Trump's Week vs. Washington's Week: It's No Contest

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Trump's Week vs. Washington's Week: It's No Contest
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
Trump's Week vs. Washington's Week: It's No Contest
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” So begins Charles Dickens’ classic novel “A Tale of Two Cities.” The political reality in America reflects a sort of Dickensian dichotomy at present.

On the one hand, the figurative “city” of America exemplifies the “age of wisdom” of a country emboldened and busy: eliminating terrorists, protecting our streets, and growing wealthy. On the other hand, the literal city of Washington embraces an “age of foolishness” as an insular cabal is transfixed with impeachment.  

Illustrative of this contradiction, the news flow of last week revealed some of the loftiest achievements of the Trump presidency, while simultaneously unfurling the growing threats to that success from the chattering political class via the Democrats’ ignoble impeachment efforts. Thankfully, the party-line House vote to finally formalize the impeachment inquest was tempered by the long-awaited rise of a spirited and unified Republican defense of the president. That mitigation, combined with the incredible, tangible successes of the past week, provide a roadmap for the president to persevere – and prevail – through impeachment and march toward reelection next November.  

Trump’s triumphant week commenced with his announcement that U.S. forces had killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the malevolent leader of ISIS. This cretin and his acolytes arose from obscurity amid the feckless foreign policy of President Obama to briefly lead a de-facto country that inflicted untold misery upon hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East.

Like Osama bin Laden, Baghdadi met his fate with assistance from valiant U.S. special ops forces. Those troops eliminated this menace with bravery, skill, and precision. Their success reflects well on our unmatched military and on the commander-in-chief. President Trump dispatched Baghdadi and the larger geopolitical threat of his evil caliphate without the risks of a wholesale U.S. invasion and the concomitant costs and pitfalls of idealistic nation-building.

Somehow, the thoroughly biased media found fault with this unquestionable success. They wailed that it had happened “in spite” of Trump, rather than at his direction. The obstinance of the liberal establishment press contrasted starkly with conservative media in 2011, which overwhelmingly congratulated President Obama following the great achievement of dispatching bin Laden. For conservatives, killing the 9/11 mastermind superseded partisanship. For mainstream media in 2019, hatred of Trump eclipses even patriotic tendencies to celebrate the elimination of a dangerous threat to our nation. So torn was the Washington Post that the headline on its obituary for this monster described him as an “austere religious scholar.” Reacting to that tone-deaf description, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo highlighted Baghdadi’s personal role in the rape and murder of American aid worker Kayla Mueller and stated: “To suggest that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was anything other than a murderous terrorist is truly sick.”

Following the announcement of this military success, Trump traveled to Chicago to address threats to American security on our own streets. His speech to an international association of police chiefs made it clear that the Trump administration affixes itself strongly to principles of law and order as an ally of brave police officers everywhere. He scorched the insanity of so-called “sanctuary city” policies that preclude liberal jurisdictions from cooperating with federal agencies in removing illegal aliens who commit additional crimes after trespassing into America. Such misbegotten practices have led directly to totally preventable deaths and mayhem inflicted on Americans. Trump pledged that “not one more American life should be stolen from us because a politician puts criminal aliens before American citizens.”  

Trump cited the death of Ronil Singh, a policeman, father, and legal immigrant to America who was killed on Christmas Day by a previously convicted illegal migrant in the sanctuary state of California. At a memorial service for Officer Singh, his brother wholeheartedly lauded Trump: “This man over here” -- Reggie Singh gestured at the president -- “the Singh family supports him. Whatever he’s doing for law enforcement, we support him.”

Of course, America can only defend itself against threats, whether a world away in Syria or on the streets of California, if our country prospers economically. Last week ended with resoundingly stellar news on that front, notching yet another win. The jobs report released on Friday showcased the results of the pro-growth Trump agenda. The top line growth of 128,000 new jobs handily beat expectations, especially given the reported 41,000 temporary decline in auto manufacturing positions due to the now-settled GM strike. In addition, substantial upward revisions to prior months added almost 100,000 additional hires to the August and September reports. But perhaps most importantly, wage growth remains very robust, with the October report showing 3% year-over-year wage growth for the 15th straight month, a benchmark reached only three times during the entire Obama presidency.

Not only are job growth and wages accelerating, but the prosperity broadens as well. The black jobless rate hit the lowest on record. For Hispanics, the news is equally optimistic as the Latino unemployment rate has now been below 5% for 19 straight months. Before Trump, such a record was achieved only one month ever, in 2006 under President George W. Bush. Underscoring this wider success, the Washington Post recently reported that of the astounding 5.2 million jobs created in America since the end of 2016, fully 4.5 million of them have gone to minorities.

Given this backdrop of positive accomplishment, no wonder Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leftist allies do not relish an honest election contest with this results-oriented, promise-keeping president. Other than offering endless “free” giveaways, what is the actual Democratic counter to this Trump record of achievement? This impeachment farce is, in reality, a long-shot attempt to smear the president and divert attention away from these results. If Republicans can find their backbones, as they did in last week’s House vote, and fight back with a unified front, this “Tale of Two Cities” drama can be turned starkly against the Democrats.

In the city of Washington, the political and media elites obsess over the cheap chicanery of Capitol Hill machinations. But in the “city” of America beyond the Beltway, citizens recognize a country growing stronger abroad, safer at home, and wealthier from work.  

Steve Cortes is a contributor to RealClearPolitics and a CNN  political commentator. His Twitter handle is @CortesSteve.



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