- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The notion that a “shadow presidency” is up and running to counter President Trump is very popular in the press at the moment. Multiple news organizations now bandy about such terms as “shadow White House,” “shadow government” or “shadow Cabinet.” The narrative insists that noble entities are out to counter the “chaos” — manned by angry activists from the nonprofit Organizing for Action, or by former members of the Obama administration still employed by the federal government. Hillary Clinton’s name has also been mentioned.

The idea of hostile “shadow” management has been around for a while. The term “shadow president” appeared in wishful news reports and commentary as early as November and continued right through Mr. Trump’s inauguration — and beyond. Even before Mr. Trump took the presidential oath on Jan. 20, veteran political commentator Bill Moyers suggested Mrs. Clinton give her own inaugural address, advising Democrats to “prepare by joining together as a movement and creating the constituency of what will be, in effect, a shadow government — one that will serve to track and respond to every single bad action undertaken by the Trump administration and its monolithic Congress.”

On Inauguration Day, GQ magazine advised,”Barack Obama is preparing for his third term.” Global news organizations also pondered the dynamics: “Democrats are eager for Barack Obama to play the role of shadow president, offering direction to Americans who feel they lost their political compass the day Mr. Trump was elected,” noted ABC News — in this case, that’s the Australian Broadcasting Corp. News.

While some “shadow” coverage is jaunty and blithe, other reports are not.

“Former President Obama is waging war against the Trump administration through his generously funded agitation outfit, Organizing for Action, to defend his monumentally destructive record of failure and violent polarization. It is a chilling reminder that the increasingly aggressive, in-your-face Left in this country is on the march,” investigative reporter Matthew Vadum writes for FrontPage Magazine.

DAYS OF YORE

President Trump must cope with fake news and attacks from a hostile news media on a mammoth scale in this day and age. But history repeats itself. The nation’s presidents also were fretting about the press two centuries ago, and for similar reasons.

“From 40 years of experience with the wretched guess work of the newspapers of what is not done in the open daylight, and of their falsehood even as to that, I rarely think them worth reading, and almost never worth notice,” noted Thomas Jefferson, our third president, to James Monroe, our fifth president, in a letter dated Feb. 4, 1816.

SWAMP PEOPLE ON THE MARCH

“The D.C. swamp is rising up against Donald Trump. They’re colluding and viciously fighting to take down the 45th president and his entire administration. Ever since Trump ran for president, there’s been this liberal witch hunt. Nobody connected to him is off limits. They want everybody.”

— Fox news anchor Sean Hannity, summarizing the effort of those who oppose President Trump.

PARSING VOTER FRAUD

Bypass the mainstream media for some noteworthy insight on Thursday: Judicial Watch is offering a special program to be streamed live: “The Voter Fraud Crisis.” The one-hour event, to be streamed live online, features some formidable election integrity analysts who will parse out the possibility that the integrity of America’s elections have been comprised.

On hand: Attorney Cleta Mitchell, Heritage Foundation scholar Hans von Spakovsky, attorney Robert Popper and Jesse Richman, professor of political science and geography at Old Dominion University. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton serves as moderator.

“President Trump has announced a major investigation into voter fraud And left-wing politicians — along with much of the mainstream media — have gone into high gear to deny that any such thing exists. So, what’s really going on?” ask the organizers. The program airs at noon EST at judicialwatch.org/live.

ELIZABETH WARREN NO ‘ICON’

One analyst wonders why Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been turned into a “feminist icon” after the Massachusetts Democrat was formally silenced in the Senate following a particularly outspoken moment.

“Raising Warren up as a hero of feminism because she knowingly broke a gender-neutral Senate rule not only belittles the actual achievements of feminist heroes like Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Shirley Chisholm, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony, it relegates women — again — to the status of victims, which they are most certainly not,” writes Daily Signal columnist Rachel Bovard.

“This is the problem with the left’s narrative about women. In seeking to make martyrs out of women like Warren (and Hillary Clinton, for that matter), they implicitly sell women on the idea that they are still kept down, still oppressed by the insidious forces of patriarchy in a society that’s set against them. This isn’t an empowering philosophy. It’s a degrading one,” Ms. Bovard continues, pointing out that women have made many strides in the political, corporate and academic worlds.

“Why does the left continue to tell women that they are still victims?” Ms. Bovard wonders.

FOXIFIED

Once again, Fox News Channel topped all basic cable networks in both prime time and total viewers in the last week, according to Nielsen Media Research. Among programs for the week, The “O’Reilly Factor” notched four of the top six telecasts in all of cable, each averaging over 4 million viewers, ranking only behind AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” Additionally, Fox News programs made up 26 of the top 35 telecasts for the week.

POLL DU JOUR

80 percent of Americans report they have symptoms of stress, such as anxiety or depression.

66 percent report the “future of our nation” is a source of stress; 61 percent cite money concerns.

58 percent say the workplace is a source of stress; 57 percent cite the “current political climate.”

50 percent say the economy is a source of stress; 49 percent cite the outcome of the 2016 election.

41 percent say they are trying to manage stress through exercise, prayer of other activities.

Source: An American Psychological Association survey of 4,530 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 5-31 and Jan. 5-19 and released Wednesday.

•  Chatter to jharper@washingtontimes.com; follow her on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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