- - Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sometimes blood in the water is just the residue from a bowl of strawberries. When Andrew Puzder withdrew his name from consideration as secretary of Labor last week, following the cashiering of Mike Flynn as the president’s national security adviser, President Trump’s critics were satisfied at last that the end was near, the Trump administration is collapsing and that there must be a miracle around the corner to deliver them from their broken dreams and gossamer wishes. The water had turned pink.

The chattering classes were giddy at what they perceived as terminal turmoil inside the White House, evidence of the new president’s incompetence and inability to govern. Soon America would be in ruins and the chatterers could say, “aha, we told you so.” But not so fast. The president came back at once with a new nominee, Alexander Acosta, who’s not only a candidate who has been passed on by the U.S. Senate for other positions three times, but is of Hispanic birth as well. Crucify that, Chuck Schumer.

Mr. Puzder would likely have made a good secretary of Labor; the labor bosses, who regard the Labor Department as their own, didn’t like anything about Mr. Puzder, which speaks highly of him. The demoralized elites in the academy and the media have persuaded themselves that the Trump administration is in ruins, that the new president is as demoralized as they are.

But the Donald has the number of the Washington and New York press and pundits like no president before him, and even as the mainstream media was peddling the story that the past fortnight has been an unprecedented disaster, evidence grew that the opposite is true. His public approval rating has been climbing, and Rasmussen Reports, which has a remarkable record of reliability, pegs his approval at 55 percent, and more Americans think the country is on the right track than at any time in the last decade.

Mr. Trump’s insistence on taking a close look at those flooding into the country from failed states with a record of exporting terrorism, is a popular policy, and the stock market soared to new heights, reflecting the enthusiasm of investors who see good things ahead for an economy liberated from overzealous government regulation and with the prospect of fundamental tax reform.

Writing off the president, any president, after a fortnight is a fantasy, and illustrates the hostility of a liberal media establishment that simply can’t imagine anyone liking anything Mr. Trump says or does. There’s a precedent for such foolishness. Shortly after Ronald Reagan became president in 1981, his national security adviser, Richard V. Allen, was forced, like General Flynn, to resign, and the vultures, with traces of carrion spilling from their bloody beaks, circled the unraveling of Ronald Reagan and his the new administration. The buzzards eventually went somewhere else for dinner.

Bill Clinton’s initial cabinet picks came a cropper. Mr. Clinton despaired of finding an attorney general after his first two choices, Zoe Baird and Kimba Woods, had to bow out. They were followed by his choices for secretary of Defense, director of the Central Intelligence Agency and secretary of the Veterans Administration.

Presidents rarely get everything and everybody they want, but they usually survive the early bumps in the road, and move on despite what the wiseacres of the press say and do. The accounts of his death are wildly exaggerated. The obituary must wait.

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