The problem is, we weren't talking about Jeff Sessions and Rex Tillerson and Betsy DeVos even before Streep's speech.
No, Meryl Streep Is Not The Reason Jeff Sessions Will Be Approved
January 10, 2017

BooMan, I'm with you on most things, but not this:

I have no problem with Meryl Streep having her say about what she thinks of our incoming president. I think it’s fine that screenwriters for the show Blackish decided to use their platform to make an anti-Trump statement, and I see no problem with promoting the show during NFL playoff games. However, when I go look at today’s Memeorandum, I notice that you have to scroll quite a way down the page before you see any articles dedicated to Trump’s nominees to serve in his cabinet. All anyone seems to be talking about are these stories about Streep, and rednecks who are pissed at blacks for badmouthing the president-elect during their Houston Texans game, and Kellyanne Conway spinning all of this nonsense the best she can.

I think this is how Trump managed to pull off his miracle election. People can’t focus on the important things.

... every second wasted on Meryl Streep is a benefit to Trump and the prospects for his nominees to sail through the confirmation process with little fuss.

Of course Trump wants to talk about the Golden Globes. He wants you to talk about him talking about the Golden Globes.

It’s a simple game he plays, and it’s hard to combat it.

The problem is, we weren't talking about Jeff Sessions and Rex Tillerson and Betsy DeVos even before Streep's speech. Obviously, politically engaged progressives were. But the rest of the country wasn't. Streep's speech didn't divert America's attention from Trump's horrible Cabinet because a huge percentage of America wasn't paying attention in the first place.

And the hearings don't start until tomorrow. In 2017, a day is an eternity in news-cycle time. We had a brutal mass shooting at an airport in Florida on Friday. Five people died. Three days later, it's all but forgotten. That's how fast stories rise and fall. By tomorrow or Wednesday, we'll have forgotten about Streep

Whether we'll focus our attention on Cabinet picks or not, I can't say. In a way, it doesn't matter -- Sessions, for instance, will get the vote of every Republican senator no matter what we find in his past, unless we turn up a photo of him literally wearing a Klan robe. And that'll be that. He'll be attorney general. We had no plan to stop him pre-Streep, so we shouldn't blame Streep for the fact that we can't stop him now.

Does Trump get into these Twitter beefs to distract us from important matters? I have my doubts. I think he gets into them because his appeal to his loyalists is as a strongman and a showman; he can't be seen as ceding the stage to critics, because that would reveal him as weak. That's why his candidacy wasn't fatally harmed by seemingly suicidal fights he picked during the campaign -- with John McCain, with the Khan family, with Alicia Machado, with women who accused him of sexual assault: The very act of fighting made him seem tough to his fan base, and not just tough but entertaining. He always grabbed the mic back when somebody else seemed to have it.

But how do you fight him on anything without having to deal with that tactic? If someone had found a way to undermine his Cabinet picks, that person would become his target. You can't attack him and not expect him to beat his chest and bray, because that works for him. You just have to push through that.

We weren't going to beat Trump on Sessions et al. in any case. Therefore, we're where we would have been if Streep hadn't made that speech. And if we every find a way to do real damage to Trump's presidency, we'll be the targets of his Twitter wrath. So we may as well just hurl everything we have at him until something sticks -- and then keep hurling.

Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog

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