of these off-network programs if he believes the “moderator” is bent on grilling him on stupid topics voters don’t care about. It’s a shame, really.
It only makes sense that the liberal establishment media will keep trying to make conservative and Republican candidates look cruel, heartless, mean-spirited and foolish by luring them into an environment largely controlled by haters. Donald Trump did something he usually avoids – appear on CNN – the other night, and it’s not clear whether he’d ever let them try it again.
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