Trump Fails the Test Test

Viral photo by Joshua A. Bickel, Columbus Dispatch, of Ohio anti-restriction protesters.

Four or so days ago Trump was claiming absolute authority to order the nation’s economy to start up again. I assume someone was able to explain to him that, in fact, he had no authority to open anything that had been closed by by the states, so he then made a show of authorizing the governors to make decisions for their own states. Which they would have done, anyway.

But then Trump realized that people who like him are protesting restrictions in some states and calling for state economies to re-start NOW. The photo above shows protesters in Ohio — taken this week, mind you. So today the moron encouraged the protests by tweeting LIBERATE MINNESOTA! LIBERATE MICHIGAN! LIBERATE VIRGINIA! Yeah, that’s helpful. I notice he didn’t call to LIBERATE OHIO!, possibly because the governor there is a Republican.

Aaron Rupar writes at Vox that Fox News has been promoting these protests. Of course. Also,

Fox News’s coverage might give you the idea that these protesters represent the views of a significant chunk of people in their states. But polling indicates that’s not the case. For instance, a YouGov/Economist poll released Wednesday found that 61 percent of Americans think Trump should institute a nationwide stay-at-home order, compared to just 22 percent who are opposed. Along the same lines, polling from the Pew Research Central released on Thursday showed that 66 percent of people are concerned their state governments will relax social distancing restrictions too soon, compared to just 32 percent who are worried they won’t move quickly enough.

As Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) noted in response to the so-called “Operation Gridlock” in her state, the sad irony is that such demonstrations could end up extending the need for stay-at-home orders by spreading the virus among protesters. But asked on Thursday if he thinks protesters in Michigan should listen to local officials like Whitmer, Trump said that such people listen to him instead.

By now there’s been enough death in enough states that most Americans realize this coronavirus is a bigger deal than seasonal flu. By now I suspect most Americans are at least acquainted with someone who possibly has the virus but can’t get tested. Trump can brag the car he’s selling is beautiful and runs like a dream, but people are seeing for themselves the bumpers are falling off and the tailpipe is rusty.

But there are always a few who don’t catch on. Some elected officials, not just Fox News bobbleheads, are encouraging the protests.

The tension has prompted Republican lawmakers and supporters of the president to publicly call for Americans to defy their local orders, claiming they infringe on constitutional rights. On Monday, Richard Grenell, acting director of the Office of National Intelligence and the U.S. ambassador to Germany, posted a photo of the Bill of Rights on Instagram with a title “Signed Permission Slip to Leave Your House.” Below the post, in the caption, Grenell wrote, “Love this!”

There’s nothing considered unconstitutional about the state restrictions, as I wrote earlier this week. There are, however, a lot of morons who have awarded themselves degrees in epidemiology, not to mention constitutional law, who are very certain that we don’t really need to be doing all this restricting. And these morons are listened to. There is no surer way to be hailed as an “expert” than to tell people what they want to hear.

Regarding the tests, it’s clear Trump has gone from bragging there are plenty of tests and that they are beautiful tests, the best tests, to just washing his hands, figuratively speaking, of the whole subject of tests. He doesn’t even want to hear about the tests. The tests are the governors’ problems. Here’s Trump three days ago:

In normal times, something complicated that is needed nationally would in fact be the federal government’s responsibility. But getting all those tests is hard. So Trump doesn’t want to be bothered. But they won’t leave him alone about the damn tests. No wonder he’s angry about the tests.

Some of Trump’s other comments inspired an Epic Snark for the Ages from Andrew Cuomo today. You really want to watch this.

But the administration can’t escape the tests. Trump finally sort of convened his business executive task force, although it seems to have been little more than a conference call, to advise him on re-opening the economy. And guess what the business executives wanted to talk about?

The Wall Street Journal reports that in Trump’s first task force meeting of business and political leaders, executives told the president that the administration must dramatically increase the availability of coronavirus testing “before the public would be confident enough to return to work, eat at restaurants or shop in retail establishments,” according to sources familiar with the call.

And today Senate Democrats tore into Mike Pence about tests.

Senate Democrats grilled Vice President Mike Pence over coronavirus testing and President Donald Trump’s tweets during a tense phone call Friday afternoon on the pandemic response.

A Democratic Senate aide told CNN that “almost every question” from Democratic senators on the call “has been about testing,” and said that the administration “has not given clear answers.”

The source said that at one point, Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, said to Pence and everyone on the call, “I have never been so mad about a phone call in my life.”

King called the administration’s failure to develop a more widespread national testing regime a “dereliction of duty.”

Is this the single biggest bleepup in U.S. history? It’s certainly the biggest failure of the U.S. government to respond to a crisis, but I’m not sure it yet rises to the level of sending ground troops into Vietnam. That will depend on how long it will take the nation to put itself back together after we get rid of Trump.

Meanwhile, more protests are being planned around the country. A protest is planned for Kansas City, for example, even though the governor of Missouri is a useless right-wing Republican sock puppet. They must be planning to protest the Democratic governor of Kansas. Trumpers are still confused about which state Kansas City is in, I guess. See also The rightwing groups behind wave of protests against Covid-19 restrictions.

See also: Paul Waldman, Trump’s retreat from responsibility will fail; Robert Edwards, A Special Circle of Hell Awaits.

6 thoughts on “Trump Fails the Test Test

  1. I question the polls you cite regarding restarting the economy. They seem like a national average, when conditions are very different throughout the US. I wonder what the sentiment is, in say Michigan, where they had the big demonstration. There was a great "MORAN"s photo of some genius at the Michigan protest holding a sign saying "ALL THE MODELS ARE WRONG". At least he could spell correctly.

    It's a brilliant tactic on the part of the right to send the winged monkey brigades to rage against the Democratic governors, channeling their rage and frustration. I've read that Trump's encouraging of this – even mentioning the 2nd Amendment – is illegal. This is a trial run for November. If you think Trump is going away peacefully, guess again.

  2. Thanks for the link to the Robert Edwards piece (he kinda writes like you do – which is a compliment to both of you, if course!).

    Of all of this fat, stupid, orange-faced sucubi's malicious actions – as opposed to his malicious inactions – today's tweets inciting his flying monkeys to action, by calling for them to "LIBERATE" the states with Democratic Governors, is particularly heinous.

    IMO:  He has long ago oiled, and is now priming his "weapon" – his sycophantic followers, to start a civil war should he lose this November's election.

    If there was a shred of patriotism and common decency left in the Republican Party, they would either either immediately tell the House to quickly draw and vote on another article if impeachment for speedy passage and delivery to the Senate for a fast trial, or use The 25th Amendment to isolate this insane human political pandemic, before he brings down the Union.

    But sadly, there's not an atom of patriotism or decency left in the RepubliKKKLANS!  Nor common sense – which seems to  grows less and less common as I get older. 

    I fully expect, should tRUMP lose, an armed insurrection by his base.

    Whether or not it leads to an actual Civil War II, may also be contingent upon the Republicans in the Federal and State governments.

    May the gods help us all….

  3. As I write this, the US death tally is just over 37K. The rate of doubling has slowed from every three says to every days. Based on that slowing, some projections said we'd peak five days ago. Hasn't happened – the toll every day is higher than the previous day since the 12th. (Easter) 

    So what's happening?  We have a partial quarantine with weak enforcement. (China was shooting people on sight outside their homes.) I don't want martial law – period. The price of voluntary compliance is in the numbers – no peak yet and I wouldn't bet money we'll see one. For the moment, we're at a near balance, curbing the rate of infection to a break-even. The good news is that we're not exceeding the medical capacity – yet. We came close in NYC and New Orleans.

    What will happen? Even Wall Street is calling for comprehensive testing as a component of an exit strategy. Real numbers (for those who believe in numbers) will dictate how and where aggressive lockdowns are required. Voluntary or enforced (and enforced how?) will be the question. IF/when we have information, some places can safely return to 'normal' now – with random testing. The canary in the coal mine.

    Without testing, governments are flying behind the curve, steering based on the rate of fatalities instead of the rate of infections. That dooms two weeks worth of victims – people who were infected (some under a death sentence before preventative quarantine standards put in place.) 

    Americans don't do well in confinement – the backlash, though stupid, is predictable. I'd implement a Libertarian solution. The science-based restrictions (which will change as things get better or worse) should be tied to benefits – food and cash assistance. Any government support. If you want to do your own thing, you get a citation which stops your government check for the duration. If you want the protection of the society which you are a member of, follow the rules. Flaunt the rules and society will leave you and your family on your own. You can't have it both ways. 

    • from every three days to every seven days. (Try to be factual and leave out the numbers, Doug. Hope Trump doesn't catch on to that trick.)


    • Somebody – perhaps one of the embattled Democratic governors – needs to explain your last paragraph to these Tea Party children: "if you don't behave, no ice cream". It's amazing how these knuckledraggers don't connect the dots, and disgusting how they're being used.

  4. Trump wouldn't make a pimple on a real dictators ass.. Can you imagine Kim Jong- Un or Saddam Hussein or Joe Stalin threatening to walk out in protest to a reporter questioning them in a manner they were uncomfortable with? I know with Kim that just dreaming the wrong dreams would end you up face to face with an anti-aircraft gun. No telling what would happen if you really pissed him off.

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