Opinion At the End of a Hellish Week, Trump Is a Happy Man

14:40  06 june  2020
14:40  06 june  2020 Source:   theatlantic.com

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Trump spoke at length about the release of May’s unexpectedly positive job numbers, which showed 2.5 million jobs added and a dip in the unemployment Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying, ‘this is a great thing that ’s happening for our country.’ This is a great day for him, it’s a

So, is he happy ? Like I said, only when he’s getting praise and what he wants. Telling the soldiers last week in Iraq they are getting a huge raise was a blatant lie, but he did it to But you know, at the end of the day - I don’t give the furry crack of rat’s behind about his happiness (to quote Big Bang Theory).

This week began with angry Trump, but, don’t worry, it ended with the president as a happy man.

a statue of Donald Trump in a suit and tie © Tom Brenner / Reuters

There he was Monday evening, jaw set in the familiar simian rictus, marching from the White House across Lafayette Square, with a cloud of flunkies and secret service agents trailing him. His path had just been cleared of inconvenient citizens by phalanxes of cops using tear gas in hopes of making the president’s walk in the park as pleasant and uneventful as a walk in the park. Still he scowled. Having crossed the square, he drew to a stop in front of the boarded-up parish house of St. John’s Church. The parish house was boarded up because someone had set fire to the basement the night before, after protests turned to riots in the evening. Maybe that’s why Trump was scowling. You can never tell. In any case, a Bible appeared and the president turned toward the cameras, hoisting it upside down. He pointed at it with his free hand. “A Bible,” he explained. Then he went home.

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Opinion A column or article in the Opinions section (in print, this is known as the Editorial Pages). Republicans are heading for a hellish month. Here’s a quick list of what Republicans are facing over the next six weeks : If Congress doesn’t pass a budget bill by the end of September, the government

Mr. Trump fell back on his comparison of the coronavirus to the flu, saying that despite losing thousands of people to the flu, “We don’t turn the country off.” Mr. Cuomo, speaking at the Javits Center in Manhattan, which the Army Corps is retrofitting into a 1,000-bed emergency hospital, said

His critics quickly dismissed this episode as a mere “photo op.” The term was a favorite of the Episcopal bishop, who seemed angrier at Trump for using her church as a “prop” than at the arsonists who tried to burn it to cinders. “Photo op,” like “talking point,” is a generic, off-the-shelf insult, easily turned around and seldom effective. Photo ops are one of the primary means by which every president since Theodore Roosevelt has tried to impress the public. What made Trump’s photo op bizarre is that nobody could make out what it was supposed to mean.

[Read: The Christians who loved Trump’s stunt]

His beleaguered but always game press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, gave it a try in a briefing Wednesday. She wasn’t much help. The president’s stroll was a “leadership moment,” she said. (Just as “photo op” is a boneless insult, “leadership” is a boneless compliment.) “Look,” she said, “the President wanted to send a very powerful message that we will not be overcome by looting, by rioting, by burning.”

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Any glimmer of hope that Putin may have had that the US leader might still be a useful partner in the immediate term has surely gone now that Trump has signed the sanctions bill that Congress passed last week . Putin can hardly be happy with the new sanctions, but he will have proved himself right

Mr. Biden charged that Mr. Trump ’s faltering response to the coronavirus crisis had needlessly cost both American lives and jobs. Echoing a theme he emphasized in a speech earlier this week , he cast the stakes of the election as far greater than those of a typical partisan political contest.

And indeed we won’t be, so long as each of us is surrounded by armed guards and has our path cleared by hundreds of policemen in riot gear. McEnany compared the president’s photo op with other leadership moments, such as “Jimmy Carter putting on a sweater to encourage energy savings.” A photo op is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it’s no good.

A certain kind of person, if he makes a mistake, thinks he can persuade people it wasn’t a mistake by quickly repeating it with confidence and élan. Musicians do this all the time when they’re improvising, and some are hailed for their genius. That trick is riskier for politicians. The day after he was widely denounced for symbolically saving St. John’s Church from arson, Trump corralled his wife and drove up to another religious site, this one run by Catholics, compounding his errors of taste and tactic and lending them an ecumenical flair. The president and First Lady clenched hands and grinned—well, the president grinned; the First Lady looked as if she wished she’d never left Slovenia—outside the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Northeast Washington. Then they went home.

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“Donald Trump still doesn’t get it,” Biden said. “He’s out there spiking the ball, completely oblivious to the tens of millions of people who are facing the greatest struggle of their lives.” He suggested that Floyd’s death and the nationwide response to it is part of why he has delayed that policy rollout.

Even after Mr. Trump took his first concrete action at the end of January — limiting travel from China — public health often had to compete with economic and political considerations in internal debates, slowing the path Despite Mr. Trump ’s denial weeks later, he was told at the time about a Jan.

Again, the reasoning behind the president’s trip was unclear. And again, the designated prelate unloaded on him.

“I find it baffling and reprehensible,” the archbishop of the diocese of Washington said in a written statement,  “that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people, even those with whom we might disagree.”

The archbishop was giving the president too much credit—a mistake Trump critics often make. No one could say that the president’s purpose was inappropriately political for the simple reason that nobody could say what his purpose was. He uttered not a word. He scarcely opened his mouth. Later in the day, staff at the shrine explained that the trip had originally been laid on the White House calendar as the occasion for the president to sign an executive order about religious freedom around the world. As executive orders go, this is about as salutary and unobjectionable a cause as anyone could ask for. Yet it went completely unpublicized.

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Ending the program, experts fear, will leave the world more vulnerable to lethal pathogens like Ebola and MERS that emerge from unexpected places She was co-chair of a panel that in September issued a report detailing the world’s failure to prepare for pandemics. “Americans need to understand

That was when the visitor, a young white man , came to the door, asking for the minister. It was unusual for a stranger, much less a white one, to But the deepest pain was at the handsome, whitewashed old church in Charleston, now cordoned off with yellow police tape, and along the intimate tendrils

[David Graham: Trump Has Imprisoned Himself in the White House]

As it happened, the president signed the order when he got back to the White House, in private, without public comment. Perhaps he just wanted to go for a drive. We’re all getting cabin fever.

And then Trump went to ground. His official schedule was light, and the few events that appeared on it—“1:15: The President has lunch with the Secretary of State”—would have been interesting to only the most passionate Trump obsessives. At last the president emerged in the Rose Garden Friday morning, under a blazing sun in high humidity, with a flight of financial advisors arrayed behind him. He arrived in the wake of genuinely good news: the first good news in weeks, it seemed—months, for that matter, maybe years. Rather than the expected further decline in employment, the economy somehow added a couple million jobs last month, and the unemployment rate dropped  from 14.7 to 13.3 percent when “economists expectations” were that it would rise to 19 or even 20 percent. Had we at last touched bottom? The president was determined that it should be so.

The effect was disorienting. The president came to the Rose Garden to sign the latest pandemic relief bill. Spending public money—he often speaks of it as his own—always lifts his spirits, but the combination of good news, sunshine, and three days of public silence unleashed an effusion of words and good feeling we’ve rarely seen before, certainly in the last months. The dam broke. Trump spoke for nearly forty minutes without pause, a rapturous soliloquy of almost six thousand words. He barely spoke of George Floyd or the protests—although he did say that he hoped Floyd was happy about the economic numbers (“a great day for him”)—but he did queue up his greatest hits in a playlist that never ends. “We Had the Greatest Economy in the History of the World,” and “We Stopped People Coming From China (Very Early On).” “The Greatest Economy [Part Two].” “We May Have Some Embers – But We Will Put Them Out.” “What Happened Should Never Had Happened.” “The Cupboards Were Empty.” “The Greatest Economy [Remastered].” Also, a new, unexpected release: “Thank You Very Much to the Democrats.”

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He had a text in front of him, prepared remarks that he would occasionally read verbatim and then provide commentary upon. He glanced at the text. “It is time for us,” he read, “to work together as we rebuild, renew, and recover the great promise of America.” A brief pause, a look around. “And that’s true!” he improvised, as if taken by surprise with an odd sensation. It was a measure of the president’s delight with the good news that many of his other hits—dirges really—went completely unsung: The moodiness of “No Collusion,” for example, or the dark, driving “Greatest Scandal in in the History of Our Country.” Behind him the yes-men sweltered under the punishing sun, swaying slightly like a stand of poplars, and I thought of Alec Guinness and his fellow officers in The Bridge On the River Kwai, struggling to stay upright in the Japanese prison yard.

But there was more. The president signed the legislation and then invited others to come to the podium to share the good cheer and to offer praise. They obliged, he accepted.

“I’ll be brief as I can,” said Lawrence Kudlow, the president’s economic adviser (he played one on TV).  “I know it’s pretty darn hot.”

The president looked around again. “I haven’t noticed it,” he said. Nothing could defeat his happiness. “Is it hot?” He shrugged, and beamed.

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