Please Don't Ask Me to Care If Trump Is in His Office or Not

Photo: Susan Walsh (AP)

Whenever the President of the United States is at work in the Oval Office, there is a U.S. Marine stationed outside of the doors. It’s only one of four guys—a special detail of non-commissioned officers who serve as ceremonial (and practical) guards for the White House’s west wing. When the President is not at work (or isn’t in the Oval Office at least), there’s no Marine at the door. This is one of those little details about the White House that everyday people might not necessarily know or think about, but that White House correspondents think about a lot, because they are professional knowers of these little details. Here is my opinion: I do not fucking care.

Earlier today, the President tweeted that he was “in the Oval Office.”

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But as many, many White House reporters quickly pointed out, there was no marine at the door for a long-ass time in the morning and afternoon. Wow. Got him.

Oh, interesting. So the marine might not be there because it’s a holiday or something. We should be looking for a Secret Service guy instead! Or maybe we shouldn’t because it literally does not matter where the dumb lazy president is right now.

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Is there a marine at the door now? I don’t know, because I don’t fucking care. (The header image to this article is of a marine on Obama’s last day in office.)

We already know that this guy is a lazy asshole who watches TV all fucking day and doesn’t like to work. This is not at all new. Does it really matter if he’s shitposting on Twitter from his desk or from his bed in the residence? No.

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The optics of Trump being in bed right now, of course, are not good: the government is currently shut down and the lazy President is potentially still in bed, which is why the deputy press secretary rushed to his defense to say that ACTUALLY, he was at work.

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But do bad optics even matter? Does this “gotcha” shit do anything to erode the President’s base of support or undermine his policies or inform people about their impact? No, it does not. Republicans spent the entire Obama presidency complaining about how much he went on vacation and then Trump came along and absolutely blew his predecessor’s leisure time out of the water. Did it matter? No.

I do not care that the president is being unsurprisingly lazy but I do care that hundreds of thousands of federal employees are working for no money or sitting at home furloughed with no money coming in even though rent is due tomorrow. There are very real human impacts of the president’s obstinate refusal to run a functioning government until he gets enough money to pour a bunch of concrete on the Mexican border. Every White House reporter working themselves into a tizzy over Schrödinger’s President in the Oval Office is wasting their time.

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About the author

Jack Crosbie

Contributing Writer, Splinter