Dan Rather wants us to stop paying attention to Trump's attempts to obfuscate with his many Tweets. Rather writes:
Now President Trump is threatening a trade war with Canada. Canada!
What can one say?
What can one say?
Well, there is this: The new President’s policy statements, tweeted and otherwise, are clearly a problem. There are so many of them and they are so often contradictory that it is hard to keep up with them. It’s easy to feel inundated, overwhelmed and confused I think some believe that is his strategy, to obfuscate and distract. Others just say that is the way his mind and temperament work.
In either case, I think it is all the more reason to try and stay focused on the big picture, the truly important narratives and questions of his young Presidency. I believe we can't repeat them enough:
1. What did Mr. Trump know and when did he know it about Russian efforts to influence the U.S. Presidential election? The President and those around him are engaged in a furious fight to prevent the American people from knowing. What are they hiding? If, as they say, there’s nothing to hide, why are they working so hard to conceal what they know?
Republican led House and Senate investigations are--purposely or not-- bogged down. While the FBI investigation (also led by a Republican) is said to be rigorous and far-reaching, who can say with certainty? We do know that the FBI was slow and unsteady at the start.
A truly independent, bi-partisan investigative special commission (with maybe a special prosecutor?) would seem to be a must, but so far there is no significant movement to establish one.
2. Given indications so far, the President appears to have plenty to hide in his tax returns. Again, if he has nothing to hide why is he fighting so hard to keep them secret? How much taxes he has paid (if any) is not the most important part of this. More important is finding out how much he owes--how much he is in debt to--other people, who they are and where they are (foreigners, foreign powers?)
3. What is the President’s strategy to deal with war and peace challenges such as North Korea, Russia in Eastern Europe, Iran, Syria and Afghanistan. One-off missile attacks and mega-bomb droppings are tactical moves, in and of themselves. If they fit into a large strategy in any or all of the major threat areas, what is that strategy?
4. What is happening behind the shadows with our immigration policy? For all the talk of how the President has struggled in his legislative agenda, the reporting coming out of the Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions and multiple local communities suggests that there has been an active change in how the nation is dealing with this issue.
As a beginning for where to keep the focus in contemplating the Trump Presidency, the places mentioned above are worth considering.
What do you think, and what might you add to the list?