- - Thursday, June 1, 2017

Everyone wants to know what Donald Trump’s “covfefe” tweet was about, and a few codebreakers think they have figured it out. White House sources, for the record, concede that it is indeed code, and the people the president wanted to reach know the code.

This is what infuriates those who didn’t, and couldn’t, get the message. Being “in the know” is why “everyone” comes to Washington in the first place. Knowing that you don’t know, because you’re not “in the circle,” is the fate worse than a slow death. And even worse, why would anybody hire a lobbyist who doesn’t know?

Congressmen are particularly vulnerable to not knowing. A congressman, whether in the House or the Senate, who doesn’t know the code can and will be replaced. That’s why a clever senator, for example, quickly learns how to fake it, (fakery being all the rage just now.)

Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a Republican, exploited his daughter’s piano recital to prove just how “in the know” he really is. “It’s #PianoRecital night,” he tweeted to his hundreds of followers. “Livetweeting likely, despite the constant negative press Covfefe.” In another, he even twittered, as the really inside insiders call premium tweets: “Rare performance of Covfefe’s Etude in D major tonight. So beautiful. Only I and small group of ppl know exactly what I mean.”

The capital obsession with what some out-of-the-loop drudges and drones call merely the Donald’s typo — it was dispatched at daybreak, after all — has replaced the previous obsession with what Melania Trump meant when she appeared to swat her husband’s hand out of the way when they were leaving an event at the G-7 summit. An obsession has the shelf life of a shrimp in Washington.

CNN, the cable-TV network, is always hot in pursuit 24/7 of whatever smells like a presidential conspiracy, dreading returning to the story of the missing Malaysian airliner, and says the Covfefe tweet was proof, if more were needed, that the president is just unable to govern and lead, although he actually had a pretty good day yesterday, taking on the entire world to scoff at the global warming obsession.

But sometimes, as almost any experienced newspaperman could have told the man at CNN, conspiracies can be unraveled by the perfectly obvious. The mayor of Covington, La., the seat of St. Tammany Parish just across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, revealed the meaning of the president’s code message. It wasn’t a typo at all, but an acronym in the alphabet soup so beloved by bureaucrats.

“CovFeFe is quite clearly a condensed version of ‘Covington Feels Festive,’” said Mayor Mike Cooper, “and I’m sure our commander in chief was simply expressing his admiration for our great city. We’re known for natural beauty, a diverse economy, friendly people and cultural arts. We’re known for being fun and, well, festive.”

It’s always party time the closer you get to New Orleans, and this puzzles Washington, where party time has an altogether different meaning — and, some would say, never fun and about as festive as the mark-up of a budget bill. This makes more sense than the usual nonsense from Washington. Maybe partying is how you make America great again.

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