Yesterday, the Trump administration put out a list of new guidelines for the press to follow in order to have some grace and decorum at the White House. I believe that the only thing missing was the requirement that gentlemen wear top hats and that ladies always have an escort.
Forget for a moment if a government organization put out a list of guidelines for the proper behavior of gun owners while on government property or else they would be banned from doing their jobs there. I would imagine that you'd be able to hear from outer space the screams and mangled howls of agony from the gun manufacturer corporate-own NRA and other gun-rights advocate about protecting their Second Amendment rights. But it seems the First Amendment isn't so lucky to have "patriotic" Americans on the far-right willing to march and make America grand once more on its behalf, so it will have to make do without their jingoistic support. So, we'll put that aside for the moment, even with it taking an awful lot of heavy lifting to put aside.
No, instead we'll just focus on the simple and basic, which is much easier to deal with. And that's wondering if Trump himself will be allowed in the press room now. Given that these news Guidelines of Grace and Decorum came only the day after Trump sent out a tweet (always a cringe-worthy place to start any sentence) where he referred to Congressman Adam Schiff -- soon to be chair of the House Intelligence Committee -- as Adam "Schitt," it is not being even remotely facetious to suggest that irony has been bludgeoned to death by the Trump White House. Even forgetting two years of Trump name-calling, and bullying, and calls of "enemy of the people" -- let alone the year leading up to it with his demeaning war heroes, Gold Star families, women's looks, sexual abuse and the physical actions of the disabled, or a lifetime of such conduct dating back to taking out full-page ads in the New York Times calling for the death of five innocent young black men -- that one "Schitty" tweet alone about the man who will soon chair the investigation of whether the Trump administration conspired with Russia to manipulate the U.S. elections -- would get him banned from the White House press room.
Actually, it would probably get him banned from the third grade. And sent home from school with a note. Seriously. "Dear Mr. and Mrs. Trump, Donny used that offending word again while making fun of one of his classmates. As you know, this is against our school policy, wanting to make Barack Obama Elementary a nurturing place of learning for all. And it's something we have discussed and warned about in his actions previously. We like to give our young students chances to learn and grow from their mistakes, but after 1,026 warnings (we were going to send this note when it reached a thousand, but even there we bent over backwards in hopes that a child couldn't be that mindless to keep insulting others, grabbing the girls in unwanted places, and trying to keep our minority children from participating with the others at recess) we feel that the message has not gotten through, and have finally decided that this last straw was so utterly infantile and inexplicable that it suggested a character flaw so deep that it would be best for him to do some reflecting at home about the way he treats others. The school board called an emergency session and voted by 12-0 to institute this action. To show how seriously we take this, please be aware that we only have 10 members on the school board."
The White House issuing a Debutante's Guide to Grace and Decorum is like the Unabomber putting out a handbook on "Ted Kaczynski's Rules for Good Grooming and Interpersonal Relationships." There might be some reasonable nuggets buried in there if they were allowed to exist free on their own in the cleansing light of sunshine, but when surrounded by an army of alien insanity it's all just a cry for mad help that brings the authorities rushing with a SWAT team, arrest warrant and a straight-jacket.
And yes, all of this still puts aside for a moment the concept of the administration putting First Amendment restrictions on how the press does its job.
And also, as always -- even with the mid-term election over -- this isn't about Trump, since we know who he is, but is about the elected officials of the Republican Party who enable him.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor