On Trump, Tweets, and Ground Truths

By Dan Cadman on June 5, 2017

The Washington Times is one of several outlets reporting on some of the most recent tweets from President Trump. Some recent messages he sent out on Twitter, in which he condemned the dangers of political correctness when they lead to compromises of public safety, may have been prompted by his observation of the multiple terror attacks in Britain in the last several weeks.

In these most recent tweets to have drawn media scrutiny, the president criticizes the Department of Justice (DOJ) for having tweaked his so-called "Muslim Travel Ban" executive order (EO) after it was preliminarily blocked, apparently in the hope that it would pass legal muster once modified.

The president is probably right that modifying the original EO was a futile exercise given the venues in which it was being heard (among the most liberal federal district and appellate courts in the country), and doing so may even have led to more skepticism over the raison d'être for the EO in the first place — but that horse left the barn a long time ago, and trying to beat it to death now (sorry for the mixed metaphor) is an equally futile exercise.

What's more, it must be terribly dispiriting to those in DOJ, including especially our intrepid new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who are trying so hard to right the scales after having seen the progressive thumb resting so heavily on the left side for so long.

Then there are these particular tweets:

and

I'm not so sure all of that extreme vetting is in place yet; in fact, I'm sure it's not, although there have been some significant improvements, such as mandates to carefully examine social media sites for visa and immigration benefits applicants. This is something that should and would have been done long ago but for the misplaced values of the prior White House on aliens' faux "privacy rights", vs. the rights actually accorded to them (or not) by law. (One also wonders whether the directive to scrutinize social media has been extended yet to include those who petition on behalf of aliens; probably not, but it ought to. That should be a pre-condition for anyone who seeks to accord immigration benefits to the alien(s) they are petitioning for.)

But if either this "extreme vetting" or a "travel ban" is actually in place, then how is it that $3 billion was apportioned in the most recent budget for admission of refugees this fiscal year? And, granted that figures are down compared with the Obama administration a year ago, nonetheless how is it that refugee admissions jumped 19 percent in the month of May, compared with April?

I'm one of those who wants the president to succeed, and to make good on his promises. I also understand the complexities of dealing with a vast executive branch bureaucracy, as well as recalcitrant legislative and judicial branches. But the president has to show the savvy to navigate through those shoals and also, most importantly, to not get ahead of himself where his connection to the voters is concerned. I can think of no quicker way to lose his base than for them to begin to think it's just about the words.