Too much of journalist David Frum’s Trumpocalypse and most of political scientist John Pitney’s Un-American could be reassembled into a day-by-day catalog, spanning five years, of anti-Trump talking points aired on CNN. To this extent the books are dull as ditchwater.

It is easy to make light of the lengths to which the authors go to press their case. Frum’s analysis of Trump’s base, for instance, includes the category of “people who would not conventionally be thought of as white.” (To support Trump, Frum explains, “you just have to agree that white is best.”) His examples include Dinesh D’Souza, Candace Owens, and—perhaps Frum is simply an underperformer on cognitive tests where you identify which item in a list doesn’t belong—Santino Legan, the shooter who killed three and wounded 17 at last year’s Gilroy Garlic Festival.

Pitney is if anything less circumspect than Frum. While Frum at least qualifies, with the word “reportedly,” the claim that Trump ordered fleeing border crossers shot in the legs—the claim, after all, was reported in the New York Times, citing anonymous sources—Pitney presents it as a simple fact. It is safe to say there is no fake news about Trump where Pitney is concerned. Indeed, he argues that Trump got the idea of decrying fake news from 1970s

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