If ignorance is bliss, Trump must be very happy
When Trump convened a cabinet meeting Wednesday, he had an odd greeting for the media pool that had been admitted to cover the session: "Welcome back to the studio."
Could he actually see the West Wing as a television studio? Or as being similar enough to a studio that he confuses the two? In December, the New York Times reported something that made my jaw drop: "Before taking office, Mr. Trump told top aides to think of each presidential day as an episode in a television show in which he vanquishes rivals."
I want to be fair here. Of course all presidents would rather win fights than lose them; and, since they're politicians, they want to be seen as winning those fights. But seeing each day as an "episode" of a reality-show presidency is a recipe for chaos, inconsistency, discontinuity, incoherence -- a recipe for what we've seen in the first year of the Trump presidency.
Tuesday's immigration summit was "the episode in which Trump shows he's a serious leader involved in weighty issues, not the looney-tunes airhead depicted in Michael Wolff's book." Wednesday's cabinet meeting was "the episode in which Trump shows his leadership but this time doesn't contradict his own policy."
Needless to say, this is no way to run a country. But it may be all the Trump administration is capable of.
Trump had no ideas for reshaping the health care system, with the result that Obamacare is still in place. He had no ideas for reshaping tax policy except "cut, cut, cut," with the result that Republicans came up with a bill that balloons the national debt while offering caviar to the rich and peanuts to the middle class.
They say ignorance is bliss. Trump must be very happy.
Eugene Robinson's email address is email@example.com.
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