I am personally in a foul mood today, so let’s just go through the first few paragraphs of this CNN story on the White House’s theoretical gun policies and count up every single independent thing that is wrong here—not in terms of the reporting, but in terms of the absolute lunacy we descend to whenever the Donald J. Trump administration is asked to do anything, on any subject, ever.
President Donald Trump isn’t expected to announce new proposed action on guns until he meets with representatives of the video game industry on Thursday, two sources familiar with the matter tell CNN. Both sources caution, however, that the President could change his mind at any time and opt to move forward with his policy before the meeting.
1.) Trump is meeting with “representatives of the video game industry” to decide what to do about guns, despite there being no evidence that any of our recent mass murderers were inspired by the “video game industry” but giant heaps of evidence that they were inspired by “having a real-life gun with real-life bullets and wanting to murder people.” 2.) The policy is apparently already decided, maybe, before the meeting has ever taken place so the actual planned delay is, if anything, cosmetic. 3.) But the sources don’t actually know, because he could “change his mind” at any time and announce “his policy” at any moment.
Nearly three weeks since the shooting that killed 17 people, Trump appears more eager to take action on campaign promises to his base than action on guns. The disinterest is a shift from the days after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, when Trump told confidants and aides that he was moved to do something his predecessors had failed to do.
4.) It’s been three weeks and, rather than the White House being in the midst of any serious policy discussion, everyone is still wondering where the tapioca terror stands on any of this. 5.) It’s taken for granted that Trump made “campaign promises” to protect gun-toting murderers and aspirational gun-toting murderers because this is America and that is something our politicians in America regularly freaking do. 6.) But now he’s become “disinterested” a mere matter of days after meeting with mass shooting victims, apparently mass murder not being one of the things that will rouse his long-term attention, and this is 7.) a reversal of his very animated previous interest in being seen as giving a flying damn that 8.) according to the reports of his confidants seems to be primarily based not on a desire to stop gun violence, but a desire to be seen as more powerful and effective than his predecessors, a topic he is continually obsessed with.
Top White House officials have been working on a series of legislative priorities on guns and school safety since the Parkland shooting. They had hoped to release their work at the end of last week, but those plans were dashed by a freewheeling listening session between Trump and a bipartisan group of lawmakers. In it, the President backed proposals that ran contrary to Republican orthodoxy and were at odds with what his team had hoped to roll out.
9.) After the horrific mass shooting in an American high school the conservative functionaries surrounding Trump finally got sweaty enough about the subject to at least start thinking about proposals, but 10.) the whole thing went up in smoke when Trump appeared in front of cameras and absolutely obliterated whatever it is they were working on, which we can presume from that setback were a set of things far less consequential than Trump himself was considering, because Trump 11.) instead agreed with Democrats that more substantive changes were needed and 12.) now nobody knows what the hell they are doing, or what Trump will announce, or whether he’ll announce anything or just get bored and go off to Twitter to insult random Americans again or whether they themselves can or should even try to come up with a plan of action given that Trump may or may not endorse it depending on who he talks to that morning or what he sees on his television.
In other words, we know nothing. The press knows nothing. Trump’s staff knows nothing. Trump knows nothing. The entire House and Senate know nothing. It’s been three weeks since the shooting and the entire team is sputtering and spinning their wheels, unsure which action Trump may or may not be taking or whether or not he’ll furiously demand the reverse the next day, because the White House is so unmanaged and the big boss-man so disinterested in policy specifics that, for all anybody knows, he could appear on Fox News tomorrow and announce he’s ordered all future assault rifles to be made of chocolate and shoot Big Macs.
This level of buffoonery is normal, now. The White House’s inability to pin down where Trump stands, Trump’s inability to stand in the same place on two separate occasions or during two separate meetings—it’s all subjects, all the time, every day. You could literally replace the man with a pecking chicken and get the same “leadership.”