Tag Archives: Donald Trump

When will POTUS shut … up?

I reached my saturation point a long time ago but the coronavirus pandemic and Donald Trump’s constant presence in front of the nation in recent times is sending me damn near to the breaking point.

I don’t usually watch the president’s “briefings” about the pandemic response team’s work. I prefer to listen to the experts he has recruited to work on the nuts and bolts of the response.

News reports and the snippets I do see tell me that he is continuing to spew out confusion, chaos and mixed messages at a time when we need clarity, coherence and calm.

Donald Trump is not advancing anything constructive with his rants against Democratic governors, against the media for asking him “nasty” questions. He calls himself a “wartime president,” but cannot, will not deliver the kind of message that wartime presidents by definition are supposed to deliver.

This guy can’t unify anyone. He prefers to talk only to his base when he should be speaking directly to all Americans, even his critics. Were he to speak like a normal president operating during these abnormal times, well, I would listen to him.

Instead, he takes aim at imaginary adversaries, blaming them for playing politics while at the same time doing the very thing he accuses others of doing.

Worst of all, he continues to lie. He denies saying things that the whole world heard him say. The initial downplaying of the coronavirus threat has been recorded for the rest of history … but Donald Trump says he took the threat seriously from the very beginning. No! He did not!

I can’t stand it!

This guy needs to be booted out of the White House!

No one expects perfection, but … c’mon!

A family member of mine — someone with whom I joust occasionally about the president of the United States — says that no one could have responded to the coronavirus pandemic perfectly.

I guess that is his way of suggesting that Donald Trump has done the best he could do and that we should appreciate all he’s done in the wake of the crisis that has killed thousands of Americans.

I need to respond briefly to my dear family member.

He is correct in suggesting that perfection is too high a hurdle to clear in times like this. Indeed, I haven’t heard a single Trump critic say that the president should have or could have responded perfectly. What I do hear are concerns about the utter incompetence of his response and that he failed to respond immediately to the very beginning of the crisis as it developed.

Trump’s downplaying of the crisis severity initially is what slowed the national response. Of that there can be little doubt, and yet he told us he responded “perfectly.” He used that word, as if to compare it to that infamous phone call he made in June 2019 to the Ukraine president. It was Trump, no one else, who ascribed perfection to a national response that was far from it.

I am never going to say that a fallible human being — even the president of the United States — is going to do anything with utter and absolute perfection. The very nature of our humanity accepts that all of us make mistakes.

I should add, too, that the framers of our nation’s government stated in the preamble to our U.S. Constitution that they intended to “form a more perfect Union.” You see, even those great men knew that absolute perfection was unattainable even in creating this marvelous governing document.

I have not expected perfection from our president in his handling of this monumental crisis … but I damn sure expected a lot better than what we’ve gotten so far.

Leadership is MIA in the White House

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has done it. It says Americans should wear cloth masks when they venture outside and are forced to mingle with others.

It’s not a directive. It’s a guideline, but CDC sounded as if it is recommending strongly that we follow its advice.

What, then, did Donald Trump do today during his daily clown show/briefing? He undercut CDC’s  recommendation. Way to go, Mr. President … you ignoramus.

I took a break from boycotting these presidential riffs. I watched a good bit of what Trump said. He was, typically, hideous.

He said the CDC guidelines are “voluntary.” Then he said, “I’m choosing not to do it. It’s voluntary.”

Why in the name of absent leadership does Donald Trump open his yapper on matters such as this? The CDC isn’t dictating that we must wear the masks; it is offering only what it considers to be a strong recommendation.

Then the president — in effect — says the CDC’s recommendation isn’t to be taken seriously.

Sigh …

Donald Trump’s daily monologues have become counterproductive in the extreme. This individual simply is ill-equipped to lead a nation that is distressed beyond measure. The coronavirus pandemic has frightened us. It is causing many of us to worry ourselves sick about the direction our economy is taking. We are worried about catching the virus, or our loved ones becoming ill from it.

The CDC is offering a recommendation that medical experts suggest could prevent the spread of this deadly virus. Dr. Anthony Fauci said today that anyone who can wear a cloth mask per the CDC recommendation should do so.

Then the president tells us he won’t bother?

This nitwit in chief is not leading us.

‘Wartime president’ whiffs yet again

Donald Trump wants to be known as a “wartime president.”

Got that? Then someone has to explain to me how a wartime president can call himself “a backup” to states and local governments that are waging the war against an “invisible enemy” in the form of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wartime presidents don’t cede leadership to governmental underlings. They take charge. They take command. They lead. They inspire. They unify the nation behind a common goal: to defeat the enemy.

Yet there was this president, writing a crappy, whiny letter to U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, telling Schumer that the president is a “backup” to governors demanding more masks, more ventilators, more assistance in the fight against the killer virus.

Trump also called himself a “backup” during his daily White House briefing today, when he complained about governors making too many demands of the federal government.

Wartime president? Really, Mr. President? This individual is nothing of the sort.

Trump to Sessions: I don’t love you any longer

This is a political story I don’t recall ever seeing … until now.

Donald Trump’s presidential re-election campaign has told U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Sessions to cease saying that he’s a 100-percent Trump supporter as he campaigns for election to the Senate from Alabama.

You see, Sessions once served as attorney general in the Trump administration. Then he recused himself — properly, in my view — from any active role in the “Russia thing” involving allegations of collusion with Russians who were interfering in our 2016 presidential election. He enraged Trump, who fired him.

Sessions had served previously in the Senate. He was the first senator to endorse Trump. He and Trump were joined at the hip.

That was then. The seat he once occupied is now filled by Democratic Sen. Doug Jones. Sessions has been declaring how much of a Trump fan he remains. The president is having none of it. He wants Sessions to stop using the Trump name in his campaign ads.

Trump’s campaign says the president does not favor Sessions’ election to the Senate. He has backed Tommy Tuberville, a former college football coach at Auburn and Texas Tech.

I just want to note that none of the Sessions ads I have seen has said a word that declares that Trump wants the former AG back in the Senate, only that Sessions is with Trump all the way.

Hmm. I guess the grudge-bearing president wants to make a point that one would figure he wouldn’t need to make.

Beginning to look past the pandemic

One of the ways I occupy my mind during this coronavirus pandemic is to consider what lies on the other side of this crisis.

Namely, I think about the issues I want to ponder once we are able to push the pandemic a bit toward the back of the shelf. Yeah, I know it sounds more than a little bit nerdy.

A few things come to mind.

  • The presidential election is probably Issue No. 1. I want to see a new president take office next January. It looks like my choice will be Joseph R. Biden Jr. He’s way ahead in the march toward the Democratic Party presidential nomination. He’ll get nominated somehow, even if it’s not in the standard way: going to a convention full of delegates, having them barter and bicker over campaign platform planks. Then I want to focus on ways to encourage Biden to defeat Donald John Trump.
  •  The 2021 Texas Legislature will convene in January. Democrats might be able to wrest control of the House of Reps from Republicans. Not so sure about the Texas Senate. Democrats need to flip just nine of the 150 House seats to become the new majority. Perhaps a new House majority can enact some smart laws that can survive a veto by GOP Gov. Greg Abbott.
  •  Climate change needs our undivided attention. I worry about what’s happening to our polar ice caps and the wildlife they nurture. Polar bears are in dire peril if they cannot hunt for seals on the Arctic ice. I want a robust debate on climate change, but I fear that won’t happen if Donald Trump gets re-elected.

I know there’s a wide range of issues to discuss once we “socially distance” the pandemic to a manageable problem. I don’t believe the virus is going to disappear until we find a vaccine and manufacture enough of it to inoculate every human being on Earth. I’ll say a prayer to the scientists who are working on that matter at this moment.

That would be the way I define “returning to normal.” I hope it’s not a pipe dream.

Just pick up the phone and call, Mr. VPOTUS

Joe Biden reportedly is considering whether to talk to Donald Trump about how the president can — or should — respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden’s campaign team has been commenting on the possibility of the phone call. Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway has been openly critical of Biden for not calling her boss. I guess her needling got through to the former vice president, the frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Here’s where I come down on this matter.

All Biden has to do is call the White House. He knows the number. He and the president can talk privately; there is no need to blab all over creation about what they discuss. It could be just the two of them.

I cannot predict how either of them would handle such a conversation. I don’t know who between them would spill the beans to the media.

To be frank, I don’t care what they say to each other. They’re both grownup. Biden has sat at the center of power, the place now occupied by Trump. He knows a thing or two about how to wage the kind of fight that this struggle requires. I don’t know with any certainty what Trump understands, other than what he says about his alleged knowledge of these medical matters.

If there’s going to be a conversation between these two politicians, let it happen … even it if is out of sight and out of hearing.

Strange to be complimented for showing proper seriousness

Donald Trump is getting some curious words of praise over the past couple of days.

Why? Because he is showing the appropriate emotional response to a worldwide tragedy. Imagine that. The president of the United States is being saluted by the media and even from his critics for taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously.

Is he being “damned with faint praise”? I suppose so.

I will give Trump a quiet golf clap for acting finally the way he should have been acting all along. His “briefing” on Tuesday night contained all the appropriate body language from Trump, not to mention the sight of his emergency response team actually demonstrating appropriate “social distancing” as they watched and listened to Trump say whatever he was saying.

All of this is good, as far as it goes. I remain reluctant to heap the praise on Trump because I also remain committed to the notion that he should have swung into action long ago. Say, perhaps in January and/or February when the coronavirus first presented itself. He didn’t. He dawdled and delayed. He disparaged the threat and denigrated those in the media who were issuing dire warnings.

I can’t get the image of Trump standing in front of us telling us that the 15 cases diagnosed early would disappear as if by some miracle or by magic. It’ll take a whole lot of a more serious-sounding and looking Donald Trump to erase that memory … if you get my drift.

None of this change of modus operandi, to be sure, is a game changer. It most assuredly won’t persuade me to endorse Donald Trump’s re-election when the time comes for Americans to cast their ballots.

Critics of this blog and supporters of the president just will have to accept that your friendly blogger only will say what needs to be said: It’s about damn time!

Public service vs. private enrichment

I know this happens to all of us. We hear someone offer an analysis of an important issue and we think: Dang, I wish I said that!

Thus, I cannot take credit for a thought I want to pass along on this blog. It came from Lawrence O’Donnell, an MSNBC talking head as he concluded an interview with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo has emerged as a serious superstar as he briefs the nation of the trouble his state is enduring from the coronavirus pandemic. New York has become the latest epicenter of the crisis around the world. Cuomo has been a giant of reason, of calm, of knowledge and of confidence as he has talked about the challenges he faces daily while his constituents are becoming and are dying from the virus.

On the other hand …

We have the president of the United States, Donald Trump, who’s been haphazard, incoherent, vacillating, confused and confusing as he tries to bluff his way through what the federal government response has been to date.

O’Donnell wanted to congratulate Cuomo for his leadership. He did so by telling us all that the difference between Cuomo and Trump is that the governor has spent the vast bulk of his adult life in public service; Trump spent his entire adult life — prior to becoming elected president — seeking to enrich himself.

Therein, said O’Donnell, lies the difference. Cuomo worked for his father, the late Gov. Mario Cuomo; he worked as housing secretary in the Clinton administration; he has served as New York attorney general and now as governor.

Trump parlayed a multimillion-dollar stake from his father into building a real estate business. He has launched several failed enterprises, declared bankruptcy several times, played host to a reality TV show, owned and managed beauty pageants … all while exhibiting boorish conduct that is still on display even while he serves as president of the United States.

You want a juxtaposition that explains it all? There it is.

I wish I had said it first. I didn’t. Thanks for saying out loud, Lawrence O’Donnell, what many of us have thought all along.

Trump exhibits monumental leadership void

The reporting of Donald John Trump’s daily briefings dealing with the coronavirus pandemic depresses me terribly. It tells me plenty about the president’s inability or unwillingness to lead a nation in distress.

More than 150,000 Americans have been stricken by the virus; nearly 3,000 Americans have died. The death toll is approaching the number of those killed on 9/11.

Donald Trump’s response at the Q&A sessions that commence during these briefings? He has attacked the media for asking him “nasty” questions. Trump told a respected PBS reporter that she needs to be “nice” to him, wondering why Yamiche Alcindor was no longer working for the New York Times.

This is not how a leader of a nation in distressed is supposed to comport himself.

President Bush led the nation in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attack. He didn’t lash out at the media. He didn’t criticize his political foes. Bush talked candidly to us about the challenges that confronted us. The president reminded us that we weren’t at war with “Islam,” but were going to do battle with those who perverted that religion and brought destruction to our shores.

This president cannot rise to the level of a leader at war. He did call himself a “wartime president,” but has yet to demonstrate a single trait associated with that label. He exhibits pettiness, petulance, partisan pandering.

He attacks Democrats and the media. He denigrates governors who are on the front lines in the fight against the coronavirus.

This is not how a president who seeks to lead and unify a nation under siege is supposed to act.

It doesn’t matter to this president. He cannot lead. This individual who brought not a single moment of public service experience to the only political office he ever sought is demonstrating what many of us feared all along … that he isn’t up to the job.