Donald Trump
Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The president was up in New London, Connecticut today, talking to the graduating cadets at the Coast Guard Academy. The way he talked about his presidency reminds me of Vito Corleone hovering over his dead son, Sonny, saying “Look what they did to my boy!”

“Look at the way I have been treated lately, especially by the media,” he said. “No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly. You can’t let them get you down, you can’t let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams.”

It’s typical of Trump to make a graduation ceremony all about him rather than the people who toiled so hard to earn their degrees. But blaming the media is the only tool he has left in his box. If any of the news that is being reported is perceived as true and accurate by his core base of supporters, he’s pretty well screwed.

He needs to maintain their support to keep congressional Republicans at bay. Here’s Mike Allen’s take:

Trump’s campaign sent supporters a fundraising email yesterday with the subject line “SABOTAGE”: “You already knew the media was out to get us. But sadly it’s not just the fake news… There are people within our own unelected bureaucracy that want to sabotage President Trump and our entire America First movement.”

Watch for Trump to continue stoking his base, because his support there is what gives him power over lawmakers: They’re much less likely to abandon or undermine him if he remains popular in their states or districts. It’s his most basic survival strategy — and it’s another reason he won’t change.

For once, I think Allen nailed it.

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at