As for the narcissism, Stephens hauls out the whole "cult-of-personality" thing Republicans tried on Obama in 2008, which looks pretty played out after eight years unless you're a propaganda junkie confident that one more twist of the rag will yield a fresh dose. Also, Obama doesn't want to be the world's policeman and neither does Trump. They're practically twins, or maybe triplets with Scott Walker.
Even worse is a thing at The Intercept called "THE CULTURE THAT CREATED DONALD TRUMP WAS LIBERAL, NOT CONSERVATIVE." The idea here seems to be that rich liberals run the liberal media and they put Trump on TV and in the papers, so they're responsible for him ("He was created by people who learned from Andy Warhol, not Jerry Falwell, who knew him from galas at the Met, not fundraisers at Karl Rove’s house, and his original audience was presented to him by Condé Nast, not Guns & Ammo"). I'm reminded of Reagan celebrity TV specials and all those Nancy Reagan magazine covers -- and, come to think of it, wasn't Ronnie himself in the movies? So maybe the liberal media is responsible for Reagan, too. Wheels within wheels!
But there's nothing that can't be made worse by National Review's Jim Geraghty, who nods energetically at the Liberal Trump shtick: "If he’s so self-evidently unsuited for the presidency… why has the national media spent a full year dissecting his every move?" he asks. Actually they've only been covering him obsessively for eight months, because for eight months Trump has been THE REPUBLICAN FRONT-RUNNER FOR PRESIDENT; also, their coverage has been, shall we say, less than kind. But believe it or don't, this isn't the dumbest thing in Geraghty's column. He notices that The Intercept listed Spy among the media outlets responsible for Trump, and responds, quite reasonably, that Spy was Trump's glossy-print nemesis. But then:
There was one glaring flaw in the magazine’s approach: the sarcastic cynicism of Spy more or less targeted everyone – including National Review and William F. Buckley at least once — meaning that there was no good in their perspective, few if any examples of people worth emulating. Rereading Spy today is fascinating, but after enough issues, it begins to feel like comedic nihilism – everybody’s terrible, everybody’s shameless and out for themselves, everybody’s the worst ever. And if everybody’s the worst ever, nobody stands out as particularly bad – and there’s no point in expecting anything better.I should have expected that no National Review columnist would have the slightest idea what satire is, nor understand that it implies values every time it mocks that which contradicts them; but even after all this time it still amazes me how eager these guys are to volunteer their ignorance.