President Mob Boss Want Dem Governors To Tap Dance For Their Coronavirus Assistance
Donald Trump — out of the goodness of his own shriveled heart — recently declared California, New York, and Washington state coronavirus disaster areas. But the president has been a little tardy on releasing disaster unemployment assistance, which is a pressing need for the gig economy workers who are otherwise ineligible for traditional unemployment benefits. The only aid the Trump administration has offered so far is “crisis counseling." That's probably useful for everyone who needs counseling because the president won't fund their unemployment.
A senior White House official claims that Trump is holding off because the coronavirus stimulus package will provide similar protections, and Trump hates double dipping. That's certainly an explanation. Another, perhaps more likely, explanation is that Trump is a petty POS. He hates the Democratic governors of California, New York, and Washington state. He's feuded with California Gov. Gavin Newsom and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He's called Washington Gov. Jay Inslee “a snake" like he was a rival rapper not a political leader dealing with a national emergency.
During his Fox News virtual town hall and very real liefest Tuesday, the president acted even more like a mob boss than usual. He made it clear that caring about all citizens in a country he theoretically leads is above his pay grade. If governors want the government's help, they have to kiss the president's pinky ring. That's the only way he'll even consider helping save human lives.
Roughly 1,000 years ago, Trump was accused of withholding foreign aid in exchange for sleazy “favors." Democrats held hearings and even impeached him. He shouted, “No quid pro quo!" often and falsely. Now, after Senate Republicans like Susan Collins let him walk, he's still quid pro quo-ing all over the joint.
TRUMP: It's a two-way street. They have to treat us well, also. They can't just say, “Oh, gee, we should get this. We should get that."
No, they can and should say exactly that. States inform the federal government of their needs during a national disaster and a president in possession of a human soul does everything in their power to help.
Trump's callousness is appalling in general, but it's especially shocking to see him give the back of his hand to New York, where he once lived and defiled with tacky buildings. The state is facing multiple 9/11s, and as New York Times columnist Jennifer Senior wrote, the president's response is “drop dead."
White House officials don't bother suggesting that maybe Trump should get over his preening vanity and moral decrepitude during a national crisis that affects everyone and thus should unite everyone. A staffer quoted in a Daily Beast article recommended that we stop worrying and love the malignant narcissist.
"If you're good and respectful to [Trump], he will treat you the same—it's that simple," said one senior White House official. "The president has always said that he fights back when he needs to, and the situation with [Cuomo] is no different. If you keep that in mind, their sort of seesaw relationship during [coronavirus] doesn't come as a surprise."
Jeff Sessions can tell you how far kissing Trump's ass will get you. Cuomo could just daily hold press conferences where he does nothing but deliver sick burns about Trump's momma, but New Yorkers would still be dying at an alarming rate. They're literally running out of space in New York City morgues. Send Cuomo his ventilators and anything else on his federal Instacart list.
Trump didn't speak to Inslee for WEEKS after the coronavirus crushed Seattle, Washington. Inslee's spokesperson said the president and governor did connect this weekend when Trump informed Inslee he wasn't "getting a medical boat he had requested but would be getting field hospitals."
One aide to a Democratic governor trying to manage the outbreak said that everyone is trying to remain in the good graces of the mad king. They jeopardize the well-being of their residents, who I repeat are American citizens, if they piss off Trump. This is the sick game Democratic governors have to play and lives are on the line. We're reaching the point where we need to double-dip impeach Trump.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).