Sunday morning dawned hot and clear over Washington, a lazy day that meant rest for some and prayer for others. At the Episcopal Ascension Church in Silver Spring, the reading was from Matthew 20:1-16, the parable of the workers: "So the last will be first, and the first will be last." When the service ended, some in the congregation streamed toward the coffee in the fellowship hall, while others headed for the doors. For some of them, no doubt, Sunday also meant NFL game day
By the time football-loving church members reached home, a day of rest had become a day of restiveness. On Friday, President Trump had used the phrase "son of a bitch" for any NFL player who knelt in protest during pre-game ceremonies and called for their firing. On Sunday morning, he urged an NFL boycott. By noon, protest of the president had begun to roll in from around the NFL world, while the president's supporters on Twitter erupted with praise for his harsh words.
For Mr. Trump, the best use of the Sunday morning bully pulpit was to accuse professional ball players of being unpatriotic. The Tweetstorm continued on Monday morning. Perhaps the pulpit is the wrong analogy. A better analogy: he pulled a quarterback sneak. It was, in other words, a high-stakes distraction.
Keep your eye on the ball and welcome to the Monday Pig, a (very) periodic start-of-the-week blog post looking forward to the news of the week ahead. It's been some time since I've written one of these, so let's blow the whistle and run some plays.