USA Today's Trump golf club story proves nothing but their bias
President Trump's golf club memberships are thriving, and this morning's USA Today sees nothing but evidence of corruption in it. Supposedly, some 70 members among its private membership rolls are either government contractors or lobbyists. That puts them in close proximity to President Trump, which, to them, is positively criminal, especially since they pay for their $100,000 memberships. Or...well, $200,000 these days.
USA Today writes:
Dozens of lobbyists, contractors and others who make their living influencing the government pay President Trump’s companies for membership in his private golf clubs, a status that can put them in close contact with the president, a USA TODAY investigation found.
Members of the clubs Trump has visited most often as president – in Florida, New Jersey and Virginia – include at least 50 executives whose companies hold federal contracts and 21 lobbyists and trade group officials. Two-thirds played on one of the 58 days the president was there, according to scores they posted online.
According to Real Clear Markets editor John Tamny, that's balderdash he calls "low innuendo."
Tamny, by the way, is usually a Trump critic, chiefly for insufficient zeal on free-market economic issues.
The chief problem, he says, is the proof of the pudding. Is Trump being unduly influenced by these lobbyists out waiting to buttonhole him on the links?
Well, not exactly. The chief trade lobbyist for South Korea is a member, and right now, President Trump is talking about ripping up the U.S.-South Korea free trade pact. Influence the president, he hasn't. So there's no smoking gun of any undue influence from lobbyists or contractors based on golf club membership, no matter how USA Today implies that there could be.
More specifically, Tamny points out that the timelines are not proven in the least. Were these lobbyists and contractors members back before Trump was expected to be president? Most of them were, meaning no change in position. Were they scheduling their golf club meets on the same days Trump was golfing even before he was president? They sure were. Everyone likes to meet the gregarious owner of the golf club.
This, Tamny points out, is what's probably really going on: Trump loves being around people. He's an extrovert and a cordial host and can't function in an isolated bubble. He likes to know people from different walks of life and hear what they are thinking.
If a president can't be exposed to different points of view, even from lobbyists, what kind of bubble is he supposed to live in? Is it really that dangerous for him to talk and golf with a trade lobbyist on a view everyone knows he doesn't share? He hasn't even done that much, so far as is known. His main preoccupation on the links is playing golf, and he is known to be a "scratch" golfer. To say he can't hear different points of view is ridiculous. It's swampthink. USA Today reveals nothing but its swampy bias in this investigative report.
Read Tamny's whole piece here.