What’s so bad about feeling good?

That’s the title of a 1968 movie starring George Peppard and Mary Tyler Moore. I’m pretty sure I never saw it, but the title has stayed with me all these years.

The question arises anew from this report in Politico about how good President Trump feels after striking his deal yesterday with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. According to Josh Dawsey, Trump is almost giddy, as he basks in the glow of favorable mainstream media coverage of his agreement with the Dems to pair hurricane relief with a three-month debt limit hike, without getting anything in return:

[I]n calls with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday morning, Trump raved about the positive news coverage [the deal] had received, according to people familiar with the calls, and he seemed very pleased with his decision.

Trump specifically mentioned TV segments praising the deal and indicated he’d been watching in a call with Schumer, two people said. And he was jovial in a call with Pelosi and agreed to send a tweet she asked for about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, these people said, while also mentioning the attention the deal had gotten. He indicated to both leaders he would be willing to work together again.

“He seemed super upbeat,” one person familiar with the calls said.

Another person familiar with the calls said Trump told Pelosi her coverage was even better than his. “The press has been incredible,” Trump said.

“He seemed super upbeat,” one person familiar with the calls said.

Pelosi was super upbeat too. Unlike Trump, she had good reason to be.

Pelosi herself bragged that she had gotten results after asking him to tweet reassurances that Dreamers shouldn’t worry about being deported over the next six months while lawmakers try to secure a DACA fix.

“I was telling my colleagues, ‘This is what I asked the president to do,’ and boom boom boom, the tweet appeared,” she said at a news conference Thursday.

Boom boom boom. Has any member of Trump’s team had as much success as Pelosi did in influencing what the president tweets?

In theory, there is nothing wrong with negotiating deals with Schumer and Pelosi. The problem arises if Trump is motivated by, or finds reinforcement in, positive media coverage of his deals.

Schumer and Pelosi don’t have to worry about media coverage. They will be treated positively no matter what, though they will be treated more positively the more concessions they can get from Trump. By contrast, Trump will be savaged by the mainstream media except when he’s making deals that favor the left. In other words, the situation is asymmetrical.

That’s why it’s distressing, if true, that Trump is reveling in the favorable coverage he’s receiving for yesterday’s deal with Schumer and Pelosi.


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