Two For Thought

Trump vs. the Press

Same topic, different views

By Tim Baldwin

President Donald Trump’s news conference last week left many baffled. It’s as if Trump is still campaigning and arguing he is the greatest president America has ever seen. Indeed, there were many baffling moments in this conference. Some highlights:

Trump again accused media of “fake news.” Yet he did not seem concerned about facts when he talked about himself. Holding Trump to the same standard to which he holds the media, one could equally label Trump as “fake news.”

When a journalist confronted Trump on his false claim that he won the election by the biggest electoral college vote since President Reagan, Trump rebutted, “I don’t know, I was given that information.”

Trump then lambasts the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for upholding the district court’s temporary restraining order on his travel ban and falsely claimed that court is the most overturned of all federal courts. Yet, he didn’t explain why he didn’t appeal the “bad” decision to the Supreme Court and instead says he is going to tailor an executive order to comply with the decision. What?

Trump’s decisions affect us all, now and later. They must be based on sound wisdom and tested experience, made with a sober and sound mind and respect for all, and aided by the counsel of wise, experienced and trusted counselors. Last week’s display undermined Trump’s willingness to do this.

By Joe Carbonari

President Donald Trump had a news conference last week. It was a mess. It was scary. It appears that he is going all-in at the White House with those that put him there. He started the day with a 39 percent approval rating. He played to the lower end of that 39 percent. It is if he is still campaigning … and he is. His people require raw meat. They are his power.

They control the Republican safe seats that put state, local and national politicians in office – and keep them there, or not. Big money and a big name against you, in a primary, with your base against you? Nobody wants that.  The temptation is to turn your head and go along. Trump doesn’t need anything more than a solid base, a lot of threats and a little self-control. This is where it gets very scary.

He hasn’t yet shown the self-control that the job calls for, and he may not feel that he needs to.  He could always pack up and go home, whether forced out or not. He could blame it on the crooked media with its fake news, and the lying politicians, or perhaps the inept intelligence community that seems to feel itself above him. Neither are intellectuals or intellectualism his friends. They are to be derided and disparaged. They are, and will be against him, as likely will be the courts.

The judiciary and the Congress are constitutionally co-equal. The courts have already begun to stand up. Congress is less likely to – those safe seats beckon.