Even though President Trump has scored some policy victories last week, he managed to undercut his positive accomplishments with his crude, rude and sometimes unhinged tweets against his enemies. Former President Nixon may have had an Enemies List, but Trump attacks his head-on from the Oval Office in unseemly and unpresidential “tweet storms.”
I’ve written several times if I worked in the Trump White House (perish the thought), I’d do everything in my power to disable the president’s Twitter account in order to uphold my oath to defend the Constitution against its enemies, domestic and foreign. I could argue, as I did during the Nixon years, Trump is a “domestic enemy” of the Constitution — his own worst enemy for sure.
Sooner or later Trump’s angry, stupid tweet storms are going to catch up with him, and he may even manage to tweet himself out of office before the end of his first term as president. One reason is I believe he suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which means he can’t stand criticism of any kind from anyone, no matter how insignificant.
So when he should have been celebrating an important partial victory for his Mideast travel ban and his campaign against so-called “sanctuary” cities (are you listening, Reno?), he undercut his positive political message with insulting tweets about Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the co-hosts of a low-rated morning cable TV show. They had the gall to criticize Trump, so he fired back with a fusillade of idiotic tweets more suitable for a TV reality show.
What Trump doesn’t seem to realize is his tweets are official statements from the president of the United States, not off-the-cuff comments by a wealthy businessman or a reality TV host. It doesn’t matter whether he tweets on his official White House Twitter account, or his private account; all of his tweets are fair game for his critics.
When Trump tweeted about “Psycho Joe” Scarborough and “Low IQ Crazy Mika” Brzezinski, he unleashed a firestorm of criticism from Democrats and moderate Republicans. Joe and Mika claimed Trump has an “unhealthy obsession” with their show while several Republican senators — who Trump needs in order to pass his proposed healthcare legislation — told the president to shut up.
“Your (Morning Joe) tweet was beneath your office and represents what’s wrong with American politics,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican. “Please just stop,” said Nebraska’s young and highly respected Republican senator, Ben Sasse, a decorated veteran of the wars in the Middle East. “This isn’t normal and it’s beneath the dignity of your office.”
Nevertheless, our bullheaded and politically tone deaf president doubled-down on the inappropriate, weird tweets by sending out a short video of himself body-slamming someone identified as “CNN.” That was his latest volley in an ongoing war against the American media. Although many of us might agree the mainstream media has been unfair to President Trump — and it has — this kind of juvenile behavior chases away some of his more fair-minded supporters.
Since his election Trump has sent out more than 60 tweets disparaging “fake news” while posting fewer than a dozen tweets about his big, beautiful border wall and only 11 about trade deals, which were key issues during last year’s presidential campaign. His angry, vindictive tweets could turn off voters his party and Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) will need next year and if his bizarre, erratic behavior continues, President Trump might just manage to tweet himself right out the door of the White House before the end of his first term. Stay tuned.
Guy W. Farmer is the Appeal’s senior political columnist.