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LA Times: ‘Did Al Gore get played? Engaging with Trump brings risk for the left’

When Al Gore emerged from his surprise meeting at Trump Tower earlier this week to suggest the president-elect was a good listener and maybe was keeping an open mind on climate change, there was hardly universal relief on the left. But there was a lot of suspicion that Gore had been played.

Within 48 hours, Donald Trump deepened those suspicions, naming Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma and a prominent climate-change skeptic, to run the Environmental Protection Agency.

The editor of the progressive news outlet ThinkProgress, Judd Legum, posted an analysis of Google searches showing that the Gore meeting had gotten substantially more Internet attention than the choice of an official who is a favorite of the oil industry to run the new administration’s environmental policies.

“These meetings are entertainment to distract you while [Trump] guts Obama’s climate policy,” Legum tweeted.

Prominent Democrats and their allies are navigating uncharted waters as they look for openings to persuade Trump not to dismantle every policy they won under President Obama.

Not since Ronald Reagan assumed office 36 years ago have they had to deal with a president-elect who is both so reviled by their core voters and masterful at using the television cameras to co-opt them — even in those cases where they arrive at his doorstep to school him on why he is wrong.