Trump’s string of suc­cesses puts crit­ics on the de­fen­sive

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - VIEWS & VOICES - CAL THOMAS ——— Cal Thomas writes for Tri­bune Con­tent Agency.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s crit­ics, who in­clude many es­tab­lish­ment Repub­li­cans, are find­ing them­selves left with few is­sues given the pres­i­dent’s re­cent string of suc­cesses.

How dif­fi­cult it must have been for The New York Times, per­haps the most ve­he­ment me­dia critic of the pres­i­dent (The Washington Post is a close run­ner-up) to have this head­line on its Satur­day front page: “Econ­omy, in Sweet Spot, Adds 313,000 Jobs. It May Get Sweeter.”

At the other end of the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum, talk show host Rush Lim­baugh de­scribed the good eco­nomic news as “The epic Trump eco­nomic turn­around,” adding, “Make no mis­take: This is not some cycli­cal re­cov­ery. This is not a cycli­cal re­bound. This is a pol­icy- and con­fi­dence-driven, sub­stan­tive eco­nomic turn­around, and it would not have hap­pened had Hil­lary Clin­ton been elected, and it prob­a­bly wouldn’t have had if 90 per­cent of the Repub­li­can field in the pri­maries had been elected.”

Even his­tor­i­cally stub­born black un­em­ploy­ment has de­clined. A story in The Washington Ex­am­iner noted, “Just 6.9 per­cent of black adults were un­em­ployed in Fe­bru­ary, ac­cord­ing to the Bureau of La­bor Statis­tics, the se­cond-low­est such ra­tio since the agency has been keep­ing track.”

All stock in­dexes were up — way up — last Fri­day, the Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age ris­ing 440 points, no doubt de­light­ing re­tirees and oth­ers with stocks and mu­tual funds.

Ac­cord­ing to Mar­ket­watch.com, in the year since Trump’s in­au­gu­ra­tion, the Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age rose 32.1 per­cent, “the se­cond-best of any pres­i­dent in the Dow’s his­tory.”

Con­sumer con­fi­dence is the high­est since 2000, ac­cord­ing to a Con­fer­ence Board Sur­vey.

The left, which has of­ten pushed for di­rect talks with dic­ta­tors — Pres­i­dent Barack Obama said he would be will­ing to talk with just about any­body in the pur­suit of peace, in­clud­ing lead­ers of Iran — are now warn­ing Trump about his plans to meet with North Korean dic­ta­tor Kim Jong-Un.

The rap on the pres­i­dent from the es­tab­lish­ment and other crit­ics was his in­ex­pe­ri­ence. He’s chaotic, they said, and without a pol­icy port­fo­lio. He doesn’t know what he is do­ing. Given the records of past pres­i­dents, who claimed to know what they were do­ing yet couldn’t, or wouldn’t, pro­duce re­sults like this pres­i­dent, Trump’s mer­cu­rial be­hav­ior may turn out not to be a bad thing.

The scene at the White House last Fri­day was re­mark­able. There stood la­bor union lead­ers and mem­bers of the steel in­dus­try prais­ing Trump for his pledge to im­ple­ment tar­iffs on coun­tries that dump cheap steel in the United States, un­der­min­ing U.S. steel pro­duc­tion and, as the pres­i­dent said, threat­en­ing U.S. na­tional se­cu­rity. How? By forc­ing Amer­ica to buy steel (and alu­minum) from coun­tries like China and other na­tions that are not ex­actly U.S. al­lies.

These union lead­ers usu­ally vote for and con­trib­ute to Democrats. Many sup­ported Hil­lary Clin­ton’s cam­paign, but to lis­ten to them praise the pres­i­dent, one might think they’ve been con­verted. Tues­day’s spe­cial con­gres­sional elec­tion in west­ern Penn­syl­va­nia, a steel re­gion, may tell us some­thing about whether the pres­i­dent’s tar­iff pol­icy will pro­duce votes for the Repub­li­can can­di­date. If the Repub­li­can wins, Democrats will have more rea­son to panic.

Crit­ics of the pres­i­dent are putting more faith in Spe­cial Coun­sel Robert Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion of sup­posed wrong­do­ing by Trump and his as­so­ciates dur­ing the cam­paign and since, as well as in a “porn star,” who claims she had sex with Trump in 2016. That’s “last gasp” stuff, the bot­tom of the bar­rel, the place where one goes when all the news is bad for your party and po­lit­i­cal po­si­tions.

It is not a good time to be a Demo­crat, or a Repub­li­can critic of this pres­i­dent. More peo­ple seem to be tun­ing out the crit­ics and tun­ing in to what grow­ing num­bers of Amer­i­cans think is be­gin­ning to look great again.

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