So You Think You Can Govern: The Trump Administration Is PISSED — At Itself

Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
What happens when people stop being polite, and start turning on each other about 30 days into a new presidential administration? Well, we’re starting to know. Not that anyone was exactly “being polite” at the beginning. With so much drama in the administration it feels like we’re one congressional hearing away from a full-on D.C.-style table-flipping (which is mostly just tweeting in all caps, but still). And if this White House is going to act like a pinot grigio fueled reality show cast, we’re going to recap it as such. A House Divided (Against Itself)
Blood may be thicker than water, but political appointments are not. This administration may look like a happy family (especially when the Big Man's daughter sits in on meetings and her husband's on the payroll), but at present the "family" looks more like the Married to the Mob kind. There's lots of fighting. And, if televised, these spats would surely need subtitles ("sobs"). Trump’s administration has hit a breaking point in terms of the major players getting along and all being on the same terrifying page. There are power grabs going on, and if there’s one thing this group knows, it’s grabbing. Malibu Lies Barbie Kellyanne Conway is rumored to be sidelined from television appearances because her message is not fully in line with the administration’s. Look, Conway needs airtime like most people need water, so I hope someone is checking on her. For all we know, she’s in the green room at CNN running in a circle, screaming, “actually, no...” over and over. Some claim that the one-two punch of publicly endorsing Ivanka’s line and also saying Trump was confident in General Flynn just before his resignation left team Trump edging her out of the spotlight so she isn’t as much of a liability. Conway has, of course, said that these are all rumors and the choice has been hers to not make any appearances this week. Yes, hiding from public view sounds just like the kind of self-affirming choice she'd make as part of her “conservative feminism.” Or perhaps she’s just trying to do some much needed damage control after a rough month of mistakes that make Trump look like the unqualified decaying pumpkin that he is. She’s like Charlotte York screaming, “I choose my choice!” But Charlotte would never put down feminism. She’d be at the Women’s March with a polite, calligraphed sign and a Burberry scarf-and-sneaker set. Another brewing feud in the Gold House (which is how I will refer to the White House until it is inhabited by someone whose interior decorating style is slightly less “Drunk King Midas”), is between Donald Trump and his phone. Apparently, staffers have been trying to keep the president from tweeting so much. Maybe they discovered the key to fewer DJT tweetstorms was feeding him a healthy diet of media praise. Newcomer to the season, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, made like Eden Sassoon on RHOBH and immediately inserted himself into the drama even though there was absolutely no reason for it. Reports claim he had to strong-arm Betsy DeVos to go after Obama-era protections of trans students. Sessions bringing up (and then shutting down) this old directive that has nothing to do with him is just like Eden immediately getting into the mix about Kim Richards’ sobriety. It’s not about you, so stay the hell out of it. DeVos And Conquer
Now about that law. Donald Trump (through a joint effort from Sessions and DeVos), rescinded protections for trans students in schools under Title XI. The Trump team — which we can all agree is best thought of like the opposing team in any Mighty Ducks movie — claimed that the provision forced federal government involvement in an issue that should be left to the states. First of all, the issue of what bathroom an individual can use should be even more focused than that — it should be left up to that individual, and that’s what the Title IX provisions more or less spelled out. Rescinding them allows the states to dictate this personal choice, and puts trans students across the country in danger. As for Sessions forcing DeVos to agree with overturning the directive? I’m buying that about as much as I’m buying low quality cashmere sweaters, which is not at all. Bets is barely on board with the idea of many students being able to go to school; she certainly doesn’t seem like someone who would care about them feeling safe once they are there. Her disagreement with Sessions seems more like a play for sympathy from reasonable voters than anything else. And it’s about as transparent as Tamra Judge’s white dress when she got baptized on RHOOC.
The "We Don't Care" Act
Enough about the fights within the administration, let’s shift to everyone outside of the government getting angry. Really angry. Like, “take away their insurance and leave them with nothing” angry. At town halls across the country, thousands of citizens lined up to scream at GOP congressmen about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. If it weren’t all tied up in such a terrifying situation, this would seem like kind of a fun activity. I mean, if there were a spa service where I got to show up and yell mean things at Mitch McConnell for an hour, I’d pay easily $250. Maybe Bliss or someone could get on this? And while the likes of McConnell, Tom Cotton, Bill Cassidy, and many others had to suffer the horrors of dealing with their electorate in person, countless Republican leaders didn’t even show up. When it’s your party, you’re supposed to be there. I mean, what if in Atlanta, Sheree didn’t come to her own She by Sheree “fashion show”? I can only assume it would have resulted in the same amount of screaming we saw at these town hall meetings. As for the status of the Affordable Care Act right now? National support for it as at an all-time high. Funny, it’s almost like people want to have health insurance or something. But despite national favor tipping the scale, Republicans are still pressing on with the repeal, making promises about the replacement system and swearing people won’t lose their health care, but that outcome remains to be seen. The Brat (C)PAC
Thursday was everyone’s favorite event, the CPAC, which stands for Conservative Political Action Conference. It’s aim is to combine fresh conservative ideas with grassroots strength — because nothing says “grassroots” like a room full of millionaires working to take over the government. Think of it like a prom, but instead of dancing, everyone is getting busy taking away disenfranchised people’s human rights — which makes them just as horny. All of the popular kids were there onstage: There was Vice President Mike Pence who stayed up so late (all the way into the p.m.!) to give a speech. Also, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Chief of Staff Reince Preibus got handsy while talking about how the press is destroying America. Betsy DeVos, fresh off of stripping trans students in this country of any semblance of safety and respect, of course made an appearance. She said, “My job isn’t to win a popularity contest,” which I think is the cabinet position equivalent of “I didn’t come here to make friends.” Don’t worry, Betsy, no one thinks you’re in this to be liked. And because if Republicans love anything, it’s excluding people from things, it’s nice to know that alt-right punching bag with a hipster haircut Richard Spencer got kicked out, and hateful no-longer-author Milo Yiannopoulos wasn’t even allowed to attend. Like, what is this, Scheana’s bachelorette party in Miami? Why can’t everyone on Vanderpump Rules who wants to be there come? I’m on the edge of my seat for next week’s episode, when the Republicans finally block the congressional investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia, and Jeff Sessions privatizes the entire prison system.

B Roll

Two wrongs do make an alt-right. After Milo Yiannopoulos' latest grotesque statements, publisher Simon & Schuster finally decided to cancel his upcoming book. Pluto is considered a planet again. But his moment in (near?) the sun was upstaged by the discovery of seven Earth-like planets in a nearby solar system. Good, now we have some back-ups for when new EPA head Scott Pruitt decides to torch this one. A “Refugees Welcome” banner was unfurled on New York’s Statue of Liberty. It’s a nice sentiment, if not a little redundant considering that’s more or less carved into the statue already. But in these contentious times, it can never hurt to roll out a welcome mat on top of our welcome mat.

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