Mike Allen’s day-driving morning email Axios AM poses to us thought leaders this morning a provocative question: Is President Trump actually good?
Allen’s “1 big thing” this morning lays out the case for why “The Trump Way often works.” Tell us more! (Emphasis theirs, which I hate):
It drives the media, Democrats and more than half of America mad, but President Trump’s unorthodox, jam-your-opponent style can be effective. Consider:
He erased NAFTA, as a word, and replaced the trade pact with a different name (the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA) and better terms for America. Sure, he infuriated Canada and Justin Trudeau, but he delivered the goods. (And helped some farm-state candidates just before midterms.)
His tax cut, jammed through last year, continues to juice a red hot economy that has consumers confident, stocks soaring, joblessness sinking.
“Red hot” and jamming! But as Allen and the Axios crew surely know, talking in broad strokes about the supposedly booming economy is a fool’s errand. While it’s true that Trump has enjoyed a record string of of month-to-month job gains—a trend that began under former President Obama—his average monthly gains still lag behind Obama’s average number of jobs added during his second term.
A George Washington University economist last year also laid bare for Politifact the contradiction at the core of what would otherwise seem like unequivocally good news, calling it “disappointing that the gain in jobs hasn’t also been accompanied by strong wages and productivity growth.” Finally, before I get too deep here, it’s worth asking why this job growth corresponds with a record number of unfilled job openings. Could this have something to do with the fact that many of the jobs being created are low-paying bullshit?
Allen does not tarry over the minutiae. He continues:
His wild, improvisational press conferences and rallies still grab massive audiences — and drive the media conversation.
And his no retreat, no surrender approach has helped Brett Kavanaugh survive brutal hearings, and put the conservative judge on the cusp of a lifetime Supreme Court seat.
An interesting choice to credit Trump’s bumbling, alpha-male defense of Kavanaugh as an epic win. Maybe the judge is actually on the cusp of a lifetime Supreme Court appointment because our country is ruled by old white men more concerned with consolidating and maintaining their own power than by listening to the literal pleas of sexual violence survivors. But don’t tell Mike Allen that! He is too busy gushing over Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ pie recipe to care.
In summation: Axios can fuck off with this shit.