Monday, July 03, 2017


At Axios, Mike Allen writes:
For the President to tweet about ephemeral nonsense, and for the media to wallow in it, is a luxury of the times. For all the intensity of these 164 days of President Trump, we haven't had a mass-casualty terrorist attack, a transcendent national-security convulsion abroad, or a harrowing disruption for the economy. Odds are, one of those is coming. And Wrestlemania will suddenly seem very small.
If there's a second 9/11, or another 2008-style financial meltdown, I'm sure the press will want to focus on serious news: the unfolding events and their consequences. But the press will also want to tell us what's happening in the White House. Donald Trump will still be a man who's incapable of concentrating on policy details. Once he's gone through the motions of delivering a reasonably "presidential" speech written by aides, he'll want to discuss what's taking place in his own fashion, and in a way that makes him look competent and prescient, while laying blame for the crisis on his enemies.

Trump will be apart from the fray. He'll be spending a lot of time watching cable television. It won't be long before Trump's beloved Fox News finds a way to portray the events of the crisis that makes liberals look bad and Republicans look good. On other channels, it will probably be argued that sonme mistakes leading to the crisis were made by Trump or other Republicans.

That conflict will give Trump an opening. Will he tweet? Of course he'll tweet. He'll tweet more or less the way he always does. And the tweets will be covered the way they always are.

And it's very possible that we won't have the sort of crisis Allen expects. We might have a financial incident that's of the same magnitude as the 1987 stock market crash or the savings and loan crisis. We might have more attacks like Orlando and San Bernardino, the kind we seem to shrug off in days or weeks. We might not have a "national-security convulsion abroad" that Americans consider "transcendent," even though there will continue to be "transcendent" overseas crises in many nations, as there have been for years.

So Trump will probably just keep tweeting from the White House. No deus ex machina is likely to stop him.

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