The Corner

White House

Res Ipsa Loquitur

President Trump in the Oval Office, August 27, 2018. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Donald Trump in his Twitter storms apparently has no idea that he is winning. The Brett Kavanaugh opening hearing turned into a progressive circus, with shouting would-be Democratic presidential candidates vying with screaming protesters to see who could be the most obnoxious. Ossified senior Democrat senators appeared bewildered how to match or somehow channel the street theater of activists on their left flank and ended up being sort of punked by their own protesters. It will be hard for network news to find a soundbite from all that to look presentable, given that democracy cannot function when elected officials join the mob.

The consecutive Friday and Saturday funerals of the late Aretha Franklin and Senator John McCain reminded us why funerals are not good occasions for politicking and editorializing and end up reflecting poorly on those who try. There are 364 days a year to damn Trump without doing so at a funeral, especially by crowd-pleasing invective from those who call for civility and unity — and in the past often have shown neither to each other.

New revelations about the strange nexus between Christopher Steele, Bruce Ohr, and a Russian oligarch only remind the public that Robert Mueller is looking for Russian collusion (to the extent that he is now, or ever was really) in all the wrong places. Future unredacted disclosures about the FISA warrants or communications between now-disgraced DOJ and FBI officials will be interesting.

The great economic news — unemployment, GDP growth, Wall Street records, energy production, retail sales, and consumer confidence — continues to outpace even optimistic predictions.

Abroad, the Iranian and Turkish economies are in shambles, and those countries’ hostility to the U.S. is proving to be a bad economic gamble.

There is progress on NATO funding. Nobody is protesting over the supposedly radical decisions of leaving the Paris climate accord and the Iran deal, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, or assuming that, after 70 years, the surviving Palestinian “refugees” and their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren — like the 13 million who in 1945-7 walked back from Eastern Europe into Germany, or the 1 million Jews long ago ethnically cleansed from the Arab world, or the millions of “displaced persons” in post-war Western Europe — are no longer refugees.

China shows signs of economic tension and does not seem to have its heart in an existential trade war with the U.S., given that it could probably keep its huge trade surpluses by simply trimming them down in art-of-the-deal fashion. NAFTA might be rebranded and improved.

In other words, Trump’s superb foreign-policy team (Pompeo, Mattis, Bolton, and Haley) and his economic and judicial-appointments advisers have real accomplishments that reflect well on the Trump administration, and thus are driving the media and the Left into abject hysteria.

All this is missing is a little silent forbearance on Trump’s own part to allow both his achievements and his critics, respectively, to speak for themselves, without need of his Twitter editorialization.

It reminds one of the saloon-brawling scene in Shane, when the bloodied Joe Starrett and Shane keep beating up the Ryker outfit, apparently oblivious to their ongoing success — until the bartender shoos them out and orders them to quit brawling, with the verdict: “You’ve won.”

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Case for Trump.

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