So there was Trump pulling his usual lying “we’ll see what happens” schtick, this time falsely touting the game-changing therapeutic benefits of an anti-malarial drug in the fight against Covid-19, when NBC correspondent Peter Alexander, perhaps weary of the bullshit, pitched a softball question at Donald in a tone of voice that perhaps wasn’t completely obsequious and dripping in adoration in quite the way His Most Orange Majesty likes them: “What do you say to people who’re afraid?”.
This was just barely within artillery range of what idiots on the right call a “gotcha” question, one posed just to make the responding politician look exactly like the abjectly vacuous moron he/she surely is. To be a true “gotcha”, though, the question should expose a craven lie or an astonishingly hollow lack of knowledge, like asking Sarah Palin what newspapers or magazines she reads, or, just to imagine a likely stinger, asking Trump to find Iran on a map. A true “gotcha” paints the responder into a corner, by posing a simple question that any eight-year-old can answer, but the responder cannot.
The sort of people who watch Fox News think it’s unfair to put politicians in that position. That’s because only so-called conservatives ever get gotten by “gotchas”.
Anyway, Alexander wasn’t asking Trump anything factual, or revelatory of the current President’s overwhelming ignorance of absolutely everything. Whatever the tone, his question amounted to little more than what comforting words would you like to share at this time with your fellow Americans, person in charge? Can you imagine how far out of the park Obama would have stroked a beach ball lobbed over the plate like that? You can probably hear him in your imagination, maybe quoting FDR on fearing fear itself, and reminding the nation that the federal government has numerous, immensely powerful levers to pull at a time like this, and with the help of Congress he’s going to pull every one of them, mitigating the short term pain until the best minds on earth come to our rescue, as they surely will in due course.
Of course, he would have had less fear to quell, since unlike Orange Idi he wouldn’t have sat there for two months with his thumb up his ass after this thing broke out in China. It’s hard to believe at this juncture that it wasn’t even four years ago that America had a President who would have taken charge and said all the right things while doing all the right things. Now, God help us, we’re saddled with this dum-dum, who spouts the sort of nonsense that makes the esteemed Dr. Fauci do the face-palm:
Loft an underhand softball the size of a pumpkin towards this idiot and you don’t just get a big swing and a miss, you get a full-bore frickin’ tantrum. He practically decompensates and falls all to pieces on the spot. I say you’re a terrible reporter, Jesus Beverly Christ, he might just as well have squealed you big meanie!! This right after his words of inspiration about a hypothetical treatment, one which his expert just described as untested and unproven, were “maybe it’ll work, maybe not, we’ll see”, and oh yeah, “I have a good feeling”. <Shrug>. Gee thanks, Donny, I’m sure that beefs up morale a helluvalot. Then he gets one question he doesn’t like, and yet again we’re treated to the sorry spectacle of the world’s most powerful orangutan throwing his poo through the bars at the onlookers.
Sadly, having spent his last three years gutting the federal bureaucracy of the very people it now needs to handle this crisis, having dithered in denial in the teeth of his intelligence briefings, and having lied repeatedly with ludicrous happy talk meant to delude his public about what was about to hit American shores – as if pulling the covers over his head would make the monster go away – Trump now finds himself at a loss, with almost nobody around who might give him sage advice, supposing he’d listen, instead of clapping his hands over his ears and singing “la la la” every time he hears something unpleasant. Out of his depth, bereft of ideas, and increasingly afraid, some part of his tiny mind realizes, if only vaguely, that his very fat ass is yet not big enough to fill his current chair. He’s flop-sweating and pretending he’s just a spectator. Maybe things will be OK. Maybe they won’t. How should he know? What do they expect him to do about it? The things he was counting on to get him re-elected, and by extension out of prison, the relative economic boom and the surging stock market, are heading south in the worst way, and he doesn’t know what to do. He literally doesn’t have a clue.
Yeah, but maybe he doesn’t need one. The latest polls report, incredibly, that over 50% of the American public approves of Trump’s handling of the crisis thus far. No, really. I’m sorry to come on all smug and superior – OK, no I’m not – but that’s not just tribalism. That’s not just an artifact of the vanishingly tiny amount of information absorbed by America’s low information electorate. That’s rank stupidity. Those people don’t know enough to come in out of the rain. They haven’t the sense that God gave geese. That’s a big problem, not only for today, but for the rest of what bids fair to be as terrible a century as all the prior centuries.