Because I have a background in professional communication, the Trump administration’s lack of message discipline often causes me to grind my teeth. I’m seeing signs of improvement, however small. Over the past several days, the president has been on Twitter, pointing out he’s available to discuss the budget. Contrast that to the Congressional Democrats jaunting down to Puerto Rico last weekend, accompanied by over 100 lobbyists. (Way to show solidarity with furloughed workers, donkeys!)
This, however, is brilliant. Shortly before another Congressional junket was due to leave, using government aircraft, President Trump waved it off:
Naturally, Trump’s critics are calling this “petty” and “childish.” But it’s a logical follow-up to the Speaker’s own letter yesterday suggesting Trump forego the State of the Union address due to the shutdown. Note how many messages are packed into the letter above. Pelosi sought to use the shutdown to deny the president a forum. He used it to call out the Speaker for not sticking around to resolve the shutdown and restore workers’ paychecks, and at the same time cancelled a pointless seven-day vacation using government resources. (I’ve worked my share of Congressional Delegation, or “CODEL” trips… I know whereof I speak.)
Forget the chattering classes. Who do you think the average American in “flyover country” supports in this exchange of letters?
As for the State of the Union address, perhaps the President should simply deliver it to Congress via a prime-time TV address from the Oval Office, during which he talks with rank-and-file members of the Customs and Border Patrol about what they see everyday, and what they think it would take to secure the border.
Yes, our government is squabbling like children on a playground. I can both mourn the current state of public discourse and at the same time recognize effective messaging when I see it. I can also hope the squabbling only ends when there’s a commitment to finally secure our border and discourage the ongoing invasion of our country.
Build. The. Wall.