It is often asserted that the current President runs a continuous campaign; that, even now, when he can no longer be reëlected nor get a Congress more to his liking before his Administration ends, he campaigns.
Well, more generally, his Administration has been theatre. The apparent campaigning is a manifestation of that. And to-day I read that he has produced a trailer for his up-coming State of the Union Address. A trailer. It makes perfect sense, because the Address is theatre. It has long been theatre, but he does theatre as did no President before him.
He's been concerned to posture and to act in ways that he expects to be made to look good by to-day's mainstream media and by that bloc of historians who decided, even before he took office, that they would depict his Administration favorably almost without regard to whatever he ended-up doing.
The recent climate accord, for which there was so much build-up and from which nothing came but loose and unenforceable promises, was theatre. The negotiations with Iran, in which many meetings were held to agree that the United States would throw up its hands (something that it could more simply have done unilaterally) were theatre.
Even the Affordable Care Act has become theatre. As costs spiral out of control it approaches its implosion, but it will be portrayed as a Noble Effort, ruined by Republicans and by the inherent wickedness of market forces.
And it was theatre when the man who has killed so many children with his drone strikes wept for the murdered children of Sandy Hook.
Theatre. The cost of the ticket is very high.