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Timothy L. O'Brien

On Trump, Sharpiegate, Turnberry, the Taliban and Chaos

Good government decays when compromised by a cult of personality.

The weather in the White House? Chaotic.

The weather in the White House? Chaotic.

Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Close to midnight on Saturday, the leader of the free world tweeted a loopy and nearly inscrutable video that included his doctored, Sharpie-enhanced weather map showing Hurricane Dorian bound for Alabama during the storm’s early days. In the video, he wields a laser pointer that dances around various locations on the map, causing a CNN-branded cat to paw aimlessly wherever the laser’s red dot lands. “Yakety Sax” (not “Hail to the Chief”) plays in the background.

The video is meant to show (I think, but your guess is as good as mine) how President Donald Trump, deftly and effortlessly, keeps distracting the media. But Trump has been harping on his bonkers Alabama claim for several days now and he’s likely to remind his supporters of his meteorological expertise again at a political rally he’s holding Monday night in Fayetteville, North Carolina. It’s Trump who can’t let go of the revealing clown rodeo his Sharpie set in motion, not the news media. This wouldn’t have become a thing if POTUS hadn’t made it a thing.