— CNN (@CNN) March 1, 2017
Following Donald Trump’s joint address to Congress, the press collectively fainted from the exertion of praising him. That’s what happens when Trump clears the very low bar that he set up for himself with an inaugural speech about “American carnage.” And the press is so used to being berated by the president for 75 minutes that maybe they’re in shock. One very effusive bit of praise came from Trump critic Van Jones, who reacted live on CNN over Trump’s recognition of Navy SEAL wife Carryn Owens: “He became President of the United States in that moment, period.”
Well, Jones received an enormous wave of criticism, so he visited with CNN host Brianna Keilar. Commentator Angela Rye was also present, and she argued, “I don’t think it’s presidential” for Trump to gain enormous praise for honoring late U.S. commando Ryan Owens. Why? Rye thinks the praise is unwarranted because it also “took [Trump] 61 minutes to tell 51 lies” about jobs, immigration, and more. In response, Jones issued a warning to Rye and other Democrats. That is to say, this speech is a sign that Trump is adapting, and the left must figure out a way to anticipate his moves and counter them:
“The virus is mutating … everybody got mad at me for saying this, but watch the bounce he gets out of that speech and watch how he starts to use a different playbook. Liberals are going to have to reset. He is not always going to just hand us opportunities to go after him … He is actually holding strong with Republicans. And independents are moving his way, even before this speech … we are going to have to take him more seriously.”
Trump earned Jones’ effusive praise for using Carryn’s during his speech in a move that played like U.S. war propaganda. Her husband, of course, was recently killed in Yemen during a Trump-approved raid that was so disastrous that the White House wants to remove him from the approval process on further counterterrorism missions. He’s now actively working to distract everyone with the help of a teleprompter, a speechwriter, and a thesaurus.
This tactic may work for now, but he can’t maintain his new aura forever. Eventually, Trump’s going to start tweeting venom and issuing divisive executive orders again, but Jones is correct — the Dems need to step up their strategy game.