I’m on vacation, folks, so this will be a quick one. But then again, stop and consider: How important is this that I’d interrupt my fun in the sun to talk to you?
It’s not urgent, mind. I want to say that up front. But it IS important.
The current big media story is the Obamacare replacement plan, which of course is going to occupy headlines for a good solid month. No surprise there, and it’s not at all inappropriate. This is a major event, and it deserves full public discussion.
The number two headline is the one I want to talk about — or rather, what it’s concealing. In case you missed it, a couple of days ago, Donald Trump Tweeted. Again. This time, it’s an accusation against President Obama’s administration, saying that they tapped phones at Trump Tower during the elections.
And of course this takes off. Not only is the entirety of the mainstream media debating the validity of this and crying out for evidence, of course an Obama spokesman denied wrongdoing, and now Congress is getting involved. (They do so hate to miss out on the free press.)
Now, this is arguably a valid argument: We wouldn’t know about the conversations with the Russian Ambassador if someone wasn’t out there listening to phone calls. But on the other hand, it’s not news. We always listen in on phone calls to the Russian Ambassador, as well as most major Russian political figures. That’s just what happens.
Donald Trump is a past master at misdirecting the news cycle, as I’ve said many times before. And this time, he’s misdirecting from a fairly major executive order. (If you want to read it, it’s out on the White House website; just follow my link.) In short, though, this is the order that directs the various agencies to start planning all the cutbacks and program eliminations that folks have been so very upset about since the election.
Like I said before: This isn’t exactly urgent. The review process for determining which programs might be duplicated or better left to the states is going to take six months — by order. And the time during which elimination plans will be formulated is in the six months following. So it’s important, but not precisely urgent.
But instead of presenting us with a list of the most useful government programs and just how wonderful they are, and the email address and phone line for the feedback people at OMB and the White House — instead of things like this that we could use, that could actually improve our lives, we’re hearing once again about how Trump thinks Obama tapped his phones.
Does anyone actually think that President Trump says this sort of thing accidentally? This is exactly the sort of executive order folks have been worried about, and the entire country has been diverted away from his actions. This is where our feedback could be the most important; indeed, it may be the most important single project to be undertaken by this administration. And of course organized protests and letter-writing campaigns would disrupt the effort.
And we actually expect the White House to produce evidence of wiretapping. Good Lord, people.