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It was March 2016 when Pickerhead finally came to realize Donald Trump had a chance to become a good president. Here’s what Pickings had to say then.
“These pages have not been friendly to the Trump campaign. We started June 22, 2015, then again July 29th, Aug 18th, and for half the post of Sept. 15th. So, we have anti-Trump bona fides. But, a self-serving speech by the foolish Mitt Romney made it plain Pickings was wrong. Listening to Mitt, one wanted to ask, “Where was this passion four years ago?”
For decades Donald Trump has made himself into a caricature of our expectations. But long exposure makes plain there is substance to the man. First off, we have his children. If the private man was truly the bombastic creep we see so often, his children would be emotional basket cases. That they are squared away people gives us a view behind the curtain. And he has enough success in business to provide belief that out of the public’s view the business operating Trump is rational and able to secure the loyalty of qualified competent senior and middle managers. If not, these people would not hang around.
It is not too much of a stretch to think a Trump presidency could perform with Trumanesque results. Certainly, he could not do worse than the folks with sterling résumés that are the empty suits in our present Cabinet. Compare them to the giants in the Truman Cabinet.”
Now that Trump has been in office more than a year we can begin to take stock. Victor Davis Hanson starts us off with his review of Conrad Black’s book Donald Trump: A President Like No Other.
Conrad Black’s erudite biography of Donald J. Trump is different from the usual in mediis rebus accounts of first-year presidents. He avoids the Bob Woodward fly-on-the-wall unattributed anecdote, and “they say” gossip mongering. Nor is the book a rush-to-publish product from former insiders of the Trump campaign or administration. Instead, Black, a prolific and insightful historian, adopts the annalistic method in carefully tracing Trump’s earliest years in business through his various commercial misadventures, financial recoveries, and sometimes wild antics. Black’s aim is to illustrate how much of what Trump has done since announcing his presidential candidacy in summer 2015 is hardly mysterious. Instead, Trump’s methods are fully explicable by what he has always done in the past—in the sometimes troubling, but more often reassuring, sense.
Black is neither a hagiographer nor an ankle-biter. He seeks to understand Trump within the three prominent landscapes in which Americans had come to know their new president: politics, the celebrity world, and the cannibalistic arena of high-stakes Manhattan real estate and finance. …
… Black knows what it is like to be targeted by an overzealous prosecutor, and how the criminal justice system can be warped well before the advent of a formal trial. For Black, the yearlong and heretofore mostly empty pursuit of Trump the supposed colluder, then Trump the purported obstructer, is in some sad sense the logical trajectory of the American criminal justice system that gives federal prosecutors unchecked power, especially when driven by political agendas amplified by the tabloid press. Few of us have ever had a Robert Mueller hounding us 24/7, with partisan lawyers, opportune leaks, and false news fueling his inquisition. …
John Podhoretz has a brief look at the Middle East.
So it has happened. The American embassy in Israel is now in Jerusalem, moving from Tel Aviv 70 years to the day the Jewish state came into being and 22 years since U.S. law declared it would move.
Richard Haass, who runs the Council on Foreign Relations, this morning tweeted that the Embassy move was an iatrogenic mistake—iatrogenesis meaning a disease you catch from treating another. Well, that’s fast. There’s no evidence whatever there is any new disease. In fact, there is evidence of diseases healing all over the place.
Last week Arab states expressed support for Israel’s bombing raids on Iranian positions in Syria. I doubt Haass expected to see such a thing before the creation of a Palestinian state. Instead, what we’re seeing is Arab states apparently abandoning their insistence on a Palestinian state as the sine qua non for any relationship with Israel. …
Even the insufferable David Brooks sends Trump a backhanded compliment in his latest column.
We’re all educated by our peers, and, over the years, a good portion of Donald Trump’s peers have been thugs. Operating in the New York construction world meant dealing with S&A Concrete, co-owned by “Fat Tony” Salerno of the Genovese crime family, and John Cody, the notorious head of Teamsters Local 282, who was convicted on racketeering and tax evasion charges.
Building casinos in Atlantic City brought Trump into similarly genteel circles. …
… And yet I can’t help but wonder if that kind of background has provided a decent education for dealing with the sort of hopped-up mobsters running parts of the world today. There is growing reason to believe that Donald Trump understands the thug mind a whole lot better than the people who attended our prestigious Foreign Service academies. …
… The first piece of evidence is North Korea. When Trump was trading crude, back-alley swipes with “Little Rocket Man,” Kim Jong-un, about whose nuclear button was bigger, it sounded as if we were heading for a nuclear holocaust led by a pair of overgrown prepubescents.
In fact, Trump’s bellicosity seems to have worked. It’s impossible to know how things will pan out, but the situation with North Korea today is a lot better than it was six months ago. …
Brooks closes with assurances he has not gone over to the dark side.
… Please don’t take this as an endorsement of the Trump foreign policy. I’d feel a lot better if Trump showed some awareness of the complexity of the systems he’s disrupting, and the possibly cataclysmic unintended consequences. But there is some lizard wisdom here. The world is a lot more like the Atlantic City real estate market than the G.R.E.s.
Willie Brown, California Democrat grey beard, says if the Dems want to prevail in November, they better do more than bash the Trumpster.
It’s time for the Democrats to stop bashing President Trump.
It’s not going to be easy, given his policies and personality. It might even mean checking into a 12-step program. But setting a winning agenda is like maneuvering an aircraft carrier. It takes time to change course. And if they want to be on target for the November midterm elections, the Democrats need to start changing course now.
Like it or not, a significant number of Americans are actually happy these days. They are making money. They feel safe, and they agree with with the president’s protectionist trade policies, his call for more American jobs, even his immigration stance.
The jobs growth reports, the North Korea summit and the steady economy are beating out the Stormy Daniels scandal and the Robert Mueller investigation in Middle America, hands down. …