Procrastination: January 11, 2017

Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: David Brooks picked a bad moment to go all anti-anti-Trump contrarian. But there will never be a good one, will there? Why is tenure for New York Times columnists thought to be a good idea? Why does the Washington Post have the op-ed columnists it does? And am I wrong, or wasn't Brooks's "affable, if repetitive" the party line for the late second term Alzheimers-afflicted Reagan?: Steve M.: No More Mister Nice Blog: MARC THIESSEN'S DEFENSE OF TRUMP IS EVEN MORE EMBARRASSING THAN THE ONE BY DAVID BROOKS: "Jonathan Chait... "David Brooks Picked a Bad Week to Say Trump ‘Runs a Normal, Good Meeting'...

...Four days ago, David Brooks broke the news in the New York Times that President Trump is actually a sober-minded and competent public servant. “People who go into the White House to have a meeting with President Trump usually leave pleasantly surprised,” he reported. “They find that Trump is not the raving madman they expected from his tweetstorms or the media coverage. They generally say that he is affable, if repetitive. He runs a normal, good meeting and seems well-informed enough to get by.” It is safe to say that this column has not aged well...

Shortly after the column ran, Trump tweeted his angry opposition to a surveillance bill that was actually supported by his administration, which reportedly led to a phone conversation in which Paul Ryan spent a half hour explaining to Trump the difference between domestic and foreign surveillance. Then came Trump's "shithole countries" remark and a disturbing Wall Street Journal interview. Left unmentioned by Chait was the midnight tweet in which Trump announced that he's canceling his trip to London, citing President Obama's "Bad deal" decision to move the U.S. embassy there (the move was actually initiated by George W. Bush). But... Brooks... at least published his column before the... latter half of this week....

This Marc Thiessen column went live this morning at 8:50 A.M. Eastern time, and no one—not Thiessen and not his editors—was sufficiently embarrassed by it to request that it be withdrawn:

In one key meeting, Trump destroyed his critics’ credibility.... If a picture is worth a thousand words, then an hour-long video of the president at work is worth more than 50,000 words of gossip and innuendo. Trump effectively asked the American people, “Who are you going to believe: Michael Wolff or your own lyin’ eyes?”...

The president is now at a crossroads. It was he who let the media stay in the room for the meeting, and it worked. So, what does he do next? Does he build on this success by delivering a substantive bipartisan State of the Union address, and use the power and trappings of the presidency to expand his base of support? Or does he go back to the tactics that made those questioning his fitness for office seem even remotely credible? His opponents have overreached and given him an opening. The question is: Will he seize it or squander it?

Everyone in the world knew the answer to this question by the time the column was posted. Thiessen should have begged his editors to give the column a quiet mercy killing:

Donald J. Trump: on Twitter: "The so-called bipartisan DACA deal presented yesterday to myself and a group of Republican Senators and Congressmen was a big step backwards...

...Wall was not properly funded, Chain & Lottery were made worse and USA would be forced to take large numbers of people from high crime countries which are doing badly. I want a merit based system of immigration and people who will help take our country to the next level. I want safety and security for our people. I want to stop the massive inflow of drugs. I want to fund our military, not do a Dem defund Because of the Democrats not being interested in life and safety, DACA has now taken a big step backwards. The Dems will threaten “shutdown,” but what they are really doing is shutting down our military, at a time we need it most. Get smart, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

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