Owning The News in 140 Characters
Those of you familiar with my columns know that for some time I have argued that Trump’s tweets are anything but “childish reactions” or “temper tantrums” or any other nonsense.
They have been 100% strategic, deliberate, and focused, designed to provide the fake news media with a topic of conversation for a news cycle—or often two or three—while the administration methodically dismantles Barack Obama’s regulative state and erases his very existence from the historical record. Further, I have argued that the nature of the tweets, or the topic, is completely irrelevant and in some cases non-existent (“covfefe”). The point is never, ever the topic of the tweet. The point is the reaction it will provoke from the fake news media that will absorb the news cycle and entirely distract from real policies.
Why in the world would a White House that is succeeding want to distract from its successes?
Ah, grasshopper, you ask a pre-Trump/traditional RINO question.
Trump’s team knew since early in the primary that he would never, ever get fair or objective treatment from the media. Moreover, since early in the primaries, it was clear that even half of the “conservative” media—and ya’ll know who you are—would never really explain Trump’s goals, objectives, or methods but would in knee-jerk fashion bash him so that he couldn’t even count on so-called “friendly” media support.
In other words, the policies would have to be enacted with neither widespread support . . . or criticism. To Team Trump, all you had to do was get the policies in place, and they would speak to the public for themselves, whether in jobs and investment as a result of regulation-cutting and trade policy, meetings with foreign leaders (including both threats and promises), or taking a scythe to the abomination of Deep State appointees in virtually all the agencies.
Any one of these policies in a “normal” Republican administration would be chewed up, fricasseed and buried before it ever saw the light of day, much less implementation. Yet here we are with achievement after achievement of the Trump administration not only getting established, but showing results. Two weeks ago “news” (such as it was) emerged that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had conducted a major “repeal and replace” of 46 Obama-era attorneys at DOJ. Today, a story on the staffing of the National Labor Relations Board describes a similar significant (yet mostly unnoticed) shift.
Then came Trump’s “mean” Joe-and-Mika tweet. Predictably, both the left and the virtue-signaling right screamed like Nasguls at the affrontery and lack of class on Trump’s part. And once again, the subject of the 146 characters was beside the point: it was designed to provoke a firestorm. If it hadn’t been “PsychoJoe,” it would have been Megyn Kelly, Rosie O’Donnell, or even an absurdity such as “covfefe.” But the objective was achieved with perfection.
On or around the day that Trump generated the PsychoJoe tweet, the administration concluded, advanced, or initiated the following policies:
*The US got a new sugar deal with Mexico, much more favorable to us.
*The administration imposed sanctions on Chinese businesses for unfair economic and
*The House passed Kate’s Law and the Sanctuary Cities bill
*Trump held an energy roundtable vowing to make the United States the energy capital of the world.
*The President hosted Korea’s Jae-in for meetings and a dinner
*(Probably the most important and almost totally unremarked on) The administration announced a much tighter definition of “close family” for its travel ban—now temporarily approved by the US Supreme Court, excluding grandparents, nephews, nieces, etc.
And many more. A study by the Media Research Center found that the networks gave 28 times more coverage to Trump’s tweet than to the passage of Kate’s Law—and that was just one of a half-dozen major achievements of the administration that day.
In and around this time, the administration announced it was ditching the “Rivers of America” regulations in the EPA enacted under Obama. This alone constituted a massive power shirt away from the federal government and back to individuals, freedom, and private property rights.
Oh, and whatever else the administration is publicly saying it is, or is not doing, the Iraqi government announced it had retaken Mosul, broke the back of ISIS, and declared the caliphate over.
Wait, I thought Trump said we’d defeat ISIS, but that he’d never announce our strategy? Yet there ISIS is, pretty much defeated.
Well-meaning GOP pundits will shake their fist and say, “But Trump isn’t getting credit for any of that.” Sorry, pre-Trump thinking. He would never get credit from the fake news media, and would more likely, but allowing the policies themselves to become the targets, permitted many if not most of them to be stalled or defeated in the same manner the Deep State controlled George W. Bush and his father. Trump gets all the credit he needs from the implementation, which will produce the results he wants, which will in fact provide him a massive re-election victory.
In January, I met with a top person in Team Trump. (Here I’ll use the fake news “unnamed source” card, but you can’t get much higher). “How do you like how we’re flooding the zone?” he asked about the incredible number of policy rollouts. I noted this was 100% counter-Alinsky, occupying the enemy with so many avenues of assault that they couldn’t respond. Moreover, a diversion or major distraction during the offensive makes it all the more delicious.
“Do you think they’ll get wise?” he asked. “No,” I replied. “They are far to arrogant to believe that Trump is smarter than they are or that they are just that dumb.”