Donald Trump did his thing this morning and tried to set the narrative for the daily news cycle, as he often does. Mostly, I think, he wants the news media to move on from Parkland, because — for Trump — it’s just been one bad news cycle after another. A few days ago, a White House official characterized the Parkland shooting in completely different terms:
“For everyone, it was a distraction or a reprieve,” said the White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reflect internal conversations. “A lot of people here felt like it was a reprieve from seven or eight days of just getting pummeled.”
How’s that reprieve going now, Donald? After the shooting last week, Trump had privately hoped that the news media would eventually move on from this mass shooting after a few days — like so many others before it — and get back to the business of being narrated by Trump’s morning tweet dump.
This is exactly what this tweet is all about.
For those of you who are still interested, the Democrats have totally forgotten about DACA. Not a lot of interest on this subject from them!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 23, 2018
This is Trump’s way of saying, “Please for the Love of God, can we talk about anything other than Parkland?” Trump’s proposal to arm school teachers has been met largely with ridicule. As Stephen Colbert noted last night, Trump’s idea didn’t go over well “with teachers, police officers, or people with children.” Four of my closest friends locally are school teachers in the best school district in the state. They’re amazing teachers, and I don’t want a damn one of them bringing a gun to school, and I doubt very seriously that any of the four would want to bring a gun to school. It’s an idiotic idea backed by the NRA, and I think even Trump understands it’s an idiotic idea, but he has to appease his campaign financiers, so rather than be forced to support his own idiotic ideas, he’d rather we move on to DACA or anything else.
But the media won’t, mostly because those Parkland students are amazing and the media loves them. Donald Trump is being outclassed and outshined by high school students, and it’s probably killing him.
They’re attacking those Parkland kids because they’re afraid of them. They’re calling them liars because they can tell people believe them. And people believe those kids because they’re telling truths.— Andy Richter (@AndyRichter) February 21, 2018
The survivors of that school shooting are also very quick with a burn.
We should change the names of AR-15s to “Marco Rubio” because they are so easy to buy.— Sarah Chadwick// #NEVERAGAIN (@sarahchad_) February 23, 2018
As if extraordinary courage, passion and determination weren’t enough, these kids are cornering the wit market too. Pitch perfect, Sarah :)— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) February 23, 2018
And people of all ages are in awe of them.
You guys. I am 43 yrs old and in awe of you. That is all.— Mary Rachel Savage Sicko (@Mary_Rachel) February 23, 2018
42. and also in awe.— Willie Conway (@WillieCConway) February 23, 2018
Only 34, but still… awe.— Zoe Kinsky 🌊🚀 (@NamiRocket) February 23, 2018
32, former teacher, current parent of two small humans, and writer/editor of educational materials… can’t wait until the day I get to write about these kids in our history books. You guys are saving our country, and we thank you!— Amber Banuelos (@momma_banuelos) February 23, 2018
And they’re not only outclassing our President, but they are ridiculing him, and those insults are reverberating all around social media and cable news, the two places that Donald Trump likes to think that he owns.
How small does the President feel, for instance, after seeing this clip on his DVR/Intelligence briefing?
Stoneman Douglas student shooting survivor Sam Zeif was asked if he felt like he was heard at the White House. He answered, “I know I was heard because I saw it on Trump’s little card.” https://t.co/jHtRqgyAk5 #parkland pic.twitter.com/WC2HsQCu2X— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) February 22, 2018
This student, meanwhile, was shot in both legs and was visited by the President. She was unimpressed.
Back during the GOP debates, I remember one Republican contender after another trying to take Trump down a notch, thinking they could engage with him on his level, but they were ill-suited for Trump’s lame little nicknames. These kids, though? They know social media. They’re smart. They’re witty. And they’re better at this than Donald Trump, which is exactly why Donald Trump wants to talk about anything else other than the shooting right now. He’s probably wishing that we could all go back to talking about Rob Porter or Russia, because he’s being made a fool of on a daily goddamn basis, and it is driving him mad.
He’s attacking them at the fringes right now, but it won’t be too long before he starts attacking them directly. I’m not worried, though: Those survivors are going to make mincemeat of him.