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The incredible shrinking presidency of Donald Trump


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In the past 7 days, President Trump has attacked the following people -- and institutions -- on Twitter:

* LiAngelo Ball
* Cody Riley
* Jalen Hill
* Marshawn Lynch
* Jeff Flake
* Hillary Clinton
* Al Franken
* The New York Times
* CNN
* LaVar Ball
* LiAngelo Ball
* Cody Riley
 
 
 

 

Trump never really defined what "modern day presidential" actually meant to him. But, through his actions over the first 10 months (or so) of his presidency he's made clear how he sees the job: To project confidence, strength and victory always and, if anyone ever questions him on any of those fronts, he attacks.
 
It doesn't matter if the person doing the questioning is a former political opponent, a member of Trump's own party, a cable TV host or a teenage basketball player. Trump has one speed in all of his interactions: Aggressively leaning forward -- and ready to run you over, rhetorically speaking, if you get in his way.
 

Three of those people are college freshmen at UCLA. One is a professional football player. Two are sitting senators. One is the woman he beat to win the White House almost a year ago. Two are major media organizations. And LaVar Ball is, well, LaVar Ball

 
By going back and forth with LaVar Ball or Marshawn Lynch or any of the dozens of other people Trump has elevated by feuding with them over his first 10 months in office, Trump has shrunk the presidency by several degrees.
 
Can you imagine Obama spending his time in Twitter fights with some random quasi-celebrity who said something bad about him? Or George W. Bush?
 
Trump views the presidency less as a place where he elevates the dialogue in the country than one where he has primacy in any sort of fight he wants. He's acting exactly as he's acted his whole life -- thin-skinned, quick triggered etc. -- but now has the backing of the entire federal bureaucracy behind him. He is now the President Celebrity-in-Chief. Not just the Celebrity-in-Chief.
 
Which is fine for Trump. The idea that a 71-year-old man would fundamentally change the behavior he exhibited over the first seven decades of his life was always a far-fetched one.
 
 
Heh, heh, heh!
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