Image from NYTimes.com
By Nick Spennato
Here we are, folks. We now live in Trump’s America, where literally nothing sits right.
For the uninformed, I refer to the now infamous set of photos of White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway kneeling on a couch and using her phone to take photos in the Oval Office during a meeting. These pictures and the public’s reaction to it are actually a pretty good representation of Trump’s political career as a whole, starting out as something of a novelty and then spiraling out into this gaping quagmire of unpleasantness we see before us.
Things start off with complaints over etiquette, should someone treat the Oval Office like their living room, but wait, the aforementioned meeting was with officials from several historically black colleges so add in a racial component, and follow that up with a few off color jokes harkening back to Clinton’s White House and the fact that Ms. Conway was on her knees and now there’s also a misogynist angle and suddenly we’re in full blown controversy. This should have remained a weird little footnote in history like Sean Spicer’s war with Dippin’ Dots so we could reserve the word controversy for the truly controversial.
The way we label things is important. It’s the difference between an “alternative fact” and a “definite untruth.” This is not a controversy. What’s the issue here? In sitting all weird has Ms. Conway lowered the status of the White House any more than it had been? We’re talking about an administration that refuses to concede to the reality that it rained on Trump’s inauguration, was this really the point where a foreign leader looked and said, “You know, I don’t think they’re taking this seriously.” Has it lowered Ms. Conway’s stock at all? Is she now somehow less respectable than was? Not really. No offense to Ms. Conway but she’s just another clown in the Trump Circus. She’s the kind of person who when she gets home and their lights are off, she flicks them on, but she’s still in the dark. Follow?
Were this anything resembling a normal administration I would say, “Yes, this person has impugned the honor of our highest office and should be reprimanded.” If a photo leaked of Colin Powell straddling a White House sofa and doing a crossword puzzle during a State Department meeting there would be cause for alarm, but this? No, sir.
The fact of the matter is there are still four more years to the Trump Administration at the least, and the fuckup miasma that permeates it shows no signs of receding. Between the “not a ban on muslims but still essentially banning muslims” ban, the promise to repeal the ACA with no definite means of replacing it, the “not a military act of deportation” mass deportation and the like there have been no shortage of things to get riled up about. This is not one of them. This is round one of a ten round fight, and as nice as it would be we can’t go swinging at everything. So let Kellyanne sit how she pleases, let a quick bout of public ridicule sort her out and let yourself laugh at the memes and jokes so you can save your ire for the truly deserved.
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