The problem isn’t that President Donald Trump won’t stop tweeting. Rather, it is much more fundamental — he won’t do the job he was elected to do. A flurry of angry, fact-challenged tweets draws attention away from the core problems with his administration — its disengagement from real policymaking, its inability to hire qualified people to fill hundreds of high-level government jobs, its ethical challenges, its ties to Russia, which are slowly being revealed.
The media and the American public should focus their attention on these ongoing fundamental failures to govern, not Trump’s latest tweets.
Trump’s latest flurry of inappropriate and vengeful tweets, this time directed at a cable television duo, should surprise no one. Trump has been bullying others and demeaning women since he was a teenager. He did it as a military academy student. He did it as a businessman. He did it as a candidate for the presidency. He’s now doing it as president.
“I worry about how the president is seen in the eyes of the world,” Sen. Susan Collins told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd last week.
“I was really disappointed and dismayed by the president’s tweet,” she said about a Trump tweet that mocked and denigrated Mika Brzezinski, co-host of the “Morning Joe” television show on MSNBC.
Trump continued to attack Brzezinski, and her fiance, Joe Scarborough, on Twitter over the weekend and posted a photoshopped video of him beating up a person who is supposed to represent CNN, one of the media outlets that is a frequent target of his ire. The man who made the original video apologized for it — and for his past “racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic” posts. So, a man who goes by the handle Han***holeSolo is now more accountable than Trump, the president of the United States.
“This has to stop — we all have a job — 3 branches of gov’t and media,” Collins had pleaded in a tweet last week. “We don’t have to get along, but we must show respect and civility.”
Condemnations of his behavior are well placed, but holding out hope that Trump will somehow become a better person is overly optimistic at best. Condemnations, pleas, even requests from his lawyers have failed to curtail Trump’s destructive comments and behavior. His wife, Melania, has made cyberbullying her top priority as first lady. Yet her husband remains the cyberbully in chief.
Trump’s tweets, like inappropriate comments caught on tape, are a symptom of the problem. Attention must remain on that core problem — an ineffective, unfocused administration run by a man who has shown little interest in doing the hard work needed to be president.
As the man overseeing the world’s largest economy and military, Trump has far more important things to occupy his time than tweeting insults and nasty insinuations at his “enemies.” He should, for example, be working with lawmakers — from both parties — to fix flaws in the Affordable Care Act, not pushing for a repeal of the law with no replacement.
Despite his delusional assertions that his tax cut bill “is moving along in Congress,” no such bill exists, so there is nothing for Congress to consider. That holds true for much of the agenda that Trump touted on the campaign trail.
He could be filling the hundreds of high-level federal jobs that remain vacant because his administration has not nominated anyone to fill them. These jobs should be filled with qualified people, not Trump loyalists.
Trump’s lack of seriousness has left world leaders stunned, and scrambling to fill a power and influence vacuum created by the U.S. ceding its role as the world’s moral and policy leader. Beyond failing to take his job seriously, Trump has pledged to withdraw the U.S. from a worldwide agreement to reduce carbon emissions to combat climate change. And he has turned his back on NATO, to the surprise of his national security team.
These, and other events, point to the inescapable conclusion that Trump isn’t, and never will be, up to the job of leading the United States.