Sunday, June 18, 2017
The White Rabbit
It feels like we are following the white rabbit in Trump, as we slide deeper into an alternative version of reality that changes from one day to the next. An "unpresidented" amount of innuendo and misinformation spews from the White House, largely through his never ending stream of tweets, which he regards as his way to skirt the "dishonest media."
There are a few polls and news sources he likes. Rasmussen is generally favorable to him, currently giving him a 50 per cent approval rating, which he boasted on twitter as "great news." I suppose when you spend so much time in the red, it's a boost to see a daily tracking poll give you an uptick. The bounce appears to come from the way he handled the Shootout in Alexandria, which got favorable press almost across the board. Even Stephen Colbert paused to thank Trump for his appropriate response.
Yet, His Trumpness wasted no time undermining this moment of unity by tweeting his anger over finding himself now under investigation for obstruction. Something that would have probably been ignored by the press for a few more days had he not immediately called attention to it.
I was listening to political scientist Michael Genovese on CNN this morning. He commented on the degree to which Trump calls attention to himself in his tweets. Whether consciously or otherwise, he is distracting himself from his duties of office. All this self-pity comes across as "un-presidential," not to mention narcissistic. It opens him up to allegations and investigations that probably wouldn't have taken place if he could only keep his tiny little fingers off his cell phone.
It's become a serious problem, as the investigation is not so much into his possible collusion with Russia as it his attempt to obstruct justice with the many threats he has issued in the Oval Office and on Twitter. A few weeks back he hinted that he had taped his conversations with James Comey, and now Congress is considering a subpoena to force him to admit whether he actually did so. Naturally, our dear president is now saying he was only joking.
More and more the joke is on him, as was presented in an audio tape from "Down Under" where Australian PM Turnbull was cracking quite a few jokes at Trump's expense. One can only imagine what the next phone conversation between Trump and Turnbull will sound like.
In the meantime, Trump delivered on his pledge to Cuban-Americans to tighten the grip on Castro's Cuba once again. The recent executive order serves to remind us that whenever in doubt repeal another Obama executive order.
Like so many of his executive orders, it is self-defeating. After more than five decades, President Obama finally acknowledged that the embargo had failed and reopened diplomatic ties with Cuba, with the hope Congress would repeal the Helms-Burton Act in its next session. It was a measure many Republicans lauded, including Jeff Flake, Mark Sanford and other Congressional members who joined Obama on his trip to Havana. With the flourish of his Cross Century II black lacquer pen, Trump has once again showed how terribly insecure he is in the White House.
So who is this "White Rabbit?" Is he there simply to distract us from far more pernicious measures soon to appear from the bowels of Congress, or is this just the kind of game he likes to play so that he can see himself in the news 24/7?
Trump appears to go by the adage that any news is good news as long as the focus is on him. He relishes these twitter wars, considering it his political wrestling ring. He rounded off his 86.7 million followers on social media to 100 million, I guess so that Katy Perry wouldn't have any edge on him, although Katy's following is on Twitter alone. With Trump you have to add together every outlet from Snapchat to Youtube to Facebook to Twitter to come up with a number in the same ballpark. Safe to say many of them are duplicates. This tells you a lot about our POTUS, who gauges his popularity by what he presumes to be his fan club.
Fact of the matter is that anyone can follow Trump and many do so just to troll him, given some of the responses he gets on Twitter. Everyone from J.K. Rowling to former WH photographer Pete Souza trolls Trump on social media, usually to devastating effect. No matter, as far as Trump is concerned it all adds to his subscriber list, which is why I have assiduously avoided addressing Trump directly. It's bad enough I still get White House e-mails, which I have since relegated to the spam box.
The guy is so thin-skinned yet seems to exhibit no shame, which is a pretty hard thing to pull off. You would think that a man of his wealth and stature would be above 10-year old bullying on social media, but obviously not. As you recall, Melania promised to ayberbullying as first lady. She can start with her husband. I'm sure his WH staff and personal lawyers would greatly appreciate it.
In the meantime, we just keep following the white rabbit, even if he appears to have no particular time table. For Trump everyday is his Unbirthday! Of course, the best "unbirthday gift" of all would be to finally see him held accountable for his actions.