Reply
Honored Social Butterfly

Trump’s Allies Know He Has Failed

Trump’s Allies Know He Has Failed

 

“The White House was focused on addressing the threat to its survival,” argued the columnist Henry Olsen in The Washington Post, “not on preparing for a threat from China that might not even materialize.”

 

democrats pushed impeachment while coronavirus spread,” blared a Breitbart News headline, which was soon picked up by Sean Hannity on Fox.

 

Senator Tom Cotton has also adopted the theory, telling Politico, “It’s unfortunate that during the early days of a global pandemic, the Senate was paralyzed by a partisan impeachment trial.”

 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been pushing this theory too, telling the conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that the Senate impeachment trial “diverted the attention of the government” from the virus, “because everything every day was all about impeachment.”

 

Over the past two months, President Donald Trump has deployed a dizzying array of lies about why the coronavirus wasn’t a cause for concern, then defenses to excuse or deny his deadly mishandling of the pandemic. The virus was under control in the United States, he argued. The warm weather would make it go away. It would miraculously vanish. It was China’s fault, and limiting travel from China had solved the problem. It was the media’s fault for exaggerating things. It was Barack Obama’s fault. States in urgent need of ventilators should have purchased the medical equipment months ago, and it isn’t the president’s responsibility to fix that problem.

 

It’s difficult to decide which of these defenses is the most absurd. But one defense that has emerged in recent weeks as the go-to explanation certainly has the honor of being the most unintentionally damning. The argument, as put forward by Republican officeholders and other supporters of the president, goes like this: Don’t blame Trump for his administration’s appalling handling of the crisis. Rather, it’s all the Democrats’ fault, as their drummed-up impeachment drama distracted the president during the key period during which the government could have ramped up its response to the pandemic.

 

The intent may be to shift blame, but the argument is actually a concession of Trump’s own failure. While Trump’s defense of his leadership has been erratic, one theme has been the insistence that—despite a great deal of evidence to the contrary—he has handled the crisis excellently. At every stage, he has congratulated himself for a job well done, even insisting that “we altogether have done a very good job” while warning Americans to expect as many as 200,000 deaths from the virus.

 

Yet, in making their impeachment-distraction defense, his supporters are all of a sudden acknowledging that his performance could have been better. Some are more explicit about that than others: Olsen argued outright that Trump failed to “act ... decisively in February when he had time,” and the aggressively pro-Trump outlet The Federalist published a piece conceding that it was “a fair point” to say that the president had taken his eye off the ball. But even those who focus exclusively on attacking congressional Democrats for not doing enough to counter the pandemic are implicitly admitting that the government could have done more—that its response to the crisis was not, as Trump declared, “10 out of 10.” In pointing to impeachment as a distraction, McConnell can’t also argue that Trump did everything perfectly.

 

Perhaps understanding the political risks of this particular argument, Trump has equivocated on it. When asked at a press conference whether the impeachment trial had “divert[ed] his attention,” he seemed to give some credence to the idea: “I think I handled it very well, but I guess it probably did [distract me]. I mean, I got impeached. I think, you know, I certainly devoted a little time to thinking about it, right?” But then he swung back, arguing, “I don’t think I would have done any better had I not been impeached. Okay? ... I don’t think I would have acted any differently or I don’t think I would have acted any faster.”  OK, then maybe Repubs shouldn't blame your failed leadership and poor response to the cornavirus on being impeached!

 

His reticence on the point is understandable. If you’ve been impeached and you have to justify the fact that you’ve been allowed to remain in office, you want to come off as the sort of leader who was not distracted, who “compartmentalized”—as was said of Bill Clinton during his impeachment—not the sort of leader who crumbled under pressure and allowed a global pandemic to kill more Americans than was necessarily fated. What’s more, Trump never acknowledges failure. The call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was perfect. So too was the coronavirus response. To say otherwise, as Trump’s supporters are now doing, is to concede the leader’s imperfection and to make excuses for it—rather than insisting on his infallibility.

 

One irony of the impeachment defense is that it may contain significant elements of truth. A lengthy report from The Washington Post on the “denial and dysfunction” of the administration’s pandemic response suggests that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar had trouble getting the president’s attention about the coronavirus in mid-January because Trump was busy “calling lawmakers late at night to rant” about impeachment and “making lists of perceived enemies he would seek to punish when the case against him concluded.” (Of course, the fact that impeachment may really have distracted Trump in January and February does not mean that his administration’s response to the virus would have been flawless if it hadn’t been for the Senate trial.)

 

Indeed, strong evidence indicates that Trump is still distracted by impeachment and that this is affecting his crisis response. The administration’s negotiations with the House of Representatives over relief measures had to be handled by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, because Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi aren’t speaking, Politico reported recently; the president is still bitter about the House impeachment vote. Meanwhile, in a letter to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Trump makes explicit reference to his ongoing resentment. “If you spent less time on your ridiculous impeachment hoax, which went haplessly on forever and ended up going nowhere (except increasing my poll numbers), and instead focused on helping the people of New York, then New York would not have been so completely unprepared for the ‘invisible enemy,’” Trump wrote.

And on April 3, Trump continued his wave of retaliatory firings of people involved in the impeachment saga—dismissing the intelligence-community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, the man who first notified Congress of the whistleblower report that ultimately led to Trump’s impeachment. The president made no secret of the reason for his decision: Atkinson, he said candidly, "took a fake report and gave it to Congress." In a statement, Atkinson himself wrote, “It is hard not to think that the President’s loss of confidence in me derives from my having faithfully discharged my legal obligations as an independent and impartial Inspector General.” (Perhaps, in a weird inversion, Trump is betting that the public is sufficiently distracted by the coronavirus that it won’t notice or care much about such retaliatory gestures related to his impeachment.)

 

More to the point, the argument that impeachment distracted Trump from the coronavirus is, even if true, a terrible argument against impeachment. Impeachment will always distract a president. That is a good reason not to undertake an impeachment lightly, and it is an excellent reason for a president not to engage in impeachable conduct. A merited impeachment, however, is necessary because the risks of inaction—of letting an unfit person remain in office, unchecked—exceed the risks of his or her distraction and the risks of the disruption associated with his or her removal.

 

The current crisis could not illustrate that last point better, because Trump has been engaged in conduct remarkably similar to that for which the House impeached him, this time at the domestic level. During the impeachment hearings, the Stanford Law professor Pamela S. Karlan imagined a hypothetical scenario in which a president shook down a governor in the context of disaster relief for political favors, instead of a foreign leader:

 

Imagine living in a part of Louisiana or Texas that’s prone to devastating hurricanes and flooding. What would you think if you lived there, and your governor asked for a meeting with the president to discuss getting disaster aid that Congress has provided for. What would you think if that president said, “I would like you to do us a favor. I’ll meet with you, and I’ll send the disaster relief, once you brand my opponent a criminal.” Wouldn’t you know in your gut that such a president had abused his office?”

Today, with Trump openly playing extortionate politics with governors over medical supplies—publicly intimating that more personal protective equipment and ventilators will go to governors that offer him sycophantic praise—Karlan’s example no longer seems like a hypothetical.

 

Trump may have been distracted by impeachment, but the experience also taught him something: Whatever he does, however much he leverages his power for personal benefit at the public’s expense—whether with foreign heads of state or state officials, whether in public or in private—he can get away with it. And the death toll will only rise as a result.

 

Trump’s Allies Know He Has Failed 

 

trumps allies KNOW he has failed, yet they continue to defend him and attack anyone who speaks truth to power.  That says a LOT about Conservatives.  Maybe Chuck needs to focus on more seats in the Senate!  It'll be a BLUE WAVE in 2020.....

 

The BLUE Tsunami is coming to a shore near you in November.The BLUE Tsunami is coming to a shore near you in November.

 

 


"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in DC, 1/27/2017
Trusted Social Butterfly


@Centristsin2010 wrote:

 

Trump’s Allies Know He Has Failed 

 

trumps allies KNOW he has failed, yet they continue to defend him and attack anyone who speaks truth to power.  That says a LOT about Conservatives.  Maybe Chuck needs to focus on more seats in the Senate!  It'll be a BLUE WAVE in 2020.....

Conservatives? Trump's allies aren't conservatives. They are Fascists.

Honored Social Butterfly


@alotofgrey wrote:

@Centristsin2010 wrote:

 

Trump’s Allies Know He Has Failed 

 

trumps allies KNOW he has failed, yet they continue to defend him and attack anyone who speaks truth to power.  That says a LOT about Conservatives.  Maybe Chuck needs to focus on more seats in the Senate!  It'll be a BLUE WAVE in 2020.....

Conservatives? Trump's allies aren't conservatives. They are Fascists.


I would agree with you, ALOTOFGRAY, but we do let folks self-identify in this country.  Bernie Sanders is allowed to call himself a democrat when he's clearly an Independent.


"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in DC, 1/27/2017
Honored Social Butterfly

Speaking of allies....Egypt just sent over medical supplies for us.   al Sisi loves Trump.   

 

They did it voluntarily.  I don't think we asked for them.  The Egyptian newspapers are talking about how they are helping out America because we have the highest number of infections in the world.  Whereas Egypt has just a few.  


Now, I am sure Egypt's numbers are low because they aren't testing many people at all.  But that's not the narrative in their media.   The explicit narrative is that President al Sisi is America's savior.  The implicit narrative is that America dropped the ball and can't manage its own business. 

 

Honored Social Butterfly

Well, maybe that's another example of one of trump's allies knowing he has failed.  He certainly has; it's obvious.

 

I saw trump continues to under-mine Pence and his own task force with his tacit support on Twitter for Georgia, Florida, and Texas opening up without following ANY of the processes recommended by the task force.

 

 


"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in DC, 1/27/2017
Honored Social Butterfly

Sometimes trump gets what he deserves (at our expense), common sense advice would be, if you have authoritarian leaders as allies, don't turn your back!

And isn't it ironic that by promoting early business openings, and encouraging protesters, trump defied his own policies for the virus that he set up...then again, we've always known that he's a hypocrite!

Silver Conversationalist

The ONLY one's who knew about the coming pandemic in December and Janurary were tRump appointees who reacted by dumping stocks before the crash they knew would happen. If they thought it would just "disappear in April" like Toad told the rest of us it would, why'd they dump all that stock???

 

The ONLY thing Toad did 60 days after our Intell community told him of the coming disaster was to keep CHINESE citizens from flying to the USA BUT ALLOWING 430,000 non-Chinese, including 4,000 from Wuhan, to fly DIRECTLY from China to the USA.

 

Then for the entire month of February HE DID NOTHING except call Covid19 a hoax and a political attack on his wonderous person.

Honored Social Butterfly


@Khasahndra wrote:

The ONLY one's who knew about the coming pandemic in December and Janurary were tRump appointees who reacted by dumping stocks before the crash they knew would happen. If they thought it would just "disappear in April" like Toad told the rest of us it would, why'd they dump all that stock???

 

The ONLY thing Toad did 60 days after our Intell community told him of the coming disaster was to keep CHINESE citizens from flying to the USA BUT ALLOWING 430,000 non-Chinese, including 4,000 from Wuhan, to fly DIRECTLY from China to the USA.

 

Then for the entire month of February HE DID NOTHING except call Covid19 a hoax and a political attack on his wonderous person.


Right you are!  For those who may be skeptical, there is a detailed account of trumps activities in February 2020, including his rallies where he called the virus a hoax, and his golf outings.  It's at   February 2020 - America's Lost Month .  You may recall trump claimed he'd get a list of what his administration did for the reporter.  Have you seen any list?  Of course not.


"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in DC, 1/27/2017
Honored Social Butterfly

Now william, you should know, you cannot use "common sense" anywhere near one called Donald!!! Lol.
Honored Social Butterfly

@Centristsin2010  

An interesting article. Loved the Blue Wave. To me it's very symbolic for trump currently. "Any port in a storm" as they say, currently trump and his minion spokespeople are adrift on the high 

seas, in the middle of a giant 100 year storm, looking for a port...and guess what...there are no ports of safety!

Perhaps all of their lies are starting to catch up with them!

Couldn't happen to a nicer group!

 

Lies are a debt, which will be paid. 

Honored Social Butterfly


@williamb39198 wrote:

@Centristsin2010  

An interesting article. Loved the Blue Wave. To me it's very symbolic for trump currently. "Any port in a storm" as they say, currently trump and his minion spokespeople are adrift on the high 

seas, in the middle of a giant 100 year storm, looking for a port...and guess what...there are no ports of safety!

Perhaps all of their lies are starting to catch up with them!

Couldn't happen to a nicer group!

 

Lies are a debt, which will be paid.  Indeed!

 

A friend said to me the other day that she thought God sent the virus to expose trumps lies and lack of integrity to his followers.  I hear God works in mysterious ways, but a plague?  Wasn't there a better way to help the blind to see?



"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in DC, 1/27/2017
Honored Social Butterfly

 

Piers, a "friend" of trump's, an ally, speaks truth to power.  Does anyone think trump will pay him much mind?


"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in DC, 1/27/2017
Honored Social Butterfly

and now this, the wonder drug Trump has been pushing,finds more deaths,  NO BENEFIT!!

 

Doesn't know what he is talking about as usual. Ooops!! 

 

Honored Social Butterfly

Like helicopter parents making excuses for their precious little snowflake. 

cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Users
Announcements

Does AARP donate to political parties or endorse candidates?

AARP is strictly non-partisan and always has been. We never endorse or donate to candidates, political parties or political action committees.

Learn more.

AARP Members Only Games

Play members only games, like FIll Ins, Lumeno, 2048 and a collaborative, multiplayer Let's Crossword.

Play Now
AARP Members Only Games Logos
AARP Rewards

Solve Crosswords. Earn Rewards. Activate AARP Rewards to earn points for games, quizzes and videos. Redeem for deals and discounts.

Get started with AARP Rewards now!
/html/assets/Rewards-program-badge-355x224.png