Fighting back.

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AP Photo/Alex Brandon

We know that Democrats cannot stand Donald Trump. They don’t simply oppose him. They don’t merely dislike his policies. They actually loathe him with seething, all-absorbing white-hot hatred. They will never forgive a brazen, outspoken, intemperate reality TV star like Donald Trump for snatching from the clutching hands of Hillary Clinton that which was rightfully hers.

My prediction that Democrats would eventually get over it and revert to more traditional political opposition was flatly wrong. In many ways, Democrats are even more hysterical today than they were immediately following the election.

I have friends whom I would nominally believe to be right-leaning Republicans who are also not on board with Donald Trump. (Not many, mind you. According to any number of polls, Trump’s approval among Republicans stands somewhere close to 90 percent.)

But there are still #NeverTrump Republicans and I know some of them. When I press them as to why, given Trump’s undeniable successes, the answer almost always boils down to his tweets.

“Not presidential,” my friends say. “Beneath the dignity of the office.” “Sinking to the level of his critics.” OK, fine, let’s say they’re right. The question then becomes; outgunned as Republicans are, how else can one expect to win and then, more importantly, effectively govern? 

Indulge me please, in a baseball metaphor as I say that every Republican administration starts with an 0-2 count. That’s because Democrats own – lock, stock and barrel – the commanding heights of the culture. They dominate mainstream media, academia from kindergarten through college, the permanent federal bureaucracy, movies, music, theater, book publishing, high tech and social media.

Most Republicans are no match. Most Republicans, being human, do what they can to avoid snarky criticism of the sort that Democrats never have to endure. It’s called ‘playing to not lose’ and too many Republicans engage in it. We all remember Mitt Romney politely standing there in the second debate in 2012 with that strained smile on his face as CNN’s Candy Crowley effectively ended his campaign.

George W. Bush, a thoroughly good and decent man, left office in almost total disgrace – with approval numbers in the 20s – for the simple reason that he took withering incoming from the media and the late-night shows and chose to never once even attempt to return fire.

Donald Trump is no George Bush and he’s sure as hell no Mitt Romney. Trump almost never throws the first punch. But if one is thrown at him, he very quickly punches back. Though some of his Twitter fusillades have been a bit much, overall they’ve been effective. For the first time, it’s Democrats dealing with incoming fire.

We on the right have never seen this and sometimes it’s a bit unsettling. But it’s nevertheless, long overdue. Conservatism works every time it’s tried. The problem has been that it hasn’t been tried all that assiduously in a while.

By fighting back, Donald Trump has changed that. That’s a new thing for Republicans – and well worth the occasional discomforts.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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12 Responses

  1. Chuck Goldsmith says:

    I would 1,000 times rather have a rough around the edges champion to stand up to my bullies than to have no champion. Trump is in the arena of public bullying and not only survives, but thrives. That has to be part of the reason that he is so despised by his (our) antagonists.

  2. Buddy Saunders says:

    “Donald Trump is no George Bush and he’s sure as hell no Mitt Romney.” Thank God! Both Bush and Romney are decent men, but both lack the moral conviction necessary to effectively defend core values. Donald Trump may have his rough edges, but unlike Bush and Romney, Trump is honest in that he actually seeks to deliver on campaign promises. President Trump is delivering on those promises and he is getting things done. My concern isn’t Trump. My concern is that after Trump we’ll be back to the Bush/Romney born-to-fail model that, apart from Reagan and Trump, epitomizes Republican presidential candidates.

  3. Darrell Durham says:

    There are many things about Donald Trump that aren’t presidential. But there are things being done TO him that aren’t very presidential, either. He has made a vast fortune being successful. That is his goal now, and, like him or not, it’s hard to argue against his successes. The left condemns anyone that disagrees with them as racist, supremacist, homophobic, etc. and calls out for their public shame. San Francisco recently deemed the NRA a domestic terrorism organization due to their “inciting of violence” without ANY supporting evidence, and yet Hollywood was weeks from release of “The Hunt” before public backlash and better minds prevailed and it was cancelled. One recent shooter mentioned video games in his online rants. When Trump pointed to violent video games, social media and Hollywood as possible causes of a problem, the predictable roar from the left could be heard everywhere. You correctly assert the republicans are/were ill-equiped for Trump and his tactics. Obviously some last-minute votes were cast in 2016. Could it be possible some people are going to vote for Trump in 2020 but don’t feel like hearing all the crap for doing so?

  4. John Woodward says:

    Critical thinking involves the creation or identification of criteria and the use of those criteria to make judgments. Critics of the president often attack his tweets and your explanation of why that criterion is very weak for attacking or “being critical of” the president leaves the critics facing his successes as the places to judge him. As you noted, the president has some undeniable successes. The result is a democratic party that has to create catastrophic problems that have no solution so they can propose one radical solution after another that is really aimed at other goals they have that would not look good in the light of day.

    • Creating catastrophic problems?
      Like that Sharpie loop around Alabama?

      • C M Solomon says:

        Can’t you EVER deal with a substantive argument, rationally? You are wasting a lot of finger exercise (carbon fingerprints) by those that try in vain to counter your empty and ridiculousness counter-punches. Your arguments remind me of a childish tantrum because he doesn’t like the results.

        Democrat talking points are NOT an excuse for intelligent rebuttal. Trump fights back with RESULTS, not with empty promises that get him praise from the Media fan club that Obama used like a puppet master. Too bad our weak-kneed Republicans can’t learn from Trump’s ability put these spoiled brats on the defensive.

        • “RESULTS” you say?

          About that Wall, that Mexico was going to pay for?

          Among 127 ways Trump just picked the Pentagon’s pocket for $3.6 billion instead:TEXAS will lose $38 mil,’ money that funded, among other things, daycare for the children of troops serially deployed in what Candidate Trump called “these stupid wars.”

          AFTER (a) he had 2 years with The Republic’ Party controlling both houses of Congress; and (b) he walked away from a funding deal from the Dems.

          Or healthcare: After NOT-killing (now-popular) Obamacare during those 2 years, where’s “better!” coverage for “lower!” premiums?

          Debt? Deficit? Everett Dirksen — a great Republican, who got things done with a Democratic Texan president and Dems controlling both chambers — once quipped: “a billion here, a billion there, sooner or later it all adds up.” Change that now to A TRILLION, 12 zeroes.

          Meanwhile crook Trump is steering G7 to his drab money-losing Doral place, and has Pence on his 3rd excuse for why he’s commuting 180 miles coast-to-coast across Ireland to billet the entourage at another Trump dump.

          Oh, and as escalating China tariffs roil financial markets, have you read that Ivanka’s China-made stuff is exempt?

          #MAGA

        • Buddy Saunders says:

          What is fascinating about Mr. Cook is that his kind of “thought” is replicated right up to the top of the left wing food chain. The Democrats and the always angry Bernie sound just like our Mr. Cook. With folks like this blathering and running for office, we are in for one interesting and entertaining election cycle. We’ll have fun with these folks. So will President Trump.

          • Buddy: Having spent a career attracting the attention of the non-like-minded, I’m proud that you’re fascinated.

            Is “Cook,” rather than “Cooke” like “the Democrat’ Party,” instead of “Democratic?”

  5. Kelly Gunz says:

    This needed to be said and it’s well-explained. His Tweets make me cringe almost every time I read one but you’re right, it’s because I am not accustom to a fighter. I’m accustom to the Bush men and Reagan. Times are changing and change always makes us uncomfortable. Good job Paul

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