Donald Trump

No More Outrage Over Steaks and Couches, Please: Let's Talk Budget, Immigration, Drug Policy

Donald Trump needs to show that he's a serious policy guy. The media need to show they're serious, too.



To date, Donald Trump hasn't exactly inspired confidence as president. He can't open his yap for more than 30 seconds (or less than 30 minutes) without spending much of his time haranguing the press or complaining about being treated "very" poorly by this or that lesser being. He can't forget slights, real and imagined. If his executive order on immigration and refugees was any indication, he can't be bothered to communicate with the very government agencies who are supposed to implement his policies.

Then again, the media—print, cable, online—can't seem to maintain a serious purpose, either. Take for instance the two most recent outrages in the news and the Twitters recently. First up is the incredibly idiotic discussion of Kellyanne Conway putting her shoes on a couch in the Oval Office. Seriously. From the Washington Post:

Conway also addressed the controversy during an appearance on "Lou Dobbs Tonight," which aired on the Fox Business Network, saying she was being asked to "take a picture in a crowded room with the press behind us."

"And I was asked to take a certain angle and was doing exactly that," she said. "I certainly meant no disrespect, I didn't mean to have my feet on the couch."

WTF, really. Let me be blunt: If this is the sort of crap we spend talking about, we deserve every plague visited upon Pharaoh and worse. Really, WTF?

Thanks, Dreyfuss. I rush only to add that this isn't the dumbest outrage ever. It's simply the most recent.

The other recent flap not worth giving a flying fuck about? That would be the president's habit of ordering his steaks well-done and then drowning them in ketchup. The Washington Post again:

For real, Mr. President? In a market where residents can practically point to a spot on a globe and find a nearby dining room that serves its cuisine? In a city where some of the country's best contemporary Greek, Indian and, hello, even American restaurants are about as close to your door as the steakhouse in the Trump International Hotel?…

Food is often referred to as a bridge, a form of communion, a way to connect with people. Trump, a Queens native known to eat pizza with a knife and fork, views food in tinier terms. Unlike his pie-loving, almond-popping, restaurant-savvy predecessor, the current occupant of the White House appears to see food as something to be dispatched without much thought, like tweeting reviews of "Saturday Night Live."…

Everything the leader of the free world does — the books he chooses to read (or not), the clothes he opts to wear, the food he reaches for — is examined for meaning. If Trump's maiden D.C. dinner is any indication, we're looking at four years of imitation vanilla.

I genuinely dislike most of Trump's agenda. I'm good with expanding school choice, reducing regulations, and I want to see Obamacare repealed and a market system implemented. But I'm dumbfounded and disgusted by most of the rest, including his stances on immigration, refugees, trade, war, pot legalization, and much more. All of which is trivialized by mocking the billionaire for his eating habits or whether one of his advisers put her feet on the couch. He can't even proof his tweets, how can he handle the nuclear codes!

We're $20 trillion in debt and the country elected a president who has shown very little ability to act professionally or with the gravitas befitting his office. We get the chief executive we deserve, just like we get the House and the Senate and the governors and legislatures we deserve. We should be asking for more and better politicians and policies. Like Meursault in The Stranger, it's all on us in the end, whether it's exactly fair or right or not.

There's a rumor going around that Trump is actually going to act presidentially in tonight's speech. I'll believe it when I see it but barring that, it would also be a good thing to start demanding he get serious about the federal budget and rethink his nativism and nostalgia for all those good old-fashioned factory jobs that are never coming back. One thing we'll all have to give up is pretending that how a guy eats his meat has anything to do with anything other than his dinners.

It shouldn't be that hard. But it probably will be, especially among media types who want to show that they get it in a way that Donald Trump—"a poor person's idea of a rich person" HAW HAW HAW—never will.

On with the show.