The Trump Show, which successfully eclipsed the revolt of teachers in red states, has pretty much eclipsed the Senate's move to repeal the FCC's repeal of net neutrality. This vote is a big deal, and not because of its chances of success, which are not huge, but, as Eli Sanders explained, it provides Dems with a hot and easy election issue for the mid-term elections. But this considerable victory for democracy, an institution that no longer enjoys bi-partisan support, and potential upset for Trump did not make the main pages of all the major news websites yesterday afternoon, when the measure was passed. Today, the websites yawned and moved on. All are back where they were for much of yesterday, and for much of the day before that, and day before that, and the day before that: covering the Trump Show. Its cast includes a porn star, a shady lawyer/fixer, peeing prostitutes, and the former members of the KGB.
In the book Life Ascending, the eloquent biochemist Nick Lane described mammals as "the original eco-hooligans" because "our thermostat is jammed at 37°C, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of need." The US's news media programming is presently jammed at the Trump Show. The great difficulty for thinking viewers has been when to turn it on or off. We all know that the Alex Jones Show is a complete waste of time. But this is not so with the Trump Show. Most of its content does nothing but burn time; but there are times when it doesn't, when the program must be watched.
For example, the recent opening of the rudiments of a US embassy in the controversial city of Jerusalem was indeed important. This bizarre event concluded with an openly antisemitic white American evangelical pastors ("Jew are going to hell") giving a speech to ultra-right wing Jews (a situation that, if witnessed by a living Hannah Arendt, would have sent shivers down her spine because of its dark recognizability). The event also happened as Israeli snipers shot and killed a large number of unarmed Palestinian protesters (of course, Palestinians were blamed for this slaughter—since the Eden of capitalist colonial forms of oppression, late-18th-century Great Britain/Ireland, the oppressed have always been blamed for their oppression). One should not have missed this part of the show (the bizarre event, the protests, the slaughter), because it provided more evidence of the decline of the US empire under Trump.
As Mandy Turner and Mahmud Muna point out in their excellent academic analysis of the embassy mess and the seemingly endless Jerusalem crisis, "The United States’ Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and the Challenge to the International Consensus," the US can no longer be classified as a “third party” but "a party to the conflict." Meaning, the US has officially sided, to its long-term disadvantage, with a minor power and, as a consequence, sent the legitimate grievances of the Palestinians in the direction of an EU currently run by a Germany that's more and more seeing this moment of policy confusion and rapid decline as an opportunity to leap from its long but mostly zone-limited currency position to a much wider geopolitical one. Expect the euro to follow Germany's global ambitions.
This part of the Trump Show was certainly watched by US foreign policy experts on the right and the left. Many of them even have the time to watch the non-stop program. They were once employed by the State Department. They were fired by Trump.