NEWS AND OPINION:
Talk of a “deep state” or “shadow presidency” at work against President Trump surfaced before he was even inaugurated. And it continues. On Tuesday, Rep. Jim Jordan said he believes a powerful plan had been in place to prevent Mr. Trump from reaching the White House, citing the ongoing Russia collusion investigation and other factors.
“They were putting together a plan to stop Donald Trump . I think it’s amazing that the Democrats were against him, the Republican establishment was against him and the mainstream press — and now I believe the FBI and Justice Department were against him. Everything points to the fact that there was an orchestrated plan to try to prevent Donald Trump from being the next president of the United States,” the Ohio Republican told Fox News,
The deep state has deep roots. Prior to Election Day in 2016, media reports were already pondering the existence of a secretive foe. Even before Mr. Trump took the presidential oath on Jan. 20, political commentator Bill Moyers suggested that Hillary Clinton stage 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.”
There was more in those uneasy days.
“Barack Obama is preparing for his third term,” noted GQ magazine in a commentary published on Inauguration Day.
“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,” advised ABC News — in this case, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation News.
“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,” warned investigative reporter Matthew Vadum in a story titled “Obama’s Shadow Presidency,” published in FrontPage Magazine on Feb. 15.
“The soft coup against the Trump administration continues. A soft coup is a coordinated effort to delegitimize or undermine a lawfully elected official,” said Chris Farrell, director of investigations for Judicial Watch, also in mid-February. “Soft coups include actions by senior government officials refusing to carry out their roles and critical tasks, or otherwise acting in opposition to the letter or spirit of law to diminish or remove de facto power from those who otherwise would legally wield it.”
TRUMP’S SUCCESS IS HIS BEST ARMOR
President Trump is being lauded by allies for his success in the economic sector, in national security and defense, and through his court appointments. Rush Limbaugh calls these gains “transformational and phenomenal” for the nation, predicting that such victories could send Democrats into a funk — “born of the reality that they have been unable to stop Trump from the implementation of his agenda,” the talk radio host told his 10 million listeners on Tuesday.
“But look at the forces arrayed against this president — you look at the projection of power the left has put together and used against this administration — and then you measure what this administration got done. I would be hard-pressed for you to name any other president who could pull off as much of what Trump has pulled off with this kind of opposition. No previous president has known this kind of opposition,” he continued.
“No previous president has been targeted for destruction by what we call the deep state, the administrative, unelected bureaucracy of this country — staffed by career leftists, socialists, liberals, you name it — working in consort with simpaticos in the drive-by media. There isn’t a single president in our lifetimes you could name who could have withstood and overcome and triumphed on so much against this kind of opposition,” Mr. Limbaugh said.
IT’S STILL MERRY
Pollsters don’t stop polling during the holidays. Monmouth University reveals in a new survey that nine out of 10 Americans celebrate Christmas, 5 percent celebrate Hanukkah and 3 percent celebrate Kwanzaa.
“The poll also finds that 67 percent of the public tends to use ‘Merry Christmas’ as their usual greeting during this time of year. Another 25 percent say ‘Happy Holidays.’ Because everything is political in this day and age, there is a bit of a partisan divide. Republicans (87 percent) are more likely than independents (61 percent) and Democrats (58 percent) to use ‘Merry Christmas,’ while Democrats (34 percent) and independents (29 percent) are much more likely than Republicans (9 percent) to use ‘Happy Holidays’,” the poll analysis reports.
“With apologies to Mark Twain, reports of the death of ‘Merry Christmas’ have been greatly exaggerated,” observes Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
IN PLACE OF CHARLIE ROSE
PBS has revealed replacement fare for the late-night time slot once occupied by Charlie Rose, dismissed by the network after the veteran moderator was accused of sexual misconduct. Beginning Jan. 2, CNN’s chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour will host an hour of global news interviews. “Beyond 100 Days,” a public affairs program produced by BBC World News follows, according to a joint announcement by PBS and the BBC. It features Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London, focusing on U.S. policy, the White House and political activities in Europe, Russia, China and the Middle East.
“Any trace of Charlie Rose on PBS appears to be gone,” notes A.J. Katz, an analyst for TV Newser, a media blog.
POLL DU JOUR
33 percent of Americans say “whatever” is the most annoying word or phrase in conversation; 34 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of independents and 31 percent of Democrats agree.
23 percent overall say “fake news” is the most annoying; 12 percent of Republicans, 26 percent of independents and 29 percent of Democrats agree.
20 percent overall say “no offense, but” is the most annoying; 23 percent of Republicans, 15 percent of independents and 20 percent of Democrats agree.
11 percent overall say “literally” is the most annoying; 14 percent of Republicans, 10 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats agree.
10 percent overall say “you know what I mean” is the most annoying; 13 percent of Republicans, 11 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Marist Poll of 1,074 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 6-9 and released Tuesday.
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