One of the best lines of the 2016 campaign was uttered by Hillary Clinton when she called the Republican health care plan a yoyo as in You’re On Your Own. Yoyo is an interesting word especially when you apply it to today’s America. Let’s explore.
In present day English, including slang, when someone says the word “yoyo” they are most commonly referring to a child’s toy or a rather zany, dimwitted person. The latter accurately describes President Trump. Unfortunately he is the American president during a pandemic.
There are four words, all beginning with the letter “O” that describe his actions and I’ll review them below.
The Trump Comedy Hour is probably the best illustration of this. Trump gets up before the press on a daily basis and makes a plethora of, at best, misleading statements in an effort to divert from reality and make himself look good.
In his words originally the coronavirus was a, “Hoax”. Then it was just 15 cases that would soon be one or zero and magically disappear. A few days later he declared that he had always called it a pandemic and in fact was one of the first to do so. All three cannot simultaneously be true, but it made him look good, (in his mind anyway), in the moment and gave his sycophants a needed sound bite to echo.
Nothing is ever Trump’s fault and he has led his life never admitting fault. I’m not saying Trump caused the pandemic; that he somehow concocted the virus in a secret cave. He simply isn’t that smart in the first place. Where he is to blame is in failing to competently discharge his presidential duties, first among them being keeping the nation safe. Back in January he was warned of the danger of the coronavirus and chose to do nothing to prepare the nation for its arrival. In fact it appears he didn’t take it very seriously until Wall Street reacted.
Trump has explicitly declared that the coronavirus is not his fault. In fact he has gone so far as to cross out “corona” on the text of a prepared statement and write in “China”. He has since stopped using that verbiage but his minions continue to and with it the racist attacks on Asian-Americans persist at higher than normal levels. I guess Trump never wants to waste an opportunity to make America white again.
As Harry Truman pointed out, when you sit behind the big desk in the Oval Office the buck stops with you. Unfortunately Trump is no Truman.
Saturday was the best example of if you don’t like what Trump said just wait a bit. In the late morning Trump told reporters that he was considering quarantining the Tri-State/New York City area. That night he declared it wasn’t necessary. Today is the end of Trump’s fifteen days to defeat the coronavirus. He had hinted that he would reopen America and declare victory. (Fortunately most of those decisions are actually in the hands of governors.) Well, there is no victory; in fact we have yet to have hit the apex of infections. Other than larceny I won’t try to predict Trump’s actions but don’t expect an all clear announcement from the White House during today’s Comedy Hour.
Now we get into the area of larceny. Friday Trump signed the massive economic stabilization and recovery package which exceeded $2.2 trillion. During the negotiations Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Patty Murray – not exclusively but in particular – worked for oversight and guidelines on how a $500 billion business relief package would be allocated. The original GOP plan was to give Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin exclusive decision making power and not to require that he even consider reporting his actions to Congress for the first six months. Trump declared that he would be the oversight. In the final version of the legislation provisions for Congressional oversight and prohibitions of the funding going to Trump entities or those of congressional members were included.
As is often the case when a president signs a bill into law the White House issued a signing statement. In it Trump declared that he didn’t understand the oversight provisions in the final version of the bill and therefore had no intentions of complying with them including supplying any information to the overseers or Congress. Those actions are consistent with someone running an organized criminal enterprise whose primary goal is to benefit him and his inner circle.
Considering that Bill Barr is running the Justice Department and the allegiance to the Constitution of many members of the current Supreme Court is questionable, there is a good chance that Trump will simply be able to help himself to as much of the $500 billion pie as he wants and Congress will be powerless to stop him; nothing like a $500 billion slush fund to help you get rich and reelected.
Here is where we stand today: we are like a rudderless ship with a yoyo pirate at the helm and you’re on your own.
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