Monday, March 9, 2020

Double whammy for Trump - stock market tanks and coronavirus fears cause mass cancellations

Here’s another pair of bad news items for Trump from Charlie Sykes (The Bulwark).

Josh Kraushaar writes in the National Journal: “Mitch McConnell’s Senate majority is in danger With Biden poised to be atop the ticket, Democratic candidates are leading in the most consequential Senate races.”

Republican candidates have tied themselves so closely to Trump that they’re all dependent on his fortunes. That’s a risky place to be right now. Last month, the economy was booming and a socialist was on track to lead the Democratic ticket. This month, the stock market is falling, coronavirus is spreading, and a mainstream Democrat is positioned to become the presidential nominee. Trump’s reelection chances have suddenly taken a turn for the worse, and he’s threatening to take down the GOP’s Senate majority with him.

Trump has staked his reelection effort on two things - portraying the coronavirus epidemic as a “hoax” and a booming stock market.

This morning the stock market opened with staggering losses - think 2,000 down.

It can and will get worse.

Of course it is always possible that the virus will simply go away and that the warnings have been overhyped. A savvier player might have found a way to hedge that bet by hoping for the best while preparing for the worst and letting the experts do their work….

Instead Trump decided to be Trump in Full. Russ Douthat thinks he knows where this is going.

But right now we are headed for a scenario of rising death rates and overwhelmed hospitals, shuttered schools and empty stadiums and cancellations everywhere.

Combine this scenario’s inevitable economic consequences with the optics of the president’s blundering and solipsistic response, and the coronavirus seems very likely to doom Trump’s re-election effort, no matter where he casts the blame.

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