The game of wag the dog has been the hallmark of how the Trump administration has operated since its inception. Using deflection, self-created controversies, conspiracy theories and out and out lies, Trump has controlled the news cycle since moment he descended the escalator, which is why the impeachment process is such a threat.
Watching the stock market bounce up and down on a daily basis, its easy to imagine the childish glee Donald Trump appears to be getting with each Tweet about his self-initiated trade war with China. Nearly every day, he Tweets first about a possible trade deal, causing the stock market to rise, or a snag in the process, causing the stock market to fall.
While Trump laughs at the power of his words, and their ability to cause such wild shifts in the markets, Americans are left feeling uneasy, and in some cases, downright panicky as they watch their potential retirement nest egg vanish with each Tweet.
Trump doesn’t fear being impeached as much as he does being irrelevant. With each news cycle now focused on impeachment, Trump is seeing his relevance fading. More and more, the news is about impeachment testimony and less about him, even though he is central to the hearings.
This is why he is playing wag the dog both with the stock market and his daily rants against the impeachment process. By continually commenting, blasting those testifying as “never-Trumpers”, he is trying to shift the narrative from the damning testimony to what he and his base see as his self-described “genius”.
Of course this tactic isn’t just used BY Trump, it is also used AGAINST him.
Foreign leaders have quickly learned that a little shallow flattery goes a long way. The dictatorial leaders of Russia, North Korea, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have easily manipulated Trump using this means while the leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, along with other memos NATO and the United Nations, have run afoul of Trump by not offering him lavish praise, and in one case, out and out laughed in his face at his outlandish claims.
Each is a case of the tail wagging the dog to achieve their means. But like the dog chasing its tail, do we actually get anywhere? And given the recent mission to capture the ISIS leader, isn’t it a coincidence that the hero was, indeed, a K-9.