Thursday, April 16, 2020

The Art of the Troll

By Josh Blackman - April 16, 2020 at 12:31PM

President Trump keeps constitutional law professors busy. On Monday and Tuesday, all reporters needed to know whether President Trump can order Governors to re-open their states. On Wednesday and Thursday, all reporters need to know whether President Trump can adjourn Congress to make recess appointments. And who knows what Friday will bring? Maybe he'll argue that California and other states have entered into unconstitutional interstate compacts. (See Derek Muller's post on this issue).

President Trump is able to instantly change the narrative by saying something outlandish. In doing so, he forces his allies to rally around his novel position, thus shifting the so-called Overton Window. And Trump forces his opponents to viscerally and instantly oppose his position. Even if, for example, the Obama Administration largely agreed that pro-forma sessions were "phony." Most importantly, as soon as he changes the topic, we all forget about whatever the most pressing issue was yesterday. President Trump has truly perfected the art of the troll.


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