One of my rationalizations for preferring Trump to Hillary was that the press would be so hostile to him that he would be forever scrutinized. Hillary’s greatest flaws and mistakes would be rationalized and marginalized by media sycophants.
That has pretty much been the outcome, although the hostility has been so virile that it has clouded their judgment, sacrificed their journalistic standards, and neutered their effectiveness. The media has lost respect with erroneous stories that had to be publicly repudiated. CNN had to correct four stories critical of Trump in the span of less than two weeks. How can they hold Trump accountable for his falsehoods, when they have so many of their own?
Meanwhile Hillary’s effort to remain in the public eye has only reminded voters why they rejected her.
Trump’s boorish behavior, his reckless tweets, his rejection or ignorance of diplomatic nuances, and his callous rejection of precedent and protocol have caused many on the left to question his sanity. His reckless style has obscured the substance of his actions. ISIS is defeated on the battlefield, Jerusalem is recognized, court positions are filled with originalists, North Korea is marginalized, the tax cut is adding strength to the economy, black unemployment is at a record low, and regulations are finally meeting resistance. There are problems, but even with the failure to address the ACA, this is impressive for the first year, especially with the level of hostility he has faced with the press. Cabinet officials are reorienting agencies to pragmatic achievements over ideological virtue signaling with few identifiable results.
Obama was cool, calm, engaging, charismatic and measured in his responses. His charm also obscured his disappointing record. Are we so enamored with style and personality that we ignore the policy successes and failures? The media may be, but the public may have more depth on the subject that we allow.
What if sanity was questioned based on substance instead of style?
Charlie Gasparino answers this question in The New York Post in On the economy, Trump has been crazy like a fox:
And since so many of my fellow journalists are at it, let me do a little psychoanalysis of what an economically insane person might do as president.
An insane president would threaten a significant tax increase immediately upon taking office following a financial crisis, and then eventually impose one on individuals and small businesses still in recovery.
He’d impose job-crushing regulations on these same businesses as unemployment rose. He’d put a cumbersome mandate on businesses that upends the entire health care system just as the economy was finally turning a corner.
A really insane president would blow nearly $1 trillion on a stimulus plan with little planning and direction, wasting much of the money on boondoggles (see: Solyndra) and then laugh at the lack of “shovel ready” jobs created. He’d then try to spread his delusion to the masses, telling them to ignore historically low wage growth, anemic economic growth and the massive amount of people who dropped out of the work force because the stock market rallied, thanks in large part to the Fed printing money instead of his own fiscal policies.
Is Barack Obama crazy? No, but his post-2008 economic policies were. Are all Trump’s tweets sane? No, but smart investors with lots of skin in the game think his policies are perfectly rational, and that’s why the markets are soaring along with the prospect of economic growth.