There is one lesson from President Nixon that applies not to President Trump, but to his adversaries on the left and in the media. “Always remember,” Nixon said during his 1974 farewell address, “others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.”
Mr. Trump enjoys toying with their hatred, particularly as it’s destroying them instead of destroying him.
In economic theory, the law of diminishing returns refers to the point at which profits or benefits of an endeavor begin to decrease as the resources put into it stay constant or increase.
We are long past that point with regard to the relentless assault on Mr. Trump. The pile-on began the moment he announced his candidacy and continues to this day, resulting not in his ruination but in his success. The more they hit him, the more resilient he becomes and the more voters rally to his cause. It’s not as if the left isn’t aware of this. They witnessed the phenomenon during the campaign and were powerless to stop it.
Now, however, with the public release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report, we can expect an entirely new level of attacks — and diminishing returns for his opponents.
The world can now see that Mr. Trump was telling the truth all along: Neither he nor anyone associated with him “colluded” with Russia to effect the 2016 election and he did not obstruct justice.
To the contrary, Attorney General William Barr highlighted the unprecedented level of cooperation from Mr. Trump and his team.
Instead of celebrating the fact that the American president is, in fact, a patriot, the left predictably has doubled down — and back. In deep denial about the report’s exoneration of the man they despise, they have reverted to pre-report levels of anti-Trump dishonesty.
Loathe to admit they have been active (and in many cases, knowing) perpetrators of a Big Lie that has damaged the country, they remain fully committed to their mission to destroy him — even if their obsession results in strengthening him. They keep flailing about, desperate to find something — anything — with which to bring him down.
They’ve got two main motivations driving their hate/fear spiral: First, to protect the original gang of Obama/Clinton plotters from possible prosecution by running out the clock on applicable statutes of limitations. And second, to try to stop Mr. Trump from smashing their whole corrupt status quo.
Hence their never-ending investigative frenzy and compulsive push toward impeachment.
Instead of ratcheting down, post-Mueller congressional investigations into Mr. Trump have been placed on steroids. The House Intelligence Committee under Chairman Adam Schiff, California Democrat, has expanded its probe to include all things Trump and Russia as well as non-existent obstruction of justice.
The House Judiciary Committee under Chairman Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat, has also launched a wide investigation into non-existent obstruction, campaign finance violations and abuse of power.
The House Ways and Means Committee under Chairman Richard Neal, Massachusetts Democrat, has moved to get Mr. Trump’s tax returns.
The House Financial Services Committee under Chairwoman Maxine Waters, California Democrat, is looking into banks’ relationships with the Trump Organization.
The House Oversight Committee led by Chairman Elijah Cummings, Maryland Democrat, is examining the administration’s management of security clearances.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee led by Chairman Eliot Engel, New York Democrat, is investigating Mr. Trump’s business dealings overseas.
Countless other investigations are also underway, including into the Trump Foundation, the Trump Organization’s real estate transactions and insurance policies, Mr. Trump’s tax history, the Trump International Hotel, funding of the 2017 inauguration, the activities of a pro-Trump super PAC during the campaign, possible campaign finance violations associated with payments to two alleged past mistresses, and various cases involving former associate Roger Stone, breaches of contract and defamation.
It is Investigation Overload. And it’s boomeranging badly on Mr. Trump’s enemies in two ways.
One, the myriad probes are increasingly viewed not as Eliot Ness-like searches for the truth but as unnecessary, vindictive, desperate and mean-spirited ambushes targeting a president trying his best to govern. They’ve become a cacophony of political background noise, inuring the public to it all.
And two, Mr. Trump’s enemies and their clown-car investigations are accomplishing a formerly impossible thing: Turning him into a sympathetic figure. Post-Mueller report, growing numbers of voters are viewing him as a put-upon victim of corrupt, single-minded adversaries engulfed by an Alex Forrest-like mania. Most Americans want their president and country to thrive — and they feel compelled to support him when he’s under warrantless attack.
Mr. Trump has been wise to recognize and capitalize on this emotional impulse, while the principle of diminishing returns continues to be lost on his enemies.
Perhaps after he’s re-elected in 2020, they’ll learn.
• Monica Crowley is a columnist for the Washington Times
Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.