Trump’s best move forward: ignore the Dems, focus on policy

As President Trump searches for the right responses to the Mueller report, he would be wise to follow the idea that “revenge is a dish best served cold.”

Trump’s temptation will be to nurse grudges and settle scores immediately. A self-made man who became president his way, he will want to unleash his greatest ever punchback against those who put him through two years of hell.

Who can blame him? No modern president has endured such fanatical hatred from his opponents, a group that extends far beyond the opposition party to include the gullible people who still believe everything they read in The New York Times and see on CNN.

It has to be extra aggravating that much of the contents and language of the report confirms Trump’s claim that his inquisitors were a cabal of “angry Democrats.” The circular quality of the report is astonishing: Anonymous leaks, many clearly from the FBI and intelligence agencies, are the basis of stories in the Times and The Washington Post, which are then cited by Mueller as authoritative reports either deserving of investigation or proving a point.

Check out the footnotes to see what Mueller’s team was reading and you’ll understand why the report feels as if it was written by the White House Correspondents’ Association.

Indeed, the special counsel makes a big deal of accusing the president’s press secretary of lying to the press about the firing of Jim Comey from the FBI.

Wow — first time in history a press secretary lied. See how uniquely rotten Trump is?

So the probers, the press, the leakers and the Dems all sing the same song: Trump bad, bad, bad, blah blah blah. Repeat.

And yet, despite two years of unchecked power and an unlimited budget, Mueller could not find a single Trump action that met the test of a criminal charge. There are two possible explanations for this: Mueller is a Trump agent or there was no crime.

Congressional Dems can’t help themselves and are committed to keeping the impeachment flames burning, and the 2020 candidates are acting as if Trump is actually as guilty as they said he was the day before the report cleared him. Either way, the party is not ready to move on.

All the more reason why Trump must be. After spending a few days cracking jokes and venting about the damage the investigation did, the president should embrace his second chance to be president.

He is free of Mueller, his lease on the Oval Office is renewed. He should make the most of it.

He can begin by seeing the report as a gift. While it’s true that everything he said and did is depicted through the darkest possible lens, it is also true that Trump nearly wrecked his presidency.

For example, had his orders to fire Mueller been followed, a replacement would have been demanded by Congress and an obstruction charge guaranteed. Recall that stalwart allies like GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham warned him that firing Mueller would have sent Republicans fleeing.

Under that scenario, even if he survived as president — a big if — Trump would have gotten nothing done in the first two years despite GOP control of both chambers. There would have been no tax cut, and the economy and stock markets would have drifted along much as they did in the Obama years.

To fill two Supreme Court vacancies without a united GOP, Trump would have had to get Dem votes. Thus, the chances that Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh would now be on the court are zero. Ditto for other federal court nominees Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been able to confirm on party-line votes.

The larger truth the Mueller report reflects is that many in the permanent government, the Washington establishment and the media gatekeepers will never accept Trump as president. The blood lust that created the investigation, and that survives despite the report’s conclusions, should serve as a final warning to Trump that he has zero room for error.

When subpoenas are involved, everybody has loose lips.

He also has little guaranteed time remaining. The 2020 election will be a dogfight and he’ll need every vote he can possibly get in every possible swing state.

In practical terms, Trump should admit to himself that his policies are more popular than his personality. He can help his cause — and the country — by finalizing strong trade deals with China and Europe and keeping the pressure on North Korea and Iran — while keeping American soldiers out of big wars.

The home front will be more difficult because Dems control the House, and their harassment will be impossible to ignore. But the president must resist the temptation to respond to every insult from Adam Schiff, Maxine Waters and Jerry Nadler and instead play the long, substantive game.

Above all, Trump must trust the people around him as much as he trusts his gut. His recent shuffling of officials dealing with the border crisis should be his last upheaval before the election.

He needs every person and idea he can find to stem the destructive migration surge. If he can, it will be a transformative accomplishment.

Besides, every day the media is focused on personnel changes is a good day for Democrats.

Finally, there is one more temptation Trump must resist: He should trust William Barr to follow through on his promise to investigate the investigators.

For the first time, Trump has a real attorney general and a man who is, as a friend of Barr’s put it, “a stickler for the law.” That amounts to terrible news for corrupt-ocrats Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper and the other Obamaites who abused their powers to turn Russian meddling into a partisan weapon.

So on that score, Trump can sit back and enjoy the show. And patiently wait to get the last laugh.

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