Friday, March 13, 2020

Another Obituary for the Mango Mussolini

Another pundit proclaims Trump's political career DOA. This time it's Republican pundit, Peter Wehner, writing in the Atlantic.

“They’ve simply lost time they can’t make up. You can’t get back six weeks of blindness,” Jeremy Konyndyk, who helped oversee the international response to Ebola during the Obama administration and is a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, told The Washington Post. “To the extent that there’s someone to blame here, the blame is on poor, chaotic management from the White House and failure to acknowledge the big picture.”

Earlier this week, Anthony Fauci, the widely respected director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases whose reputation for honesty and integrity have been only enhanced during this crisis, admitted in congressional testimony that the United States is still not providing adequate testing for the coronavirus. “It is failing. Let’s admit it.” He added, “The idea of anybody getting [testing] easily, the way people in other countries are doing it, we’re not set up for that. I think it should be, but we’re not."

We also know the World Health Organization had working tests that the United States refused, and researchers at a project in Seattle tried to conduct early tests for the coronavirus but were prevented from doing so by federal officials. (Doctors at the research project eventually decided to perform coronavirus tests without federal approval.)
But that’s not all. The president reportedly ignored early warnings of the severity of the virus and grew angry at a CDC official who in February warned that an outbreak was inevitable. The Trump administration dismantled the National Security Council’s global-health office, whose purpose was to address global pandemics; we’re now paying the price for that. “We worked very well with that office,” Fauci told Congress. “It would be nice if the office was still there.” We may face a shortage of ventilators and medical supplies, and hospitals may soon be overwhelmed, certainly if the number of coronavirus cases increases at a rate anything like that in countries such as Italy. (This would cause not only needless coronavirus-related deaths, but deaths from those suffering from other ailments who won’t have ready access to hospital care.)
Yet in some respects, the avalanche of false information from the president has been most alarming of all. It’s been one rock slide after another, the likes of which we have never seen. Day after day after day he brazenly denied reality, in an effort to blunt the economic and political harm he faced. But Trump is in the process of discovering that he can’t spin or tweet his way out of a pandemic. There is no one who can do to the coronavirus what Attorney General William Barr did to the Mueller report: lie about it and get away with it. 
The president’s misinformation and mendacity about the coronavirus are head-snapping. He claimed that it was contained in America when it was actually spreading. He claimed that we had “shut it down” when we had not. He claimed that testing was available when it wasn’t. He claimed that the coronavirus will one day disappear “like a miracle”; it won’t. He claimed that a vaccine would be available in months; Fauci says it will not be available for a year or more.
Trump falsely blamed the Obama administration for impeding coronavirus testing. He stated that the coronavirus first hit the United States later than it actually did. (He said that it was three weeks prior to the point at which he spoke; the actual figure was twice that.) The president claimed that the number of cases in Italy was getting “much better” when it was getting much worse. And in one of the more stunning statements an American president has ever made, Trump admitted that his preference was to keep a cruise ship off the California coast rather than allowing it to dock, because he wanted to keep the number of reported cases of the coronavirus artificially low. 
“I like the numbers,” Trump said. “I would rather have the numbers stay where they are. But if they want to take them off, they’ll take them off. But if that happens, all of a sudden your 240 [cases] is obviously going to be a much higher number, and probably the 11 [deaths] will be a higher number too.” (Cooler heads prevailed, and over the president’s objections, the Grand Princess was allowed to dock at the Port of Oakland.)
Taken together, this is a massive failure in leadership that stems from a massive defect in character. Trump is such a habitual liar that he is incapable of being honest, even when being honest would serve his interests. He is so impulsive, shortsighted, and undisciplined that he is unable to plan or even think beyond the moment. He is such a divisive and polarizing figure that he long ago lost the ability to unite the nation under any circumstances and for any cause. And he is so narcissistic and unreflective that he is completely incapable of learning from his mistakes. The president’s disordered personality makes him as ill-equipped to deal with a crisis as any president has ever been. With few exceptions, what Trump has said is not just useless; it is downright injurious.
It has taken a good deal longer than it should have, but Americans have now seen the con man behind the curtain. The president, enraged for having been unmasked, will become more desperate, more embittered, more unhinged. He knows nothing will be the same. His administration may stagger on, but it will be only a hollow shell. The Trump presidency is over.


Northern PoV said...

none of the earlier obits proved true

"Another Obituary"

or the emergency he needs to postpone elections and declare martial law?

The Disaffected Lib said...

I'm watching to see any sign that his dismal performance is weakening his choke hold on Congressional Republicans. Nikolai Ceausescu ruled with an iron hand until he didn't. Then he and his wife were summarily led to a nearby curb... They can turn on you fast. That's the first commandment of Thug Rule.

Trailblazer said...

Un friggin unbelievable........

The bastard will be selling Making America Virus free hats soon!!
Cannot wait for the first Mar a Lago infection!

And yet I still predict a Trump win this year..


Anonymous said...

"Americans have now seen the con man behind the curtain"

They may have seen him, but his supporters believe that their imaginary friend created Aids as a punishment.

All that's happening now is that rags like the NYT and The Atlantic are hedging their bets on their readership having functioning memories by letting their articles show a little tiny bit of truth about Mango45.

Every article they have published since 2015 has normalized Trump. Their headlines have continually pandered and their leading paragraphs obfuscated.

Trump has consistently returned bigger numbers than the leader in every primary.

BigNews is to blame for the fact that Trump is still around

Trailblazer said...

“To the extent that there’s someone to blame here, the blame is on poor, chaotic management from the White House and failure to acknowledge the big picture.”.............

We are all to blame, particularly the Americans, who blindly supported the simplistic solutions put forward by Trump.
The western world then followed the same path.

Why we do not preach responsibilities over rights, beats me.
Goes back to what do we wish to leave to the world?
Fuck all if you believe the line ups at Costco and Wall*mart in Nanaimo today.


the salamander said...

.. thanks.. had read it already.. but I found it informative the 1st time.. and now can read again as I intended, when orher perspectives have 'leavened' or 'leveled' .. how my understanding, analysis or bias may have 'filtered' my perspective of news or events.

Any Nikiforuk has a great article in the Tyee.. I don't believe it even mentions Trump et al.. but at the same time.. his perspective will now impact how I view the Variety article.

I also want to read an op-ed in the Globe n Mail.. that @chantelhebert tweeted about. It may be written by Geral Butts, not sure. I do not subscribe to G & M .. so will find it elsewhere.. or the gist of it

I'm currently fascinated by those hoarding toilet paper. Somehow that phenomena shrieks 'DONALD TRUMP' at me.. dunno. But it also shrieks 'JASON KENNEY' at me and 'EZRA LEVANT' .. Perhaps I am off on an 'ethical golden toilet paper roll' fantasy rant today.. dunno

Northern PoV said...

I wish I shared your optimism regarding the Rethuglicans turning on tRump as you've now mentioned twice in the comments.

Romania at least had some muscle memory about dealing with despots. Americans?

"It is also time to start worrying about the 2020 election. If the economy has crashed, there are countless dead, and Trump is badly trailing in the polls, it is almost inevitable that he will attempt to cast doubt on the wisdom and legitimacy of holding a November election. He would not have to do anything so drastic as to attempt to call off the election – instead, he could call for his supporters to boycott it, then simply refuse to acknowledge the result. If the Republican party faces an electoral wipeout, its craven behavior over the last few years can give us no confidence that the party would defend the democratic process and eject Trump from the White House."

btw, this is exactly how Thailand got wrecked and prepped for the latest coup. The yellow shirts refused to vote and shutdown polling places with protests. The junta-friendly court system declared the election null and the generals took over.