In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
Saturday, August 8, 2020

Trump reality TV show antics no longer work

Trump believes he is so popular that all he has to do is lie and pull stunts to keep his unearned job at Pennsylvania Avenue. Even polls from die-hard supporters like Fox News say he is losing ground with key voters.
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Trump: Unhappy or unhinged? (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Donald Trump is a miscreant, a menace to society, public health, and the nation.

Not just our opinion. Others chime in:

Jennifer Rubin:

Indulging Trump’s dangerous and illegal (in Michigan) behavior sends exactly the wrong message. But that’s Trump’s MO these days — take the unapproved drugs; reject the masks that actually work; misinform and endanger his own followers who follow his lead. He is a menace to public health and to himself. Too bad no one cares enough to tell him no.

She adds:

Americans have never elected a more vain and self-absorbed president. The concept that he has an obligation to set an example and to protect others in his company is apparently foreign to him.

Trump’s stunt, and Ford’s compliance with it, did not go down well with at least one state official. “Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said she will inquire why Ford executives let Trump tour its plant without a face covering when state law requires everyone to wear a mask indoors.” If they violated state law and/or exposed employees to unnecessary risk, they should pay a price. (Incidentally, Ford executives are a walking/talking example of why immunity from suits claiming exposure to the virus should not be extended to employers. They need to be at financial risk if they don’t follow safe practices.)

Greg Sargent has a few thoughts on Trump:

When Trump refused to wear a mask at his Michigan event on Thursday, his new strategy was at work. Trump also regularly cheers on the anti-lockdown protesters as brave and heroic freedom warriors.

Writing at CNN, Stephen Collinson searches for the method hereTrump is casting himself as the “champion of an economic reawakening and of millions of Americans who lost jobs,” and telling “forgotten Americans” and “core supporters that he stands with their demands to get the country back to normal.”

Indeed, when Trump dementedly suggested he didn’t wear a mask in public because he “didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,” he was casting those urging caution as part of an elite conspiracy against this great populist revolt, led by him.

But this is not a clever strategy. It’s ham-handed and born of dire political circumstances that leave Trump with no choice.

A new Fox News poll finds Joe Biden more favored on the coronavirus by 46 percent to 37 percent. Trump’s edge on the economy is a scant 3 points. Biden is leading Trump by 48 percent to 40 percent, which suggests Trump’s effort to shift this battle into one only about the economy isn’t working, at least for now.

There’s no reason to presume Trump’s latest stunts are working for him, until we see real signs that they are. Right now, there aren’t any.

Paul Krugman’s take:

The push to ignore the health experts is a top-down thing; it’s coming from Trump and his allies, and whatever limited public support they’re getting is driven by partisanship, not populism.

Trump can’t get beyond boosterism, insisting that everything is great on his watch. And he’s clearly still obsessed with the stock market as the measure of his presidency.

So Trump and his party want to go full speed ahead with reopening no matter how many people it kills. As I said, their de facto position is that Americans must die for the Dow.

No, they must not.

Americans also must not continue to die because of the stupid, murderous stunts of Donald John Trump.

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