Another week, another instance where Trump had the high ground and then decided to jump into a pool of piranha covered in cuts.
Early in the week, Donald Trump gave a speech to the UN in which he spoke strongly about North Korea and Iran, pointed out the UN’s many institutional failings, and stood up for western ideals in the face of socialism. It was a speech most honest conservatives had been begging for, as past Presidents have used it as a stage to denigrate the US and fluff third world dictators.
While it was of course panned by liberal elites, it actually set Trump up for what should of been a good week. He’s never going to make MSNBC or #nevertrumpers happy, but at least he spoke truth to the biggest body of hypocrites on the planet.
Could he just let his strong stand lie and enjoy the fruits? Nah.
He decided to go to Alabama on Friday and mindlessly riff for an hour on all sorts of nonsense, including cussing about NFL players taking a knee while irrationally asserting they should be fired. This morning, three freaking days later, the President is still going on about it.
If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
This is stupid on so many levels.
One, you can’t just “fire” NFL players. Well, technically you can but contracts of any real value result in millions in dead money if you cut a player. For instance, if Michael Bennett (one of the most outspoken protesters) was cut, it’d result in $14,937,500 in dead money for the Seattle Seahawks. When you cut a player in the NFL, guaranteed and formally pro-rated signing bonuses are due in full.
Two, you can’t suspend a player for taking a knee at the anthem. It wouldn’t violate the league’s player conduct policy and the NFL would simply set itself up for a losing court battle. Never mind the outrage it would generate among fans if an important, starting player was suspended. Many fans may dislike the anthem protests but most dislike losing more.
Illogical suggestions aside, there’s more to this than just the fact that it’s a dumb line by the President. We’ve seen this pattern of self-inflicted wounds from Trump since the beginning of his Presidency.
He fires James Comey and then immediately contradicts his own administration’s reasoning while giving the fodder necessary to appoint a special counsel. He lays out a mostly applauded strategy in Afghanistan and then the next day does a rally in Phoenix where he burns it all down. He initially handles Mueller’s appointment well but then blows any good will by attacking Rod Rosenstein and Mueller on twitter, contradicting his original contradiction on why Comey was fired.
Earlier this year, coming off two low key weeks in which some pundits were starting to wonder whether Trump had turned a corner, he instead decided to start a month long feud with a little watched MSNBC morning show over a perceived slight. In doing so, he again attacked a woman for her looks, causing more bad coverage and nausea among those who are trying to give the guy a chance. Never mind that Trump was lying about the situation and pictures clearly showed Mika Brewzenski was not “bleeding” all over the place the night in question.
All the while his super fans love this stuff. (Patterico wrote a good article yesterday about this cult of personality)
Self-sabotage in order to whip up adoring crowds appears to be a choice Trump has made. Even when Trump is held in check and kept on a teleprompter for most of the week, he always finds a way to screw it up in the eleventh hour. His twitter account and these rallies continue to be his downfall. Somewhere John Kelly is sitting in a corner beating his head against the wall.
UPDATE: In response to the President’s rants, dozens of players, as well as a head coach and owner, linked arms and knelt before the Ravens/Jaguars game. So now a story that should of never been a story will be endlessly talked about all week instead of anything substantive, and there’s a lot of substantive stuff that needs to get done. President Trump once again has no one to blame but himself.