I have to admit I am supremely uninterested in the rescinding of the Eagles’ invitation to the White House. It is an exhausting sideshow with little substance.
When championship teams make the (no longer) obligatory visit to chat up the Chief Executive, it’s a nice photo op, a chocolate-covered cherry. The president gets a team jersey with his name stitched across the back. Everyone gets a group photo with the president, with maybe 50 people in the frame. Nice, as the president might say.
The PR gesture has turned edgy, particularly with the NFL, because many players think President Trump picked a fight with them. They feel he questioned their patriotism, and he actually may feel insulted that some of them do not stand at rigid attention during the national anthem. Trump gives patriotism a bad name.
But this was not a first. Last year he disinvited the NBA-champion Golden State Warriors in a snit with star Stephen Curry.
In all this, I could almost hear an echo of Trump’s recent gambit of calling off the summit in Singapore with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. That one was reinstated, which I think means our psychopath outsmarted their psychopath, but don’t count on seeing Eagles flying over to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Trump’s U-turn preserves team unity.
We could call this governing by spite, except it’s not governing, it’s the more intangible quality called leadership.
Tuesday morning, I heard NFL Hall of Fame writer Ray Didinger say on KYW Newsradio that it was a shame that some Eagles who wanted to go would be denied that opportunity. However, there seemed to be very few in that category, fewer than 10.
That’s a paltry turnout and Trump is obsessed by size, as our Marcus Hayes noted in a column. Whether it’s Inauguration Day turnout, or ratings, or bank accounts, or hand size, Trump likes to play it big.
What is not big is his rampaging small-mindedness. You wonder how someone so large can be so petty.
He is big on cultural touchstones, such as “The Star-Spangled Banner,” but tone deaf when it comes to following presidential custom. He believes he was elected to be the bull in the china shop, the disrupter, the drainer of the Washington swamp, even when about a dozen of his appointments have been tripped by ethical snares.
I know that the internet and sports radio are blowing up with fights between the Deplorables and everyone else. I am able to ignore it.
I can’t remember another president so dominating the news cycle — well, not since Richard Nixon in the midst of Watergate.
I think I’m in the early stages of Trump fatigue, having been endlessly bombarded by his trademarked mixture of foolishness and nastiness. The constant barking and lying are wearing me down.
His critics say that’s his game plan, to flood the zone so you hardly know what to grab first. They could be right.
The temptation is strong to lie down, close my eyes, and put a cold compress on my head. I can’t.
But I can ignore the tinsel and cotton candy, the carnival sideshow with the Eagles.