Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Trump asserts an 'absolute' right to order businesses to open

But state governors, banded together in consortia, are having none of that. Faced with the choice, a mad king vs. states rights, I just became as states righter.

David Gordon at Blog for Arizona reports that The Mad King Has a Melt Down at Today’s White House Briefing, claiming he has Total Authority to Reopen the Economy.

“The Mad King is losing it.” Clearly so.

During today’s (April 11, 2020) briefing, the third President to be impeached in United States History for thinking he was above everyone else, had a meltdown towards media, saying he was above everyone else when he stated that he had “total authority” to reopen the economy.

Vice President Pence, in an awkward position standing next to Mr. Trump, seemed to reinforce that notion (while also praising the governors of the states,) saying the National Emergency gave the Presidency extraconstitutional powers.

Translation: Pence just crowned Trump king. The Trumpublicans have given up on constitutional elections in favor of coronations.

This outburst today seemed to stem from several causes. These may include:

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci’s interview on CNN yesterday where he agreed that the federal government could have done better in responding earlier during the Coronavirus. During today’s briefing, Fauci “fell on the sword” saying he responded to what he thought was a hypothetical question.
  • Ads from Superpacs like Priorities USA and the Lincoln Project that criticized the 2016 Popular Vote Loser’s response to the Coronavirus. In fact, Mr. Trump started the briefing (please see the whole briefing provided in the link below) with a propaganda-campaign ad highlighting all the things he claims he did right to address the Public Health Emergency. Some networks like CNN and MSNBC cut away when it came on.
  • The recently released report from NPR on all the unfulfilled promises made by Mr. Trump since he declared a national emergency.
  • Bernie Sanders endorsing Joe Biden which will pave the way to uniting the Democratic Party.
  • Governors forming regional pacts to coordinate the reopening of the economies in their areas. All but one of these states (California, Oregon, and Washington in the west and New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts) are led by Democratic Governors.

This last cause is probably what caused the Mad King to lose it the most this afternoon. He talked like a mobster, stating that the Governors would follow his lead, …

Equally disturbing was his assertion of dictatorial powers - supported by Pence.

Heather Cox Richardson, in her morning email, has more on that.

It might be fair to say that today’s events started on Saturday, when the New York Times published an in-depth examination of “Trump’s Failure on the Virus,” with the heading: “He Could Have Seen What Was Coming.” Six reporters dug into emails, interviews, documents, and reports to reveal that “the president was warned about the potential for a pandemic” beginning in January, “but that internal divisions, lack of planning and his faith in his own instincts led to a halting response.”

Also this weekend, Trump vowed to “reopen” the country, despite warnings from his public health advisors that ending measures to slow the rate of coronavirus infection could be deadly. …

When he gave his briefing today, Trump was visibly angry at both the New York Times story and at the governors’ pact. He began by playing a video for the reporters that celebrated his handling of the coronavirus crisis and blamed the media for downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic in its early days. CBS News reporter Paula Reid pointed out “Your video had a complete gap. What did your administration do in February…?” She refused to let up. He called her fake. With 23,000 Americans dead from the coronavirus—that have been officially counted; many more are dying without an official diagnosis—Trump refused to admit he had made a single mistake. Instead, he blamed his predecessor, President Barack Obama, for the lack of masks in the strategic national stockpile and the lack of testing kits and insisted, “I saved tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of lives.”

Then he took on the question of whether he or the governors got to reopen the states. Trump repeatedly asserted that right was his, and his alone. “When somebody is President of the United States,” Trump said, “the authority is total.” When a reporter asked what provisions of the Constitution gives the president the power to open or close state economies, he could not name one, but answered: “Numerous—numerous provisions. We can give you a legal brief if you want.” “The federal government has absolute power. It has the power. As to whether or not I’ll use that power – we’ll see … I have the absolute right if I want to.” Trump’s repeated assertion of dictatorial power actually sounded desperate to me, as if he were trying to regain control of the governors. Trump does not, in fact, have the power to do anything he is asserting, and his bluster will not hold up unless the governors relent. Trump repeatedly emphasized that he had a great relationship with the state governors, and was hoping to be able to work with them.

That latter assertion is another indicator of how batshit crazy he is. He’s cut the states loose to survive on their own, and then seized supplies needed by those states to combat COVID–19, and now tries to assert dictatorial “extraconstitutional” powers over those states.

I’d like to see Arizona join the consortium of those west coast states, California, Oregon, Washington, in cooperating on the responses to the pandemic. It won’t happen,I suspect, because AZ Gov. Ducey is trying to stay on Trump’s good, albeit pathological side.

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