- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 14, 2017

Oh, the outrage. For months, it has proliferated nonstop among those who oppose President Trump and now veers into dicey territory. Party officials, lawmakers and the liberal media have joined in the fray, along with interest groups, activists and operatives. But alas. Anger and uproar may not be the most efficient way for Democrats to recover from their loss in 2016. The reason? Rage has a fairly short shelf life.

“Shocking! Shameful! Delusional! Despicable! Dangerous! The Ivy League elites of cable news are running out of pejoratives to disparage the Trump ascendancy,” points out cultural essayist Tim Philen in an editorial for the Daily Caller.

“Disliking Trump, even for all the right reasons, is exhausting and unsustainable. It’s also boring,” writes Kathleen Parker, a Washington Post columnist.

There’s a cost, too. Multiple polls reveal that voters are weary of partisan combat. They want action on Capitol Hill and elsewhere, not righteous indignation.

“Something is wrong with the American Left. The recent spate of violent protests on college campuses has been well-documented, but the violence and intolerance championed by left-wing student activists is beginning to creep off campus and into mainstream public life,” declares John Daniel Davidson, a senior correspondent for The Federalist.

“Leftist intolerance invites a breakdown of civility,” Mr. Davidson continues, adding, “For a long time, the mainstream media has treated conservatives as intolerant, even bigoted, for their views on gay marriage, abortion, and a host of other hot-button cultural issues. But now, faced with the spectacle of rioting college leftists, even the mainstream media is coming around to the realization that liberals are not as tolerant as they think.”

Once muted, 1980s-era political correctness and assaults on free speech have “returned with a vengeance,” writes Camille Paglia in her new book “Free Women, Free Men,” noting, “We are plunged once again into an ethical chaos where intolerance masquerades as tolerance and where individual liberty is crushed by the tyranny of the group.”

GOP LEERY OF ‘WATCHDOG’ MEDIA

A giant difference of opinion: 42 percent of Republicans agree that media criticism of political leaders “keeps them from doing things they shouldn’t”; 89 percent of Democrats agree, this according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

This 47-point gap is a record-setter for the pollster, which has been asking the public their opinion on the watchdog role of the press since 1985. The gap is described as “dramatic.”

See more numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

ABOUT ALL THAT ‘FIRING’ TALK

A new report from Axios suggests that President Trump is mulling a “huge reboot” and “sweeping shakeup” of his staff and Cabinet. The story, which used unnamed sources, caused much hubbub among news organization eager to emphasize discord in the White House.

There is, however, some pertinent advice from writer Mike Allen, co-founder and executive editor of Axios. It appears paragraph No. 7: “One note of caution: Trump often talks about firing people when things go south and does not follow through on it. So it’s possible these conversations are his way of venting, and seeking reassurance,” writes Mr. Allen.

EARTH IS WAY GREENER THAN WE THOUGHT

Here’s a little something to soothe climate alarmists for a few seconds. Science, the official publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, offers a startling study on the planet’s greenery.

Based on newly updated satellite imagery, it reveals hidden forests in the low-moisture areas around the world — almost large enough to qualify as “a second Amazon.”

For the first time ever, an international team of researchers pored over 210,000 ultra — high-resolution Google Earth images which close in on patches of ground less than a meter wide. And, voila.

“The world’s drylands host 40 percent more forests than thought — more than a 9 percent bump in total global forest coverage, or two-thirds the size of the Amazon,” the study said, noting that the findings will be a boon too scientists seeking “more accurate estimates of how much carbon dioxide Earth’s trees are sucking out of the atmosphere — and how much of our fossil fuel emissions they’ll be able to handle in the future.”

STILL A TRUMP ALLY

Small business is still in President Trump’s corner, even as the critical din against him grows louder.

“Overtaxation and overregulation continue to plague small businesses across the country — harming their ability to grow and hire new employees,” says the 2017 Small Business survey conducted by the Job Creators Network, a coalition of enterprise-minded businesses and interest groups. “The survey also shows a sense of optimism in the small business community about the Trump administration and their policies.”

Seventy percent of small business owners say high taxes and tax complexity threaten the viability and/or expansion of their businesses. Another 55 percent say such government requirements like the Obamacare healthcare mandate, minimum wage hikes and other regulations threaten their vitality. Meanwhile, 57 percent agree that Mr. Trump’s aim to rid the nation of such burdens will have a positive effect on their business, employees and customers.

POLL DU JOUR

87 percent of Republicans say news organizations “tend to favor” one side of politics; 53 percent of Democrats agree.

42 percent of Republicans say media criticism of political leaders “keeps them from doing things they shouldn’t”; 89 percent of Democrats agree.

18 percent of Republicans says the national news media “do very well at keeping them informed”; 33 percent of Democrats agree.

13 percent of Republicans say news organizations are fair to both political parties; 46 percent of Democrats agree.

11 percent of Republicans say they trust information from news organizations “a lot”; 34 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center American Trends Panel poll of 4.151 U.S. adults conducted March 13-27 and released Friday; the sample included 1,080 Republicans and 1,472 Democrats.

• Yeas and nays to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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