It must pain them to no end to do so, but two titans of the Trump Derangement Syndrome media are suddenly urging that a deal be struck with President Devil Incarnate to conclude the government shutdown. This, of course, has nothing to do with any mellowing toward Donald Trump. Rather, it must be seen as a begrudging nod to reality by a pair of bitterly biased publications that would rather do anything than treat the current administration in a remotely evenhanded manner.
The hurt bleeds all over The Washington Post’s editorial from the opening paragraph. Trump should not be “rewarded” for taking the federal government “hostage.” Any penny spent on a border wall “would reinforce his hateful, anti-immigrant rhetoric.” He’s “unreliable” as a negotiating partner.
…a sign of a political animal waking up to the fact that it is holding a losing hand.
Why, then, does The Post call for Democrats to strike a deal with such a man? The editorial unconvincingly cites a concern for struggling government employees who are missing paychecks and dreamers who need the protection Trump offers as bargaining chips. However, the hyper-partisan Post has proven repeatedly that it is much more interested in attacking this president than caring about the details of particular issues or how they affect people’s lives. No, this surprising call for a negotiated truce with a president the newspaper despises more than it hated Richard Nixon is merely a sign of a political animal waking up to the fact that it is holding a losing hand.
A “news” article posted two days after the Jan. 19 editorial transparently titled “Trump voters now blame him for the government shutdown” is a particularly weak effort at framing the battle as one that Trump can’t win. “Recent polling indicates that the government shutdown has caused skittishness among parts of Trump’s base, which has been one of the most enduring strengths of his presidency,” the article reads. Yes, because polls sure can be trusted given their pathetic performance throughout the 2016 campaign.
The paper also ludicrously quotes a woman who says she voted for Trump as somehow being representative of the mood prevailing among his base. “The wall is getting out of hand,” Erica McQueen told The Post. “It’s too much. It’s ridiculous. I’m sick of seeing it, I’m sick of hearing about it.” How many Trump supporters do you know who talk like that?
Silly coverage of fictitious weakening among Trump’s core backers aside, it is The Post in its editorial that had to grit its teeth, writing that “Mr. Trump’s offer should be welcomed” and urging Democrats to accept a deal that would “contain galling elements.”
Another Trump-bashing media regular is at least more honest with itself about the shutdown clash. USA Today in a Jan. 21 editorial also issued a “let’s make a deal” cry to Democrats. “Though Trump wants permanent barriers but only temporary protection for ‘Dreamers,’ some difference-splitting could bridge the divide,” writes the newspaper in the very brief opinion piece.
One day earlier, the paper published an article on Trump supporters that is far more truthful than The Post‘s distortions. “In Trump country, Republicans cheer on shutdown: The ‘government is our biggest enemy'” reads the headline. Now doesn’t that sound a lot more like most Trump followers?
“The president can count on [the town of] Craig [CO],” the article declares. “Make America Great Again signs adorn store windows, and many residents here will back him in 2020 because he’s doing what he campaigned on: protecting their jobs, fighting the ‘swamp’ and building a wall on the Mexican border.”
Credit must be given to USA Today for capturing an authentic picture of how Trump voters feel about the shutdown. Americans who opted for a candidate who promised to take back a government that no longer served the people are not likely to be upset that that hostile government is shuttered for weeks, months, or longer.
In their more lucid moments, even the most rabid of Trump-loathing media jackals can grasp this simple observation. As they do so, the only proper political calculation left to make is that some form of settlement – we won’t call it surrender – is in order. These two editorials by Trump-hating big-box media publications are clear evidence as to just which side is on sinking ground in this showdown.