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Politics

Distracting ourselves to death

Kathleen Parker on

WASHINGTON -- When President Trump said a few days ago that now isn't the time for a debate about gun control, presumably he meant that we should respect a decent interval of time for mourning after the Las Vegas shooting before launching into a political discussion that historically has led nowhere.

If that's how he felt, it would have been easy enough (and sane) to say. But he didn't.

More likely, Trump doesn't want any distraction from (a) his brilliant PR idea to toss paper-towel rolls to thirsty, hurricane-sogged Puerto Ricans (cake to follow); (b) his photo op Thursday evening with leaders of the armed forces and their spouses during which he teased the "fake news" media he had summoned that the dinner gathering with military brass could be "the calm before the storm."

"What storm, Mr. President?" an intrepid reporter queried.

"You'll find out."

Whoa. Mr. Mystery Man has our attention now. Oh, so clever. Are we going to war? Will it be with the Islamic State? North Korea? Iran? Just you wait, fake newsies, just you wait.

Or perhaps he wants to keep the spotlight on (c) his request that the Senate Intelligence Committee investigate the media, without which his military charade would have merely been the world's widest-angle selfie.

No, actually, his absurd (unconstitutional) request was, likely, a smokescreen itself, as was the paper-towel toss, one hopes (surely no one's mind is that inert), and the photo op. Trump has mastered the Art of Distraction, lately to keep our eyes off the firefight within the White House and the ever-obvious fact this administration is staring at an eclipse without glasses and this president couldn't lead a starving dog to a tenderloin buffet.

The revolving door at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is like Saks' at Christmastime. Latest to the lineup is Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. Others have included FBI Director James Comey, chief strategist Steve Bannon, chief of staff Reince Priebus, press secretary Sean Spicer, and national security adviser Mike Flynn, to name a few.

Next up, most likely, is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, not only because the president routinely undermines and contradicts the nation's top diplomat but because Tillerson clearly holds Trump in contempt. Most important, Tillerson recently told the truth.

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