Sunday, April 26, 2020


The Washington Post has published an analysis of all the coronavirus briefings President Trump has conducted. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that they've been angry, self-indulgent, and filled with misinformation.
The president has spoken for more than 28 hours in the 35 briefings held since March 16, eating up 60 percent of the time that officials spoke, according to a Washington Post analysis of annotated transcripts from, a data analytics company.

Over the past three weeks, the tally comes to more than 13 hours of Trump — including two hours spent on attacks and 45 minutes praising himself and his administration, but just 4½ minutes expressing condolences for coronavirus victims. He spent twice as much time promoting an unproven antimalarial drug that was the object of a Food and Drug Administration warning Friday. Trump also said something false or misleading in nearly a quarter of his prepared comments or answers to questions, the analysis shows....

Trump has attacked someone in 113 out of 346 questions he has answered — or a third of his responses. He has offered false or misleading information in nearly 25 percent of his remarks. And he has played videos praising himself and his administration’s efforts three times....
But there one phrase in the piece that jumped out at me.
The briefings have come to replace Trump’s “Keep America Great” campaign rallies — now on pause during the global contagion — and fulfill the president’s needs and impulses in the way his arena-shaking campaign events once did: a chance for him to riff, free-associate, spar with the media and occupy center stage.
Fulfill the president's needs and impulses. The phrase doesn't just describe the real reason for the briefings -- it describes all of America's political life at the national level in the Donald Trump era. It's been the main purpose of national politics since January 2017: to fulfill Trump's needs and impulses, or, for those who want to buck the tide, to refuse to do so.

I wish Joe Biden would expound on this:

I was reading a Washington Post story about President Trump's coronavirus briefings and a phrase caught my eye. It said that the purpose of the briefings was to "fulfill the president's needs and impulses." In the midst of the greatest health crisis of our lifetime, this is what we're supposed to care about -- fulfilling Donald Trump's needs and impulses.

But this has been true from the very beginning of his presidency. Every day, it's all about him. Every day, we're supposed to make him feel better. We're all supposed to feed his ego. That's what Donald Trump thinks the job of the president is. To be flattered. To be praised. To be surrounded by yes-men and yes-women who say, "Oh, Mr. President, you're doing a spectacular job! Keep up the good work!" Reporters are supposed to do this. The American people are supposed to do this. Donald Trump wants to be president so we can shower him with adulation.

But that's not the point of the presidency!

Folks, when I'm president, the purpose of my presidency will be to do what's right for the American people. My purpose will be to strengthen this country. That will be my goal, every day -- not to gratify my own ego.

I'm not in this to fulfill my own needs and impulses. I'm doing this for our country. If you're tired of a presidency that's nothing but a massive ego trip, then I'm asking for your vote.

Would it make a difference? I have no idea. But even though it would be stating the obvious, I feel that we're numb to what Trump has done. It's gone on for three and a half years, and we have a hard time remembering that the presidency wasn't always this way. People need to be reminded that we don't owe the president this indulgence.

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