SNL is right -- Trump's chaos is part of a plan

'SNL' returns with Trump mockery
'SNL' returns with Trump mockery


    'SNL' returns with Trump mockery


'SNL' returns with Trump mockery 01:35

Story highlights

  • Dean Obeidallah: In his role as Donald Trump on "SNL" Alec Baldwin perfectly captured the Trump doctrine -- create chaos and tire the resistance
  • However, both Trump and the GOP are starting to pay the price for this chaos at the polls, writes Obeidallah

Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM radio's daily program "The Dean Obeidallah Show" and a columnist for The Daily Beast. Follow him @deanofcomedy. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.

(CNN)The best lines of the "Saturday Night Live" season premiere came in the cold open when Alec Baldwin, reprising his role as President Donald Trump, said: "Trust me, it may seem that what's coming out of my mouth is B-A-N-A-N-A-N-A-S, but it's all part of the plan." Baldwin then gleefully added, "The more chaos I cause, the less people can focus. They're all getting so tired, so tired."

And Baldwin's Trump couldn't be more right. Trump is a chaos machine. It feels like he has subjected the nation to a non-stop barrage of crises, scandals and tweets. And as "SNL" rightly noted, Trump's goal apparently is to wear us down so that the American people -- and especially his critics -- stop resisting.
In fact, it seems Trump has caused more chaos than many hurricanes have. Just look at his Saturday tweet storm slamming the Mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz. Mayor Cruz had made an emotional plea on Friday seeking help for the people of Puerto Rico. But apparently Trump viewed her plea as ungrateful so he lashed out on Twitter claiming she showed "poor leadership" and outrageously alleging she and others in Puerto Rico "want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort."
    Trump even stunningly dubbed the images of Puerto Ricans suffering as "fake news." To Trump, the fact that, according to CNN, 10 days after the storm more than 90% of the island still has no electricity and only 10.7% of cell phone towers are working is not nearly as alarming as it sounds. And in a move that would've made Marie Antoinette blush, Trump sent all those Puerto Rico-related tweets while at his private country club in New Jersey.
    But Trump wasn't done yet. Later that day he sought to extend the fight with the NFL over freedom of expression with a series of tweets including one that read: "Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!" Clearly, in Trump's internal calculations this fight is helping him despite a recent CNN poll finding 60% of Americans think he should not be criticizing the NFL players.
    And then, almost out of nowhere, Trump brought up the failed candidate he supported in last week's Alabama GOP senate primary, claiming Luther Strange somehow did better than the media had reported. Why was Trump "analyzing" that Alabama primary while the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico required his immediate and complete attention?
    After Saturday's barrage of tweets -- and his latest this morning drawing attention once again to the looming crisis with North Korea -- it's hard to remember what happened last week. And that's exactly Trump's goal. With more chaos, there is less opportunity to focus on any given policy issue or any given Trump failure.
    Just think: Under any other presidency, the recent scandal with Trump's now former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price costing tax payers over $1 million because he took private jets instead of commercial flights would've been the headline for days. But two days after Price's resignation, how many Americans even remember or care?
    Add to that, we learned last week that Jared Kushner -- along with five other Trump officials -- had been using private email accounts to conduct official government business. And even more alarming is that it appears Kushner did not disclose his private email account in his recent meeting with the Senate Intelligence committee. However, those startling headlines seem but a distant memory to most.
    Baldwin's Trump also nailed the fact that Trump's chaos is causing so many to become "so tired, so tired." The question is will it cause those who resist Trump to lose the enthusiasm to fight and simply give in?
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    Polls show that Trump's non-stop chaos presidency is taking a toll on Trump and the GOP. His approval ratings are at all time low for a modern-day president at this point in his term. Though he gained a small bump for his response to Harvey and Irma, his response to Maria in Puerto Rico is likely to reverse that. And as a new CNN poll found this week, the Republican Party now has its lowest favorable rating since 1992 at 29% -- down 13% since March.
    So, Mr. President, keep up your chaos campaign. While you may exhaust those who resist you, polls show you and the GOP are starting to feel the consequences of your tweets. And in this battle of wills, I'm confident that those who resist you have far more energy.