A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.
Conservatives were puzzled Thursday over President Trump’s debt ceiling deal and negotiations with Senate Democrats. The Federalist’s Ben Domenech argued the deal means Trump is attempting a strange kind of triangulation:
What it means, if applied broadly, is that Trump will dump anything Congressional Republicans favor which represent heavy lift items and instead make his agenda the five to ten most popular things in both parties, with the understanding that the weak-spined GOP will buckle before you, while daring Democrat elites to own the defeat of popular bipartisan ideas in service to their “hashtag resistance” base.
What this amounts to is a triangulation from a position of strength over your own party (technically). It comes from a recognition that the country largely hates the GOP. A combative, populist non-ideological president not hung up on small government budget principles who infuriates the left and says anti-politically correct things and delivers on judges is, as it turns out, what “his own party” wants. The assumption that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell represent some large constituency of Republican voters turns out not to be true.
Commentary’s Noah Rothman disagreed, arguing Trump simply doesn’t know what he’s doing. “What Trump did is not Clintonian triangulation,” he wrote. “Triangulation was a boon to Bill Clinton himself but not Democrats or the progressive agenda his party’s ideological reformers sought. But even Bill Clinton was cautious not to undermine his party’s leaders. He was under no illusions that Republicans would somehow be better stewards of his presidency than the opposition party.”
RedState’s Susan Wright made note of a report that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi encouraged Trump to tweet out a message to Dreamers, which he did Thursday morning. “I’m sure Pelosi, Schumer, and all of the House Democrats were pleased,” Wright wrote. “Trump’s vague act of being a Republican, all those nasty months of campaigning, all the turmoil caused, was for a greater purpose. There was never any chance that Democrats wouldn’t win another presidency, whether it was Hillary Clinton or her longtime friend and donor, Donald Trump.”
The tweet and Trump’s other recent engagements with Democrats were also criticized by the Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro:
This means that over the last 24 hours, Trump has caved to Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on raising the debt ceiling, praised Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, openly called for legally enshrining President Obama’s executive amnesty, and is now taking tweet suggestions from Pelosi herself.
So. Much. Winning.
None of this seems to matter much to Trump’s most ardent fans. That’s because their chief opponents aren’t Pelosi and Schumer but Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), both of whom have been deemed “cucks” for routinely caving to Democrats. But when Trump does it, that’s better, because that’s showing those cucks who’s boss. Or something.
The Resurgent’s Peter Heck wrote that such a deal with Democrats had been predicted by Ted Cruz during the 2016 primary. “[I]f as a voter you think what we need is more Republicans in Washington to cut a deal with Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer, then I guess Donald Trump’s your guy,” Cruz had said. “One of the most bizarre lines of reasoning cited by conservative ‘tea party’ Republicans for supporting Donald Trump over Ted Cruz in the 2016 primary was that Trump was an ‘outsider’ who wasn’t likely to cave to entrenched Washington establishment thinking,” Heck wrote. “It was always a specious argument given that Trump was a lifelong Democrat whose conversion to conservative talk coincided with the collapse of Obama’s miserable presidency and the run-up to the 2016 election cycle.”
On Twitter, Trump loyalists were chipper about the deal and faulted Paul Ryan for failing to deliver progress himself.
By showing Republicans he can work with Democrats, Trump forces Republicans to unite or become irrelevant. He just changed the game.— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) September 7, 2017
In other news:
Conservatives blasted mainstream media outlets for failing to cover the corruption trial of Democratic New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez. “Democratic Senator Bob Menendez is the first U.S. senator on trial for corruption in 36 years, but ABC, NBC, and CBS chose not to cover the first day of his trial Wednesday,” the Daily Caller’s Amber Athey wrote. “Not one of the evening shows on the Big Three broadcast networks touched the beginning of the trial, which heated up when the judge in the case told Menendez’s lawyer to ‘shut up.’” “CBS, NBC, and ABC all began their programs discussing Hurricane Irma before reporting on President Donald Trump's decision to support a short-term debt-ceiling extension or providing an update on the recovery efforts in Texas for Hurricane Harvey victims,” the Washington Free Beacon’s David Rutz added.
The Daily Wire’s Aaron Bandler criticized the media for failing to identify Menendez as a Democrat:
Take The New York Times, for instance. The former newspaper, as Andrew Klavan likes to call them, wrote a 1,300 word article about the Menendez trial. Despite mentioning Menendez 29 times, not once did they refer to him as a Democrat in their initial report. ...
As bad as this was, NBC News told The New York Times to hold its beer, as NBC initially claimed that Menendez is a Republican. The Daily Caller provided a screenshot showing that NBC's report began with identifying Menendez as "Sen. Bob Menendez, R-N.J." NBC did issue a correction after "several hours," per the Caller, but what's particularly odd about the error is that NBC's report is an Associated Press (AP) wire story, but the version on the AP's website did not feature that same error.