I wrote in an article yesterday about his pathetic one man dog-and-pony show that I had gone on an Official Acosta Resignation (or Termination) Watch. Nothing in the resulting fallout has made me change my mind, but I’ve fine tuned it a little bit. If there’s one thing that a broken down reality show retread like Trump knows, it’s that timing is everything.
By ordering Acosta’s paint-by-the-numbers nationally televised self castration yesterday, Trump accomplished two important things. One, he confirmed for himself that he owns Acosta lock, stock, and barrel. If there’s one thing Trump loves almost as much as money, it’s humiliating other people. And nothing gives a two bit bully boy like Trump wood more than kicking an already whipped cur. Two, Trump got a pretty accurate barometer of Acosta’s distraction quotient in the media.
And that’s important to Trump. Because in very short order, Trump is going to need a big, fat, honking distraction. Next Wednesday, Robert Mueller has a chock-a-block full day of being beamed from two different house committee hearing rooms into every nook in America with a TV hitched up to cable. It is going to be Robert Mueller from the morning alarm until the last call at the bar. We haven’t seen anything like this since James Comey and Michael Cohen testified.
But what actually happened after Comey’s and Cohen’s testimony? Well, post testimony coverage on hearing day centered on explosions, shocking, powerful exchanges or statements that could be quickly and easily found and cut out, and just as easily discussed and dissected by hosts and talking head guests.
But the second day turned out to be even worse for Trump. Because in the overnight hours, producers and staff listened more closely to the quieter, less dramatic stuff, stuff that came in between the explosions. And there was some seriously damaging shit in there, which had gone unnoticed in the cacophony of the day before. And it dribble-drabbled out all the next day, with plenty of time for observations of what each thing meant, and why it was so damaging for Trump.
Cue Alex Acosta:Enter Stage Left. I figure that the tweet will come at about 5 am eastern time Thursday morning, 6 am at the latest. Late enough to catch massive immediate eyeballs, but early enough to dominate the morning drive time airwaves. We have breaking news this Thursday morning. President Trump just tweeted that he has fired (or accepted the resignation of) embattled Labor Secretary Alex Acosta. Acosta has come under increasing fire in the last week due to his handling blah, blah, blah. Combine that with a sarcastic or personally humiliating tweet about Acosta following immediately, and that should do the trick
Alex Acosta will be the banner story at the top of every hour, with up to the minute analysis, and a gleeful concentration on the personal humiliation for Acosta, and his involvement in the Epstein mess. There will be plenty of Robert Mueller, but his story will be below the fold as they say in the newspaper business, and will live in the shadow of the Acosta news. Especially since, having been bombarded with about 18 hours of Mueller the day before, people will be ready for a change of topic, and the media will give it to them. And ifthat happens, you can forget about Friday entirely. Once the Mueller story has lost steam due to Acosta, the media will never again be able to regenerate the intensity it would have carried straight through.
Can I be wrong about this? Absolutely, and it won’t even be the first time this month. But for nearly four years now I have lived in the corners and crevices of the dark and fetid Mordor that is the mind of Donald John Trump. And if there’s one thing I have learned, it is that he is the most street cunning, opportunistic son of a bitch I have ever seen in my life. Time and again he has taken what should have been a crippling situation for him, and at the very least neutralized it, if not turned it to his advantage. This is one of those times.
Just look at the current Acosta-Epstein debacle in the news. Examination of Trump’s previous ties to, and admitted friendship with a slimy pedophile like Epstein should be disastrous for Trump. But Trump has already turned the coverage on its head, restricting his involvement only to his dealings with Acosta, and letting Acosta take the shit spatter of being connected to Epstein.
Between now and next Thursday, Trump will be perfectly happy to let Acosta twist slowly and painfully in the wind. Trump is finished with Acosta anyway, and every minute that the media spends talking about Acosta and Epstein is a minute that they’re not hyping up and previewing Mueller’s testimony next Wednesday. But come next Thursday morning, Acosta can serve a much higher purpose for Trump with his summary execution than he ever served in his time in Trump’s administration. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.