Donald Trump just came out against Tom Emmer’s candidacy for Speaker of the House. If Emmer does end up dropping out, we’ll see wall to wall headlines about how Trump made it happen, and how it’s further proof of Trump’s “ironclad grip” on the House. But that won’t be what happened – at all.
When House Republicans held a closed door vote earlier today, Tom Emmer won the nomination for Speaker – but he lost more than two dozen votes in the process. Several of the “no” votes then went public, some of them in fairly ugly fashion, about why they didn’t want Emmer to be Speaker. It was very quickly clear that Emmer simply didn’t have the votes. Only then did Trump make a social media post insisting that Emmer shouldn’t be Speaker.
In other words, after it was clear that Emmer was on track to lose badly, Trump (or whoever is running his social media) then jumped on the opportunity to retroactively take credit for something that had already happened, knowing that the media wouldn’t be able to pass up the opportunity to spin this as “Trump took down Emmer, hey everyone look how powerful Trump still is!”
What’s sad is that none of this would be happening if the (entire) mainstream media weren’t so complicit in it. Trump didn’t take down Tom Emmer’s candidacy today, unless he had a time machine. We all saw the order of events play out in real time. But none of that seems to matter when the media decides to put its narratives together.
We also just saw Donald Trump try and fail to get Jim Jordan elected Speaker. If Trump this supposed “ironclad grip” on the Republican House, Jordan would be Speaker. Instead he lost by dozens of votes. Now Trump is stuck trying to retroactively take credit for Tom Emmer’s downfall, after Emmer lost of his own accord.
When it comes to this historically inept Republican House, Donald Trump is as powerless as anyone else to try to make anything happen. He’s the equivalent of a sports fan sitting at home watching the game on TV, seeing one team winning or losing, and trying to take credit for it. Trump is a bump on a log. He just has the entire media playing publicist for him, because the illusion that he’s still powerful is a good way to get people to tune in.
And if these House Republicans do ultimately manage to elect someone Speaker, it’s not going to be because of anything Trump says or does – although he’ll try to retroactively try to take credit for that as well, and the entire media will happily play right along with it.
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