Atlantic’s David Frum Bashes Trump Before SOTU: ‘You Can Train a Behave Itself’

January 29th, 2018 10:46 AM

The media has been hard at work discrediting and downplaying President Trump’s first State of the Union address before it even happens. The annual presidential address will happen tomorrow evening on January 30, but on CNN’s New Day Monday, the liberal network was already whining that whatever Trump said would have no impact, because his presidency was irredeemable, by this time anyway.

New Day fill-in anchor Poppy Harlow sat down with David Frum, Senior Editor of the liberal magazine The Atlantic, and CNN’s presidential historian Tim Naftali on the 6am EST hour of the show, and let her guests go to town bashing Trump for his anticipated bad behavior. Frum bitterly argued that it didn’t even matter if the president “behaved himself” for an hour, because even a “trained seal” could do that.

Harlow set the stage by asking Frum, the former Bush speechwriter, what he would write for President Trump’s address, if given the chance.

Frum wasn’t in the mood to be amiable when it came to Trump. “Well, look, I don't think I would take that job,” he snarked to the CNN anchor, before going on to complain that all Trump had to do was not stick “a fork in somebody’s eye” to receive lavish praise:

“President Trump doesn't have to come up with a memorable phrase. If he gets through an hour without putting a fork in somebody's eye, he will be praised as the most presidential president since the most presidential president,” he argued.

Harlow helpfully added all Trump had to do was “stick to the prompter” to get that kind of praise. But Frum wasn’t done with the hyperbole:

“Just for not doing something hideous,” he griped, complaining that Trump was held to a such a low bar that no other president was given that much latitude. “There is a special Trump scale where he is graded differently from any other president. If he just behaves like a functioning human being for an hour, we think he’s done a great job,” the liberal “Republican” whined.

Later on, Harlow pressed Frum for more on that point, asking if there was anything the president could do to surprise him, in a good way. Again, Frum wasn’t in the mood to be gracious.

“I don’t have any questions left about Donald Trump...I think we all know who he is, we all know what he is,” he shot back, before worrying about how we would “protect the country” against his agenda:

He has answered every question I have. And I think we all know who he is. We all know what he is, why he's president, and what got him into that job. I think the question for all of us is how do we protect the country during the remainder of the presidency.

Trying to be neutral, Harlow tepidly asked Frum if even Trump’s potential action on DACA would sway his opinion in favor of the president.

“There's nothing you're looking for to stand out in this? Is the Donald Trump you're talking about the one you expected to propose a path to citizenship, not just for d.r.e.a.m.ers but would-be d.r.e.a.m.ers?” she questioned.

Frum bluntly compared the president to a trained circus animal, saying he didn’t expect much from Trump, and any good behavior he displayed during the State of the Union could be easily undone with one tweet, five minutes later:

Look, you can train a seal to sit on the side of the pool for an hour and behave itself. That doesn't make it no longer a seal. If Donald Trump can get through an hour of good behavior, he has done that before. But that doesn't tell you what will happen at an hour and five minutes.



As per usual for CNN “Republicans,” Frum seems to be brought on the network solely to bash President Trump and his own party. Back in December, Frum defended the media’s “mistakes” by comparing journalism to science, saying, “I would say, the mistakes are precisely the reason the people should trust the media. Look, astronomers make mistakes all the time because science is a process of discovery of truth.” He went on to complain that CNN’s only problem with the truth was letting “Trump propagandists” on the air.

Frum also made the left-wing Salon’s laughable list of top “conservatives” you should follow on Twitter, which was nearly entirely made of “Never Trump” Republicans in the media and anonymous Twitter accounts.