Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A Show About Nothing

President Trump’s first 100 days have been mostly a flurry of shallow symbolic gestures.
There is a reality-television program called American Pickers, and what happens on it is this: A junkman drives around in a van and offers to buy other people’s junk, sometimes haggling over the price. The supporting characters are assistant junkmen and sundry onlookers. It is as though someone decided to remake Sanford and Son without actors, Redd Foxx’s humor, or a plot.
Its popularity is as inexplicable as it is undeniable.
Because nothing actually happens on American Pickers, the show relies on the illusion of action, which is created through camerawork and editing. Junkman offers $x for a quantity of junk; Junk-Haver produces a look of concentration. The camera cuts quickly back and forth among the faces of Junkman, Deputy Junkman, Assistant Deputy Junkman, Junk-Haver, and Sundry Junk-Having Onlookers. And then there is a commercial for erection pills.
The application to the first 100 days of the Trump administration is of course obvious.
President Donald J. Trump is a creature of reality television. He may not be very good at running hotels or casinos, but he is a gifted performer, a master of creating the illusion of action. As he marks his first 100 days in office (one day of a Trump presidency would have been incredible enough), what has President Trump actually done?
There is the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. For that, the church bells should be rung. The Gorsuch confirmation represents a genuine and genuinely important political victory. That victory belongs to Mitch McConnell, the wily Republican leader in the Senate who understood that Barack Obama was an even lamer duck than he seemed and took the opportunity to hand an abusive and overreaching administration a political defeat of a kind never before dealt to an American president. Well done, Senator McConnell. And well done, whoever had the job of explaining to Donald Trump what a Gorsuch is and keeping the president’s batty sister off the nation’s highest court.
What else you got? --->
Read the rest from Kevin D. Williamson HERE.

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