Thursday, December 7, 2017
DEAR MR. TRUMP, President Trump, the Hon. Donald J. Trump, leader of the free world, chief executive of the United States and commander-in-chief of its armed forces,
Allow us to say congratulations again. A year ago, just about this time of the year, you did what few thought possible. We’re not even 100 percent certain you thought it possible. But here you are. And here the rest of us are. It’s been just over a year since your election and just under a year since your inauguration. Wow. (Seems like longer.)
When the election results became obvious early in the morning of Nov. 9, 2016, it was fashionable and hip to write columns and give television interviews promising to give the new president-elect a chance. That was the “in” expression at the time among surprised pols, shocked supporters—of both candidates—and the unbelieving commentariat: Give Donald Trump a chance. Some of us actually meant it.
It didn’t take long for most of our friends on the left to abandon that course. What did they give you? A month? Some chance that was.
Although we get the feeling that many among the loyal opposition would oppose free pizza if the current White House proposed it, you have to admit, Mr. President, you’re not making things easy on yourself or your administration. We understand that you only agree with polls that show you’re doing well, but the fact is that RealClearPolitics reports that 60 percent of We the People disapprove of the way you’re handling your job.
If we may be so bold, here’s some (very) unsolicited advice:
Get rid of the phone, man.
THERE are people placing real bets, gambling their money, that your administration will implode. That Twitter feed isn’t helping things.
Fact is, you have an agenda. Some of it is a conservative agenda. And you want to get as much of it through as possible. So do your supporters.
But your constant bombardment of enemies real and imagined, foreign and domestic, important and trival, is distracting from that agenda.
Example: The U.S. Supreme Court said this week that the travel ban is copacetic, for now. That is to say, the travel ban from certain countries can stand until the cases wind their way through the court system. It’s a temporary victory for your administration. But your tweets on the matter undermine the very legal arguments your own lawyers are making in the courts!
Recently you tweeted, or re-tweeted (whatever that means) some anti-Muslim stuff from some sorta of English far-right outfit, and started a fight with our closest European ally. We call it a Special Relationship for a reason. We need
to keep it that way.
Then, in what might end up being a career decision, you tweeted this, out of nowhere, over the weekend:
“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”
SOME thoughts, sir:
1) Where did that come from? You don’t have to tweet after every Fox & Friends news segment.
2) Democrats are beside themselves, almost giddy, over the tweet. It appears as though you’re saying you knew that General Flynn broke the law when you fired him, but then told your FBI director to lay off the guy. Democrats are screaming bloody obstruction of justice.
3) Now comes an attorney of little note in your White House who says he actually wrote that bit. If this isn’t a cover story, then, 3a) the president’s Twitter account has multiple handlers (!) and 3b) you surround yourself with lawyers who are in the habit of getting you into more trouble, not less.
What a tangled web. And all because of this Twitter feed and a president who demands attention like a spoiled preteen.
Our favorite and most level-headed U.S. senator not from the state of Arkansas—namely Lindsey Graham of South Carolina—said this the other morning: “You tweet and comment regarding ongoing criminal investigations at your own peril. I’d be careful if I were you, Mr. President.” We understand you don’t take a lot of advice from Lindsey Graham, but this time he’s right on the money.
We also hear-tell that you are a fan of Fox News, Mr. President. Take into account a poll from that very network that shows 71 percent of the American people think your Twitter habit is a bad one, and needs to go. Your people, sir, may be a great beast (Hamilton, A.), but they’re right this time, too.
Put down the phone, Mr. President. Before you hand your enemies enough ammo to keep you from celebrating a second year in office.
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