2017-06-01 – What do covfefe and the Paris Climate Accord have in common?
They both yank your chain.
Four months of the Trump administration should tell you that Trump has only a minor interest in policy—and only in the limited sense of contributing to his wealth and the wealth of his cronies. If he could increase his own wealth and fame by increasing the welfare of the people of the United States, he would be good with that. If his own interests collided with the interest of the country, he’s good with that, too.
So, I just watched Trump’s announcement of our withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. He says he wants a better Climate Accord. The current agreement, he says, is forecast to only have a miniscule effect on the global temperature. (Is this an implicit admission that human industry does have an effect on climate?) The current agreement, he says, hurts the American economy without benefit to the climate. He will renegotiate to achieve greater gains for climate without cost to the United States.
Good luck with that one. I really mean it.
But we’ve seen how he negotiates. It’s one thing to state your intention. It’s another thing to follow through. We haven’t seen much follow through, so far. Will he or won’t he?
But I digress.
I’m writing about the similarity between covfefe and the Paris Climate Accord.
You may recall that the other day Trump wrote what appeared to be an interrupted tweet. In full, the tweet reads: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” A dangling subordinate clause without a main clause—ending with the non-word “covfefe.” I imagine that Trump was interrupted mid-tweet and hit a few wrong keys as he tried to exit. Whatever. It is nonsense.
But it created quite a stir in Internet-land.
The White House had two choices in how to deal with this. It could have said “oops” and taken the tweet down and owned to the trivial mistake. But that’s not what happened. The White House doubled down.
Why? To yank your chain. I’m sure there was plenty of glee behind closed White House doors on this one.
This is the way they do things. If they can spin something to make fools of us, they will do that.
And what does this have to do with the Paris Climate Accord announcement?
It’s the way it was done.
Trump clearly had it in mind last week to withdraw from the Accord. But he made a will-I-won’t-I announcement when he was meeting with European leaders. He could have made his announcement right then and there. He could have included renegotiation on the agenda. He could have boasted a “tremendous” start to those negotiations. But he didn’t.
Furthermore, the United States can’t actually withdraw from the accord until November 2020 (provided notice is given in 2019). So what was today’s hullabaloo about?
He wanted to get you fuming. Why make only one announcement, when he could make two? Why wait until 2019 when he can get your goat in 2017?
And we oblige. We let him get our goat time and time again.
Part of making America great again is making fools of the liberal elite. That was the solemn pledge he made to get himself elected.
Think about that.
Now I’m not arguing that the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord shouldn’t yank your chain. It should. But covfefe? Not so much. We need to be mindful about the resistance or it will get nowhere.
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