If it sometimes feels like many of the pundits are booing Donald Trump, well, there’s a reason for that.
The opposition to this president, and not just among commentators, is not just ideological. It’s personal, deep-seated and visceral, as if they’re offended to wake up each morning and find he’s still in the White House.
By and large, Trump hasn’t had a good couple of weeks. The diplomats telling the House about the questionable dealings with Ukraine—especially the lieutenant colonel who said there are key omissions in the president’s call with its leader—are undermining his defense.
But the media also made short work of Trump’s undeniable victory in the dispatching of the ISIS leader, as grudging praise gave way to criticism, which gave way to quickly abandoning the story itself.
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But if there is one moment that crystallizes for me the disdain for all things Trumpian, it’s when he got booed at Nationals Park.
Now the booing itself was hardly surprising. Donald Trump got 4 percent of the 2016 vote in the District of Columbia. This was not a friendly crowd.
My own view is that people should respect the office, if not the occupant. But hey, it’s a baseball game, and fans are gonna do whatever they want.
Now I get that Trump is not exactly bashful when it comes to insulting people—everyone knows the long list of examples—and that some people see the booing as payback.
What was far more striking than the catcalls was the media reaction, led by pundits on the left.
Washington Post’s Gene Robinson: “It is President Trump’s own fault that he got so lustily booed at Game Five of the World Series in Washington Sunday night. When you publicly refer to people as ‘human scum,’ they are likely to return the favor.”
Toure, on Twitter: I’m rooting for the Nationals because their fans are the most awesome in all the land. They booed Trump and chanted, ‘Lock him up!’ They are true patriots.”
Chris Hayes, on MSNBC: “One of the most fascinating parts aside from the president’s facial expression as he realizes how the crowd is reacting to him are the rictus grins plastered on the faces of the Republicans in the box with him.”
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But no one has marinated in that 15 seconds at the World Series as deeply as New York Times columnist Jennifer Weiner:
“I watched I watched the video over and over, scrutinizing every second of the footage, waiting for the exact moment when Mr. Trump’s smirky grin gives way to stony petulance, the precise instant when he realizes that this sea of red-hatted Americans are not his red-hatted Americans, as the applause for veterans gives way to lusty boos, and the chants of ‘Lock him up!’ ripple through the stadium.
It felt like medicine, like balm for a weary soul.”
But then she interrupts the victory dance to admit she was “gloating” and “it was not a pleasant realization.. It’s my own reaction to the booing that troubles me — the joy I took from Mr. Trump’s pain and the example it sets for my kids.”
Weiner zigs and zags, saying the crowd’s negative reaction was good because Trump is such a bad guy and rarely steps outside his bubble. Then she wrestles with civility and says that “we — Democrats, liberals, progressives, the resistance, whatever you call the other side — are supposed to be better than that. We’re supposed to be the party of the downtrodden and the less fortunate.”
But here’s her final surrender:
“For them, the cruelty is the point. For us, kindness matters. When they go low, we go high.
“Except, it turns out, going low feels wonderful.”
It’s almost like a blues song: I know I should feel bad, but it feels so good…Gimme the boo boo blues.
History will little note nor long remember what happened when Trump showed up on a ballpark Jumbotron. But it’s telling that the president’s detractors are giving it a standing O.