The Trump Presidency Is Over

by on March 13, 2020 · 11 comments

in American Empire

It has taken a good deal longer than it should have, but Americans have now seen the con man behind the curtain.

Peter Wehner at The Atlantic has made this declaration and he’s a Republican. Here’s his conclusion:

Taken together, this is a massive failure in leadership that stems from a massive defect in character. Trump is such a habitual liar that he is incapable of being honest, even when being honest would serve his interests. He is so impulsive, shortsighted, and undisciplined that he is unable to plan or even think beyond the moment.

He is such a divisive and polarizing figure that he long ago lost the ability to unite the nation under any circumstances and for any cause. And he is so narcissistic and unreflective that he is completely incapable of learning from his mistakes. The president’s disordered personality makes him as ill-equipped to deal with a crisis as any president has ever been. With few exceptions, what Trump has said is not just useless; it is downright injurious.

The nation is recognizing this, treating him as a bystander “as school superintendents, sports commissioners, college presidents, governors and business owners across the country take it upon themselves to shut down much of American life without clear guidance from the president,” in the words of Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times.

Donald Trump is shrinking before our eyes.

The coronavirus is quite likely to be the Trump presidency’s inflection point, when everything changed, when the bluster and ignorance and shallowness of America’s 45th president became undeniable, an empirical reality, as indisputable as the laws of science or a mathematical equation.

It has taken a good deal longer than it should have, but Americans have now seen the con man behind the curtain. The president, enraged for having been unmasked, will become more desperate, more embittered, more unhinged. He knows nothing will be the same. His administration may stagger on, but it will be only a hollow shell. The Trump presidency is over.

And Sasha Abramsky over at The Nation writes

Our Worst Crisis Since 2008… and We Have an Idiot at the Helm

There’s only one Signal this week: the global lockdown now underway to combat what is shaping up to be the world’s worst public health calamity in a century. It is now clear that COVID-19 will not be contained, will have incalculable human costs, and will devastate the global economy, reshaping our lives, workplaces, community relations, and international affairs, possibly for years.

And the man at the American helm, the captain who is supposed to help navigate us through these troubled waters, is an ill-informed narcissist, concerned not with the actual number of infections, and how to contain and treat them, but only with perceptions.

After weeks of denying the severity of the crisis, of mocking public health officials who urged a proactive effort to stop the disease from spreading, of making baseless claims about how the US response had been perfect and had shut the virus down, Trump’s extraordinary intervention on Wednesday evening veered in the opposite direction. Suddenly, the crisis triggered by this “foreign virus” was so existential that flights from Europe would be closed off. Trump then went off script and claimed that cargo routes from Europe would also be suspended—a misstatement that he was forced to correct (via Twitter, of course).

None of this makes sense: Trump touts America’s alleged low infection rate, blaming European travelers for those clusters of infection that do exist; but it’s becoming clear that America’s infection numbers are low only because its testing regimen is so inept. In my home county, California’s Sacramento, a retirement home resident recently tested positive. But the county can’t test the facility’s other residents and workers because kits aren’t available.

Presidents set the tone during emergencies. Trump’s tone on Wednesday was panicked, ill-informed, bigoted, and blustering. Absent was any sense of international solidarity, any notion of global cooperation in working to solve not just the public health crisis but also the economic implosion, which is ravaging financial markets and will soon ravage labor forces.

The result? An accelerating panic. Far from calming the markets, Trump’s blundering intervention triggered a global meltdown. If the sell-off continues, the global economy could be headed into a deflationary cycle with no easy exit. The tools that should have been available to fight this are absent or inadequate, with central-bank interest rates already at historic lows and with tax cuts for billionaires having frittered away financial resources, already meager because of public health spending cuts and funding lavished on the military.

If there has ever been a time for US global leadership, for the marshaling of resources and creative thinking, it is now. Yet Trump’s only response is mindless nationalism. It is far past time for this man to leave the political stage. He has been a catastrophically bad president, and he is incapable of exercising leadership during this crisis.

That’s the Signal. Everything else is mere Noise.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie March 13, 2020 at 1:33 pm

As was predictable, this same article on OB Rag facebook drew trolls like flies to grease. If you, dear reader, ever had a mind to, join me on our facebook page and rage against the trumpites.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie March 13, 2020 at 3:12 pm

Watching trump lie at his press conference today on the coronavirus made me puke and I’ve had it with him and his supporters. He is an incompetent lying fascist. Can I be any clearer? He just lied and lied and Dr Fauchi was standing just off his right elbow, winching at every time trump opened his mouth.

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Avatar retired botanist March 14, 2020 at 3:13 am

Not to mention Dr. Burke, ugh, who kept nodding her head in confirmation at every syllable Trump uttered. She was like some Little House on the Prairie character bobblehead!
And Trump’s delivery was like a sulky 6 yr old who is forced to perform a tiresome task. And Pence, instead of imparting anything useful, just kept saying what a great job the President was doing. These people….
And now our fate lies in the hands of Walmart, Target, and CVS CEOs? In drugstore parking lots? That is, after going through some Google flowchart?! You can’t make this s@#$ up! Far more frightening than the virus itself.

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Avatar Ol OB Hippie March 13, 2020 at 3:33 pm

Here’s some help to lighten everything up:

A frog goes into a bank and approaches the teller. He can see from her nameplate that her name is Patty Whack.

“Miss Whack, I’d like to get a $30,000 loan to take a holiday.”

Patty looks at the frog in disbelief and asks his name. The frog says his name is Kermit Jagger, his dad is Mick Jagger, and that it’s okay, he knows the bank manager.

Patty explains that he will need to secure the loan with some collateral.

The frog says, “Sure. I have this,” and produces a tiny porcelain elephant, about an inch tall, bright pink and perfectly formed.

Very confused, Patty explains that she’ll have to consult with the bank manager and disappears into a back office.

She finds the manager and says, “There’s a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000, and he wants to use this as collateral.” She holds up the tiny pink elephant. “I mean, what in the world is this?”

(You’re gonna love this.)

The bank manager looks back at her and says, “It’s a knickknack, Patty Whack. Give the frog a loan. His old man’s a Rolling Stone.”

(You sang it, didn’t you? Yeah, I know you did.)

Never take life too seriously.

??.•Pass it on!! Give someone else a reason to smile. ??

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Avatar Judy Collier March 13, 2020 at 6:55 pm

Thanks so much! I needed that.

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Avatar retired botanist March 14, 2020 at 3:14 am

Haha, yeah, me too :-)

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Avatar Rufus March 14, 2020 at 4:48 am

My late elderly mother used to obsess over one of our past presidents, so much so that she became unpleasant to be around. Her obsession started to fill every waking moment of hers to the point that pleasant thoughts and conversations were pushed out of her life.

I distinctly remember having dinner with her one night at Soup Plantation when she blurted out that someone should just kill him, loud enough that people at other tables could hear her.

That’s when I hit my limit of her obsession. I told her that this president would be in office until January of the following year and there was nothing she could do about that, and if she wanted to continuing seeing me she should stop complaining and start supporting the person who was running against the president. I had it with her negativity because it feeds on itself and becomes progressively worse, pushing away people she loved.

It worked, she shifted gears and became a supporter of an alternative candidate and not a hater any longer. And our dinners from then on became much more pleasant.

All I’m saying is that any sort of consistent and predictable negative drumbeat is a downer. It’s as simple as that.

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Avatar thequeenisalizard March 14, 2020 at 12:00 pm

One outlook shouldn’t be dismissed, however. There is the possibility that King Trump will use the Coronavirus to stop all elections in 2020 “for the safety of the American people”.

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Avatar stu March 14, 2020 at 5:44 pm

After listening to him this morning and then his cartoon side kick, the mama boy I would rather have pence at least he sounded better and more intelligent. He probably is more intelligent just has a hate for everybody that is not like him

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Avatar Vern March 15, 2020 at 11:50 am

Cadet Bone Spurs is merely a bystander at this point. A grifting bystander, no less.

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Avatar Toby OB March 15, 2020 at 8:29 pm

Trumps robotic script reading, focus on how the pandemic may affect is re-election campaign , blaming others, and proudly stating he’s not taking responsibility; do we need any more validation he’s a sociopath?

This self professed “very stable genius” has access to the nuclear weapons codes. Think about that when you vote in November for the Senate & Presidency!

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