NY Times Questions Whether Trump Is Man Of The People Or Of His People

Yet another reason why the news media is not trusted and dying: running an “analysis”, ie, opinion piece, on the front page which is supposed to be news, which is all about taking shots at Orange Man Bad. But really, really forgets to mention a few things

A President of the People or a President of His People?

In the last couple of weeks, President Trump repeatedly called his enemies “treasonous.” He threatened to punish Democrats by dumping migrants in their districts. He promoted a video tying a Muslim congresswoman to images of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

The message seems clear and so does the audience: more red meat for red-state Americans who have been the foundation of his political enterprise since his against-the-odds campaign for the White House. And it is a reminder that this president governs as none of his modern predecessors did.

The old-fashioned idea that a president, once reaching office, should at least pretend to be the leader of all the people these days seems so, well, old-fashioned. Mr. Trump does not bother with the pretense. He is speaking to his people, not the people. He has become, or so it often seems, the president of the United Base of America.

Mr. Trump travels nearly five times as often to states that were in his column in 2016 as to those that supported Hillary Clinton. He has given several times more interviews to Fox News than to all the other major networks combined. His social media advertising is aimed disproportionately at older Americans who were the superstructure of his victory in the Electoral College in 2016. His messaging is permeated with divisive language that galvanizes core supporters more than it persuades anyone on the fence, much less on the other side.

Last time I checked, Trump has not used the Internal Revenue Service to target political opposition. Remember, that is the scandal that media folks, like those at the NY Times, attempted to avoid discussing for a long time, then decided they would defend Obama and his people rather than investigate when dragged kicking and screaming into covering it. This is the same Obama who slurred tens of millions of American Tea Party followers as “tea baggers.” Obama slurred America and Americans multiple times while overseas. Remember when he called Americans “lazy.” How many times did Obama fundraise and have campaign events (while pretending he was in the state for official business) in NY and California, while avoiding visiting typical Red states, even ones he won, like NC?

For all Trump’s verbal attacks, he hasn’t actually taken actions. The NYT forgets that politics is a dirty, nasty business with a veneer of civility.

As far as attacking Ilhan Omar, you know if it had been a Republican who made the comment, the NYT, in the same city that was attacked on 9/11, would be mercilessly attacking that person, and the entire Republican party by extension. Especially if they had a history of anti-Semitism and working with a Jew and Israel hating group with links to terrorist groups (in this case, CAIR).

But Mr. Trump seems to relish divide-and-conquer politics much more than either of them did and has made little effort to expand his coalition beyond the voters who propelled him to the White House in the first place. While other presidents sought to broaden their public support, Mr. Trump appears to be heading into his re-election campaign sticking with his own tribe.

In other words, he’s sticking to his guns, to the things that got him elected in the first place. He’s not changing his policies. He’s telling people why those policies are good, and why his opponents are wrong in objecting to them. Ronald Reagan did the same (without as many attacks, since there was no social media, and, he was a more political speaking man): he stuck to his policies, rather than moderating. He pulled people into voting for him. And the more the media and Democrats caterwaul, the easier it will be for Trump.

Funny thing is, the Times doesn’t attack Democrats for their divisive talk. Go figure.

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18 Responses to “NY Times Questions Whether Trump Is Man Of The People Or Of His People”

  1. Bill Bear says:

    Once again, Porter Good is lying.

    “Last time I checked, Trump has not used the Internal Revenue Service to target political opposition. Remember, that is the scandal that media folks, like those at the NY Times, attempted to avoid discussing for a long time, then decided they would defend Obama and his people rather than investigate when dragged kicking and screaming into covering it.”

    Nope. That’s not what happened.

    But Porter Good doesn’t care. Lying is what he does.

    Lying is all that Porter Good knows.

    Who Cares That There Was Never a Scandal At the IRS? We All Should
    by Neil H. Buchanan

    Do you remember “the IRS scandal”? If you do, you remember a lie. Granted, it was an elaborate, innuendo-driven lie that many people repeated endlessly, trying to get you to believe that there was a scandal. But it was still a lie, and a damaging one at that.

    The reason to revisit this issue now is that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a report last week that showed that the supposedly scandalous behavior never happened. In other words, the central lie behind this non-scandal has been definitively undermined.

    This is, or at least ought to be, big news. Former President Obama and his supporters should view this as an opportunity to take a victory lap. After more than four years of Republicans’ efforts to try to backfill their absurd claims of a big political scandal, the entire story has (again) collapsed.

    It is not just big news, but it is also wonderful news. Anyone who cares even a whit about the rule of law should be delighted to know that the supposed abuse of government power that Republicans have been screaming about since May 2013 simply never happened. Unsurprisingly, that is not how Republicans are reacting.

    For those who might have blissfully forgotten the details of this particular non-scandal, this all began when an earlier TIGTA report in 2013 addressed an inquiry from Republicans in Congress about whether the IRS was using politicized criteria when reviewing applications for a particular kind of tax-exempt status.

    To qualify for that status, an organization cannot engage in political activities. At least, that is what the law says, with the relevant tax code provision (section 501(c)(4)) saying that organizations that are “operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare” are eligible for tax-exempt status.

    Let us skip over the fact that the Treasury Department has interpreted “exclusively” to mean merely “more than half of the time,” which makes it inappropriately easy for politically oriented groups to qualify for this kind of tax exempt status — a status that, by the way, allows the groups to receive anonymous donations.

    What we learned in 2013 is that the unit within the IRS that reviews 501(c)(4) applications had been using the names of organizations as an initial filter to determine who was likely to be engaged in impermissibly pervasive political activity. If a group calls itself “Ohioans United to Defeat Barack Obama’s Un-American Agenda,” for example, that might be a group that is mostly engaged in political activity.

    What would make this a scandal? The IRS had supposedly flagged not just “political sounding” names but names that signaled a conservative orientation, including “tea party,” “patriot,” “9/12.”

    Once that news broke, we were off to the races. Despite a complete lack of evidence, Republicans in Congress immediately claimed that this was a political hit job directed from on high in the Obama Administration. Not only was there no evidence to support such claims, but the TIGTA report had made clear that the IRS had already stopped using those filters.

    No matter. Republicans knew that they could make hay about this, and the two-sides-to-every-story press would surely write that “Republicans say that the Obama Administration has used the IRS to target its enemies, and although Democrats deny this, an investigation is ongoing.”

    The only reason that investigations continued, however, was that Republicans insisted on continuing to investigate. Like their obsession with the Benghazi tragedy, which they could never — even after their own endless series of witch hunts committee inquiries — turn into a fact-based scandal, Republicans quickly turned “the IRS scandal” into their own echo-chambered conventional wisdom, evidence be damned.

    Along the way, people like me would occasionally revisit the story and conclude that there was still no there there. And even people who would typically be sympathetic to the Republicans’ hyperventilations were not all on board. For example, a year after the non-scandal broke, Chris Wallace on Fox News chastised a Republican for continuing to pursue the story after finding nothing.

    The years dragged on, and the evidence continued not to pile up. But because Republicans have a bottomless well of energy that they use to keep zombie stories alive, they could create news out of non-news simply by continuing to complain about the nonexistent scandal, calling for the impeachment of the IRS Commissioner (who had not even been there during the supposed wrongdoing) and so on.

    What is new now? The original claim was that the filters that the IRS’s tax-exempt organizations unit had used were biased against right-wing groups. Now, it turns out that even that was not true. In addition to keywords like “tea party,” the unit was also looking for words like “occupy,” “progressive,” and “green energy.”

    Actually, that information is not new. We have known for years that the IRS was using both left- and right-oriented search terms, but this report provides exhaustive documentation of that fact.

    As tax professor Philip Hackney points out, the non-scandal was always a two-part story: (1) the IRS targeted right-wing groups for extra scrutiny, and (2) the Obama Administration had ordered them to do so.

    We never had any proof that the second part was true. Indeed, as I argued all along, it would amount to political malpractice for the Obama people to engage in that kind of dirty trick, because it was so pointless. “We’re going to win by having the IRS slow down tax-exempt status applications from tiny local Tea Party groups, none of which have enough money to tax in the first place.”

    Now, we have proof that the first prong of the non-scandal was never true. The IRS did use politically-oriented search terms to try to sort through applicants for inappropriate levels of political activity, but it did not do so on a partisan or ideological basis. And even so, they stopped using those search terms, in an effort to avoid even the appearance of political intent in their reviews.

    Will this stop the Republicans? Of course not. A New York Times story quotes the chair of the House’s tax-writing committee: “This report reinforces what government watchdogs and congressional investigators have confirmed time and time again: Bureaucrats at the I.R.S. … arbitrarily and haphazardly administered the tax code and targeted taxpayers based on political ideology.”

    No, the report says exactly the opposite. The IRS covered the political spectrum, meaning that regardless of a group’s apparent political ideology, they might receive added scrutiny in applying for status as a not-excessively-political organization.

    And what of the press? A Washington Post news article stated that the new TIGTA report “could undermine claims that conservatives were unfairly targeted under President Barack Obama.”

    Normally, I would love to make a sarcastic comment about that kind of bizarre understatement, but there is no improving on Steven Benen’s take on The Post’s “quite generous” choice of words: “If ‘could undermine’ is synonymous with ‘completely discredits,’ then sure.”

    All of this serves as a helpful reminder that the Trump Administration’s blatant dishonesty is only a continuation of a strategy of lying that Republicans have been honing for years.

    I recently wrote about “one-sided dishonesty” in American politics. My claim was that Democrats are occasionally dishonest in the old-fashioned political sense, shading the truth and sometimes getting caught, whereas Republicans have applied the principles of mass production to the propagation of lies.

    In that column, I noted a term coined by Paul Waldman, “the audacity gap,” which he says “makes Republicans the party of ‘Yes we can,’ while Democrats are the party of ‘Maybe we shouldn’t.'” That Republicans are still audaciously claiming that there was an IRS scandal under Obama is one of only many examples.

    Indeed, there is an interesting overlap among examples of Democrats’ timidity. The new TIGTA report notes that one of the search terms that the IRS used that would pick up left-leaning groups was “acorn.” As The Timesnotes, ACORN is “the acronym for the now defunct Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.”

    But the interesting question is why ACORN is now defunct. That group was itself the victim of what turned out to be a non-scandal, in which a right-wing group doctored videos to make it appear that the group was corrupt.

    When that story broke, Democrats in Congress and the White House hid under their desks. Even after it became completely clear that the whole affair was a political hit job, Democrats simply allowed funding for ACORN’s community organizing activities to be eliminated, and the group died.

    Similarly, when the 501(c)(4) story first broke in 2013, the Obama Administration fired the acting IRS commissioner and acted as if something horrible had happened. (Those who remember Obama’s baseless firing in 2010 of Shirley Sherrod, the victim of another doctored video, might start to notice a pattern.)

    In the meantime, Republicans continue to use the IRS non-scandal as a reason to “punish” the agency with further cuts to its budget. Even if the Republicans cannot get their act together this year to cut taxes for rich people and corporations, they can continue to achieve the same end by making it all but impossible for the IRS to catch tax cheats.

    The Republicans will never admit that there was no scandal. The Democrats will never make a concerted effort to educate the public. And the press will continue to say that it is all very complicated and that the two sides disagree. It is a beautifully closed system, with the only losers being the American people, who need the IRS to be able to continue to do its job.

    • formwiz says:

      Link doesn’t work, but, no matter.

      It’s all one of the bear suit’s lies.

      It’s just a dream Zippy weaponized the IRS like he did the DOJ. /sarc /again

  2. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    Teach typed: “Last time I checked, Trump has not used the Internal Revenue Service to target political opposition.”

    Are you implying that President Obama did?? That’s not what the Treasury Dept IG concluded.

    “A federal watchdog investigating whether the Internal Revenue Service unfairly targeted conservative political groups seeking tax-exempt status said that the agency also scrutinized organizations associated with liberal causes from 2004 to 2013.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/us/politics/irs-targeting-tea-party-liberals-democrats.html

    And Tea Party folks called themselves “teabaggers” until they discovered (as many of us did!) that teabagging had another meaning.

    tRump calls his political opponents and the legitimate media “enemies of the people” and “traitors”.

    tRump hopes to repeat his narrow victory from 2016 by appealing to his white base, rural and suburban Americans who feel screwed by the system (and they HAVE been screwed by the system, just not by tRump’s targets). His approach to sow division, encouraging his base to view themselves as victims of diversity, immigrants, anti-white discrimination, anti-Christian bigotry…

    • formwiz says:

      Are you implying that President Obama did?? That’s not what the Treasury Dept IG concluded.

      A black Democrat serving at the pleasure of the Kenyan who weaponized the IRS. Yeah, gives me all kinds of confidence. /sarc

      tRump hopes to repeat his narrow victory from 2016

      Narrow?

      He won by a 10 state margin. Last guy to do that was Bush 41.

      And Tea Party folks called themselves “teabaggers” until they discovered (as many of us did!) that teabagging had another meaning.

      Lie. Term coined by Anderson Cooper.

      • Bill Bear says:

        “Lie. Term coined by Anderson Cooper.”

        Lie. The term was applied by Tea Party members to themselves and their activities until they realized that it had another meaning.

        Stupid is as stupid does.

        Screenshot-from-2019-04-17-10-37-48.png

        Picture-23.png

        teabegger-protestors.jpg

      • Elwood P. Dowd says:

        formerwiz,

        I’m sorry, mate, but you don’t believe in reality, facts or evidence. Out of over 100,000,000 votes cast, tRump won electoral votes in few midwestern states by 70 thousand. He lost the popular vote by about 3 million. And stuff your “illegal votes” up your arse – it’s still a lie.

  3. Bill Bear says:

    Remember when Porter Good tried to revive some tired old bullshìt about Obama? Right, he did that just now.

    “Remember when he called Americans “lazy.””

    Whoops. Four Pinocchios.

    Porter Good just cannot stop lying.

    Did Obama call Americans ‘lazy’ and ‘soft’?

    Consider these two comments by Obama, made some weeks apart:

    “The way I think about it is, this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft and we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades. We need to get back on track.” (Sept. 29)

    “But we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted — well, people will want to come here and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America.” (Nov. 12)

    Notice that, even though the subject matter is slightly different, in both cases Obama is talking about a two-decade trend. This takes you through Democratic (Bill Clinton) and Republican (both George Bushes) presidents. In essence, it’s the period after the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed, when the United States became the world’s sole superpower, largely unchallenged as a military and economic force.

    We asked White House officials if the president was referring to a particular document or study he had read, and didn’t really get an answer. But certainly there are trend lines, such as the rise of China as an economic power, that back up the president’s concern that the United States now must work harder for business in a much more competitive environment.

    In a specific example of the issue cited in the “lazy” comment, numerous studies indicate that foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States has dropped, especially in the last 10 years. In a report last month, Dartmouth College Associate Dean Matthew J. Slaughter reported that the trend is especially worrisome:

    “The U.S. share of the world’s stock of FDI rose from 25.9% in 1990 to 41.4% in 1999, but it then fell sharply to just 17.6% in 2009. Much of this fall reflects the surge of China, India, and other developing countries as attractive locations for multinational companies to expand. Regardless, the U.S. share of global FDI has fallen — and has fallen at a much faster rate than has either the FDI share of other advanced countries or the U.S. share of other global economic activities such as global gross domestic product. And in the first six months of 2011, FDI inflows into the United States fell by 11.7% compared to the first half of 2010.”

    In other words, Obama is highlighting a serious problem. Perhaps the phrase “lazy” is a bit overheated, but it clear from the context of Obama’s remarks that he is not saying Americans are lazy. He’s talking about a trend over a two-decade period that indicates a certain complacency in trying to win business and investment.

    Indeed, what did Obama say right after he suggested Americans had gotten “soft” over the past two decades?

    “But I still wouldn’t trade our position with any country’s on earth. We still have the best universities, the best scientists, and best workers in the world; we still have the most dynamic economic system in the world. So we just need to bring all those things together.”

    Oh. That same old unsubstantiated boosterism.

    Perry and Romney have ripped Obama’s remarks completely out of context, similar to Romney’s ridiculous Four-Pinocchio claim that Obama “apologized” for America overseas. In both cases, the candidates are trying to feed into a subterranean narrative that Obama is not quite American, or certainly not proud to be an American. But, frankly, it’s just lazy politicking on their part.

    Four Pinocchios

    Four Pinocchios

    • formwiz says:

      But he did say soft and lazy.

      Of course, he was excusing his own lackluster performance. Not unlike Hitler

      No Pinocchios.

      • Bill Bear says:

        “Of course, he was excusing his own lackluster performance.”

        Edward Dutcher is lying — again. Anyone who reads the full text of Obama’s remarks will see that he was discussing a problem of several decades’ duration.

        Lying is what Porter Good and his lackeys do.

        Lying is all Porter Good and his lackeys know.

  4. Mangoldielocks says:

    Elwood: Good morning BILL BEAR.

    MORNING! ITS HOT!! DAMN HOT. ITS SO HOT MY DOG REFUSES TO EAT THE NEIGHBORS CHICKENS CAUSE HE DOESNT LIKE FRIED FOOD!

    Elwood: Man thats hot.

    DIDNT YOU HEAR WHAT I SAID YOU LEFT WING MORON. ITS HOT! I HAD TO BUY A RUBBER DINGY YESTERDAY CAUSE THE OCEANS ROSE 1000 FEET.

    Elwood: Are you sure they rose that high?

    DAMN STRAIGHT YOU FUKING MORON. WHAT ARE YOU A BERNIE SANDERS SUPPORTER? DIDNT YOU HEAR WHAT I SAID ITS HOT. SO HOT AOC HIRED AN AGENT FOR A BOOK DEAL SO WE GOTS US SOMPUN TO READ WHEN WE ARE ALL DROWNING.

    Elwood: I heard about that. I think she is such a sweet kid.

    SWEET. SHES FUKING SARAH PALIN ON STEROIDS YOU FUKING ASSWIPE. SHE IS DUMBER THAN A BOX OF ROCKS AND ABOUT AS SWEET. ITS SO FUKING HOT THAT SHE WOULD MELT IF SHE WAS SWEET.

    Elwood: Thats not very sciency.

    YOU WANT SCIENCE GO TO THE WAX MUSEUM AND LOOK AT THE PILE OF WAX ON THE FLOOR. 97 PERCENT OF OUR SCIENTISTS WERE IN THAT ROOM. THATS SCIENCE YOU DICK WAD MORON. YOUR SO STUPID I AM NOW DUMBER FOR HAVING TALKED TO YOU.

  5. Jl says:

    Meanwhile, Democrats are back to their old KKK ways, harassing black people.
    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/04/candace-owens-fights-the-new-kkk.php

  6. Liljeffyatemypuppy says:

    Did ya spot little Boo Boo in that video? https://www.thepiratescove.us/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  7. Professor Hale says:

    I sure am glad that Jeff reprints entire articles from other publications, just in case I don’t get those publications. I suspect that there is probably some sort of rule or something about stealing other peoples work (intellectual property) like that is a bad thing. Is sarcasm a lie? Probably. Teach may want to consult a blog lawyer to see if reasonable use applies to such reprinting and if it raises his own liability.

  8. Professor Hale says:

    For the record: The President of the United States isn’t the “leader of the free world” or the “leader of the United States”. He is only nominally the leader of his political party, but that isn’t an official function. Presidents are not empowered or expected by the constitution to “lead” anyone. They are the chief executive of the executive branch of the government. Their duties and powers are listed in the Constitution. “Leadership” isn’t there. Neither is “representation”. The winner of the election becomes the chief executive of the executive branch. It is a feature, not a bug, that all the people who voted against him, aren’t getting the government to run the way they wanted.

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