Presidential politics, briefly explained
A letter-writer in the New York Times, July 21, wondered: did President Trump give an exclusive interview to the Times because "he secretly longs for the legitimacy that only The New York Times can confer on him?"
Six months into the Trump presidency and the Times, with the aid of a reader, would claim to get to the heart of the matter: political "legitimacy" is conferred on our presidents by Times, not by the voters.
A corollary is suggested: "scandals" are not scandals unless so declared by the Times. This explains why Filegate – the curious appearance in the Clinton White House of FBI files mainly on Republican figures, and IRSgate – the curious harassment of mainly conservative groups seeking applications for tax waivers – never amounted to a hill of beans, and why Surveillance-gate – the illegal surveillance of Republicans allegedly by the previous administration – will go nowhere. Scandals occur only when "the Rule of Law" is being transgressed, and it is simply not possible for such transgression to occur at the hands of operatives who promote political legitimacy Times-style.
Here, however, is a thought the July 21 letter-writer likely did not consider: would a besieged Richard M. Nixon have given an exclusive interview to the Times? Donald J. Trump remains a political force beyond the capacity of the teeth-gnashing left to comprehend.