During the week before Christmas Day, President Donald Trump wrote two dozen erratic Twitter posts in just 24 hours.
Kara Swisher, editor at large for the technology news website Recode, wrote:
“We are now a government of the Twitter, by the Twitter and for the Twitter. The bully pulpit has become the bully tweet,” she wrote, “with an emphasis on bully.”
Swisher said Trump used the social communications medium in ways that the founders never would have envisioned.
He Tweeted threats to shutdown the government over the funding of the border wall (which came to pass); a farewell to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who resigned in protest over the pullout of troops in Syria and Afghanistan; objections to the Fed’s handling of interest rates; and in honor of the Farm Bill, (adding a bizarre video of him singing the “Green Acres” theme song at an Emmy Awards show from the past).
Twitter also slapped back at the president, with Tweets from pundits like Ann Coulter, who has used the medium deftly to influence Trump.
Swisher wrote this paragraph, fueled with sarcasm:
“On the other side, the Olympic tweeter George Conway, also known as @gtconway3d (and Mr. Kellyanne) has become the second most epic troll in Twitter’s short history — after Mr. Trump, of course — by tweeting and retweeting so rapidly that it’s like watching a hostage trying to send desperate Morse code messages with his blinks before the video camera turns off. About Mr. Mattis’s devastating resignation letter, Mr. Conway dryly tweeted: “The nicest line: ‘Dear Mr. President.’”
Although Trump told two Democrat leaders he would take the blame for the shutdown, he reversed himself again and later Tweeted, “The Democrats now own the shutdown!”
Swisher analyzed the new age communication method with this sardonic comment:
“There is one positive way of looking at this whole situation: The smoky back rooms are all gone now, making way for a 24-hour feed that chronicles every bit of the action under klieg lights. There are no secrets, no side deals in the shadows, no quiet signaling. Instead, it is all text and no subtext, moving from action, reaction to the reaction and so on.”
Then she asked this timely question:
“So what would happen to the president who governs by Tweet if he finally did or said something that forced Twitter to throw him off the platform? Could he do his job at all?”