New York Times columnist Frank Bruni seems to have gotten the message that the way for Democrats to win in 2018 isn’t by acting like the end is nigh, but instead through more measured critiques of the president.
When it comes to the tax bill, Americans might think House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s screams of “Armageddon,” particularly when “millions of voters…notice withholdings from their paychecks and more money in their pockets,” according to Bruni in his Tuesday column.
Indeed, with wages set to increase in 2018 thanks to the GOP tax bill, how will readers square Bruni’s pleads for calm with his colleague Paul Krugman’s predictions that Trump would bring a “global recession?”
After The Times’ columnist’s predictions end up looking silly, “Some…Americans,” according to Bruni, “may decide that the prophets aren’t to be trusted — and that the president isn’t quite the pestilence they make him out to be.”
To be clear, Bruni hasn’t seen the light and is engaging in some left-to-right conversion. He doesn’t want to minimize “Trump’s capriciousness or cupidity,” but he is certainly scoffing at his fellow liberal’s predictions of the end of times. Bruni writes:
But the end of the world? Come on. That’s not par-for-the-course hyperbole. It’s peculiar-to-Trump hyperventilation, an understandable response to such an indecent president but quite possibly a tactical mistake. It could weaken the odds of hobbling him next fall, in the midterm elections, and of putting him far behind us in November 2020. And that’s where I, for one, want him: in the rearview mirror, growing tinier and tinier as we zoom, pedal to the metal, toward a saner, more dignified horizon.
Shortly after Trump’s election, the left seemed certain that hollering about collusion was one of the sure ways to bring down his presidency. Fast-forward to the end of 2017, and liberals like Bruno are asking others not to obsess over “clear ‘collusion’ and insisting on invisible puppet strings by which Vladimir Putin controlled Trump.”
Such a demand for temperance in rhetoric also contrasts with Bruni’s own rhetoric. Back in August of 2017, the restaurant-critic-turned-columnist said Trump “needs a soul.”
Looks like Bruni finally took some of his own advice.
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