- The Washington Times - Monday, February 27, 2017

President Trump meets Congress for the first time on Tuesday night, and much of the news media hopes it will prove to be a difficult rendezvous, and one witnessed by a nationwide audience. Certainly the progressive protestors who rally outside the White House before the significant speech to lawmakers hope it will go astray, egged on by the ACLU, MoveOn.org and Rosie O’Donnell, among the many organizers. Four Democrats, including Sen. Dick Durbin, plan to bring illegal immigrants to the event as their guests. Meanwhile, the hostile press has been making dire predictions for days, suggesting the president is seeking a “re-set,” offering viewer guides as if the speech was a sports event, or revisiting every negative poll which has appeared in recent days. Advice to Mr. Trump is plentiful.

“Many are saying that Donald Trump’s address to Congress is the most important speech of his new presidency — and they are right. If his presidency is to succeed, he must gain the cooperation of a disturbingly recalcitrant Republican Congress for his programs and this is the time to do it, to remind the skittish members what the public voted for,” advises Roger L. Simon, founder of PJ Media. “Soaring rhetoric, optimistic or not, the bashing of the dishonest media, justified as that may be, and the recitation of past achievements, worthy as many may be, are all beside the point now. Tuesday night we must hear what his programs are — in detail. He must put on his wonk suit.”

Mr. Simon wants the details about the economy, tax reform, immigration.

Trump should largely ignore his opposition among the Democrats and the press. He has the right ideas and the facts on his side,” he says, urging the president to heed the lyrics of the 1963 R&B classic titled “The Nitty Gritty” which advises the wise to — yes — “get right on down to the real nitty-gritty.”

New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin predicts this: “Tuesday night in the Capitol is likely to be a shock-and-awe blowout of pure Trumpism” — and on a battleground very familiar to the president.

“He’s at war with the status quo and caving in to dead-ender opponents after five weeks would mark him as weak with his core supporters. He wants to expand his power, not reduce it, as he begins the dance with Congress over ObamaCare, tax reform and the budget. Besides, we should not underestimate Trump’s determination or his strategy for success. Business taught him and politics reinforced that lowering your sights too soon is a losing proposition. Timing is key to the art of the deal,” Mr. Goodwin observes.

TRUMP BASHING NOT LOST ON THE PUBLIC

“Is the media too tough on Donald Trump? More than half of Americans think so,” reports the Wall Street Journal, which conducted a poll with NBC News to prove it.

The survey found that 53 percent of Americans say “the media and other elites” are exaggerating problems within the White House because they are “uncomfortable or threatened by the change Trump represents.”

Also, 51 percent think the press has been “too critical” of Mr. Trump; 41 percent deem news coverage “fair and objective”; while a slim 6 percent say the coverage has not been harsh enough.

NO SUCH THING AS A PROGRESSIVE TEA PARTY

Progressives, disgruntled Democrats, peeved feminists and other plan multiple rallies against President Trump — such as a nationwide “strike” for women next week. The press has suggested this “resistance” is similar to the emergence of the tea party eight years ago, which was, essentially, a spontaneous grass-roots movement with staying power and focus.

Wrong, says Mark Meckler, a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots. There is no similarity between the two movements he declares. None. Nada. Mr. Meckler offers clear reasoning in a new essay for the Independent Journal Review.

“The tea party challenges the Republican party to become better; the resistance is all about partisanship,” he says. “The tea party movement is grassroots; the ‘resistance’ astroturf. The tea party is not violent. The tea party isn’t comprised of millennial crybabies upset at a single politician. The tea party utilizes free speech; the anti-Trump resistance squelches it. The tea party was attacked by the government even though they broke no laws; the resistance is never properly even investigated by the media. The tea party is about love and respect; the resistance is about hatred and contempt.”

CONSERVATIVE PUSHBACK

On the radar, details soon: Coming March 15, it’s FreedomWorks “Day of Action” featuring Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul, and Rep. Jim Jordan. The rally in Upper Senate Park adjacent to the U.S. Capitol is intended as a mighty call to “repeal Obamacare,” organizers say. FreedomWorks is a grass-roots group backing free markets, individual liberty, lower taxes and less government.

FOXIFIED

President Trump has granted an exclusive interview to Fox News morning hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade ahead of his address to Congress on Tuesday. Mr. Trump previews his speech and includes hints about his immigration policy, tax reform and the economy, among other topics. This is Mr. Trump’s first morning show appearance since his inauguration; look for excerpts to air between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Co-anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum offer live coverage of the speech proper from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. with help from Tucker Carlson, Dana Perino,Juan Williams, Brit Hume and Chris Wallace. Sean Hannity presents a live hour of analysis at 11 p.m. Anchor Shepard Smith and correspondent Rich Edson offer live coverage for Fox’s broadcast channels.

On the Fox Business Network, Neil Cavuto will anchor a special edition of Cavuto: Coast to Coast, Presidential Address to the Congress  from 8-11 p.m. ET. The network will live stream the address on FOXBusiness.com. Peter Barnes and Blake Burman will report live from the White House, Connell McShane from the Capitol.


POLL DU JOUR

24 percent of Americans say the news media is “unfriendly” to nation; 43 percent of Republicans, 24 percent of independents and 8 percent of Democrats agree.

23 percent overall say the media is “friendly” to the nation; 11 percent of Republicans, 18 percent of independents and 37 percent of Democrats agree.

19 percent overall are not sure about the relationship; 10 percent of Republicans, 26 percent of independents and 16 percent of Democrats agree.

18 percent overall say the media is an “enemy” of the people; 30 percent of Republicans, 20 percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats agree.

17 percent overall say the media is an “ally” of the people; 6 percent of Republicans, 12 percent of independents and 33 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 18-22.

Strident comments, casual asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com. Follow her on twitter @HarperBulletin.

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