Are There Any Adults In The Room?

Are There Any Adults In The Room?

Unless you work in it, it is impossible to know exactly what goes on inside any administration.

The thought processes behind actions and statements are calculated and self-serving, no doubt. It’s usually not that difficult to rationalize why people acted as they did – or it was before the Trump White House. But now, more often than not, from minor to major actions, it’s often impossible to see any rationale for what is going on.

I know I’m going to catch hell from some people for this, but I have to ask some questions. Most pressing is this: Is there anyone involved in this administration who actually wants to accomplish anything?

Being elected president is an accomplishment, but it’s more of a means than an end. The end should be goals for policy changes, and there haven’t been any of those. None on any of the major issues on which Donald Trump campaigned, anyway.

Yes, the Justice Department is enforcing immigration laws once again, but a wall isn’t being built and there has been zero movement on the idea of merit-based immigration reform. Some Obamacare regulations have been rendered inactive, but the law still stands. “Tax reform” is now used interchangeably with “tax cuts” which, although they’d be nice, aren’t exactly gutting the ridiculous and burdensome tax code.

We were supposed to get tired of winning. Now we’re just tired. Tired of the pointless bickering. Tired of the drama.

Rumors and leaks have been the currency of the first seven months of the Trump administration. The one thing the White House has specialized in is drama. It’s high school with paychecks, which we’re covering.

When not stepping on its own message, the Trump administration has been full of people stepping on each other.

There has been no leadership on legislative priorities. The president’s message on health care was basically, “Send me something, anything, and I’ll sign it.” No speeches on specifics or even a general vision on what he would support.

After celebrating the health care bill the House passed, he called it “mean.” Why celebrate something one day and denounce it the next? It does not instill trust or loyalty in members of Congress if you demonstrate a willingness to kneecap them if circumstances or your mood changes.

These problems normally would be tempered or even stopped in their tracks by a communications director, a chief of staff and a strategist working together to coordinate a messaging plan. But the people originally in all these positions were disappointments and have been replaced. It’s impossible to get on the same page when new books are regularly introduced.

But staff changes, and office politics always have been a part of politics itself. The ultimate problem is the person who is supposed to be the adult in the room, and that’s the president himself.

I know he inspires devotion in his core supporters, but sooner or later doesn’t he have to deliver something beyond words? They love his “fight,” but fighting for the sake of fighting rather than for a cause has its limits, right?

No one knows the answer to those questions; only time will tell.

Until then, there is one other thing that I can’t help but wonder about the Trump administration. No, it’s not why someone won’t simply block Twitter inside the White House; it’s why they’re so friendly with the media they routinely complain are against them.

No question, most of the media is actively working against the Trump administration, but some do give it a fair shake. So, when it comes to granting interviews and releasing information, through leaks or scoops, why does this White House speed dial the usual suspects and hostile outlets?

Why speak to the Washington Post or grant an Oval Office interview to the New York Times? They will never, ever get on board with anything.They’d turn against the concept of billionaires owning newspapers if Trump said he supported the idea. And why the president would answer any question from CNN’s Jim Acosta, as he did Tuesday, will forever remain a mystery.

Recently departed strategist Steve Bannon called a left-wing magazine to give an exclusive interview, which may or may not have led to his departure. Either way, that was very strategic.

Upon his exit, Bannon gave an interview to the Weekly Standard, the home of anti-Trump sentiment on the right. Why? The Washington Free Beacon, the Daily Caller, or Townhall all happily would have taken his call, not to mention Breitbart, where he now works again. What was the point?

Maybe there’s some grant strategy no one is aware of, but it hasn’t resulted in “winning” so far. And the president himself is in a tie with Democrats as the biggest impediment to any policy victories.

Being president of the United States is not the same as being CEO of a company you own. When your name is on the building, you are the ultimate boss; when your home is the White House, you have to lead. President Trump is not fighting for a cause or ideals; he’s spending too much time simply fighting.

When your objective is to simply make the front page of the New York tabloids, making noise is the way to do that. When your objective is to make a difference in the country, then you can’t drown out the noise you make on purpose with noise you make impulsively.

During the campaign Donald Trump said he could be as presidential as anyone, if he wanted to. Well, he is president, so if that’s in him the time to show it is now.

Also see,

A Bad Week for Journalism

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