President Thug Life Will Take Care Of Any ‘Wiseguys’ Who Expect Him To Do His Job
Donald Trump claimed Thursday that he had a “terrific" meeting with the governors whose states he's failing to help combat the coronavirus outbreak. This wasn't true. During his conference call with about a dozen governors, he lavished unearned praise on himself. He said the federal government's response to the pandemic was at a level "that people find pretty impressive." Whoever told the president this is either dumb or just trying to flatter him enough so he'll do something, anything to keep people from dying.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said, correctly, that states are “desperate for supplies." He begged Trump yet again to use his presidential powers to mandate the production of medical supplies, which he can do under the Defense Production Act. Trump personally thinks this goes too far, even though he's literally ordered NFL players to stand for the National Anthem. Maybe it's just no fun for Trump to use his presidential powers unless he's abusing them.
Trump repeated his absurd position that the federal government is just a backup singer to the governors, who are like Diana Ross but without sufficient masks, gowns, and ventilators. Inslee responded that Trump needs to step up and serve as more than just "backup."
INSLEE: I don't want you to be the backup quarterback; we need you to be Tom Brady here.
I know Inslee has a lot going on right now, but he should recall that he's the governor of Washington, where Seattle is. The city has a professional football team called the Seahawks. They won the Super Bowl in 2014. I remember because I lived there at the time and the parade was annoying. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson would've been a better comparison here. Inslee later tried to fix this mistake.
Trump just whined that Barack Obama had left a flaming poo bag of coronavirus on his doorstep. During his phone sex session that night with Sean Hannity, Trump called Inslee a “failed presidential candidate" who's “always complaining." Trump would never hear from Inslee if his state didn't have the plague. Inslee ran for president on a climate change platform. He was a happy guy who talked about solar panels. Now he's forced to deny his constituents regular exposure to sunlight.
Earlier, though, during his daily White House coronavirus misinformation session, Trump stated that he took Inslee's remarks as a compliment.
TRUMP: Yeah, he meant that in a positive way. We need Tom Brady. We're gonna do great. He meant it very positively.
Yet our delightfully mercurial president also made it sound like he had Inslee taken outside and whacked.
“We saw to it that he wouldn't be so much [of a wiseguy] anymore." Holy crap! Joe Pesci doesn't even talk like this unless someone has shouted, “Action!" No wonder the other governors tried to avoid Trump's wrath during a time when they need the federal government's help so desperately. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo argued that the governors facing this crisis aren't "hyper-political, hyper-partisan." Trump replied that “non-political" was the “greatest thing" he'd heard that day, before he offered to put Republican governors' states on the “early opening" list. Trump naturally thinks he's doing them a favor, but anyone who comprehends science and data appreciates how dangerous and reckless it'll be to prematurely scale back social distancing protocols. Unfortunately, the president isn't one of those people.
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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).