Longtime NR Friends John Bolton and Larry Kudlow Head to the White House

Correct. Trump is really good at “driving a media agenda.” He takes bold, beyond-the-Overton-window positions; he gets combative in interviews, he insults critics, he insists solutions are simple and that only a conspiracy of the malevolent and foolish stands in the way of enacting them.

.. I used to joke that Bill Clinton was the only guy who could distract attention from a fundraising scandal by getting into a sex scandal. 

.. Trump figured out how to overload the system, generating so many headline-grabbing surprises, controversies and personnel changes that few if any really had the time to leave a lasting impression.

.. just during a couple months in the campaign, we saw Trump contending that a federal judge couldn’t rule fairly because “he’s a Mexican;” mock Carly Fiorina’s face; get into a war of words with a slain soldier’s father. Any one of those would have defined and politically destroyed a lesser-known figure.

.. Think about how Obama and the Democrats spent almost all of 2009 and a chunk of 2010 focused on what became Obamacare. But the amount of consistent focus — and presidential persuasion — needed to pass a legislative agenda is completely different from the amount needed to dominate a news cycle.

Every time it seems the president has zeroed in on an issue, and appears determined to see it through — guns and immigration are just the two latest examples — he moves on to something else. And Congress, which isn’t designed to respond swiftly to national events and the wishes of the White House even in the least distracted of circumstances, simply can’t keep up.

The constant whiplash of priorities is getting on lawmakers’ nerves.

“It’s unbelievable to me,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). “The attention span just seems to be. . . it’s a real problem.”

The Method To Steve King’s Madness

King concedes that the one hundred-to-one claim was an “estimate,” but with a mischievous smile, he points out that he succeeded at shifting the immigration debate. He fueled the conservative antagonism that killed the Senate bill in the House.

.. “I’ll say this about Steve: Most of his controversial comments are the kind that you might say are off the cuff. They’re not. He’s a bright guy,” he says. “He knows what he’s doing when he’s stirring the pot. And he likes that.”

.. During the campaign, he stumbled upon his signature issue in the legislature: English as the official language.


..  “King’s main effect on the immigration reform debate is Overton Window-ish,” invoking a political science term that describes the “window” of policies considered acceptable at a given time, named after Joseph P. Overton. “Very, very few grassroots conservatives or elected Republicans actually agree with him on immigration policy. However, he enables elected Republicans who are more restrictionist or otherwise hardline … to strike a pose that reads as ‘moderate.'”

.. Since King came to Congress, his most over-the-top rhetorical outbursts include comparing immigrants to dogs, calling illegal immigration a “slow-motion terrorist attack” on the United States, claiming Al Qaeda would be “dancing in the streets” if Barack Obama was elected president, and declaring that racial profiling wasn’t an issue in Ferguson, Mo., because protesters were from a single “continental origin.”

..  “I’m more the conscience of the conservative than I am someone looking for consensus.” He wants to elect a president in his image. Journalist Obradovich says, “When Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum come to Iowa, they absolutely want to see and talk to Steve King.”