Line of the Day: Tweets and Mika Edition

“He should be a lot more worried about NATO and building a relationship with Angela Merkel than he is with cable news hosts.”–Joe Scarborough.

This, in a nutshell, captures one of the major problems (although not the only one) revealed by this current (but not singular) brouhaha over presidential tweets.  Donald J. Trumps is president of the United States of America and should not have the time to know or care what morning cable TV hosts are talking about.

(The linked piece is revealing, as it gets to the heart of the fact that Trump is not emotionally suited to being POTUS).

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Last night on CNN — yes, I know what the heck was I doing watching CNN on a Friday night? Sad! — they were talking about a report that indicated that President Trump watches at least 5-6 hours of television per day during the work day, all of it exclusively cable news. It reminds me of the iconic picture of LBJ having a special setup in the Oval Office so he could watch Vietnam War reports on all three network news broadcasts at the same time. Apparently, he watches morning TV and tweets at the same time. This is not healthy.

    They also talked about a report from the Bush 43 era when one of his aides told him about something scathing that Keith Olbermann had said the night before on MSNBC, Like Obama after him, Bush rarely watched the news networks, and he asked why some guy on ESPN was talking about the Iraq War.

    Trump is like LBJ, at least in one respect. He’s so obsessed with his image and how he’s being portrayed that he’s letting it control him. That’s not going to end well.

  2. CSK says:

    Trump seems to believe that engaging in squabbles with television personalities is doing the work a president is supposed to do, along with watching “the shows” to see who mentions him and Tweeting.

    Speaking of Twitter, Trump has, so far this morning, Tweeted that a) Greta van Susteren was fired by CNN “because she refused to go along with Trumphate,” that b) CNN “has finally been exposed as FAKENEWS and garbage journalism,” and c) that “Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad!”

    And for the gala finale, he also Tweeted that: “Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?”

    This is his overarching obsession: trying to prove that he won the popular vote because 3 million+ people voted illegally. The hell with trivial crap such as foreign and domestic policy.

    Are we absolutely sure the 25th Amendment can’t be brought to bear?

  3. To supplement my comment above, here’s a NY Times piece on the extent to which television is driving this Presidency.

    This is the Peter Sellers character in ‘Being There’ in real life.

  4. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    If you asked Trump who Jerzy Kosinski was, he’d say it was a brand of kielbasa made in Newark.

  5. gVOR08 says:

    Have you ever gotten stuck in a slow line of traffic in the left lane of an expressway, and six cars ahead you can see one car with an empty mile of lane in front of him, but driving in formation with the guy on his right? Did you get pissed at the guy? I don’t. He’s an idiot with no idea of the law and norms and no situational awareness. There’s no point to expecting better of him. I get pissed at the guy behind him who’s just sitting there not doing anything about it.

    Little Joe is working hard to get everyone to forget his early fawning over Trump and his complicity in the current situation. But, perhaps for the first time, he’s right, there’s something not right about Trump. There’s no point blaming Trump, he is what he is. However, the Republicans in Congress are sitting behind him not doing anything except trying to pass crap legislation for him to mindlessly sign.

  6. Janis Gore says:

    @CSK: The juicy thing about that voting tweet is that his hand-picked boy Kobach of Kansas can’t release their information, either.

  7. CSK says:

    @Janis Gore:

    I know! It’s hilarious. This will, of course, have the result of making Trump even more furious and frustrated. It’s interesting to speculate on just how far he’ll go to “prove” he won the popular vote.

    What I’d like to know is whether there are people in the White House who are trying to break him of the Twitter habit, knowing what a consummate horse’s ass he’s making of himself, or if he’ being actively encouraged by some parties.

    A Fox poll showed that 71% of those polled wished that Trump would quit Twitter. Only 17% thought he should stay on it, and I suspect a number of those are egging him on precisely because they want him to continue making a fool of himself.

  8. James Pearce says:

    I encourage Trump to continue tweeting out his shower thoughts. I also encourage his supporters to continue viewing his tweets –a zero-effort, zero-cost activity that seemingly has a ROI of a trillion percent– as “you hit me, I hit back” tough guy BS.

  9. Janis Gore says:

    @CSK: If you’re not following NeverTrumper Rick Wilson, you’re missing it. His politics aren’t mine, but he do have a way with words:

  10. CSK says:

    @Janis Gore:

    Thanks. That was funny.

  11. CSK says:

    Oh, Trump is also Tweeting that Justin Trudeau is his “new found (sic) friend.”

    I’m sure Trudeau is enchanted to learn this.

  12. Janis Gore says:

    @CSK: His articles are brutal. He’s the Republican strategist who worked for Evan McMullin in the campaign.

  13. Tim says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    This is the Peter Sellers character in ‘Being There’ in real life.

    No, Doug, the Peter Sellers character, Chance the gardener, was a nice guy and pretty harmless. Trump is a bully, a nasty guy, and a fraud.

  14. MarkedMan says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Trump is like LBJ, at least in one respect. He’s so obsessed with his image and how he’s being portrayed that he’s letting it control him. That’s not going to end well.

    Read more:

    I suppose you are right, but comparing Trump to LBJ is like comparing my cat to Einstein. Yes they both have absentmindedly walked into glass doors but I’m not sure there is anything to be gained from the comparison.

  15. An Interested Party says:

    So…we have North Korea rattling its nuclear sabre, we have the Russians playing all kinds of intrigue in the Middle East and trying to undermine democratic elections in other countries, we have ISIS committing all kinds of atrocities, but it is the media which is the “enemy”? This buffoon in the White House and his toadies are all pathetic…

  16. An Interested Party says:
  17. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: No, your cat is a bunch more like Einstein than Trump is like LBJ.

  18. bill says:

    in case anyone wonders how trump knew she wasn’t all that smart!