Friday, June 30, 2017

Tempest in a (Sewage-Filled) Teapot

We are currently in a lather about a tweet from President Trump. No, another one.

Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski had tweeted something earlier this week about the President, who responded with a tweet mocking her and co-host/fiance Joe Scarborough. He suggested they had been begging him for a visit to his Mar-a-Largo resort but he had refused them, saying that Brzezinski was bleeding after plastic surgery.

Scarborough and Brzezinski wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post this morning, refuting the president's claims and supplying evidence for their version of events. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said the tweet hurt attempts to create a more civil tone in Congress and said he did not see it as an "appropriate comment." Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee called on Trump to resign. A little-known blogger with the picture of an angry wet cat as his header thought everyone should shut up already.

And I really do, because I don't care in the slightest about this entire episode.

I don't mean that I think the president's tweet is acceptable -- it's not. It's beneath the dignity of the office and demonstrates that Donald Trump is unfit for that office. But we knew that already. We knew that every time he made noise in earlier election cycles about running, we knew that when he became a candidate, we knew that when he won primaries, we knew that when he won the nomination and we knew that when he won the election. I'm not going to bother to look up what percentage of the people who voted for him did so because they genuinely saw him as the lesser of two evils -- or perhaps saw Hillary Clinton as the more evil of two lessers -- but I'm betting it's high. I personally believe Trump somehow thinks he's being funny when he does this crap, but his grade-Z Rickles reject insults -- Mika had a facelift 'cause middle-aged chicks worry about their looks and she's 50, yuk-yuk -- don't even have that going for them. Anyone who needed this particular tweet to understand that Donald Trump is unfit to be the president of the United States has not paid attention. Ever.

Nor do I think that Scarborough and Brzezinski -- who always make me think I've woken up in one of those Friends alternative timelines, where Chandler and Phoebe were the two who got together and became TV pundits -- are some sort of martyrs. They gave the Trump candidacy plenty of oxygen early on, making it harder and harder for legitimate candidates to actually offer reasons why we should support them. You built ze monster, Joe und Mika, so you deal mit him! Scarborough had an unremarkable three terms representing Florida's 1st Congressional District and Brzezinksi worked in television news, and there's nothing about either of them that merits the president's harsh and inappropriate tweets. But his harsh and inappropriate tweets don't suddenly elevate them, either.

I want Paul Ryan to pipe down because he needs to be too busy running the House of Representatives to bother with the media firestorm over irrelevant crap like this. The White House is not going to be a major supplier of adults in the room, Rep. Ryan, so you need to step up. I want Sheila Jackson Lee -- who has said we've landed on Mars, the United States is 400 years old, hurricane names are too white and has some of the highest staff turnover in Washington -- to pipe down because I dislike remembering that 150,000 people will vote for her.

Most of all, I don't care about the president's nasty tweets because I'm more concerned about his incoherent foreign policy, his foolishly protectionist trade policy, his shaky grasp of basic economics, his inconsistency on issues like immigration and health care policies and a host of others. Despite a few bright spots like James Mattis, Neil Gorsuch, Nikki Haley and probably Jerome Adams, President Trump is already building his Democratic opponents a solid case in the 2018 elections. Compared to these things, the tweets mean less than the product that comes out of the other end of the bird.

I'm a lot more concerned with how lousy a president he's making than how lousy a human being he is.

1 comment:

fillyjonk said...

I dunno. I know I'm too much about the symbolism but I look at this, and I think about my childhood as a bullied child, and how I was told to "ignore" my tormentors and the like, and it would get better when I grew up....and I grew up to find the world run by bullies and petty tyrants and that the acceptable way to challenge someone's ideas is to personally insult them....and I feel like there's no place for people like me in this world. That I was taught to be a decent person but all that means now is I'm going to be run over by those with fewer scruples.

The only way to win is not to play, I guess. Twelve more years and then I can retire and go build a cabin on a mountainside and raise goats.