In Reagan’s America: Innocents at Home, Garry Wills described the 40thPresident’s relationship with the voters as “a kind of complicity,” implying that Reagan and the electorate had colluded to commit some sort of crime. The offense was, of course, their mutual refusal to imbibe the propaganda ladled out by the liberal establishment and the media. This defiance caused Reagan and his supporters to be written off by their “betters” as a collection of cretins. History proved precisely the opposite, but the Beltway brain trust never absorbed the lesson. They are thus repeating their error with President Trump and his supporters.
In the New York Times, for example, Charles Blow advises us that the President has hijacked the GOP and now presides over a reign of terror that prevents “mainstream Republicans” from taking a stand against him. Having difficulty remembering a Times writer acknowledging the existence of “mainstream Republicans?” The Gray Lady’s editorial position has long been that the GOP is a gang of dirty rotten scoundrels whose sole mission is to do down widows and orphans on behalf of rightwing robber barons and rabid racists. Blow would have us believe that, under Trump, the GOP base has further devolved into a national threat:
Republicanism is Trumpism, with no daylight between them. Traditional Republicans are now afraid to stand on principle because they do so at great peril of being drummed out of politics. The voters are now Trump’s noxious base, ergo Trump holds each of their fates in his hands.… Viewed that way, Trump’s base itself becomes the enemy of the Republic.
But the President’s base is “viewed that way” only by TDS victims. The Democrats are already losing support because of the #WalkAway movement. Meanwhile Trump’s “beastly base,” as Blow also calls them, already consists of about 63 million voters and public opinion polls show that his support among crucial Democratic constituencies is increasing dramatically. If Blow had any sense, he would realize that insulting the customer isn’t an effective sales technique. He would hesitate to alienate any additional voters. But neither Blow nor his colleagues are rational. Last week another TDS victim, Dana Milbank, wrote the following:
Trump and his Fox News-viewing supporters dock their spaceship in a parallel universe where truth isn’t truth. At Tuesday night’s rally in West Virginia, Trump’s irony-challenged audience could be heard chanting “Drain the Swamp!”… Republican lawmakers fear that with 87 percent of Republican voters backing Trump, crossing him is political suicide.
And Don’t Tell Them II: Liberal media’s desperate push for Trump impeachment may actually hurt Democrats.