One week away from the Inauguration, and fear of the incoming Trump Administration has reached a fever pitch. There’s a common theme in the post-election coverage of the nascent Trump Administration and the transition of power, and that is that the apocalypse is upon us and the very idea of Republican governance is an offense against nature. Look at the drumbeat of stories since the election, each of them designed to undermine and thwart the incoming Administration while terrifying the body politic that the end is nigh:
- The attacks on the FBI as being responsible for Hillary’s loss;
- The fantastic allegation that the Russians instituted an elaborate plot to “hack the election” and help Trump defeat Hillary because of a supposed grudge he had against her;
- The endless scrutiny of the ethical concerns about Trump’s business empire, concerns that were nowhere in sight when Hillary was Secretary of State and the Clinton Foundation was raking in megabucks from foreign donors, including state-owned entities
- The breathless reports of how the transition was behind schedule in getting appointments together, a mere week after winning an election no reporter thought they would win
- The complaints that Donald Trump’s going out to dinner without telling the press where he was going was evidence that his would be a secretive, non-transparent administration (from the same people who still haven’t been able to figure out where Obama was during the Benghazi firefight)
- The panic over “fake news” (and the dropping of the panic over fake news when much of that fake news was directed AT the Trump team)
- The endless reports of hate crimes supposedly committed by Trump supporters against Muslims and others after Trump’s election victory, all of which turned out to be false
- The efforts to overturn the election with recounts
- The efforts to overturn the election in the Electoral College
- The concerns about the competence of Government outsiders like Rex Tillerson and Ben Carson and Betsy DeVos, and the surprising lack of similar concern about non-experts like Julian Castro and Jeh Johnson running their departments
- The plans to disrupt the Inauguration with marches and protests
- The actual disruption of confirmation hearings
- The fears and skepticism about repealing Obamacare, that there is no “plan” to replace it, this for a bill we had to pass just to find out what was in it — in the dead of night, no less
- People attacking Jeff Sessions for supposedly not being sensitive enough to civil rights concerns (and for having a half-Asian grandchild)
- Artists (Meryl Streep, the cast of Hamilton) warning about the descent of fascism, the dark night of chilling artists and the end of diversity
etc. etc. And all this in just two months! (Which included Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, no less!) The common threat? We are about to be ruled by a bunch of incompetent, corrupt, racist, Manchurian candidate cowboys. I’m just waiting for the locusts, frogs, and slaying of the first born too for the parade of horribles to be complete. You can just feel it in the air and in the reporting — when Democrats are in control of the levers of power, all is right with the world. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the Eloi are rambling in the fields, and the world is spinning properly on its axis. When Republicans hold the levers of power, it’s because of angry voters, “bitter” clingers, fear, loathing, and trepidation are in the air, and a swarm of Morlocks are surfacing and taking over the country. Every day is a crisis. Every reporters question will be “But what about this? But what about that?” Listen to every reporter, and the word you will hear more often than ever is “but.”
Does anyone really think we would have kicked those Russian diplomats out of the US, levied sanctions on Russia, and generally made a big stink about Russian involvement if Hillary won? The question almost answers itself. I’d bet dollars to doughnuts Obama would have done exactly the same thing he did when the State Department got hacked, when OPM got hacked, when the White House got hacked, and when the Iranians took US sailors hostage and mistreated them: absolutely nothing.
This, I think, is the culmination of 16 years of the Left becoming convinced that it is not only correct in its views, but morally superior. That the Right is illegitimate. From the 2000 election and the Bush v. Gore chaos that followed, the Democrats and the Left have viewed Republican government as illegitimate. The entirety of the Bush presidency saw him being accused of being illegitimate, a Hitler figure, etc.
Meanwhile, the Democrats have been protected and shielded from criticism during the eight years of Obama. The press and the Democrats muted criticism of Obama and Democratic policies by subtly (and sometimes, not so subtly) accusing the critics of racism. The press wanted to see Obama succeed and protected him as well. So the last eight years felt somewhat calm politically. In fact, the only time a political crisis appeared to be taking shape was when the Tea Party came into being and was immediately attacked as being racist and violent, despite being a calm and mature protest movement (that even cleaned up its own trash after marching on the Washington Mall).
Democrats are not only convinced of their own virtue, they are convinced their opponents lack any virtue. It’s no wonder they think the coming Republican administration will be a horror show — they have convinced themselves that Republicans aren’t just wrong, they are evil, they are racist, they hate minorities and all immigrants, etc.
So be prepared for the wailing, gnashing of teeth, breathless reporting, righteous indignation, and everything else that comes with Republicans running Government. The very fact of Republicans running Government is a crisis for some people, including many in the media, so be prepared for the endless negative, skeptical, or outright hostile acts of the media against the Trump Administration (looking at you, Buzzfeed).