Despite some self-loathing, I have to admit I am awaiting for king Don to tell us this afternoon his final decision on the Obama spawned Paris climate accords. The loathing is an admission I’m hooked on cable news, my excuse for paying attention to what is likely another Trump publicity stunt.
Anybody else who I can imagine being president would have already decided this prior to that G7 meeting last week, and they would have had some sense what it was all about. The decision would be made by now. But not our little king. It may have been the first he really learned something about it. After all he has had so much else to learn and learning doesn’t seem his thing. He is still working on the concept of a government of checks and balances.
Whatever. Dragging this out and turning it into a show awaiting his “yes” or “no” is his style, a la The Apprentice. What bugs me most is how the cable channels act like this is momentous, breaking news coming up. They hype everything he does, often with repeated criticisms, but he still gets the attention he craves. Of course, it is for ratings, like most of what they do (Does broccoli cause cancer? Tune in at 11:00.). It’s a vicious circle started decades ago when news departments became a part of the entertainment divisions of the three major network. That meant they had to pay their weight like all other programs.
So what big news might Trump make this afternoon? There seems a sort of consensus among the talking heads that our “leader” has decided to pull out of the climate accords. That consensus is enough to make me think, he won’t pull out, not today. Where’s the sizzle in that?
Not to mention just an avalanche of criticism for the decision. He doesn’t need more of that with the albatross of the Russian investigation hanging heavily. On the other hand he does like to feed some red meat to his base at times, and he has long promised to pull out of the agreement (of course, he has let a lot of promises elapse or be put on hold, such as moving our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem).
I think somehow Trump will delay a final decision and, since like me he watches a lot of cable news, he might have decided over the last couple of hours to take the advice of James Baker, one of the sagest of Republicans who suggested the following on cable this morning:
He suggested Trump turn the matter over to the Senate for its approval as a treaty, not a mere agreement. What Baker didn’t say was that this would take Trump off the hook while appearing presidential in the process, even though it is my guess it is a hot potato that Republican senators won’t want to catch.
Most important to Trump is that the blame would be shifted to the Senate if the measure would not pass, leaving him blameless to his base. One of Trump’s primary values is to remain ever blameless.
If the president didn’t happen to see that program, I don’t know what kind of dodge he will come up with today. I just hope he doesn’t announce a withdrawal because then I’ll lose a bet I made with a friend.