I’ve come across some recent talk in circles of liberal commentary to the effect that we — and particularly the media — should not let Trump change the subject, control the conversation. (Like with his nonsense about ending birthright citizenship by executive action earlier this week.)
Sure. I agree that we should not let Trump control the range of topics of discussion. It’s important also to press the topics that Trump doesn’t want to talk about and make sure they get the attention they warrant. Health care, corruption, piling on national debt to enrich the already super-rich, etc.
But I don’t buy the notion that it plays into Trump’s hands if we let him divert our attention with his preposterous and dishonest diversions.
Of course, Trump’s declaration about birthright citizenship is absurd– since presidential actions are hardly authorized to contradict the explicit terms of the Constitution.
But that very absurdity shows how the counterpunch can be a knock-out. After all, what does it mean when a President — who was required to take an oath to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” — puts out (presumably just for political effect) a presidential statement that shows such disregard for the Constitution?
Such contempt for the Constitution is not OK in a president. That very “distraction” provides a window into just how dangerous it is to have a President with no respect — even downright contempt — for the Constitution and the rule of law.
All by itself, it points toward impeachable territory. Violation of an oath is supposed to be a most serious thing. That’s what oaths are for.
So let him pick that fight. The thing is to hit back where it matters: help people see the terrible light it sheds on the nature of this President.
So he wants us talking about the Caravan, to prevent Americans looking at how Trump has expanded the national debt for no good reason, and Trump and the Trump Party are still working to take people’s health care away. Well, his use of the Caravan exposes something just as ugly.
His lying hate-mongering with the Caravan affords one more opportunity to expose this President: willing to gin up the fear-and-hatred in his supporters, using ugly and (as we can see) dangerous lies, just to protect himself from a Blue Wave that — giving the Democrats control in Congress — would greatly strengthen the rule of law Trump has been assaulting.
Trump is so across-the-board broken that there really is nothing that he is capable of doing, given who he is, that is not a favorable battlefield for the truth-talking media and Democrats.
Every time Trump tells the nation a lie, it is not just that lie, it is the fact that he is a shameless liar— showing dishonesty to a degree we’ve never seen in a President and that is destructive of our system of government to have in our nation’s leader.
I would argue that lying as continuously as he does in the ways that he does represents a failure to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States,” as he took an oath to do, and thus is an impeachable offense.
There’s the investigation, the bad policies, the corruption and scandals– all the things the media and the Democrats should take the initiative to expose. And then there’s what Trump cannot stop showing himself to be whenever he acts and speaks to direct our attention.
They make a good combination. The first has the advantage of allowing the Democrats to choose their targets. The second has the advantage of giving the Democrats targets that are currently right before the eyes of the people.
The issue isn’t whether Trump gets to pick some of the fights. It’s whether the responses to Trump’s provocations are as well-targeted and powerful as they should be.
It isn’t “playing into Trump’s hands” if he gets bested. And fighting and defeating Trump and the Trump Party is the job at hand.