Friday, July 10, 2020


The Washington Post tells us that as America burns, the president whines.
Callers on President Trump in recent weeks have come to expect what several allies and advisers describe as a “woe-is-me” preamble.

The president rants about the deadly coronavirus destroying “the greatest economy,” one he claims to have personally built. He laments the unfair “fake news” media, which he vents never gives him any credit. And he bemoans the “sick, twisted” police officers in Minneapolis, whose killing of an unarmed black man in their custody provoked the nationwide racial justice protests that have confounded the president.
On that last point, no, Trump isn't expressing sympathy for George Floyd or his family, or for other victims of racist violence. It's all about him:
[An] adviser in frequent touch with the White House said that in a recent conversation, the president seemed almost “inconsolable” and summed up Trump’s riff: Gripes about the great economy he built, now felled by the virus, and also how “some stupid cop in Minneapolis kneels on someone’s neck and now everyone is protesting.”

The president has also complained to political advisers that the media blames him for the protesters in the wake of Floyd’s death, and that no matter what he says, “it is not enough.”
The most powerful man in the world thinks "they" forced him to give up his top reelection selling point.
“We had the greatest economy in the world,” Trump said in an Oval Office meeting last month, talking about how good the statistics were before the coronavirus, said one adviser. An outside adviser in frequent touch with the White House offered a similar recollection, saying that Trump simply keeps on repeating, “I had this great economy and they made me shut it down.”
Even people who've worked with Trump for years and have presumably become accustomed to his narcissism think it's a bit much.
Now, however, Trump’s sense of victimhood strikes even some allies as particularly incongruous considering the devastation wrought by the pandemic and the pain and anguish apparent in Black Lives Matter protests.

More than 130,000 Americans so far have died of the novel coronavirus, with more than 3 million cases reported. Nearly 43 million Americans — more than a quarter of the labor force — have filed for unemployment benefits since the pandemic began. And the nation is riven not just by protests following the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man killed in Minneapolis police custody, but also by a president who has deliberately stoked racial animus.
But what's their advice? Go upbeat!
Even those in Trump’s orbit are trying to nudge him toward a sunnier, less egocentric approach to the crises he is facing, fearing that his sullen demeanor could backfire politically. Among those internally who have advocated a more optimistic tone are Alyssa Farah, the White House communications director, and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, according to one senior administration official.
That's crazy. The public doesn't want Trump to take a "sunnier" approach to the pandemic, the economic downturn, or America's race problems. In the early days of the pandemic, the public didn't express increased admiration for Andrew Cuomo and other governors because their demeanor was "sunny," just as the public didn't decide that Rudy Giuliani was a national hero in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 because he was "sunny."

The public wants to believe Trump is taking our problems seriously. A somber approach is fine. Giuliani was somber after 9/11. Cuomo was somber at the height of New York's outbreak.

Trump seemed to be taking the pandemic seriously in mid-March, when he (briefly) endorsed a shutdown. As a result, his job approval numbers rose. Now he's obsessed with reopening businesses and schools, even though the public is still afraid of the virus. He thinks a booming economy is the key to his reelection, even though the public gives him a pass on the economic downturn. He doesn't care about the pandemic, and the public knows it. Look at his March numbers in ABC's polling, and look at the numbers now.

You'd think the ratings-obsessed president would understand what these numbers are telling him. But Trump believes what he wants to believe. In a recent interview with Marc Thiessen, after the subject turned to "cancel culture," Trump insisted that he doesn't believe the silly old polls anyway.
“Maybe I’m a voice in the wilderness,” he said, “but most people agree with me. And many won’t say it, and they might not even say it in a poll, but I think they’ll say it in an election.”
The "shy Trump voter" theory! If Trump really believes that, he should stop whining.

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