On Saturday, Washington Post columnist Dan Balz wrote that President Donald Trump is relying on the same old bag of tricks that let him lurch blindly to a surprise victory in 2016 — but that that playbook is unlikely to get him elected again, let alone deliver sound domestic or foreign policy.
“After a week in which the threat of recession rocked global financial markets, his trade war with China showed no signs of progress and the government of Israel got into a nasty dispute with two members of Congress, President Trump went to bed Thursday night with other weighty issues on his mind. ‘Great news,’ he tweeted. ‘Tonight we broke the all-time attendance record previously held by Elton John at #SNHUArena [Southern New Hampshire University] in Manchester!'” wrote Balz. “This is the frivolous mind-set of the president of the United States. Trump’s flurry of statements over the past few days have brought into focus once again something fundamental about him: He has little understanding of what it means to govern. He would rather tweet from the bleachers.”
In addition to boasting about his crowd size, Balz noted, Trump spent a great deal of time trashing Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and the “fake news” media, stepping into the controversy of Israel prohibiting entry to two Democratic congresswomen critical of Netanyahu’s regime, and flirting with the idea of buying Greenland from Denmark. But on complex issues that really demand American leadership, like the uprising in Hong Kong, Trump has shown only a passing interest.
“The president’s supporters still love him, as his rally in New Hampshire on Thursday again showed. The president put on quite a show, a rambling discourse that lasted more than an hour and a half and revisited old lines and familiar themes (sometimes more than once),” wrote Balz. “Meanwhile, a new Fox News poll of the 2020 campaign showed Trump losing to every Democrat tested. More telling was that the incumbent president did not break 40 percent against any of them. Polls are polls, and the election is more than a year away, but those numbers should concern the president’s advisers.”
“Trump is following the same limited playbook that got him to the presidency,” concluded Balz. “Whether those tactics have the same potency they once did is the question that will determine his and the country’s future. Meanwhile, serious problems are in front of him and he is struggling to find the answers.”
Bloomberg and Biden attack Sanders supporters’ ‘Trump-like’ tactics
On Monday, The New York Times analyzed the state of the Democratic presidential primaries heading into the Nevada caucuses. One of the key new developments is a fresh volley of attacks on the behavior of supporters for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), which is being characterized as "Trump-like" by former Vice President Joe Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s presidential campaign, which has largely focused its attacks on President Trump, on Monday mounted a frontal offensive against one of his Democratic rivals for the first time, comparing Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign tactics with those employed by the president," wrote Thomas Kaplan, Kate Conger, and Reid Epstein.
Some Tea Party Republicans are voting for Bernie Sanders — and not for the reasons that you think
Some Democratic primaries are only open to registered Democrats; others allow all registered voters to participate regardless of party affiliation — including South Carolina’s Democratic presidential primary. Registered Republicans will be free to vote in that primary and vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren or any one of the other candidates. And Jane Coaston, in Vox, explains why some Tea Party Republicans in South Carolina are voting for Bernie Sanders.
Bloomberg vs. Trump would mean America has already amused itself to death
Maybe this wasn’t exactly the way Neil Postman wrote it up in 1985. After all, Instagram and Twitter were unfathomable in a world where the internet was still a closely held secret among computer-science geeks. Yet that was the world in which the late New York University media critic wrote a book called “Amusing Ourselves to Death” that essentially predicted Donald Trump, the drug of 24/7 cable news and … everything, decades before they actually occurred.But Postman would have inherently understood multibillionaire Mike Bloomberg’s surging 2020 presidential campaign and what it says about an A... (more…)