- The Washington Times - Monday, January 30, 2017

Oh the hand-wringing, the outrage, the overuse of the word “chaos,” plus endless shrill talking points. The news media, the Democratic Party and Hollywood have stumbled upon reality at last: President Trump is in the White House, taking care of business full speed ahead — just as he said he would. Livid news organizations, operatives, strategists and movie stars are almost incandescent with rage, as America looks on. The phenomenon will intensify Tuesday when Mr. Trump reveals his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, likely setting off a whole new round of strategic, carefully crafted narratives that suggest the nation is on the brink of disaster and tumult.

“President Trump’s actions should not have come as a surprise to anyone who was paying even the slightest attention to the presidential campaign,” notes an editorial in Investor’s Business Daily.

Indeed, as a candidate, Mr. Trump promised to appoint a conservative justice like the late Antonin Scalia, and he also regularly vowed to suspend immigration from terrorism-prone countries.

But the stage is now set. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wept in public, claiming the nation was in an uproar following Mr. Trump’s “mean-spirited” 90-day hold on immigration from seven nations, though these same nations already were cited as terrorism-prone by the Obama administration two years ago. The press called Mr. Trump’s action a “Muslim ban” and “un-American,” while a few select Republicans sowed their own seeds of doubt.

“Much of the ‘chaos and confusion’ that Schumer complained about was the result not of Trump’s order, but the false, misleading and inflammatory claims spread by Democrats, protesters who instantly swarmed into various airports, and the mainstream press that vigorously fanned the flames. This has, unfortunately, been the pattern since Trump took the oath of office,” notes the Investor’s Business Daily editorial.

“All the actions Trump has taken so far are ones he promised months ago to tackle immediately, yet they are all treated as shocking developments. It is hard to see how Trumps’ critics are helping their cause when they react to everything Trump does as if it were a world-ending catastrophe.”

Americans themselves don’t appear ready to panic just yet. A Rasmussen Reports survey released Monday found that 57 percent of likely voters favor a temporary ban on refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen until the federal government approves its ability to screen out potential terrorists from coming here; 33 percent opposed.

‘GO BONKERS IN LOCKSTEP’

“All hysteria, all the time.” That is Powerline.com columnist John Hinderaker’s description of media coverage of President Trump’s immigration order.

“The Left’s ability to go bonkers in lockstep is impressive. You have to give them credit for message discipline, if nothing else,” Mr. Hinderaker says. “On the Left these days, craziness isn’t just permitted, it is required.”

HEADLINE OF NOTE

“Obama’s back.”

And so advised a repeat headline on CNN on Monday afternoon following former President Barack Obama’s decision to suggest publicly that he was against President Trump’s immigration policy and selective travel ban in the Middle East. Mr. Obama made his opinion known indirectly through a statement issued by his spokesman, Kevin Lewis, which emphasized familiar themes now embraced by the new Barack Obama Foundation — such as robust citizen involvement in public affairs.

Mr. Lewis’ statement itself was delicately written. It did not mention Mr. Trump, the White House or the word “Muslim.” Mr. Lewis did allow, however, that “the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”

SELECTIVE OUTRAGE

“Selective outrage is the name of the game for the media now that Donald Trump is president,” reports Mike Ciandella, an analyst for Newsbusters.org, a conservative press watchdog. After monitoring the morning broadcast news coverage on Monday following Mr. Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven Middle Eastern countries, the Big Three networks — ABC, CBS and NBC — went ballistic on the subject, devoting more than 64 minutes of coverage to the topic.

But not so long ago — Jan. 12, to be exact — then-President Barack Obama ordered the end of America’s long-standing “wet foot, dry foot” policy, which allowed Cuban refugees entrance to the United States. Mr. Ciandella says the broadcast networks were largely silent.

“Between them, ABC, CBS and NBC only spent 68 seconds during their news coverage the following morning — nearly 57 times the coverage from Trump’s policy change than Obama’s,” he noted.

But wait, there’s more. Mr. Ciandella also found that when Mr. Obama suspended the processing of Iraqi refugees in 2011 for six months, it went unreported on the three networks. Only ABC offered any insight in a broadcast — two years later. NBC and CBS never reported on the temporary ban.

FORGING AHEAD IN FIRST FEW DAYS

President Trump signed six executive orders in his first 10 days in office, a record among modern presidents, says Eric Ostermeier, a University of Minnesota political professor who reviewed the executive orders signed during the first 10 days in office of each president to serve since 1945. Mr. Trump issued more than any of these 12 predecessors. But not by much.

Mr. Trump signed one more order than President Obama during his first 10 days. Harry Truman signed four; John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Gerald Ford three; Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush two; and Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush just one. Find his report here

POLL DU JOUR

53 percent of Americans say NATO should focus on protecting its members from being attacked by hostile nations or terrorists; 54 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of independents and 61 percent of Democrats agree.

47 percent support U.S. membership in NATO; 39 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of independents and 66 percent of Democrats agree.

46 percent say NATO still is important in the defense of Western nations; 36 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 67 percent of Democrats agree.

16 percent say NATO is not important; 29 percent of Republicans, 17 percent of independents and 7 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 18-19.

Big ideas, small talk to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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