Not long after the general election, President-Elect Donald Trump used Twitter, the social media tool, to inform his followers about his thoughts and plans as opposed to informing the national press directly. He mentioned he might not be doing daily White House briefings for the major news outlets. It caused uproar.

Not long after the general election, President-Elect Donald Trump used Twitter, the social media tool, to inform his followers about his thoughts and plans as opposed to informing the national press directly. He mentioned he might not be doing daily White House briefings for the major news outlets. It caused uproar.


Using Twitter to bypass structured face-to-face briefings sends a message bigger than his intent. In Trump fashion, he was telling the press corps that he is no patsy to be harassed on a daily basis, to have his administration’s message twisted by what has become the mouthpiece of the Democrat National Committee. Thanks to the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief, John Podesta’s emails, we now know about the shameful collusion of the press with the DNC to fabricate and polish Hillary Clinton’s reputation and to further tarnish Donald Trump’s. Fearful of having been outed to media misdeeds and therefore losing face with the American public, The New York Times did a walk of shame and made a public pledge to “do better.” Maybe if hell freezes over.


With Trump’s claim to having 2.4 million Twitter followers, he can not only cut the press corps out of the information loop, but force them into commentary about what his 140 character messages mean—though he probably wouldn’t use more than 18 characters. He does have a talent of using brevity to cut like a knife. But as far as journalism is concerned, which came first, the commentary or the news that originated it in the first place? Given the current state of journalism, does it make any difference? While I relish thwarting the DNC’s megaphone, it can have consequences—particularly in an age of bolstered Executive power with an egomaniac like Mr. Trump.


William Smith, a scholar who served in the administration of President George H.W. Bush and as a Republican leadership aide in the U.S. House of Representatives, published an opinion piece called “America’s Post Constitutional Culture.” It is about the erosion of the Legislative and Judicial pillars of our democracy in favor of the Executive branch.


“The Supreme Court and the Congress are now largely infirm, fatally weakened by the growth of an Executive branch that provides ever-expanding dispensations and “protections.” The entitlement state has killed the separation of powers.”
He gives a powerful example using the Supreme Court’s handling of ObamaCare legislation that should have been dead on arrival. According to Smith, Justice Roberts’ opinion clearly side-stepped the language in the law as written in favor of political pressure.


Judge Roberts says, “The court must uphold the statute, because to do otherwise, would destabilize the individual insurance market.” (i.e. the federal benefits must flow no matter what the law actually says.)
Smith says, “Robert’s opinion claimed fidelity to the congressional statue when, in fact, he was simply protecting the political reputation of the Court by avoiding an assault on the entitlement culture.”


Smith knows the dance between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches is tenuous and as he points out, so did the authors of our Constitution.


“To the authors of the Constitution, the Legislative branch was potentially the most powerful and the most dangerous branch because of its close proximity to the populace. For this reason, certain precautions were taken to make the legislative branch less potent, such as creating a bi-cameral legislature, granting veto power to the president and establishing judicial review. However, the Legislative branch is largely powerless in the face of an Executive that is the fountainhead of popular gratifications.”


But Smith goes further, and this is the chilling part that we have as of late witnessed with our own eyes. “Congress has intentionally enfeebled itself to get in on the game of spreading government largesse and protection” (hence the popularity of the need for term limits, but that’s another story).


Donald Trump has clearly demonstrated over time that he is an opportunist. Some would say he’s just been a good businessman. He certainly hasn’t always followed a conservative doctrine, but many are willing to see if he can destroy Washington’s business as usual modus operandi.That’s exciting to those of us that want to see what a different way to run Washington, short of anarchy.


The American people deserve to know what’s going on in Washington and the media can play an honest role in that. If they will give Trump that common courtesy, he might meet them half-way. No one really knows what to expect from Donald Trump as president, but with a knack for hyperbole and a tip of the balance to the Executive power branch, he bears watching. We might all be surprised and I hope (as Donald would say it)”in a beautiful way . . . a great way . . . a very great, big, beautiful way.”