Tag Archives: Republicans

A Trump Scorecard

By Christopher B. Daly 

At the start of a new political era, in which Republicans hold the White House and both houses of Congress, here is a handy way of tracking the performance of the party in power.

The index:

  • 1   Number of Trump press conferences since July 27,2016
  • 0  Pages of his tax returns released by Donald Trump
  • 0  Number of new jobs in the U.S. coal industry
  • 0  Number of new health care plans enacted to replace Obamacare
  • 0  Number of Trump businesses sold to avoid conflicts of interest
  • 0 Number of attacks on Americans on U.S. soil by immigrants from the 7 banned nations.
  • 0 Number of Democrats included in Trump Cabinet.

 

Updated Feb. 3, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Donald Trump, Politics, Trump, Uncategorized

Inside the meme factory: GOP discovers “imperial presidency”

By Christopher B. Daly

In today’s NYTimes, a story purports to have discovered a trend among Republican congressmen, who are depicted as suddenly deciding to accuse President Obama of creating an “imperial presidency.”

Hmmm. . .

Whenever Republicans start using the same phrase for the same purpose, it behooves political journalists to dig a little deeper and figure out where the new phrase/slogan/soundbite is coming from. Usually, it has been hatched deep in the bowels of the conservative “meme factory” — that set of interlocking think tanks, consultants, and media that serves the conservative movement by providing it with a constant supply of talking points, slogans, and rallying cries.

Today’s story, by Ashley Parker, traced the new “meme” as far upstream as a recent report from the office of Rep. Eric Cantor, the Republican majority leader in the House, but that’s as far as she got. I suspect there are more tributaries to explore, even further upstream.

An excerpt:

Representative Eric Cantor, the majority leader, recently released an addendum to a 33-page report his office had already put out on the “imperial presidency.” And both Mr. Broun and Mr. Loudermilk used similar phrases when talking about the role they believe government should play.

“Our founding fathers truly believed that government should be a government of the people, by the people and for the people — not a government over the people,” Mr. Broun told a gathering of supporters recently.The day before, Mr. Loudermilk offered a nearly identical refrain: “This is a government that is of the people, not a government over the people,” he told supporters. “That’s the mentality that a lot of Washington has.”

The day before, Mr. Loudermilk offered a nearly identical refrain: “This is a government that is of the people, not a government over the people,” he told supporters. “That’s the mentality that a lot of Washington has.”

Imagine that — Loudermilk “offered a nearly identical refrain.” What a coincidence!

 

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Filed under Journalism, New York Times, Politics, President Obama

Clint Eastwood: Questions for journalists

By Christopher B. Daly 

In the aftermath of the Republicans’ “big night,” two questions occur to me about the appearance by the actor Clint Eastwood. These questions seem worth raising, but I have not seen any traces in the mainstream coverage:

1. Who approved the decision to put Eastwood on the GOP convention schedule? Who allowed Eastwood to hijack the agenda at that critical moment of prime-time exposure? Did Romney do so himself? If so, what kind of judgment does that show? What political aim was advanced (or meant to be advanced)? Was it presidential?

Clint Eastwood / CBS News

Clint Eastwood / CBS News

2. A useful thought exercise: when covering politics in a two-party system, it is often useful to turn the mirror around and ask, “What would happen if the other party did this?” In this case, you would have to ask, What would happen if the Democrats chose to spotlight a left-wing Hollywood figure in prime time? Furthermore, what would happen if that left-winger had a reputation for menace and incipient mayhem? And what if that figure showed up apparently disheveled and engaged in a vulgar, intermittently incoherent rant? What if that person disrespected the office of the presidency by talking down (literally) to a seated imaginary president?

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Filed under Journalism, Politics