Maybe the tech wizards at Twitter can start posting expiration dates on presidential tweets. That way everyone will know how long the position on a given issue is expected to last.
Early Friday, President Donald Trump said Republicans should stop “wasting their time” on immigration “until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November.”
Forget the fact that if 41 House Republicans who voted against a hard-line GOP immigration bill on Thursday had supported it instead, the measure would have passed.
And forget the fact that the party caucus was still trying into the weekend to achieve an agreement on a compromise bill.
He gave the same “don’t bother” advice on Oct. 1. Trump tweeted at the time: “I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man.”
Nowadays the president acts as if the well-hyped meeting he held two weeks ago with “honorable” North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un had already led to a peace agreement.
It did not.
Last week Trump even told rallygoers that Kim had agreed to “total denuclearization” right away. He also tweeted: “There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.”
No negotiations seem to have even begun.
By the weekend, Trump had extended for one year the so-called “national emergency” with regard to Kim’s regime. His order cites “the existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material.”
On immigration last week, Trump’s statements about separating refugee families went south with extra speed.
He and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday that “Congress alone” could fix his widely condemned policy — by passing a new immigration law.
But by Wednesday, Trump announced an executive order that he said would reverse the policy, which the White House initiated without Congress.
Other stated positions have proved just as perishable.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump called NATO “obsolete.” By April of last year, the stance became obsolete — and he said the organization was worthwhile.
China was a “currency manipulator,” he said. Then he decided it wasn’t.
The list goes on. Rick Perry was not a smart guy, Trump said during the 2016 campaign. But then Perry became Trump’s energy secretary.
After the Parkland school massacre, Trump was “open” to improved background checks for weapons. Less than three months later, he basked in applause at the NRA convention with nary a word about changing laws.
Each of these positions had a different shelf life.
Had they been stamped on his tweets, as on dairy products, Americans could have better anticipated when the president’s next flip-flop would come.