Let's have the traditional "The Pack is Back" open thread.
MORE: There may be more examples but this is the second post-election time I have noticed Josh Marshall of TPM attempting to provide adult leadership to his fellow progressives, and good luck to him. Let me try these excerpts:
The Case for Not Being Crybabies
There was a further uproar when Trump shouted down CNN's Jim Acosta when Acosta tried to insist that Trump answer a question from CNN if he was going to loudly attack the organization's integrity. Later Trump's incoming Press Secretary Sean Spicer threatened to kick Acosta out of future press conferences if he didn't show Trump more respect. This weekend brought news that the new administration is considering kicking the White House press corps out of the White House. And finally on Sunday, in a meeting with the President of the White House Correspondents Association, Spicer "expressed concern that journalists adhere to a high level of decorum" at press conferences and briefings. This presumably came in a meeting pressing the new administration not to clamp down on access to the President and the White House.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that these things are not important or that all these threats aren't a very bad sign. It is vastly preferable to have a President who believes in or at least respects American and democratic values. But let's get real: we don't or wont't as of Friday. Trump is a would-be authoritarian and a bully. He's surrounded by mediocrities who owe all to him and Feel validated by enabling his endless transgressions. Of course, he's doing these things. We know Trump's MO. He will bully people until they're cowed and humiliated and obedient. He'll threaten to kick the reporters out of the White House and then either cut a 'deal' or make some big to-do about 'allowing' the reporters to stay. These are all threats and mind games meant not so much to cow the press as make them think Trump is continually taking things away from them and that they need to make him stop.
I've been surprised at the extent to which right-thinking people are all but threatening themselves with what Trump might do to, collapsing into their own sense of powerlessness. Maybe he'll jail his opponents! Maybe he'll call off the 2018 election! Here it is worth remembering things we learned from the campaign. Trump's one true gift is his ability to get his critics to surrender up their own dignity somehow of their own free will. That is just what he is trying to do to the press at this moment. It's no different from the dominance politics he played on his opponents in the GOP primaries.
This is tricky advice since progressives routinely compete for Biggest Victim status (cf Meryl Streep whinging bout the vilification of Hollywood). However, Dr. Marshall is surely correct that letting Trump dictate the mind games being played is foolish.
But enough praise! This passage merits at least a smile:
Trump is the most unpopular incoming President in American history. We only have data on this going back a few decades. But there's little reason to think any President in previous decades or centuries has been this unpopular.
Hmm. Seven states seceded between Lincoln's election (with 40% of the popular vote) and inauguration (in March 1861). So far with Trump on the horizon, only California is threatening to secede.
A mere civil war is not hard and fast polling proof but the case could be argued that Lincoln's early days were even less popular and more divisive than Trump. Then again, few pundits want to argue that Trump is Lincolnesque. Awkward!