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How long can the Wall Street Journal keep up their B.S.?



The term “clutching at straws,” means “To try any route to get out of a desperate situation, no matter how unlikely it is to succeed.” It goes back in English at least to 1534, when Sir Thomas More wrote, “A man in peril of drowning catchest whatsoever cometh next to hand… be it never so simple a stick.”

Sticks, straws, whatever. When it comes to clutching, that’s what Republicans are doing with respect to their president, Trump. They see the Blue Wave coming. They see the poll numbers proving that increasing numbers of Americans loathe Trump and want him gone, the sooner the better. They see Mueller on the hunt, coming ever closer. They know, even if they won’t admit it, that Trump is a horrible human being who likely colluded with the Russians to win the election. A sexual thug, a liar, a pig whom they would not allow to be alone with their daughters. But, like any person backed into a corner, these Republicans hope against hope for a miracle to deliver them from impending doom. There must be something, anything out there to give them hope. Right?

Consider, for example, the Wall Street Journal’s rightwing columnist, Kimberley Strassel, who’s peddling the fiction that Republicans will actually win the midterm elections, “if [they] have the courage of their convictions and get smarter in tailoring their messages to voters.”

Strassel cites a new study from The Club For Growth, the arch-conservative economic lobbying group whose adherents include such sophisticated political minds as Marsha Blackburn and Betsy DeVos (I’m being sarcastic, folks). The study finds “silver linings” on the storm clouds enveloping Trump and his enablers. Some of these silver linings, according to The Club For Growth, are that Republicans hold slight registration majorities in some swing districts, and one-quarter of voters in these districts are said to be “persuadable” to vote Republican, “if they hear the right things.”

Well, I suppose it’s possible that the Giants could win the World Series this year, if their competition totally collapses and their offense suddenly starts hitting. Sure, it’s possible—but not very likely. I think by this point in the season, Giants fans realize the inevitable. But hey, if you’re a Republican, you’re grasping at straws.

So here’s Strassel with her fantasies. She insists that the number one “message” Republicans should “tailor” to swing voters is that “[Republicans] will make permanent last year’s middle-class tax cuts.” Yes, you heard that right. Of all the things voters are concerned about, according to Strassel, they’re most worried that “last year’s middle-class tax cuts” will be ended by Democrats.

Seriously? Look, Trump’s “tax cuts” overwhelmingly handed the ultra-rich and mega-corporations a huge bonus, while barely giving any relief to Strassel’s “middle class.” I think people are realizing how fake this “tax cut” was, despite Republican/Fox lies. But how do voters really feel?

Public opinion polls on Trump’s tax law

Monmouth University: Approve 34%, Disapprove 41%

Quinnipiac: Approve 39%, Disapprove 46%

Fox News: Approve 40%, Disapprove 41%

Politico/Morning Consult: Support 37%, Oppose 39%

Umm, the Trump tax cut doesn’t appear to be as popular among Americans as Strassel claims.

So, Earth to Kimberley Strassel: You’re clutching at straws, girl. Take off your Trump blinders and see. People don’t like Donald J. Trump. They’ve seen through him. They’ve figured out that he’s bad news. I suspect that, in your heart of hearts, you know that, too. But the Murdochs pay you to defend the indefensible, so there you go again. It must be tedious.

Keep in mind, readers, that Strassel writes for the Journal’s editorial page, not their news division. We’ve seen reports that the Journal’s real journalists—as opposed to propagandists like Strassel—are up in arms because of how partisan and delusional the op-ed pieces have become. The Wall Street Journal has some fantastic reporters, and they’ve done as good a job in investigating RussiaGate and the other Trump scandals as anyone at the New York Times or the Washington Post. It’s those good reporters who are so upset to be working for the same paper as the bad writers, like Strassel.

That news came out when Vanity Fair—which has been doing a great job in reporting the Trump scandals—published a story about how the Journal’s good reporters are “worried about their paper’s credibility” due to the “virulent[ly] anti-Mueller editorials” and pro-Trump opinion pieces. The paper’s editorial writers, as symbolized by Strassel, “[were] known to take positions that are more extreme than many of their colleagues in the newsroom can stomach.”

Imagine you’re a responsible reporter at the Wall Street Journal. You’ve been digging into Trump’s crimes, lies, corruption and unfitness for office. You’re doing some of the best writing of your career, the kind of investigating reporting that’s inspired you since you were a kid and dreamed of being the next Woodward and Bernstein. And then you open your own paper to the op-ed pages and see the likes of Strassel calling you a fool. She’s denying facts you know to be true, making arguments you know are bogus, simply carrying the Trump/Murdoch water. How does that make you feel? The real reporters at the Journal are right to fear that the editorial page is staining their reputation. They should get out now.






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