Remember when the information came from the 45 Camp that the Trumpster wanted to continue his campaign activities while governing? The Serious People opined that he really couldn’t do that because he’d be entirely too busy with the demands of administration. No surprise, he’s doing it. Today’s simulation of a press conference wasn’t for the benefit of the Fourth Estate, it was transparently a campaign event for the 45 Base…with the press as foils.
For a press conference it was decidedly devoid of news. An announcement of a Labor Secretary occurred without the guest of honor in attendance, an appointment already in the public domain. The Host denied connections with the Putin Regime, no surprise there either. What should be the headline is that The Host proclaimed all mention of the Putin Puppetry to be the facilitation of a hoax perpetrated by his enemies and the Nasty Press.
And so it devolved, into a summation of alternative universe talking points: Anti-Semitic chants at his events were sung out by Our Enemies. Obnoxious signage was raised by agent provacateurs. The Host told the questioner to sit down without addressing the fact that hate groups have metastasized since he began campaigning.
The Host made up a story about a member of the Congressional Black Caucus refusing a meeting with him, and treated a respected Black journalist like a receptionist directed to make a special pot of coffee for the Boss. All that was missing was a demand that she pick up his dry cleaning before 5 pm.
However, the rant was mostly about The Press. How dishonest they are. How biased they are. How inaccurate they are. So why have a press conference to berate the press? Because this wasn’t for the benefit of either the reporters or the general public. It was for the hard core GOP base. We can guess why.
The backlash against the Trumpster Administration has been wider, deeper, and more persistent than his political handlers expected. One big event full of women in pink knitted hats could be dismissed, except it was truly Yuge. Then came the spontaneous demonstrations at the airports, and the organized opposition to the ICE actions to round up and deport mothers who were hardly the type to be classified as hard core criminals.
An administration which has witnessed the failure of appointees for everything from outright lies to blatant plagiarism wasn’t exactly anyone’s definition of a well tuned machine, unless one was thinking of the Titanic.
So, on Thursday and Saturday the Salesman In Chief will revert to the plays that won him the presidency he can’t seem to manage. He will appeal to a base, conditioned by decades of hate radio radicals, that will believe everything he tells them.
He will tell them he would have won the popular vote if it hadn’t been for those 3 million illegal voters, an insult to Republican voting officials if there ever was one, and they will cheer “build the wall.”
He will tell them the Muslim ban is a success, even though his own lawyers are asking that previous rulings be vacated so that the botched executive order can be significantly revised. They will cheer, ignoring the fact that not a single refugee has planned on doing a repeat of the Charleston Massacre, as one recently arrested young white man was preparing. No, they’ll believe, beyond all hope of instruction, that the Bowling Green Massacre was real.
He will tell them about the Dishonest Media, and some of them may turn to the press area and bellow “Jew S A,” and the flag of slavery will wave freely in the parking areas.
He will tell them, contrary to every economic indicator and measurement we have, that he inherited a horrible mess, and they will nod and applaud the misinformation that comports with their preconceived biases.
He needs their applause, think of Sally and Whoopi in the shopping mall, and he wants them to mobilize as they did before the election. Every march, every demonstration, every protest is a painful reminder that he lost the popular vote.
If he doesn’t see it himself his handlers surely see that his “mandate” is founded upon the slim margin of diehard devotees who still believe “he tells it like it is,” that is, tells it as they want to hear it is. They are definitely still among us and we ignore them at the peril of our country.
It is up to those inhabitants of the reality based universe to redouble the efforts to rein in the excesses of 45’s radicals. If last week was the time for one daily contact with a Senator or Representative then next week will be the time for two.
If the last weeks were the time for organizing Indivisible groups, then the next weeks are the time to deploy them. If the last weeks were the time for signing up with Call Them In, then the next week’s are the time for more telephone contacts.
If Republican Congressional representatives want to hide from constituents by holding private sessions with carefully selected invitees, then during the current break let them be invited to appear in truly public forums organized by their own local constituents.
#Resist and #Persist
The current occupant of the Oval Office may not like the process of governance, may not be very good at it, and may want to spend his days happily campaigning among thone inclined to adore him, but avoiding the problems of governing isn’t going to improve his presidency. It certainly isn’t going to improve the prospects of the United States.