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Outsiders vs. Insiders: When it comes to real American presidents, Trump breaks the mold

In studying the eternally fascinating and always evolving Donald Trump presidency it’s become clear that liberals, Democrats and the media are making a fatal error in assessing what drives the first-time politician to do what he does.

That is they assume Trump must be measured against all past presidents or even today’s congressional leaders. It can’t be done. To claim Trump breaks the mold of your standard politician is an understatement; Trump tweetthere was no mold to begin with. Trump is forged from a completely different block of steely material…or from solid rock…or a composite of elements entirely new to the periodic table. There is no formula that represents him.

Trump the human being is the product of seven decades of learning at the hands of American culture and traditions. He’s so completely apart from every other president – and politician – that comparisons just won’t stick. It’s like we elected a president from another universe and watch as the media tries to explain why he doesn’t fit neatly into this one.

There’s a simple reason for it: Trump doesn’t want to be equated. Tell him to do something or act in a certain way and he ignores it. Suggest he take one side of the fork in the road and he instinctively heads in the other direction. George W. Bush was a conventional politician; so was Barack Obama. Trump is the “change we’ve been waiting for.”

Because of Trump’s unique attitude, some argue he thrives on crisis and turmoil. Matthew Continetti of National Review writes, “There has always been a self-destructive element to Donald Trump, a tendency to undermine the foundation of his life just as it appears to be settling. Perhaps this is the restlessness of a great man, the constant drive of the lionhearted for something better, greater, richer, higher; he’d probably say so.

“Whatever the cause, it was foolish to imagine that this aspect of his personality would vanish upon his taking the oath of office. He has had trouble translating the style of leadership that brought him financial and campaign success to governing from the White House. His support is deep but not wide, and is attached to him personally, not to the party he leads and its business-friendly program…”

To his credit Continetti doesn’t trash Trump for his unusual style, saying despite Trump’s need for crisis good things are getting done in America. The writer does contend, however, that Trump’s methods aren’t necessarily healthy for the GOP and for congressional Republicans’ reelection prospects, but those are debatable questions that will only be solved through several balloting cycles.

Simply put, every time the media suggested Trump was his own worst enemy and it would eventually cost him – and the party -- they were wrong. On each occasion when Trump looked vulnerable during the GOP primaries he would pull off another win. And when public opinion dipped on every new “shocking” Trump episode during the fall general election campaign he rebounded to not only recover, he won the election.

The intangible factor here is not Trump’s behavior and it isn’t the success or failure of the mostly hapless Republican congressional leadership; it’s in the people themselves. The tens of millions of Americans who tired of business as usual and the promises from the typical political mouths opted for something new and different – and hopefully better.

They wanted Trump and his “crisis” mentality. In him they saw someone who could move the needle in Washington and in American culture. They were tired of nice. The fact they chose chaos as a means to drain the Washington swamp was a deeply personal preference for many.

Like a kid on the playground who’s been picked on and extorted for his lunch money one too many times American voters decided to hit back and not leave it to the principal to make things right. Trump is the punch. The black eyes of the establishment are enough to satisfy most people. The media is outraged at Trump’s act. So what? To a lot of folks, that’s a good thing.

Of course the establishment has a bit of a different perspective. To them Trump’s perceived unstable personality is terrifying. This certainly includes the GOP elites.

Alex Isenstadt of Politico reports, “With the White House in meltdown mode, top Republican Party officials and operatives gathered at a posh oceanside resort here and contemplated a 2018 midterm election that will test them in unimaginable ways…

“The private talks over the three-day meeting pulled back the curtain on a Republican Party leadership grappling with a profoundly unstable White House. While some attendees shrugged off the firestorm surrounding the firing of FBI Director James Comey and put a positive spin on the latest Trump controversy, others conceded they were struggling to adapt to a political moment without precedent.”

In reading Isenstadt’s article it sounded like Republicans in general aren’t nearly as distraught as the media makes them out to be. Most of the comments were positive towards Trump and the party appears to be primarily in wait-and-see mode. Even the upcoming special election races in Georgia and Montana aren’t causing a panic.

Besides, it’s the job of establishment political party operatives to worry about elections. That’s what they’re paid to do. Like a first-time mother caring for a newborn, if the baby hiccups funny it’s potential danger sign even if common sense suggests the situation is completely normal. No one should be reading into what RNC staffers say at a conference at the Hotel del Coronado (in San Diego) a year and a half ahead of the actual election.

As I argued last week, a million things could happen between now and then. The political winds switch easily and it’s my guess that apart from the fiercest Democrat partisans the people outside the beltway don’t really care about Trump’s firing of James Comey. At all.

Why? Comey was characteristic of official Washington, a man who publicly injected himself and his opinions into areas that didn’t call for them. A lot of sane people say Comey basically laid the groundwork for his own firing last July when he declared Hillary Clinton should not be prosecuted despite her obvious guilt.

Republicans disliked Comey; Democrats loathed Comey; his own staffers were afraid of offending him. He had to go. Most people realized it and are okay with Trump’s getting rid of him.

When I heard the Comey-firing news my initial thought was ‘Good, it’s about time,’ and ‘Trump’s done it again.’ The announcement brought me back to the time when Ronald Reagan fired the Air Traffic Controllers in August of 1981. The left went nuts back then just as Democrats and the media are doing now. Ho hum. Next page please.

As usual most of the negative fury from the media concerns what Trump said after the firing, completely ignoring the large amount of justification for the termination itself.

Erick Erickson wrote at The Resurgent last Friday, “The President’s behavior is juvenile and asinine. He undermines his Vice President, his communications team, and the very foundational reasons for firing Comey. He can’t help but make it about himself and in so doing he undermines his own integrity in the process.

“The President needs to shut the hell up. He does himself and those around him absolutely no favors. He has done more harm than good. And the kicker is I think he is lying to boot. Donald Trump has an overwhelming need to make it all about himself. And if he fired Comey based on someone else’s advice, it would not be about him and his brilliant skills.

“Our President is an idiot.”

Here I had just commended Erickson for seeing the light last week…and now he’s back to calling the president an idiot. Maybe Erickson is bipolar.

Perhaps Erickson’s error is assuming Trump should be measured against what a non-“idiot” politician would have done in this situation. In any case, Trump is his own man and a different kind of president. I would bet Trump meant everything he said in regards to Comey and that the FBI Director’s days were numbered either way.

Acting on quick decisions is just Trump’s style. Erickson and the media had better get used to it.

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