Bob Woodward's sad failure

Bob Woodward's sad failure
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Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” is a sad, lost opportunity.

It will sell a lot of copies, as anti-Trumpers buy it to enjoy the continuous stream of anti-Trump anecdotes and vignettes.

However, as a bestselling anti-Trump diatribe, Woodward adds little to our understanding of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE and his White House.

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There already are a number of left-wing, anti-Trump books. Every day, liberal reporters hunt for proof of alleged Trump White House dysfunction.

 

Woodward is merely the most famous left-wing, anti-Trump writer. Yet, Woodward could have been much more.

Woodward has the prestige and the reputation that could have allowed him to write a serious book trying to understand how the Trump system actually works (because the deep secret the Washington liberal media keep hiding from is that the Trump system actually does work).

We are in a time of two competing universes for our politics and governance. Woodward could have bridged this gap with a serious book.

Of course, his left-wing friends (and the entire Georgetown cocktail party crowd) would have been enraged by a book that took President Trump seriously. There would be no book parties for that kind of “inappropriate” writing. So, instead, Woodward stayed comfortably (and profitably) inside the left-wing, anti-Trump universe.

He missed the chance to write about the reality in which a very unusual president is achieving historic change in ways none of us fully understands or appreciates.

President Trump has appointed, and gotten confirmed, a record number of judges in less than two years (with a few more to come, including a second Supreme Court justice who will be added before the end of the year).

How have White House Counsel Don McGahn and Federalist Society Executive Vice President Leonard Leo been so successful in finding judges? How have President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSanders hits Feinstein over Kavanaugh allegations: Now it’s clear why she did nothing for months On The Money: Senate approves 4B spending bill | China imposes new tariffs on billion in US goods | Ross downplays new tariffs: 'Nobody's going to actually notice' McConnell tamps down any talk of Kavanaugh withdrawal MORE (R-Ky.) been so successful at getting these nominees through the Senate?

This is a real-world success story more revealing than Woodward’s collection of anonymous trash talk.

The economy is growing rapidly. From June 2017 to April 2018, the Congressional Budget Office’s 10-year federal revenue estimate jumped from $195 billion to $1.08 trillion for “economic reasons.” This historic level of growth raised so much extra revenue it will virtually pay for the 2017 tax cuts. Also, African-American and Latino unemployment are at their lowest levels in history. Four hundred thousand new manufacturing jobs have been added — with more projected. As the economy continues to accelerate, the CBO will have to continue to produce new estimates, with even greater growth.

How did President Trump achieve this economic turnaround? How did his economic team function so successfully?

The deregulation project on which Trump campaigned, and began to implement as soon as he was inaugurated, has been the most successful rolling back of red tape in American history. It continues to cut regulations and move power out of Washington bureaucracies and back to the American people.

Who has done the actual work? How has it been coordinated? What does it say about potentially six more years of Trump deregulatory efforts?

Renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) seems to be nearing success, despite the establishment’s being sure it would fail.

What caused the turnaround? Why are the Europeans talking about serious trade negotiations? Why have the Chinese been so confused in their response to Trump’s trade toughness?

There are a lot of good reasons to be skeptical of the Trump presidency. President Trump is 80 percent historic figure and 20 percent reality TV star. The bigger, historic side of Trump is changing America, in the manner of Andrew Jackson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. His impact on the judiciary alone would make him a historic president. The smaller, reality TV side of Trump insists on self-destructive tweets, fights unworthy of the President of the United States, and smothering his own positive messages with noisy irrelevancies, which give the liberal media an excuse to avoid covering the important, good news.

The historic Trump is real. In his first two years, he is accomplishing more than any president since FDR. Yet, the media stubbornly focus on the reality TV star and ignore the historic reality.

This is a reality Bob Woodward could have investigated and written about.

We need more good researcher-writers to take all of the Trump phenomenon seriously. Sadly, with Woodward’s book, we just got the usual liberal hostility pretending to be a serious book.

America deserves better.

Newt Gingrich is a former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, chairman of the board at Gingrich Productions and a Gallup senior scientist.