Trump and Coronavirus: How Dumb can a “Stable Genius” Be?

As Jonathan Chait described yesterday: ” On February 26, President Trump boasted that the coronavirus was about to disappear altogether from the United States. “You have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero,” he insisted.

When a reporter asked him (yesterday) how that prediction is holding up, given that the United States now has surpassed 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases. Trump insisted he had been right all along.

“Well, it will go down to zero, ultimately,” he said.

Well, of course it will ultimately go down, but how much will it destroy in the meantime?

As Chait added sarcastically:  “…. the timeline for going down to zero has been slightly extended from a couple days to “sometime before all life on Earth ceases to exist.” Oh, and on the way to zero, we’re going to have trillions of dollars in economic damages and more deaths than a major war, details Trump didn’t get around to mentioning originally. Other than that, mission accomplished!”

We all know Trump will defend as being right anything he says or does, but the senselessness of this statement seems to reveal some new level of scary detachment from reality.  And/or fundamental stupidity.

P. S. – If you want to see more about Trump’s related misstatements of fact and common sense you can check out CNN coverage here.

Stalking Trump the Weasel (04/15/2020)

You have to hand it to the guy (or troll, or fat faced humanoid – whatever you want to call him).   He’s really great at capturing the news cycle, while deflecting personal blame.

He’s kind of an evil genius in that regard.

Today’s attention seems drawn to his defunding the World Health Organization (or putting the funding on hold or quite likely making no change but still notching another news cycle while doing virtually nothing).  Yesterday he was boasting of his total authority to “open the economy”… idea now dropped, BECAUSE EVEN FOR HIM IT IS RIDICULOUS, as many of his aids must have argued.

It was dropped because he has no authority to do that, but it sure put the press into a tail spin.  Hear’s the time tested formula:  Trump says or does something outrageous;  The press and liberals (and conservatives who still have integrity) become enraged and then he backs off having notched yet another news cycle win.

And he moves on………..

And he looked tough doing it.  Looking tough a high priority for him.  Making a tough decision that he might be blamed for, not so much.

I’d say defunding WHO is just another fire cracker he tossed in the air to ensnare everyone’s attention.  Of course, WHO can be faulted for many things, but at least it is a structure for dealing with important international health issues.  WHO’s faults allows Trump to deflect his many failures regarding the run up to this crisis.

What’s Trump’s alternative international organization?  Him? The grand narcissist?  America not only first, but only?  Actually, only him.

While attention is directed at the faults of others, capturing most of our attention, a lesser story comes forth, bantered around before, that Trump will have his name on the memo portion of checks sent out to the public.

I realize that most of my readers find this abhorrently ridiculous, but I’m hoping to snag a vote or two from Trump leaners.  With all that is going on about the coronavirus and likelihood of a cavernous global recession…………. Trump is pushing his brand in every little way possible.   That he thinks of such things is one more testimony that he thinks less of what is really important.

How appalling does this guy have to be before some of you Trump leaners rediscover your souls?

P. S.   –  Here’s an NYT’s article on Trump’s plan to have his name on all checks for funding relief.  One plus, probably a majority of recipients will receive direct deposits.  Thank God for small favors.

“Trump is not a King,” says Cuomo. How About a Mafia Don?

Since his self-aggrandizing mostly pseudo update on the U. S. fight against the carona virus yesterday, Trump has lambasted governors for not being sufficiently appreciative for his support and having the nerve to challenge his “authority.”

For example, it angers him that New York’s governor Cuomo has stated Trump is not a king, as if Trump needed to be reminded.   But Trump acted like a king asserting his “great powers” as president to do what he wills, including “re-opening” the economy.

Legally,  Trump lacks constitutional authority to open the economy just as he had none to close it.  (These are the realms of governors.).  Trump didn’t even want the responsibility for closing the economy of states.  He might be blamed then, and he always avoids taking responsibility for anything, except whatever seems praiseworthy after the fact.  But now he wants credit for those successes and pretends he has the authority to open businesses in those states.

I believe that when Trump says he has the final authority on all such measures, he is not talking about constitutional authority, but the authority of fear, the kind of authority a mafia don possesses.  He is saying in, reality, he can make things so tough on the governors that they had better heed his wishes.  That’s what “authority” means to Trump.

That’s Trump’s vision of being a leader.

At these briefings Governor Cuomo does a good job of walking the line, praising Trump while stopping short of ingratiating himself by allowing key Trump falsehoods to stand.  As he said this morning, “I don’t want to fight with the president.  This is too important for that.”  But he could not let Trump’s kingly behavior stand unchallenged.

If you haven’t checked out Cuomo’s morning TV updates on New York’s battle with the pandemic, please do.   They are usually on daily about 8:00 a.m. PDT.   As I’ve asserted before, Cuomo acts like a president, including an overall strategy for beating the virus back.

The more you watch both president and governor, you will likely see the latter has a plan to beat this virus, while the former keeps defending what he has done and not done about it, while claiming a lack of respect for his “great” efforts and spouting off on the need to open the economy.

Trump has a goal with no plan.   Cuomo has both.  Watch him and you’ll see.

P. S. – There is a dynamic at work regarding the Cuomo press conferences that I find interesting yet not commented upon in the media I’ve seen.  Fox News carry’s the Cuomo updates and I know a couple of regular Fox watchers who find Cuomo to be “OK”, unlike any other Democrat.  Don’t know what this means in terms of the election, but Cuomo has made himself a player in some way.

I’ve seen some whimsical thinking about how it would be nice to have Cuomo as the Dem candidate instead of Biden.  Obama gave his support to his former VP today.  That would seem to seal the deal, but it certainly would be nice to see Cuomo a lot as Dem attack dog during the presidential race.


Trump’s Pretend Press Conference on the Carona Virus a la Campaign Rally April 13

Lacking the opportunities of doing campaign rallies now, Little King Don has transformed his carona virus updates into a workable facsimile.   Today he reached a new high, or low depending on how you look at it.

Much of his attention was placed on making a case for himself as doing a great job on battling the virus.  That seems a reaction to a NYT article that portrays Trump as being slow to react to the spreading virus danger despite numerous warnings from various quarters.

Putting very little time into updates on the anti-virus war, Trump and his “staff” mostly emphasized the great things Trump had done to fight the virus, with few details offered.  The low points came when he showed a video which was pure campaign propaganda.  AND……when he claimed to have the authority as president to open the economy or close it as he saw fit.  Reporters challenged that but he either insulted them as phony journalists working for fake news organizations or dismissed them out of hand for being “nasty.”

Some reporters push hard to make their points or questions, but Trump slaps their comments aside like flies. They are trapped in traditional protocols while Trump recognizes no restrictions.  No Marquis of Queensbury rules for him.

The press all feel there are limits to what they can do, lest they won’t be allowed back.

They are so used to competing with each other for the “exclusive”, that the notion of working together against a common enemy (he calls them the “enemy of the people”, so of course he’s their enemy).  They are trapped in traditional press protocols fighting a street fighter who doesn’t recognize protocols.  And, of course, the press also have their careers to think about.  Being banned from the White House might come into play.

The press just doesn’t seem to know what to do with Trump.  Their trying to make amends by fact checking Trump later seems to me to be too little too late.  The show is over by that time and Trump has starred once again.  Most of his act is B. S. but it overpowers the press’ fragmented attempts to hold him accountable.

The lingering impression I have is Trump looking strong and the press looking feeble.

The Enlightenment’s belief that truth will prevail if brought into the light of day seems an iffy proposition when battling Trump’s formidable B. S. which places a black cloud over reality.

As badly as he has mishandled the government’s response to this carona virus, Trump keeps making it seem that he has somehow done a great job and wherever we are by election time, he is likely to make himself look good to many.

Such is the power of his B. S.  And the scariness.