President’s Role Reversal

  • While President Donald Trump was unable to join many other leaders in Poland to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of that country, he did forward on a message. “I just want to congratulate Poland.” Whatever.
  • The president’s role during emergencies—such as devastating hurricanes—is to be the comforting, confidence-inducing public face of the federal government advisories—armed with facts, warnings, reassurances, hope, help and empathy. Alas, intemperate, uninformed presidential tweets and drive-by, off-the-cuff media quotes are not the same thing. And worse yet when they undermine NOAA and its apolitical credibility. That was the unfortunate upshot when the president recently relied more on a Sharpie than meteorologists in noting—and re-noting–that Hurricane Dorian was headed to Alabama.  And then the inexplicable acknowledgement that he’d never “even heard of a Category 5 hurricane,” which Michael was when it raked parts of the Florida Panhandle last summer. “Helluva job, Brownie” never seemed so eloquent.
  • “The LameStream media and their Democrat partner should start playing it straight. It would be so much better for our Country.”—Yes, that was the patriot-in-chief.
  • “I have no fear of being under oath … Bring it.”—No, that obviously wasn’t President Trump; it was Stormy Daniels. The porn actress was indicating that she’s ready to testify before Congress regarding Trump’s alleged role in hush-money payments.
  • “The Wall is being built. It’s going up rapidly.”—Donald Trump. Yeah, and El Chapo, not budget sleight of hand at the expense of military families, will pay for it.
  • “He isn’t winning friends in Europe. He’s losing friends at home. His is a government with no mandate, no morals and, as of today, no majority.” No, that wasn’t one of the Democratic presidential candidates lashing out at Trump. That was British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in reference to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been getting pummeled by (Conservative) party defections over Brexit.
  • “The Trumps will be a dynasty that will last for decades, propelling the Republican Party into a new party.”—That was Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, sounding every bit like a Trump campaign manager. It’s likely we’ll be seeing this line again—in either party’s primaries. Dynastic rhetoric doesn’t play well in most democratic contexts.
  • Trump legacy: Corey Lewandowski, the punk who was Trump’s pre-Manafort campaign manager, is likely running for the Senate in New Hampshire. The GOP establishment wants Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen defeated, of course, but preferably not by the unsettling wise guy who insults mainstream Republican leaders. “Corey is the original lightning rod—some people love him, some people detest him,” points out Steve Duprey, the New Hampshire State GOP chairman. “But he’s pretty mainstream now because it’s a different party.” We’ve been noticing.
  • You knew it was coming. “Where’s My Roy Cohn?”—a documentary of the flamboyant, ruthless and unapologetically defiant lawyer Roy Cohn–will be released later this month. You knew it was coming because Donald Trump was his protégé; from Cohn, he learned—and continues to practice—lessons that are manifest every day. That includes, points out Cohn documentarian Matt Tyrnauer, these familiar Trumpian “principles”: “Never apologize. If someone hits you, hit them back a thousand times harder. Any publicity is good publicity. And find an ‘other.’” For Cohn, the “other” were Jews as Bolsheviks and gays in the State Department. “With Trump, the other is Mexicans, Latinos, Muslims, fill in the blank,” says Tyrnauer. In effect, Trump has turned the presidency, unsurprisingly, into a Cohn job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *