This sentence excerpt is of particular interest: "White House officials tell us they welcome what seem like needless distractions, because it allows them to jam through transformative, disruptive ideas and orders without focused public scrutiny of any particular item."
Pundits and wonks have been engaging in a months-long debate about whether Donald Trump and his campaign (and now administration) are a barely controlled clusterfuck or a devious Trojan Horse designed from the get-go to confuse, distract, and disorient people while they get away with wholesale political destruction of the American ideal.
Knowing the real answer, at this point in time, is impossible unless you're literally inside the Oval Office. The crux of this question is simple -- is Trump the Andrew Dice Clay of politics or a vain puppet being exploited by more sinister forces?
Take the past few days, for instance. The reprehensible seven-country ban is shockingly appalling, but was that designed to distract attention from something potentially much more dangerous? What's the latter, you ask?
It's this: The media gave far less coverage to a virtual coup within the White House itself (link here): Steven Bannon, the far-right propagandist, now has a permanent seat at the highest level of the National Security Council, while both the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been demoted.
This is a shocking development -- seasoned military and national security experts are being pushed aside to make way for a political flack with zero national security experience and a very troubling history of racism and antisemitism.
The unanswered question is why did this happen. It's deeply troubling at the same time as it's deeply mystifying.
So what does this mean for LGBT issues? It's difficult to tell at this point, but here's a theory: at some point in the future, an outlandish action could be taken against LGBT Americans to distract attention from something even more sinister.
Trump is expected to name his Supreme Court choice this week. Will some other distraction happen concurrently by design to deflect attention away from his high court nominee? We'll just have to wait and see.