American Abroad: Notes on the Fourth

1. The only photo I have been able to find of Trump’s Independence Day rally has been the one the president Tweeted, showing hundreds of thousands of supporters filling the National Mall. I don’t know if Trump’s photo is legit (a notion I take with several large truck fulls of salt), but if it is, the crowd may well have stretched all the way to the Washington Monument, as the president claimed. Neither the NYT or WaPo indicated in their coverage how many people were estimated to have attended (not that I’m a journalist, but isn’t that figure sort of like the very first thing you’d expect to see in a news story? Oh, wait a second. Yes I am.)

At the same time, I have read at least two stories (Washington Post and I can’t remember the second) indicating that the White House had been concerned that the rally would be poorly attended, and two more giving significant coverage to the much smaller anti-Trump rally a short distance away.

Add to that the ominous polls suggesting that Trump is trailing the Democrats and one gets the feeling the media reported the event they’d wanted to see, rather than what actually happened. It’s the 2016 election season, take two. 

2. Same goes for the candidacy of Joe Biden and his supposed “front runner” status. I have no idea how anyone could possibly make that assessment six months before the Iowa caucus, but I am reminded of assurances that a certain Democratic candidacy and victory in 2016 were “inevitable.” 

3. Anti-Trump protesters burned American flags in front of the White House to protest the military flavor of the rally on the National Mall. Well done, guys. Yes, the First Amendment allows you to do that. Don’t think it’s going to inspire too many people to vote to remove the president from office, though.

4.One Mrs. Crystal Beauchemin of Sarasota, Fla. responded to the anti-Israel-Trumps with frustration and amazement. “Why do they hate him so much?” Ms. Beauchemin told the New York Times. “Look at that disrespect. Nobody has ever been so disrespectful of a president.”

Ummm… Really, Mrs. B? Never? Care to have a think about Republicans’ treatment of Barack Obama? How about the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

5. Anthony Scaramucci predicted a 40-state landslide for Trump next year. I wouldn’t bet against it.

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