How do Trump critics respond to success?

  • By Cal Thomas
  • Wednesday, March 14, 2018 9:14am
  • Opinion

President 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 Obama said he would be willing to talk with just about anybody in the pursuit of peace, including leaders of Iran — are now warning President 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 President 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.

Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com.

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