Woodward Calls Trump ‘Dangerous.’ The Donald’s Got Nothing on the Other Guys. - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Woodward Calls Trump ‘Dangerous.’ The Donald’s Got Nothing on the Other Guys.
Then-President Donald Trump calls the media “fake news” at rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Aug. 2, 2018 (Evan El-Amin/Shutterstock)

The “journalist” Bob Woodward is promoting his forthcoming audiobook The Trump Tapes just in time for the midterm elections. Earlier this week, he said he considers former President Donald Trump to be “dangerous” and a “threat to democracy” and a “threat to the presidency.”

Woodward ended his previous book on Trump by saying, “Trump is the wrong man for the job.” Let’s see how Trump stacks up against other presidents.

Did Trump in his four years in office repeatedly and unconstitutionally suspend the writ of habeas corpus? No, that was Abraham Lincoln. Did Trump initiate a war without congressional sanction? No, that was James K. Polk and Harry Truman. Did Trump use the IRS to intimidate his political opponents? No, that was Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama. Did Trump have oral sex with a young intern in the White House and then lie about it under oath and to the American people? No, that was Bill Clinton. Did the Trump campaign steal elections in Texas and Illinois? No, that was the Kennedy campaign. Did Trump secretly receive injections of methamphetamine from a physician referred to as “Dr. Feelgood”? No, that was Kennedy. Did Trump become wealthy while in public office? No, that was Lyndon B. Johnson. Did Trump forcibly remove tens of thousands of Americans from their homes and place them in internment camps without any legal basis? No, that was FDR. Did Trump suffer from debilitating medical conditions and hide it from the American people? No, that was Woodrow Wilson, FDR, and Kennedy.

Did Trump shut down newspapers that opposed his war policies? No, that was Wilson. Did Trump ban blacks from the White House? No, that was Wilson. Did Trump prosecute and imprison people who opposed his war policies? No, that, too, was Wilson. Did Trump refuse to grant refuge to Europe’s Jews fleeing persecution and death? No, FDR did that. Did Trump appoint his brother as attorney general to cover up his sins and protect him from the legal consequences of his actions? No, that was Kennedy. Did Trump repeatedly try to assassinate a foreign leader? No, that was Kennedy. Did Trump rise to power on the back of a notoriously corrupt political machine? No, that was Truman and a few other presidents. Did Trump as president tour foreign nations and apologize for past American “sins”? No, that was Obama.

Trump did question the legitimacy of an election, but so, too, did Andrew Jackson (the infamous “corrupt bargain” of 1824) — yet Woodward, to my knowledge, has never considered Jackson to be a threat to democracy and the presidency. Nor has Woodward, to my knowledge, ever called Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, or Obama a threat to democracy and the presidency. Woodward, of course, gained fame and riches by portraying Richard Nixon as a threat to democracy and the presidency, a view that is still the conventional wisdom but that does not survive the scrutiny of truly courageous writers such as Geoff Shepard and Len Colodny — if only they had the readership of Woodward’s books.

Woodward rode the Nixon presidency and resignation to fame and fortune. He will likely follow a similar path with Trump. In the end, it’s always about Woodward, not the presidents he chronicles. With Watergate, he and the Washington Post promoted the narrative of “journalists” as heroes and saviors of democracy. It wasn’t true in the early 1970s, and it’s not true today.

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