“In the future, everyone will be a senior White House official for 15 minutes.” Andy Warhol didn’t say it like that, but you have to wonder what he would have thought of an administration that increasingly looks like a reality TV show constantly transitioning to its next season. In a recent “episode,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross even executed a bizarre homage to Warhol—attempting to turn a Campbell’s soup can into a political rejoinder—on cable TV.
The newest character poised to become part of the drama is longtime CNBC host Larry Kudlow, the new director of the National Economic Council. Given his background, Kudlow will likely make for more entertaining television than his predecessor, Gary Cohn. But what this White House really needs is better policies backed up by more serious arguments. President Donald Trump’s erratic and evidence-free approach to decision-making is costly not only because it results in suboptimal policies, but also because the stream of spectacles created by the Trump White House distracts from what should be genuine debates about issues.
Take the tariffs imposed by the president on steel and aluminum imports. The announcement caught many in Trump’s own administration by surprise, setting off a domestic firestorm (one that Ross’s soup-can performance failed to quell), a stock market drop and international condemnation from some of our closest allies.