- - Tuesday, January 22, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Two years down and two to go. Like him or loathe him, Donald Trump is the force of nature his supporters hoped he would be and his detractors feared he would be. There’s no reason to think he will change his ways of getting things done leading up to the 2020 presidential election. If the voters could get his solid results without the nonstop drama, Donald Trump would be a shoo-in for a second term.

In certain places leadership is never having to say you’re sorry. New York is one of those places and Washington is another, which is why a brash son of New York has been right at home in the nation’s angry capital. When the president addressed the United Nations General Assembly in September, he told assembled leaders that “In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” The audience, mostly ignorant of any of that history, giggled at the president’s boast, but his record is no joke.

Over the past 24 months, the U.S. economy added 4.6 million new jobs, including nearly a half-million in never-coming-back manufacturing. The unemployment rate bottomed out at 3.7 percent and now stands at 3.9 percent. Unemployment rates for African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans have been the lowest ever recorded and the lowest in 65 years for women. The Trump gross domestic product averaged 2.8 percent through the third quarter of 2018.

His predecessor required eight years to add 15.5 million jobs, and 5.1 million of those replaced the jobs lost to the Great Recession. The unemployment rate climbed to 9.9 percent during Barack Obama’s first year, then fell gradually to 4.7 percent. The GDP in the Obama years averaged an unexceptional 2.1 percent.

Although the federal tax code overhaul Mr. Trump signed into law in 2017 is expected to reduce the tax bills for most Americans filing their returns this spring, the Treasury Department reports that it nevertheless collected record individual income taxes of $1.7 trillion during fiscal 2018. All sources of federal revenue showed a combined increase of a half-percent over the previous year, validating the claim that tax cuts goose the economy and bring in higher tax revenue.



Man (and woman) does not live by bread alone, however, and millions of Americans would swap Mr. Trump’s solid performance for an opportunity to turn back the clock and bring back Hillary Clinton (or some unreasonable facsimile). For them, as Shakespeare put it, “time is out of joint,” and what was meant to be, was lost. Liberal achievements, such as America’s participation in the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris Climate Agreement, were rolled back, along with utopian wishes for a borderless Western Hemisphere, which Hillary endorsed.

The relentless opposition to the Donald can only be assuaged when his presidency is terminated, his legacy expunged and all those red hats reading, “Make America Great Again” are knocked into a cocked hat. Only then can the “Never Trump” celebration begin.

It’s an article of Democratic faith that their party has the moral right to the White House, and with Nancy Pelosi once more as Speaker of the House, the House of Representatives is ground zero of the resistance. The urge to impeach the president, downplayed by party leaders until now, is the Democratic toothache that won’t go away.

The left-leaning Atlantic magazine last week printed “IMPEACH” in large, red, block letters on its cover with a subhead reading: “It’s time for Congress to judge the president’s fitness to serve.” The magazine accuses the president of “undermining American ideals.” Rolling back his predecessor’s policies that chip away at the Constitution and undermine the liberal vision of an America cut down to size.

Certain Democrats in Congress want to join the media impeachment campaign. Reps. Brad Sherman of California and Al Green of Texas filed articles of impeachment against the president as soon as the 116th Congress was open for business, citing as the requisite “high crimes and misdemeanors” an obstruction of justice that so far as we know Robert Mueller has not yet found.

At his midterm, the president shows no signs of battle fatigue. Nor do his Democratic detractors. Everything remains to be seen, of course, except the prospect of a lively and rambunctious year ahead.

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