Victor Davis Hanson explains why the establishment media’s furious efforts at ginning up public interest in the Trump Administration’s alleged offenses are not working.
The Left was mostly untroubled for eight years about the often unconstitutional abuses of Barack Obama â€” given that they saw their shared noble aims as justifying almost any means necessary to achieve them.
There was the not uncommon Rice-Gruber-Rhodes-Holder sort of deception (on Benghazi, on the conduct of Bowe Bergdahl, on the Affordable Care Act, the Iran deal, on Fast and Furious, etc.) â€” a required tactic because so much of the Obama agenda was antithetical to the wishes and preferences of the American electorate and thus had to be disguised and camouflaged to become enacted.
There was the pen-and-phone mockery of established federal law (the suspension of the ACA employer mandate, the Chrysler creditor reversal, the non-enforcement of federal immigration law, the institutionalization of sanctuary-city nullification). There was the constant mythmaking (from faux red lines, deadlines, and step-over lines to the fatuity of the Cairo Speech and Iran-deal harangues).
There were the abuses of presidential power (the surveillance of journalists, the selective release of the bin Laden trove to pet journalists, the likely surveilling, unmasking, and leaking through reversed targeting of political enemies).
No one worried much when Obama promised on a hot mic to Medvedev that he would be more flexible with the Russians after his reelection, as if they were to conform to a desired sort of behavior in service to Obama that would earn them dividends from him later on â€” the kind of unapologetic partisan â€œcollusionâ€ that would have earned Trump a Comey-induced indictment. No one cared that Obama pulled all peacekeepers out of Iraq and thereby ruined what the surge had saved.
Nor did anyone fret much about the serial scandals at the GSA, the VA, the IRS, and the Secret Service, or his disastrous reset policy with Russia and the implosion of the Middle East or the strange spectacles of Obamaâ€™s interview with GloZell or polarizing Oval Office guests, such as the rapper whose album cover portrayed celebrations over a dead white judge.
True, none of these were impeachable or even major offenses. But all of them recalibrated the bar of presidential behavior.
So along came the next Republican president, empowered by Obamaâ€™s exemptions to do almost anything he wished, albeit without the thin exculpatory veneer of Ivy League pretension, multicultural indemnity, and studied smoothness.
In biblical â€œthere is a seasonâ€ fashion, for every sermon about not building your business, making too much money, or profiting at the wrong time, there was a Trump retort to profit as never before.
For every too-frequent gala golf outing of a metrosexual Obama decked out in spiffy attire, there is a plumper Trump swinging away, oblivious to the angry pack of reporters that Obama once so carefully courted.
For every rapper with an ankle bracelet that went off in the White House, there is now a White House photo-op with Ted Nugent.
For every executive-order suspension of federal immigration enforcement, there is an executive-order corrective. For every lecture on the crusades, sermons on Western genocidal history, apology tour, or Islamic mythmaking, there is an American Greatness pride in everything.
The progressive ironies continued.
If the media were to be believed when they insisted that Obama was a â€œgod,â€ or that he was the smartest man ever to achieve the presidency, or that the first lady was Jackie Kennedy incarnate, or that Obama was capable of sending electrical shocks down a reporterâ€™s leg or was sure to be a brilliant president on the basis of his pants crease or because he talked in the manner of Washington elites, then surely it could not be believed when Trump was smeared as a veritable dunce, crook, buffoon, and naÃ¯f worthy of impeachment or that his wife (fluent in several languages) was an airhead former escort girl.
By their former unhinged adoration and obsequiousness, progressives and the media undermined all future credibility in their unhinged venom and loathing of Donald Trump. Now they live with the reality that by elevating Obama into a deity, they unleashed their own worst nightmare and have reduced themselves to irrelevance. In the end, no one believes the current venom of a CNN or a New York Times precisely because no one could have believed their prior slavish adulation.