March 13, 2017: Purge Reaction | Unmanly Trump | Other People’s Babies
1. Preet Purge Outrage: A Show About Nothing
The Tump administration's decision to get rid of all 46 leftover Obama U.S. Attorneys on Friday night -- including the Southern District of New York’s crusading Preet Bharara -- drew a lot of attention over the weekend. Most stories noted, too, that just the evening before, Fox’s Sean Hannity warned of “deep state Obama holdovers embedded like barnacle in the Federal bureaucracy” and called for a purge.
The Mainstream Media’s take was largely that previous administrations had replaced U.S. Attorneys, but did so only gradually to avoid disruption. The Red Media’s take was that the problem wasn’t the purge, but the Mainstream Media’s reaction -- making something from nothing.
A video clip from Fox News posted on 100percentfedup.com echoing Judge Jeanine Pirro reaction was shared nearly 2k times across Facebook. It read: “ ‘You were Fired by President Trump, so what?’ – Judge Jeanine Pirro…Judge Jeanine gives a great explanation of why the firing of a US attorney is no big deal”
David French @DavidAFrench, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute with 67k follows, tweeted:
When Holder announced Obama's intention to replace U.S. attorneys, he didn't say they were bad at their jobs. He said "elections matter."
We also noticed that the Red Twitterati resurrected the #draintheswamp slogan for the firing of the attorneys. One typical example is John Cheney @JrcheneyJohn, with 34k followers, who wrote:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has begun to #DrainTheSwamp by seeking resignations of 46 Obama Appointed Attorneys.
What We’re Watching:
Who really knows how deeply into the president’s subconscious Hannity reaches, but Fox News is certainly not downplaying that reach. According to The Blaze, “During an appearance “Fox and Friends” Saturday, Fox News analyst Geraldo Rivera referred to Sean Hannity as “the second-most powerful person in the country” and claimed Hannity has had a significant impact on President Donald Trump’s policies.”
We noticed The Blaze piece was not entirely happy about Hannity’s exalted position. Could a war among the conservative tabloids for ultimate influencer be far behind?
Maybe his closeness to Trump was bringing Hannity closer scrutiny on other fronts as well, but it was a tough weekend for him all around. CNN’s Brian Stelter clobbered Hannity on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” for letting the former Fox contributor Monica Crowley claim she was a victim of a smear campaign. Crowley had left Fox to join the Trump administration, but ended up not taking the job when a CNN investigation found she had plagiarized “thousands of words” in her Columbia PhD. dissertation in 2000 and scores of paragraphs more in her 2012 book, “What the (Bleep) Just Happened.” On air, Crowley painted herself as a victim of a villainous press and Hannity did not bring up the “p” word once.
2. Dutch Riots: Good for Geert
The Red Media was thrilled by what it saw as a silver lining in protests in the Netherlands over the weekend -- it would be good for the Dutch nationalist, Geert Wilders, at the polls. After the Dutch had a visiting Turkish minister escorted out of the country, the Dutch riot police used water cannons to subdue 1,000 Turkish protesters at a rally where she was to speak in Rotterdam. The minister was trying to win support among expatriates to expand Turkish presidential powers in a referendum. The Dutch government says such rallies would stoke tensions days before the Netherlands' general election. For the conservative Twitterati, it all amounts to proof that nationalism should be on the rise in Europe:
Time for Europe to save itself.
The sight of Islamists chanting "Alluha Akbar" on the streets of Rotterdam surely only benefits Geert Wilders. Dutch election in 4 days.
3. Other People’s Babies
Is it possible even in this day and age to take white nationalism too far? At 1:40 p.m on Sunday, Iowa congressman Steve King almost brought the liberal Internet to its knees with this remark on Twitter:
Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.
By this morning it had been forwarded 13k times. We guess that was mostly in disgust by liberals. But it had also been liked 8.9k times. It was also retweeted by the white nationalist David Duke, who added, “Sanity reigns supreme in Iowa’s 4th congressional district.”
The Red Media was largely silent on this disturbance as of this morning (The Blaze and The Daily Caller did publish straight stories, Breitbart nothing.). But King had his supporters. John Cardillo @johncardillo, a radio host of his own nationally syndicated show with 76k Twitter followers replied by switching the subject to one of The Right’s favorite targets:
It is worth noting, however, that the ever-sane Bill Kristol @BillKristol, editor at large for The Weekly Standard, tweeted:
Is it worth making the obvious point that what American history has been about is "restoring" ourselves with "somebody else's babies?"
4. Mark Levin’s Site Goes There: Trump Has Lost His You Know What.
A lot of ink gets spent on the Right Media’s direct influence on Trump -- from Fox & Friends to Alex Jones. However, we are also gathering string on examples of the previously loyal alt-right Republican media breaking with the White House for not being conservative enough. Last week, we noted Steve Bannon’s feud with his old publication, Breitbart, over its less than kindly coverage of White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus. We’ve also noted fallout related to the replacement of Obamacare. Many in the alt-right media are a lot closer to Rand Paul’s disdain of the bill than Paul Ryan’s thinking that something must pass.
Conservative Review, run by none other than the conservative talk radio host Mark Levin, the man who prompted Trump to make the Obama wiretapping allegations, ran a nasty column by Steve Deace this weekend that presented a long list of disappointments with the commander in chief. The headline, “In Search of ... Trump’s Manly Parts.”
“No one has seen them. There are no solid leads. Every jar in the 202 and 212 area codes has been inspected, and they’re not there. There are rumors that Trump was really being wire-tapped in an attempt to find out where he lost them, but that cannot be confirmed or denied.
We’re barely halfway through the first 100 days, and already Trump has backed down on the following:
- He is not going to arrest “crooked Hillary” and “locker her up” after all.
- He is not going to repeal Obama’s unconstitutional (see that as illegal) executive amnesty (DACA) after all.
- After saying throughout the campaign that it was weak and dumb to reveal your plans and give a heads up to your enemies, his new (and watered down) immigration executive order gives jihadists a 10-day warning before being implemented.
- He is siding with weak House GOP leadership in not repealing Obamacare as promised, and instead replacing it with something that could even be worse.
- His RNC leadership team looks like a Who’s Who of the establishment, including the name Henry Barbour - the man who orchestrated one of the worst betrayals ever of the grassroots: the literal stealing of the 2014 Mississippi senate primary.
- He still hasn’t lifted a finger to protect religious liberty. No repeal of the Johnson Amendment. No executive order. Not even a reference in his recent congressional speech to the Left’s attempt to destroy the lives of believers like Barronelle Stutzman.”
What We’re Watching:
The schism on health care is only going to grow deeper. Breitbart said that it wouldn’t back down on opposing Ryan’s health care fix. In fact, it doubled down over the weekend to rile up the conservative base:
Paul Ryan has been sending a message to conservatives. He is telling them to either accept the plan or not. And while conservatives aren’t yet falling into line, an effort to oppose them during the 2018 campaign is beginning to emerge. It may be a repeat leadership’s 2016 efforts to take out conservative members.
Just this week, a group began a $500,000 ad campaign targeting 30 House Freedom Caucus members calling upon them to support what is now being called Ryancare. Similar efforts were initiated against Freedom Caucus members like Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) last year taking out Huelskamp.
Here is the headline from The Federalist Papers Project on the same story: “BETRAYED: Paul Ryan Targets Obamacare Opponents With UNBELIEVABLE Attack Ads.”