The War on Trump, 2018 Edition
Earlier today, an anonymous editorial was published by the NYTimes, purporting to come from a "senior official" within the Trump administration. The author claims to be part of a "resistance" movement that exists behind the scenes, secretly thwarting Trump's nefarious political agenda. The attacks the author levels against Trump are old-hat for anyone who has been paying attention to "Never-Trump" Republicans, who have been whining on endless loop since Jeb Bush's primary election loss.
The media establishment knows that the upcoming elections will be a referendum on Donald Trump, as the primary elections have already confirmed. This is why several top-level Republican pundits declared that they will vote for Democrats this November as a gesture against Trump. It is a good bet that one of these establishment GOP media figures ghost-wrote this anonymous NYTimes editorial. This is just the tip of an approaching iceberg. A few days ago, I predicted that the Florida gubernatorial election would get nasty, as both candidates have an interest in making their opponent appear radical. Not even a day went by before the media began calling Ron Desantis a racist. As November approaches, the national media will undoubtedly saturate the airwaves with news purporting to show that Donald Trump has no control over his own administration. Having learned that attacks against Trump's character won't work, the new strategy is to attack his competence.
An attack on Trump's competence is a desperate gambit by a desperate establishment. In order to make such a case, a bit of conspiracy theorizing is necessary. In Bob Woodward's version, officials manage to swipe bills right from under President Trump's nose. In the new Deep State (or"Steady State"?) version, Donald Trump's own staff is employing a masterful strategy of containment, preventing Trump from actually ruling. None of this is particularly plausible, of course. But that doesn't matter. The hope is to goad President Trump into starting an internal "witch-hunt" against disloyal administration officials so that the media can describe it as "chaos" to the voting public in November.
This strategy has already backfired. President Trump now looks like a Washington outsider more than ever, which is an incredible feat for a president whose own midterm elections approach. Populism, Trump's secret strength, finds nothing more offensive than bureaucratic resistance. The polls, this November, might see record Republican turnout.
Here's hoping Trump doesn't take the media bait. To make the best of his situation, he should tweet something like this:
"The #FakeNews media is now colluding to create a narrative about my administration. It's not going to work. To all the former Washington insiders who are WISHING they could 'resist' my America-First agenda, I have two words for you, courtesy of the American People in 2016: 'you're fired.'"