How hard are news organizations willing to work to normalize Donald Trump’s behavior? Pretty hard. Even organizations not called Fox are willing to perform Herculean acts of heavy-lifting and reach Cirque du Soleil levels of agility to find something, anything, nice to say about Trump.
On Tuesday, Trump held a bipartisan meeting on immigration, one in which cameras were allowed to remain in the room expressly to show how Trump is completely not a blithering moron who needs assistance to get beyond anything other than repeating his story about that time he shot a 17 on 18 holes and followed it with the Best. Cake. Ever.
During this demonstration of presidential competence lasting almost a whole hour, Trump stared glassy-eyed across the room, responded to every question as if he’d just been shaken awake in his chair, and had to be hastily corrected by terrified Republicans who rushed to correct his errors.
Some of the meeting’s most fascinating moments came as GOP leaders tried to gently rein Trump in. GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, for instance, reminded him of his own position, that any move on DACA should be twinned with border security improvements, prompting Trump to quickly backtrack.
Republicans had to “gently rein Trump in” and “remind him of his own position,” which is why this was such a complete triumph for Trump. All as part of this astounding victory for Trump, or as CNN also put it …
He was clearly able to follow the debate, and mount a defense of his own controversial positions — on a border wall, for example — without causing obvious offense, and appeared magnanimously open to other viewpoints.
Normalizing. It’s dirty work and … why does anyone have to do it again?
For the last week, America has been told that its President is a “dope” and “a child,” an “idiot” and a man whose decaying mental faculties and refusal to read makes him dangerously unfit for the Oval Office.
Yes. Yes. Also yes. And now that Trump has been raised to the astounding heights of being able to keep his eyes mostly open for 55 minutes and respond with words?
For sure, it’s a low bar for a president. Those who reach the White House have often been among the cream of their generation, lauded for wisdom, steely dispositions and possessing the presence to redirect the political winds.
It’s not clear if CNN is really trying to normalize Donald Trump … or just make the rest of us sob.