Sunday, August 01, 2021


Here's a tweet from a New York Times reporter, in response to a Bloomberg story:

The Beltway press is desperate to believe in one of two things: a mythical alternate-universe Donald Trump who was a decent human being and a within-the-pale president, or, failing that, a Republican who can supplant Trump as the leader of the GOP and who is not a Trumpian monster.

Trump didn't do an infrastructure bill, either when his party had full control of the government or when Democrats took the House, because he loves hating people, and years of binge-watching Fox News had made hating Democrats the primary way Trump satisfied that craving. He was never going to do an infrastructure bill because Democrats were always far more enthusiastic about infrastructure than Republicans, and there was no way Trump was going to make Democrats look good while daily hours of Fox-watching were pounding into his head the notion that Democrats are evil and Republicans are the embodiment of all patriotic virtue.

Alex Burns wants to believe in a hypothetical Good Trump; the opinion editors of The Washington Post want to find virtue in the actually existing Trump:

I'll spare you the details. Suffice to say that the entire exercise -- one writers gives Trump credit for "shaking the foreign policy consensus," another for "upending the trade debate" -- is an effort to normalize Trump, a tendency we warned about almost daily during his presidency.

And if Beltway insiders can't persuade their readers (or themselves) that Trump was an okay guy deep down, or at least had the potential to be one, they'll assure us that he's likely to lose his grip on the GOP any minute now, replaced by a mainstream GOP Daddy. That's why they fell head over heels for Ron DeSantis.

Florida had 21,683 new infections yesterday. But the mainstream media is committed to the narrative of acceptable post-Trumpism, so DeSantis won't be covered as a new monster seeking to replace the old one. The GOP won't be covered as a party of monsters. The press has a desperate need to believe.

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