Give a chimp a typewriter and over an infinite amount of time, it'll type Shakespeare. Give the president a smartphone and in a couple of weeks, @realDonaldTrump will make the ACLU's arguments against his own immigration executive order.
On Monday morning, he inexplicably resurrected the "travel ban" label his aides had avoided and rejected for legal reasons. By rebranding what White House press secretary labored to described as "a vetting system," Trump unwittingly undercut the Justice Department's attorneys as they prepare to head to the Supreme Court.
Needless to say, the ACLU was more than delighted:
To be honest, everyone calls the immigration order a travel ban in casual conversation. Unfortunately for the White House, Trump isn't just anyone. He's the president, and his words potentially have standing in court.
From the beginning, the ACLU has sparred with the administration over these semantics. "This ‘travel' ban is a ban on Muslims," the ACLU wrote in a blogpost last Friday, charging that the order violates the First Amendment. "It makes good on repeated promises from the president to prevent Muslims from entering the United States."
There are plenty of good reasons to reject that characterization. For instance, if Trump had a vendetta against the Islamic world why would he simply copy and paste the list compiled by Obama without tagging on more populous Muslim nations like Saudi Arabia and Indonesia? But that question won't receive an answer, thanks to Trump's unremitting tweeting.
We wrote yesterday that the cruel irony of Trump Twitter is that it doesn't irritate his enemies. It empowers them. And we encouraged the president to delete his account. He didn't take our advice:
No doubt, liberals are elated. Worst of all for conservatives, it's only Tuesday. Trump has already ceded to his opponents that his immigration order is a travel ban. Give him a few more days on Twitter, and who knows, the president might completely confirm the ACLU's argument.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.