In a way, I was really hoping that Ed or Allahpundit or John would write about this last night just to spare me the task of having to think about it yet again this morning. (And if you were following my Twitter feed last night you’ll understand that I was really hoping it would just go away.) The subject under discussion was just one of a cavalcade of tweets that the President sent out last night after a period of relative calm in his Twitter account. This one was in response to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his recent speech where he talked about having a nuclear button on his desk at all times (which I already knocked around here).
Trump’s response was, to be charitable, somewhat on the blunt side.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
Right up front I’d just like to be clear that this isn’t one of those, ‘that’s it, I’ve had it, straw that broke the camel’s back’ sort of rants. We’re living in the era of the Donald Trump presidency now and both the relative availability of camels and weight of straws aren’t what they were in the pre-Trump days. The President uses his Twitter account in a way no national politician before him has and this has actually been a beneficial thing in some regards. And even if you don’t like it, that doesn’t really matter because he’s not going to stop in the foreseeable future, and even Jack probably doesn’t have the temerity to try to cancel his access. Trump’s gonna do what Trump’s gonna do. I have attempted to be supportive of the President in the many policy areas where he works to advance conservative principles (immigration, law enforcement, regulatory repeal, taxes) and I’ve tried to fairly criticize him where he’s seemed to go astray (relations with Turkey, FAA, the Renewable Fuel Standard). I have no intention of changing course.
But I do have to confess that I watched that tweet pop up in real-time last night and my heart sort of sank. Unlike the hyperbole coming from the WaPo and other #RESIST outlets, I wasn’t worried about the President suddenly triggering a nuclear war on a Tuesday night. Nor was the tweet going to suddenly and dramatically change the international foreign policy landscape. Trump has already done that and, whether you like it or not, the world has settled into something of a new paradigm, adjusting to Trump’s brash methods as the months roll on. I doubt either Trump or Kim pay all that much attention to each other’s tweets these days beyond finding something to tee off on and light up the international press for a while.
So, no… this wasn’t the end of the world. But it was still just plain disheartening. You see, we’ve actually had a relatively calm period here over the holidays and much of the media was showing signs of running out of things to complain about when it comes to the President. They were forced to roll out some of their golden oldies or go back to obsessing over Russia, Russia, Russia. And in the background, things were happening which actually move the ball down the field. New regulatory reversals in the energy sector and the EPA were showing promise. Court cases are moving forward which may clarify the sanctuary city situation. Reports of decreases in violent crime had people feeling a bit more positive. There was even talk of a possible DACA deal in the works where immigration hawks might get something meaningful in exchange for some work with the Democrats.
In short, there were very real, tangible things for us to bring forward in the national discussion and chalk up a few items in the win column, even if they were small ones. But now… this is the story for the next 48 hours. Trump has handed the media a shiny new toy to bat around and they were already beating it to death as soon as I turned on my television this morning. Yes, I know that this is Trump’s modus operandi and he loves setting the press corps’ hair on fire just to watch them run around in a frenzy. He plans to spend his entire four or eight years in the White House at war with the MSM and it doesn’t seem to be sinking him yet. In fact, if anything, it rallies his base further behind him.
But seriously… he could actually take a break from this for a while and let everyone focus on his agenda, the accomplishments he’s already nailed down and some plausible goals to achieve this year. Even the biggest circus has to take a day off once in a while. NBC News, CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times will all be there next week or even next month, ready to have the President level another haymaker at them. For a man who talks so much about winning, Donald Trump doesn’t seem terribly interested in enjoying the fruits of his labors.
Instead, the dial is turned back up to eleven. And the show goes on.