Trump is in a great mood today and is thrilled with news coverage and feedback, two people close to him say. "He's basking in it," one said.
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) March 1, 2017
A senior admin. official says the 'revised' travel ban order will be signed later in the week. They don't want to step on tonight's big win.
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) March 1, 2017
Boy howdy, that was a quick 24 hours, wasn’t it?
This is worth reading, though — the Washington Post‘s pop-culture blogger, Alyssa Rosenberg, explains “Pundits are treating Trump like theater. They should learn from the real critics“:
On Wednesday, as a wave of positive headlines describing President Trump’s first address to Congress rolled in, Slate chief political correspondent Jamelle Bouie tweeted in disgust, “This morning is a good reminder that so much of what passes for political analysis is just theater criticism.” On behalf of critics everywhere, I take a minor amount of umbrage: After all, we generally set higher standards for performances than “basic competence,” and we tend to address style as well as substance. But given that his real point is that the pundits who praised Trump seemed to be falling for mere optics, maybe political commentators could stand to take a few tips from those of us who practice criticism for a living.
1. When someone doesn’t tell the truth, the reason for the distortion matters as much as the distortion itself: One of the hot debates in pop culture criticism right now is what obligations fiction has to be historically accurate… The thing about identifying areas where pop culture diverges from the cultural record, or where a work of fiction embraces one school of historical interpretation over another, is that at the end of the day, it’s still fiction. So it’s generally more interesting to analyze what goals or ideas those diversions serve, rather than simply identifying that they exist. The president of the United States has a much, much higher obligation to tell the truth than movies and television do. But fact-checking is still a first step: Identifying what function Trump’s errors, distortions and outright lies perform in his presidency matters, too.
2. The presidency is a season of television, not an episode:… You don’t judge whether a television show as a whole is good or bad on whether the showrunners, writers, actors and directors can sustain what’s good about their work for an hour or two, the way you would judge a single episode of television. You judge it on whether they can do that for a season, and then for the majority of the show’s run. Political analysts need to approach a presidency the same way. The test of whether Trump has found a way to be presidential (if, in fact, you judge his performance last night as meeting that standard) is not whether he can do it for one night, but whether he can do it for years…
Or even, y’know, for a whole day, before getting derailed by his own minions?