- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hurricane Harvey could mark a visceral turning point for President Trump, who has shown some serious inner mettle and compassion during the weather catastrophe and is aftermath. Though some journalists still insist on Trump bashing, many Americans have witnessed Mr. Trump’s decisive precision — and actions which speak louder than media words.

“Has Harvey shaken America seriously enough to diminish the cold civil war that has overtaken our country? Has it made our divisions seem at least a tiny bit more trivial?” asks Roger L. Simon, a columnist and founder of PJ Media.

“No doubt a hardcore of hate-filled bozos drunk on some witless ideology will always be with us,” he writes. “Nevertheless, a flood of Noah-like proportions has a way of focusing the mind, at least for some, maybe even most, of us. And Donald Trump has clearly done well thus far in his capacity of crisis-manager-in-chief.”

The president — who has seen to disaster relief for storm victims and been a genuine comforting presence in Texas — appears up for the challenge.

“It seems the presidential activity he was born for, the one most akin to running a large hotel construction job or renovating an historic ice-skating rink. Moreover, reconstruction is certain to go on for quite a while and remain a focal point of our national attention for a significant period. Trump should know how to handle it as well as anybody who has held the office,” the columnist noted.

This could be a significant moment.

“For this reason, Harvey will likely be the turning point in the Trump presidency. His adversaries sense it too. You know the Never Trumpers of the left and right are pretty hard up when all they have to obsess about are Melania Trump’s stilettos that she only wore onto a plane anyway,” observed Mr. Simon, recalling the press hubbub over the first lady’s footwear earlier in the week .

It won’t be clear sailing from now on, he predicts. There will be inopportune tweets and other hallmarks of Mr. Trump’s presidential style.

“But the impact will be less. Trump is proving himself under fire in a situation immeasurably more important than Twitter sideshows. Nitpickers now seem more what they are — pickers of nits,” said Mr. Simon.

“More importantly, by continuing to act as he has, Trump will defuse whatever eventually comes down from the Mueller investigation, unless, of course, it is proven that the Russians caused Harvey, in which case all bets are off (kidding, I hope). Moreover, he will achieve that Holy Grail of Holy Grails, the tax reform he spoke of in his speech,” he added.

“I would ask these Never Trumpers of the right and left to take a breath and examine their motivations. Like mine and everybody else’s, they are not always pure,” the columnist said.

“Do you want me to be wrong? If so, why? Wouldn’t you prefer, for the sake of our country and its people, that I be right? If not, why not?” he asks, adding, “Rooting for American greatness wouldn’t hurt.”

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