Is the man himself presidential or not ? See icon ---------------------->
They are the most dissected, repeated and analyzed statements in the world – but are Donald Trump's tweets formal statements by the President of the United States, or his own personal reflections? It seems that no one can agree: even the US Department of Justice, which has represented the short messages from his @ …
"Is the man himself presidential"
He is according to the rule-of-thumb exemplified by Dubbya - a Presidential Moment is when your wife comes to tell you she leaving you and running off with the dog "because he knows how to listen" and you absentmindedly pat her on the head and give her a dog biscuit.
"We are watching the ramblings of a man in the early stages of senility."
Make no mistake, the man's an asshole or a dickhead or both, but he's not senile.
From what I have seen/read, he's always been like that.
It didn't matter much because, you know, it was just another AH/DH on TV.
But now, he's the official Oval Office resident.
And it *does* matter.
Am I correct in thinking the primary point of the article is that ambiguity in presidential communications is bad? I agree, and we are given two contrasting examples, Trump and Obama. Obama chose to have two separate Twitter accounts while Trump has only one.
Clearly Trump's heavy twitting is making ambiguity waves, but what about Obama? Okay, one of his accounts was "personal," but we're discussing a sitting president of the USA. All communications from such a person are relevant and important, by definition. So Obama's way isn't really any clearer or better than Trump's, it just pretends to be.
Question. Was that "Official" Obama account ever actually used for something official, with real teeth?
God forbid that it is both considered official and "with teeth".
The obvious solution would be to shut down Twitter. Send the founders, investors, management, tech and marketing staff to a forced labour camp in the Peruvian jungle, never to return. Wipe all their systems, erase all user data and accounts, destroy the backups, and all system documentation. Erase every copy that can be found of the inane brain-dribblings of every one of Twitter's users. Make it illegal to name the-service-that-no-longer-runs, make it illegal to copy, or in the slightest way emulate the defunct service.
Humanity would be so much better off without Twitter. And arguably that was the case before Chump, but even more so now..
Yes the "heavy twitting" Maybe if someone stuck all the furniture on the ceiling on the Oval Office, he'd walk around doing a handstand like a proper twit.
Obama's account was put on hold while he was in office, Tweets made from the POTUS account by Obama were signed 'BO' (His initials, obviously, although if you were to make fun of his initials, I guess Donny signing off DT might explain some of his slurped speech)
To get back to the original question though, Donald Trump is the President of the United States, words, tweets, emails sent while he is in Office are coming from the President of the United States and are official statements, its not like he has the "opinions are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my employers the American people (or President Putin - yes, I just put that in to wind up a few).
Anything else is just a poor attempt at smoke and mirrors to distance himself from something controversial down the line. I guess though if he is still using his unsecured Samsung phone, the Twitter app is long out of date and adding the @potus account instead might not work.
It would matter and be better for everyone if there were two accounts. Clouding things Obama isn't the answer as these are two different individuals. However, Obama did separate "professional" from "personal" and if he had been a more prolific user, the difference would be there. With Trump, it's murky at best as to what is "personal" and what is "professional". Previous to Twitter, President's didn't have this quandary. What was mean as personal was done personally and what was "Presidential" was done via the channels.
This is new territory to say the least and the DOJ isn't helping matters by defending the one account with two opposite defenses.
> "Did you? Or are you trying to make light of being called out for being a whatabouter?"
Well, since I reject the amusing assertion that using the words "what" and "about" in sequence is a bad thing, the answer is "no." Frankly, I smile when the small-minded try to accuse those who do say that of being guilty of political incorrectness. Pathetic. Am I supposed to modify my language patterns to conform to whatever the left tells me to, on pain of being chastised by the likes of you? It is to laugh.
"Am I correct in thinking the primary point of the article is that ambiguity in presidential communications is bad?"
" I agree, and we are given two contrasting examples, Trump and Obama. Obama chose to have two separate Twitter accounts while Trump has only one."
No. read the article, 30 seconds of googling, or just consult your own memory. There are 3 twitter accounts being discussed here. The personal account of BO, the personal account of DJT and the POTUS account. BO kept his personal and POTUS account separate, and did not publicly tweet from his personal account while he was in office. Thus for BO, the POTUS account where clearly public statements from his position as POTUS, and stuff on his personal account was personal opinion. DJT has combined both his personal account and the POTUS account, and makes statements from both.
Hopefully you can see how these two situations are pretty much complete opposites. Separate accounts for Obama, combined accounts for Trump. Obama's tweets are clear as to which role he is in at the time, not so for Trump.
" All communications from such a person are relevant and important, by definition. "
No, FFS. A statement from your official position is different from a statement made as a private citizen. It should be clear what "hat" you are wearing at the time. It's not clear which one Trump is using, and it's clear if Trump even understands the separation between himself and his role as POTUS.
"Question. Was that "Official" Obama account ever actually used for something official, with real teeth?"
Are you serious? OK, lets be clear, Barry was a lawyer. Lawyers, as a rule, don't go around trying to do official business via social media. They tend to be fond of dead trees, parchment, procedures, all that sort of thing. So no, Obama did not use twitter for anything involving legally binding communication. It seemed to just be another form of press release, albeit direct rather than via the media.
Just a general note, if you can't explain a persons actions on their own merits, employing whataboutary is a clear indication that those actions where indefensible.
Clinton and Obama are not in government, are not currently running for government, and have been so for a year now. If it's really someone elses fault then you really need to move your scapegoats onto something else. Deep state, MSM, fluoride in the water, RINOs, take your pick. None are as appealing to certain elements as "that damn woman" and the cheeky Kenyan, but you'll make do :)
> "Don't know whether you've noticed, BJ, but Obama isn't the sitting president anymore. It's some fellow called Trump now. Perhaps we ought to focus on what he's doing?"
Ah, so airbrush the inconvenient past, Soviet style? Thanks but no thanks. I'll continue to remember things that have happened, if it's all the same to you.
"Ah, so airbrush the inconvenient past, Soviet style"
Airbrush the past? Soviet Style? You really want to talk about historical revisionism in America? Yeah, lets do that. Lets start with Reagan and go backwards....
...I don't think you'd like that. Not at all.
(Also, be wary of assuming that because someone is a critic of Trump that they are automatically a fan of Obama. That's called a false dilemma and specifically in this instance, is not true. Obama had many failings as president too, though perhaps not as severe as Trump you could say.)
I'd have thought that when you take on a post of sufficient prominence any statement you make in public has to be treated as being made in that official capacity unless it concerns matters outside the scope of that post as it must be assumed that it reflects the thinking that informs the decisions you will make in that capacity. Is there anything outside the scope of POTUS?
I think this is spot on.
If I was the head of the Sausage Roll Maker's Association, and said that a particular baker's sausage rolls were terrible, or delicious, that would be considered an official opinion (whether I intended it or not). If I said something similar about their bakewell tarts, it wouldn't.
He is the President of the United States. Anything he says, in public, which has a bearing on the USA (which is pretty much everything, in their opinion at least) should be considered an official statement from the President, not a comment by Trump.
Of course we can't directly attribute his tweets but I'd say there's a case to make for 45 being responsible for inciting death by domestic terrorist of more than one or two already.
The wheels of justice turn slowly but grind exceedingly fine, let's hope Trumplethinskin gets caught up in them and is unable to escape.
It wasn't a point of free speech.
The Trump twitter feed blocked people following his tweets
If the tweets are official presidential statements and he is blocking a citizen from receiving them that raises a few issues - like the next tax bill being kept secret after it is enacted and only being published on his special billionaires only email list
I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think it works like that. An impediment has been put in place against specific individuals from reading statements made by @realDonaldTrump feed. The fact that the impediment is fairly easy to work around probably isn't that relevant to the legal argument.
I'm wary of trying to make an analogy but if someone steals your bike they can't use the argument "but it was a really rubbish lock and really easy to pick" because the principle is that you had asserted your control/ownership of the bike and your intent that it should remain where you left it by using a lock, no matter how bad it was.
"An impediment has been put in place against specific individuals from reading statements made by @realDonaldTrump feed"
Nope - nothing to stop anyone reading them. All this means is that you don't get automatically notified of them and that's not the same thing at all.
>Nope - nothing to stop anyone reading them. All this means is that you don't get automatically notified of them and that's not the same thing at all.
Nothing to stop anyone reading them - except knowing that they exist.
You really aren't thinking this through, are you?
'Blocking' is an impediment.
I've never read any of his tweets, ever, and i doubt i ever would but they, and the circus* that follows them, sound very entertaining.
* Including the propganda that the BBC pump out. I dread to think what (increasing) proportion of their website articles consist entirely of "MOG tweets".
MOG=Meets our agenda(s)
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It seems that no one can agree: even the US Department of Justice, which has represented the short messages from his @realDonaldTrump account as "official statements" in one lawsuit and "personal use of social media" in another.
This statement would, at first blush, indicate a severe personality disorder in the Justice Dept. (and considering the suddenly memory-impaired wank who's putatively running the place currently, that would be a difficult assertion to refute). But really, folks, this is nothing but latter-day Republicanism: make any statement, take any position that is politically convenient at the time. If it happens to be diametrically opposed to the position you took just 15 minutes ago, no problem; simply stick you fingers in your ears and yell, loudly, "LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! CLINTON!!"
Much as it hurts to say this, I think that might be a bit unfair. As the article says:
"The Department of Justice is right now doing what all defendants in lawsuits attempt to do: argue whatever points they think will make it most likely that the lawsuit will be dismissed before it gets to trial or judicial decision."
This might then be more of a criticism of the US legal system where much seems to be decided before anything gets to court and becomes concrete and public (c.f. the recent revelations about how many probably-criminal harassment cases are settled out-of-court where, conveniently, severe gagging conditions can be imposed). During this pre-court phase it seems that you can make any argument that you think might stick as long as it doesn't directly contradict existing legislation or court decision. That could well be why the two organisations bringing the court cases are so keen to get a court decision and the DoJ is pushing so hard not to get one...
IIRC, he announced the ban on transgender recruits in a tweet. And IIRC, the Pentagon did not acknowledge the tweet as an order, and awaited a formal command from the Administration. The courts, on the other hand, have used Mr. Trump's twitter statements as evidence of his intent when evaluating the constitutionality of his various bans on travel from certain countries. Intent is personal, of course, but it is being evaluated as the intent of the President of the United States in his official capacity.
Brief digression, seeing as one poster wrote that Mr. Trump is in early senile dementia. I don't know about that.
I saw "The Dresser" recently. In a special feature on the DVD, Anthony Hopkins mentioned the way he played the character of Sir: he saw a man who had limited understanding of how to live in the mundane, because he was a man with only a life on stage. He had no interior life. Perhaps Mr. Trump is similarly unmoored in reality. He lies without shame, believes whatever is convenient to him, and breaks promises without remorse. Perhaps he has no interior sense of what is right, or what is true.
If he believes there is no unalterable truth, then a good liar -- say, not just an ex-KGB agent but an ex-KGB director -- could skilfully convince Mr. Trump that black is white, as long as it seems advantageous in the moment for Mr. Trump to believe in the whiteness of black... or believe that the very savvy, very controlling leader of Russia would actually not know about the well-documented Russian use of social media to influence American society. And of course a leader who does not believe that there is truth and there are lies, and who is not able or willing to hold to truth when the lies are advantageous to believe -- well, that leader is a danger to whomever he leads.
Believing untruth does not lead to good decision-making. A friend described riding along with his brother, who told him "I've found I can tell when there's an oncoming car even when it's out of sight. I can pass on a curve in perfect safety, don't worry." That's decision-making unmoored from reality.
Guessing about Mr. Trump's psychology is amusing, but really, who knows what's inside his mind?
Whether his tweets are official communications or not, they do reveal a petty, vindictive, and deeply narcissistic individual.
"Perhaps Mr. Trump is similarly unmoored in reality. He lies without shame, believes whatever is convenient to him, and breaks promises without remorse. Perhaps he has no interior sense of what is right, or what is true."
Sounds remarkably similar to the definition of a psychopath.
Twitter is making a fortune off of his ramblings and brings the name of their product free publicity 24/7 all around the world.
Of course they're also tracking his location, mining, logging and selling all of his data to their highest bidders. I'm quite sure it would be easy for Russia/North Korea/whatever country to covertly hack or plant a spy at Twitter HQ and track the morons precise location. It wouldn't take much for NK to bomb him.
Palpy's first paragraph may nail the issue in a sense. The DoD did not take Donald Trump's tweet on exclusion of transgender individuals from the military personnel pool. That is a significant indication that those in charge of a major executive department do no consider the tweets to be in the category of official action or direction, and hints that maybe they should not be. In addition, I would suggest tentatively that a great many of them probably have no significant policy or executive action content; like another poster, I try to pay as little attention as possible to this sort of nonsense.
As presidential utterances, though, the tweets still probably should be classified as government records for preservation purposes, as they may be useful to later historians. That is not entirely clear either, since not all statements and documents of government officials require preservation. In any case, the legalities are likely to take a while to sort and the fact that Justice takes varying positions in different cases may simply reflect the fact that different cases have different facts and raise different issues, including, for example, that they involve different tweets on different topics or are easier or harder to take as official action.
Two accounts probably would be better than one, but might not be better by much unless they are clearly understood to be "official" and "personal" and limited accurately to that. However, a Twitter account for issuing policy statements or executive direction strikes me as a joke, given the unbearable number of long and turgid official directives and instructions I had to read during a fairly long civil service career.
It's not a joke if he tweets something about keeping $ethnics$ out and the border agent at the airport refuses to let you in. You could debate the finer aspects of constitutional law while pointing out the generally poor historical outcomes of "only obeying orders" - but you still aren't getting in.
> ...a significant indication that those in charge of a major executive department do no consider the tweets to be in the category of official action or direction...
It's only an indication that they know there's enough doubt, so that they can ignore the ones they disagree with (because they're not official), and implement the ones they do agree with (because they're direct from the awful office).
>The DoD did not take Donald Trump's tweet on exclusion of transgender individuals from the military personnel pool. That is a significant indication that those in charge of a major executive department do no consider the tweets to be in the category of official action or direction, and hints that maybe they should not be.
Not really. The DoD are just as likely to hold back on any command they don't quite like - whether verbal, twitted or on parchment.
Methinks she doth protest too much - that the person calling himself The Death Lord of Outer Darkness in social media, is usually some puny weed living in a garage or basement?
So the likelihood that the individual calling him- or itself @realDonaldTrump is actually Donald Trump is minimal. It's probably a gang of unemployed and unemployable Colombian pimps and drug-dealers, issuing tweets in return for private favours from The Chump Himself. I have no ideas just what sort of private favours they might demand from him, because frankly I have no idea just what the 1% get up to with their unemployed and unemployable Colombian pimps and drug-dealers.
"Who knows, but it would strangely fitting if a constitutional crisis was caused over something so shallow as a Twitter account."
But isn't that primarily how a lot of major crisis' occur and evolve; not primarily from massive ground shaking events, but from smaller innocuous and seemingly tenuously linked ones that take time to garner any serious traction; but then end up like an irremovable cyst and having considerable long term unintended ramifications?
The world for the first time in human history can hear spontaneous statements from a world leader. If anyone things worse statements have never been made by American or any other leaders, they are sadly mistaken. Had we hear the private unrehearsed words of Hitler, Roosevelt(s), Mao, Kennedy, LBJ, Reagan, and WJC, we would all universally recognize that this POTUS is different in a far better way. Sadly, this makes no sense to millennial's or leftist ideologues. It would be nice if Americans could discuss problems in society and ways to address them within the confines of the rule-of-law and the US Constitution.
Today's America does not support such an endeavor.
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