Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end? “I wonder how many miles I’ve fallen by this time?” she said aloud. “I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think-“
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
The latest Trump episodes really mark a drop down the rabbit hole. We were in “post-Truth” mode, but now we have switched over into an alternative reality.
I’ll leave ABC’s Rick Stein to sum up this week’s events:
Trump used a rambling news conference to equate the intelligence community to the Nazis and pronounced himself a germaphobe; men in dinosaur outfits roamed the hallways outside rocky hearings for Trump’s secretary of state pick; the president-elect’s promise of a “blind trust” for his assets was announced to be neither blind nor a trust; and the Senate started to repeal Obamacare, in the middle of the night. It was a dizzying day, though it’s worth noting that the Trump team seemed to control the terms of the chaos – sometimes literally. Trump’s declaration that news organizations – specifically, Buzzfeed and CNN – are “fake news” is an appropriation of that term for his own means. It’s in league with a Trump marketing style that’s morphing into a Trump governing style. When the distractions are intentional, they are part of the strategy. That might not be chaos at all.
To add to the chaos, some of Trump’s picks for cabinet roles have been contradicting some of his key policies in their Congressional confirmation hearings.
I have noticed one thing which has accompanied this final descent down the rabbit hole – Donald Trump is now regularly tweeting in capital letters, a sure sign he has lost the argument:
The next four years are certainly going to be entertaining – but, I suspect, in a painful way. It’s all very different from the quiet competence of Obama. I suspect there will be a whole legal industry whirring away around the new President. All good fun – NOT, as the President-elect might tweet. There are such low expectations for him I wonder whether he might flip the whole thing and end up perceived as a Reaganesque President, with requests for his image to be carved into Mount Rushmore.
Stranger things have happened. Ask Alice.