Eeek! Official Washington is being traumatized by the tweets of Donald Trump.
Politico has chronicled the pearl clutching concern by the inside the beltway types over Trump's tweets. It seems Trump speaking directly to the people via Twitter is causing a crises among politicians and lobbyists who just don't know how to handle it as reflected in the article title, Trump’s Twitter feed traumatizes Washington.
Unlike more traditional administrations, in which a White House focuses on one big agenda item at a time and mobilizes all resources to galvanize public and congressional support for it, Trump has shown no sign of abandoning his off-the-cuff, scattershot approach to tweeting. And in a town that relies on information flow, Trump’s unpredictable style threatens to paralyze Washington’s power brokers.
"There is definitely an establishment K Street mindset out there that is causing a great amount of anxiety because of the uncertainty,” said Rep. Thomas Reed (R-N.Y.), a member of Trump’s executive committee. “D.C. is all about relationships and knowing what’s going to happen and being able to predict what is going to happen next. They can’t predict with him.”
GASP! How dare he be unpredictable. Politico lists yet more transgressions against established beltway etiquette:
On Tuesday, Trump tweeted on four separate subjects before lunch, but it was his surprising rebuke to House Republicans over their initial vote to gut their own ethics oversight office — undercutting senior adviser Kellyanne Conway’s defense of the lawmakers’ move in a TV interview moments earlier — that drove the news cycle and allowed the president-elect to claim credit when the caucus reversed course.
Those tweets faded in the 48 hours afterward, as Trump blasted out 140-character missives questioning the integrity of the nation’s top intelligence officials (Wednesday) and threatening to punish Toyota with a major tax should it follow through on building a plant in Mexico (Thursday).
And now Trump's secret sauce is revealed:
“He is constantly in motion and in command of the pace and tempo of the political news environment. That is something that his opponents have yet to figure out,” said Kevin Madden, a GOP communications strategist in Washington who advised Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign. “The sheer volume of activity and coverage around him works to his advantage. Trump understands one important dynamic: In a world where there is a wealth of information, there is always a poverty of attention, and he has this ability to generate four or five story lines a day. In the face of that, how can his opponents break through on even one of them? He is always in control.”
Making the media drink from a fire hose worked to Trump’s benefit throughout his unconventional presidential campaign. By forcing editors and news producers with a finite amount of ink or airtime to choose what to cover and what to ignore, Trump succeeded in bombarding the nation’s collective consciousness with his massive presence and unrelenting will. It is, in fact, a hallmark of his approach during several decades in the business and media world.
“A lot of the time he creates chaos in order to get where he wants to go. It's often planned chaos,” said Louise Sunshine, a longtime Trump Organization executive who worked for him for 15 years. “His style is to throw all the cards up in the air and let them land. He likes to see people scramble and be on their toes.”
“Out of the chaos usually comes something good for him. It doesn't always work for everyone else,” she added.
This Politico story was written on Thursday and today Trump caused even more Washington trauma with an eclectic mix of of entertainment and policy tweets:
Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got "swamped" (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT. So much for....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
being a movie star-and that was season 1 compared to season 14. Now compare him to my season 1. But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
I am asking the chairs of the House and Senate committees to investigate top secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
The bottom line is that Donald Trump's tweets are so entertaining and unusual, you just can't stop reading them. And among all the entertainment, he also tweets about his policy views, unfiltered by the MSM. It's called communicating directly to the people which is why it irks so many media types.