We’re not in the habit of commenting on President Donald Trump’s as they’re a national political problem and not a Wisconsin issue, but this weekend the dumbest controversy ever happens to involve Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s book. In the midst of tweeting about the federal response to Hurricane Harvey, Trump took ten seconds to send a tweet praising Clarke’s book.
A great book by a great guy, highly recommended! https://t.co/3jbDDN8YmJ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2017
It didn’t take long for some, including a political “analyst” at ABC news, to attack Trump for tweeting about a book in the middle of a natural disaster.
Seriously Mr. President, my fellow Texans and your fellow Americans are getting flooded and you are plugging a book??? Wow. https://t.co/wi6V5TiGPa
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) August 27, 2017
Amid vast destruction in Texas, the first public thing Trump did today was endorse a book by Sheriff Clarke. https://t.co/HC66Nv3Ral
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) August 27, 2017
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) August 27, 2017
And so on. Now, this may shock some people, but most of the rest of America went about their daily lives while the hurricane struck Texas this weekend. Judging from Facebook, most people continued to take photos of their pets, attended baseball games, debated ketchup on hotdogs until they lost all their friends, and watched Game of Thrones. While many Americans did donate to the relief effort, most Americans paid attention to the news about the flooding in Houston by giving “thumbs up” on a prayer post by one of their Facebook friends.
However, by most accounts it appears Trump has been on top of the situation. Texas Governor Greg Abbott spoke many times this weekend about the quick response he is getting from the White House and the rest of the federal government, including specifically praising the president. The White House has also carefully weighed whether a presidential visit would disrupt relief efforts.
We’re under no illusions that Clarke’s book is a candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature (although we would pay good money to watch that ceremony). Also, many of the criticisms of Clarke are well-deserved.
However, attacking Trump for tweeting out that he finally read Clarke’s book is just silly. If President John F. Kennedy could take the time to read the James Bond series and then praise the books at a press conference at the height of the Cold War, then serious people can forgive the current president for a little light summer reading, too.