I hope everyone has a great evening!
Thank you for reading White House Dossier in 2019 — and thanks to many of you for reading for many years before that. Next year, with the Senate trial and the presidential campaign, promises to be one of the most fascinating political years ever. But with President Trump, they are all pretty fascinating. That, I think, everyone agrees on.
I wish all of you a great 2020.
President Trump is playing the Democrats quite nicely, and the result is that the hearings have only solidified his support. Democrats have moved the needle not one bit, and things are only going to get worse for them.
From an opinion piece I have running today on the NBC News website:
The public phase of the House impeachment proceedings, which President Donald Trump’s critics predicted would finally begin his removal, or at least his political destruction, instead became a dry run for his 2020 re-election campaign. Trump emerged from the first set of hearings most likely headed for impeachment in the House of Representatives and exoneration in the Senate. But they also proved that his favorite tactics still work and are ready to be deployed relentlessly during next year’s presidential race.
Trump will likely continue to sear the Washington establishment and the bureaucracy — which seems unaware it is far less popular with the public than it is with itself.
Trump will likely continue to sear the Washington establishment and the bureaucracy — which seems unaware it is far less popular with the public than it is with itself. He will deploy his usual vivid character assassination against opponents, skillfully highlighting any questionable behavior that might suggest they deserve it.
He will also undoubtably issue more charges that the media has cast aside any pretense of objectivity, instead delivering “fake news.” He seems prepared to use all this to ignite his base, which he will spend less time “expanding,” as the experts constantly counsel, and more time getting supporters to the polls on Election Day.
After weeks of sequestered run-throughs, Trump’s impeachment show finally opened Nov. 14 in Capitol Hill’s grandest theater, the cavernous assembly room usually used by the Ways and Means Committee, for a series of matinee performances. The featured witnesses recited the narrative of how Trump withheld aid from Ukraine in what Democrats said was a quid pro quo — later revised by some lawmakers as “bribery” when that line seemed to fall flat — in exchange for investigations of his political opponents. Dialogue from Trump himself was cited, albeit as overheard by an eavesdropper on a phone call.
You can check out the rest of the article here.
From a piece I have running on the “Think” section of the NBC News website:
Among the most enviable and least recognized qualities of a presidential candidate is something they share with lottery winners and bowling champions: a talent for dumb luck. And for those politicians blessed with this wholly undeserved and unearned gift, the most valuable form of it, the lucky break coveted over all others, is a lousy opponent.
President Donald Trump demonstrated such talent in abundance in 2016 when he faced the widely despised Hillary Clinton. For anyone who had trouble voting for Trump because of various concerns about his character, the alternative of punching a chad for Clinton made things much easier.
Trump looks all set to get lucky again once Democrats decide which of the current forlorn crop of candidates they want as their nominee in 2020. One, Andrew Yang, stooped so low during Thursday night’s Democratic debate in Houston that he decided to start buying votes, saying his campaign would shell out $1,000 a month for a year to 10 families.
Trump is but the latest in a history of presidential candidates bestowed by fortune with the perfect foil.
Ronald Reagan had Walter Mondale, who promised to raise taxes, the political equivalent of a hockey team putting the goalie on offense. George H.W. Bush had Michael Dukakis, a diminutive, robotic individual who offered a dispassionate answer about the death penalty when asked about his wife being raped and murdered and who staged a ludicrous photo op swallowed up by an M1 Abrams tank.
This is not to say Trump won’t earn the presidency. Or that he did not in 2016, either. He adroitly tapped into a gold mine of discontent with the established order, understanding the anger in the hinterland far better than the professional politicians and pundits who couldn’t see the problems with the establishment because they were part of it. But he also got lucky with his opponent — and he barely won.
You can read the rest of the piece on the NBC News site here.
I have an op-ed about President Trump’s foreign policy running on the NBC News website today. Here’s a taste of the piece:
That clattering noise you’ve been hearing for years is the sound of previous U.S. presidents, from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush to Barack Obama, kicking cans down the road for someone else to pick up. Now, a heavyset older man with orange hair has set about collecting them — not to recycle for another president, but to ensure no future U.S. leader will trip over them.
Critics describe President Donald Trump’s foreign policy as a muddled, unpredictable collection of impulses, with the one organizing principle being the coddling of like-minded, ruthless dictators. But there is, in fact, a defining diplomatic strategy: He is cleaning up the messes left by his predecessors.
Trump, regularly derided as the most irresponsible of presidents, is actually taking ownership of the most terrifying problems the country faces and trying to solve them in a direct way that his recent predecessors avoided.
Trump is actually taking ownership of the most terrifying problems the country faces and trying to solve them in a direct way that his recent predecessors avoided.
With respect to Iran, China, North Korea and even Russia, Trump is taking tough stances. He is getting cozy with dictators because the man who considers himself an artist of the deal understands that those are the people he must strike bargains with.
I hope you get a chance to check it out.
From a piece I have running today in the Washington Examiner:
Wasting little time to score political and rhetorical points, Democrats and members of the mainstream media are using the death of George H.W. Bush to assail a president they despise and who also happens to be Bush’s temperamental opposite, President Trump.
Already, the comparisons, in which Trump is found deeply wanting, are roaring in. The theme is consistent: Bush was reasonable, prudent, bipartisan, decent, honorable, and pursued wise policies; Trump, none of the above.
Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty, handed the job of writing the official Post obituary — which appears in the “news” section — provided an only slightly veiled dig at the current Twitter-happy president: “Although Mr. Bush served as president three decades ago, his values and ethic seem centuries removed from today’s acrid political culture. His currency of personal connection was the handwritten letter — not the social media blast.”
You can read the rest of my article here.
From an article I have running today in the Washington Examiner:
Political correctness is on the march this October. President Trump, whose name is figuratively on every ballot next week, is defiantly resisting it, and he might just prevail. The very crudeness and unwillingness to apologize that even many Republicans abhor in Trump has value in that it gives them armor against the Left’s politically correct demands, which seek to disarm conservatives by demonizing them. Republicans find they can’t launch their arguments because their points are being destroyed in their silos by political correctness.
Trump is a new kind of defense against this.
Trump in recent days has been pummeled for proclaiming himself a nationalist. Nationalism, the core of Trump’s “America First” ideology, is right now a word that must not be spoken lest one be accused of surreptitiously saying “white nationalism” or harboring nostalgia for Nazis and other fascists. But Trump’s entire movement is populist-nationalist in character, a revolt of average Americans against their establishment “betters” on the East and West Coasts who have sought to impose their cosmopolitan values on the country.
You can read the rest of the piece here. Thanks for checking it out!
I admit it. I was wrong about the who sent the suspicious packages to a variety of Democrats.
I speculated that it was more likely than not a leftist, possibly someone from Antifa, sending out pipe bombs or facsimiles thereof. I thought it seemed well-planned, given the number sent out, and that someone putting this much thought into it would want to help their cause. And the cause being helped was that of Democrats who could cast President Trump and his backers as lunatics. Deplorable lunatics. Oh, how they will enjoy doing just that in the weeks ahead.
I did caveat my statement by saying that I wasn’t sure and it could well be a crazy conservative. That appears to be who did this, although I doubt the label “conservative” applies. More like a vicious hater. But the fact remains that I said I thought it was more probably a leftist, and if I had been right and it was Antifa, I’d have been strutting around like a rooster bragging about the wisdom of my ways.
So I’ll take my lumps. But I do not regret it, and I maintain that ridiculing suggestions that this could be a false flag attack is crazier than suggesting it. Because there was ample reason to believe it could be a savvy leftist. Because we just had a massive false flag attack by Russian bots posing as Americans. And because many of those who dismissed the false flag suggestions continue assuming and reporting relentlessly that President Trump colluded with the Russians, a charge for which there is no evidence at all.
From a piece I have running today on the NBC News website’s “Think” Section:
With the midterms mere weeks away, Democrats are already preparing to invoke the era of Richard M. Nixon and Watergate. Anticipating a “blue wave” that will retake the House in November, they have started laying out plans for impeachment proceedings — or at least serious investigations with that goal in mind.
But the Democrats’ political positions, combined with their actions during and in the wake of the confirmation hearings for now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s U.S. Supreme Court nomination, suggest a different Nixon-era touchstone: his 1972 landslide re-election.
The actions of Democrats in 1972 helped propel a Republican president originally brought into office by the closest of margins in 1968, supported by Americans who feared their way of life was under assault by potentially violent leftists.
The legitimate fears among conservatives and many others that heated up during the election of Donald Trump remain on a simmer.
Democrats now appear to be priming for a new George McGovern moment. Trump voters see the opposition undermining established political and social norms; seeming to condone potential political violence; doubling down on radical change; and offering up possible candidates even left of the liberals they’ve run in recent elections.
Have a look at the rest of the piece here! Thanks for checking it out.