The Associated Press reports that President Donald Trump is "dogged by insecurity over his loss of the popular vote" and over "media coverage," but I have a different idea about whose insecurity is on display.
The entire liberal establishment and rank-and-file leftists remain in denial over Trump's victory. They convinced themselves from the beginning that Trump was a joke who stood no chance of winning the Republican primary, much less the general election.
They were so sure he couldn't beat Hillary Clinton that they went easy on him during the primaries, though Republicans knew their calculated restraint would have a short shelf life. Sure enough, during the general election campaign, they unloaded on him daily, yet they remained certain he could never win. They all but called the election at 5 p.m. on election night. For them, it has been downhill ever since.
The media elite, Democratic politicians and leftist constituencies are more unhinged now than they were when George W. Bush beat Al Gore in 2000 — and that is a mouthful. After the election, they worked themselves into a frenzy over Trump's agenda, which they now had to actually worry about, and what they perceived as his authoritarian tendencies, even comparing him to Adolf Hitler.
Of course, they also used Nazi analogies to malign Bush, but those were mostly strategic. Some of them really fear that Trump will declare martial law or unilaterally decree a moratorium on women's freedoms — loosely defined.
What's funny is that they never once feared, much less complained about, President Barack Obama's lawless authoritarianism, because he used it to advance an agenda they supported. They were tickled pink when he implemented provisions of the DREAM Act by executive order after lamenting just weeks earlier that he didn't have the authority to do it because Congress had explicitly rejected the measure. They had no problem with his selective exemptions under Obamacare, and they were indifferent to his rank politicization of the Justice Department and the IRS' targeting of conservatives.
Given leftists' propensity for projection, it is not surprising that they now suspect that Trump will be as highhanded as Obama — but to further a conservative agenda instead of their sacred liberal one. Now they will suddenly start caring about the Constitution again — though there is nothing unconstitutional in using the presidential pen to repeal unlawful executive orders.
Trump's sensitivity is hardly the issue here. Have you ever seen the media pre-emptively attack an incoming Democratic president? Have you ever seen the White House press pool interrogate a Democratic presidential press spokesman and ask him whether he intends to be truthful? The liberal media's antagonism to Trump is palpable.
In their article, the AP's Julie Pace and Jonathan Lemire characterize as "false" Trump's claim that he lost the popular vote because 3 million to 5 million people illegally cast ballots. I admit that I have no idea what level of voter fraud exists in this country, but observing the Democrats' behavior in Florida alone during the 2000 presidential election proves there's a problem. When you also consider the Democrats' specious opposition to voter ID laws, their defense of voter intimidation tactics and their long history of paying people to vote, you have reasonable grounds for suspicion, not to mention the credible research of John Fund and others documenting that there is indeed cause for concern.
But the media would never depict even an objectively provable lie of Obama's as false or challenge his presidential spokesman on it. Just look at the many tales they spun about Obamacare, unemployment, the deficit, the Islamic State group and a host of other issues. Even if turns out that Trump is dead wrong on his claim, the media now cannot fairly say it is false when there has yet to be an investigation. They don't know; I don't know; you don't know.
It is refreshing to me and millions of others that Trump directly responds to the left's shameless, deceitful efforts to undermine his legitimacy. The bullying, dishonest liberal establishment needs to be pushed back, and no one in my lifetime has shown himself to be more effective at doing it, with the possible exception of Ronald Reagan.
Whether or not Trump is too sensitive to liberals' efforts to delegitimize him, they are in fact trying, in bad faith, to do so, and they are failing. The more they pile on, the bigger a hole they will dig for themselves.
While they are rejoicing over Trump's supposed distraction from substantive issues, he is boldly, quickly and decisively advancing his agenda, putting the lie to their claims and leaving them stunned. They don't know what it's like be on the receiving end of an aggressive, action-oriented leader who, despite their claims, is not deterred by their organized caterwauling.
No, it is not Trump who is on the ropes here, and he is anything but distracted. He obviously is adroit at juggling many balls at the same time and staying focused on his campaign promises.
It's too early to tell how effective Trump will be in office — obviously — but he is off to a good start. I confess I am still somewhat concerned about his trade policies, but finally we have someone in office who appears to be unafraid to take action and who is not preoccupied with trying to appease the implacable liberal establishment.
With his business and leadership skills and his impatience for bureaucratic and Beltway inertia, Trump could make a significant positive difference in this country — and more quickly than we've been accustomed to expect from Republican politicians.
Let the media continue to bellyache and point the finger at Trump for being distracted, because with all their sound and fury, they are discrediting and emasculating themselves. Full speed ahead.