Monday, January 23, 2017

OPINION - Brooks and Shields + 1/20/2017

"How did President Trump fare in his first day on the job?" PBS NewsHour 1/20/2017


SUMMARY:  It's Day One of the Trump presidency.  After the pomp of the day's ceremony, what should we take away from the actions and rhetoric of the new President?  Judy Woodruff gets reaction to President Trump's unorthodox Inauguration Day speech and the broader outlook for his administration from syndicated columnist Mark Shields, New York Times columnist David Brooks and others.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  So, what to make of this day one of the Trump presidency?

Here with me now are NewsHour regulars syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks, and from our politics Monday team, Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report.  Also joining us, Barry Bennett.  He was campaign manager for Ben Carson in the Republican primaries.  He then served as an adviser to the Trump campaign.

From George Washington University, politics scientist Lara Brown.  Karine Jean-Pierre, she was a senior adviser to during the 2016 elections.  And Matt Schlapp, he is chair of the American Conservative Union.  He joins us from downtown Washington.

We can see the Capitol behind you, Matt.

So, let me start with the NewsHour regulars, Mark Shields and David Brooks.

David, I will start with you.

What is the main takeaway from this day?

DAVID BROOKS, New York Times:  I feel underdressed.



MARK SHIELDS, syndicated columnist:  You have got that blue-collar Republican look.

DAVID BROOKS:  It's the new populist moment.


DAVID BROOKS:  The story of the day was the really unabashed populism and nationalism of the Trump speech.

And so I'm left with two big questions:  How big is this nationalist moment?  It's been spread around the world.  Theresa May just gave an anti — how they're going to withdraw from Brexit, the U.K.  Le Pen is looking good in France.  Putin is riding high.

There's an international movement.  A lot of sort of dismiss as sort of a product of a receding bit of history, but maybe it's the 21st century.  And maybe Trump is riding something, and he will be able to marshal a left-right populist movement.  That's a possibility we should be open to, especially because the anti-populists, people who believe in global trade and global movements, have no guts, no articulation, and really no opposition.

And then the second thing, how is he going to turn this into policy?  How does an outsider who runs against Washington actually rally Washington to launch his agenda?  That's just a gigantic challenge.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Mark Shields?

MARK SHIELDS:  In 1940, there were 137 million people in the United States of America and — 132 million — and there were 600,000 more factory jobs than there are today.

There were eight million more factory jobs in this country than when Jimmy Carter was President of the United States.  So, Donald Trump represents a real grievance, a real constituency.

But what I could not get over in the speech today — and I don't know what the global impact or meaning is, but I do know that it was unlike any inaugural address I have ever heard.  It was a call to arms to those already enlisted in his army.  There was no attempt to reach across the divide.  There was no attempt to heal wounds.  There was no attempt to reassure or allay fears of those who were apprehensive and not supported him.

So, in that sense, it was almost unique, at least in the speeches I have heard.  And it was an unbridled attack upon those Presidents spoke of who were — in William's piece — who were sitting on the dais with him, having praised the Obamas in one sentence for being magnificent, and then saying that this small group who have profited in Washington have been indifferent, and almost cruelly so, to the rest of the country.

So, I just stand in the midnight in America, American carnage, which is, — I think, soon-to-be canceled TV series — but I just have never heard language quite like it or a tone quite like it in an inaugural address.

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