I do not listen to the press conferences with Trump. I hear about the fallout afterwards. Perhaps it’s best to ignore him, save our outrage, and give a signal boost only to correct misinformation. (Rachel Maddow had a good segment on this.) His is a long history of ignorance, stubbornness and destructive stupidity:
He has lied continually, absurdly downplaying the risk of the virus. He took apart the pandemic response team two years ago; he ignored national security advisors and ignored the spread of the current virus; and even as medical personnel around the country take their own lives in their hands, he refuses to use the powers available to him under the Defense Production Act (pushed by our own Senator Markey) to produce personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, glasses, gowns) at maximum speed. (Local hospitals are resorting to community-based crafting operations to make PPE.)
Major manufacturers WILL NOT DRAMATICALLY CHANGE priorities of production until US promises them a market. We can’t do this on mere charity. Without #DefenseProductionAct , companies risk creating unused inventory. That’s the genius of DPA. US is the guaranteed market. @cnn
— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) March 21, 2020
We actually do depend on responsible leadership at the very top. At great length, Trump has royally —-ed this up, and continues to make things worse, at grave human cost. People will die, unnecessarily; certainly people we know. At the prompting of a few prominent conservatives and plutocrats, he is now publicly risking as many deaths as is necessary in a doomed attempt to prop up the economy. There is no economy if you’re dead; this is based on fantasy, desperation, and greed.
It was nearly 3 1/2 years between the stock market crash of 1929 and the first New Deal programs. That was nearly an entire presidential term where the government acted helpless, and in fact acted counter-productively. We’ve got 10 months until January 20th, 2021; a President Biden had better be prepared to work fast — passing transformative, revivifying legislation in the first 100 days of his Presidency. He has done well to adopt Elizabeth Warren’s ideas on student loan forgiveness and bankruptcy. The rest of the agenda had better look a lot like a Sanders or Warren presidency; either we go for Big Structural Change, or disaster capitalism and authoritarianism will thoroughly destroy what’s left of us.
Of course, a Biden Presidency will only happen if he can make a better showing than yesterday’s late, tepid, and discombobulated video. Who among his staff thinks this is good enough? (Massachusetts Governor “Charlie Parker”, well, that’s a new one.)
Now is the time for a tough, bold — yea Churchillian tone from Democratic leaders — to show what the alternative would be like, and to continually make Trump feel the heat.