White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked a couple of weeks ago about Donald Trump's 100th day in office, and what the president will have to show for his efforts. "I think what you've seen out of this White House," Spicer replied
, "is a very robust agenda of activity."
I found myself thinking about that phrase quite a bit. The president's press secretary didn't focus much on actual substantive gains, but rather, the robust amount of "activity" in and around the White House. Trump and his team may not have accomplishments to speak of, but we're apparently supposed to marvel at how busy they appear doing ... stuff
Yesterday offered an amazing peek into the Trump administration's approach to pseudo governance.
* Tax reform
: The White House unveiled a one-page tax "plan" that didn't actually say much of anything
. It looked like a table of contents without any contents. Team Trump assured the public that officials are "working on
" producing "lots" of details that aren't yet ready. Why not wait and unveil a proper plan once it's complete? Because that's not theatrical -- and with the 100-day standard approaching, we apparently need to be reminded of the president's "robust agenda of activity."
* North Korea
: Trump asked all 100 members of the U.S. Senate to attend a special briefing on North Korea yesterday, held at the White House, which apparently didn't really include much of anything in the way of new information
. Why couldn't administration officials simply drive a mile and a half to Capitol Hill and brief senators in rooms that are already designated for this purpose? Because that's not exciting -- and Team Trump wanted to put on a little show.
* Education executive order
: The president made quite a fuss
about signing a new education order on federal education policy
. During a briefing with reporters, however, an administration official conceded that Trump's new directive gives the Department of Education powers it already has
Yesterday, in other words, was intended to appear exciting
. Look, the president is threatening the 9th Circuit! Look, he's talking about tearing up NAFTA! Trump is focused on education, taxes, national security, and health care -- all at the same time! read more