Washington Lies In a Parallel Universe

In the real world, the Trump administration is humming along. Its domestic policies are sensible and have been remarkably successful in a short time. Abroad, the administration has pursued American interests, again with considerable success. It has also made progress, at least, at cleaning up the appalling messes left behind by Barack Obama in Iran, Syria, Russia and North Korea. By any objective standard, the Trump administration is, so far, a major improvement on its predecessor.

But our “news” organizations have little interest in any of those topics. They are obsessed with tweets, with ten-year-old liaisons, with non-existent collusion and with investigations of nothing that apparently will never end. In their parallel world, Trump is such a failure that he might as well quit and save the Democrats the trouble of impeaching him. (For what? is a question that rarely seems to be asked.)

Take yesterday’s press briefing by Sarah Sanders. As always, she began by describing the substantive work going on in the White House that day. As always, the press corps ignored such mundane topics and went straight to la-la land. Yesterday it was April Ryan who drove the car into the ditch with this exchange:

Q Sarah, two questions. The President said yesterday he was compliant; that he turned over a million documents. If he was compliant with these investigation, why was there a search warrant needed?

SANDERS: This doesn’t have anything to do with the President, and I would refer you to Michael Cohen and his attorney. When it comes to matters of the Special Counsel and dealings with the President, we’ve been fully cooperative.

Q Okay, and the next question. With all of this turmoil, particularly this last week, has the President at any time thought about stepping down before or now?

SANDERS: No. And I think that’s an absolutely ridiculous question.

Q No, it’s not ridiculous. It’s not ridiculous.

SANDERS: I gave you two questions, April. We’re moving on.

Jordan, go ahead.

Q [By April Ryan] It is a legitimate question. It’s not ridiculous.

Yes, April, it actually is a ridiculous question, and one that no one ever asked of Barack Obama’s spokesmen, despite his many low moments.

In a battle between reality and fantasy, it usually is prudent to bet on reality. Here, I am not so sure. The Democrats have a near-monopoly on the organs of perception, and they may be able to bend a majority of Americans to their topsy-turvy view of things. We will find out in November.

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