May 29, 2020

by ridicule

IMMEDIATE RELEASE 30 April 2020WASHINGTON MERRY-GO-ROUNDToday’s Events in Historical PerspectiveAmerica’s Longest-Running Column Founded 1932Unraveled by ridiculeBy Douglas Cohn and Eleanor Clift          WASHINGTON – There are many moments in the Trump presidency when it appeared he would crash and burn like an ordinary politician. Each time he survived, even thrived, his approval ratings hovering in the mid-’40s, even rising occasionally to the high 40’s though never reaching a failsafe 50 percent.          That’s why it’s always risky to predict a turning point for President Trump because there have been so many over the last four years, and none of them turned.          What is different this time is the nature of Trump’s musing about injecting Lysol-like disinfectant into the body to attack the coronavirus, and the reaction his remarks provoked.          People laughed at him, and ridicule is the one thing no politician can tolerate.          In 2011, President Barack Obama and SNL’s Seth Meyers double-teamed in a skillful takedown of Trump at the White House Correspondents Dinner for his embrace of the “birther” conspiracy theory. This may have fueled Trump’s drive to run for president if only to get his revenge on Obama.          Obama: “Now, I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”          Meyers: “Donald Trump has been saying he will run for president as a Republican — which is surprising, since I just assumed he was running as a joke.”          Today, Trump is in a fury over polls showing he could lose to Obama’s Vice President Joe Biden in November. Reporting by The New York Times has Trump exploding in rage at his campaign manager, Brad Pascale, for data that documents Trump’s reelection is in peril. Reminding Pascale how much money he is making off the campaign, Trump threatened to sue him.          But as we move into the campaign season, there are three sets of polls to watch. The first is Trump’s approval rating, which currently runs the gamut from 41 to 49 percent.          Second, are the state polls and how he stacks up against Biden in states he won in 2016. These are the rage-evoking numbers Pascale showed him, confirmed by a Trump-friendly Fox News poll that has Trump lagging behind Biden in Michigan and Pennsylvania by 8 points. A Quinnipiac poll even has Biden ahead of Trump by 4 points in Florida, Trump’s newly adopted home state.          The third set of polls deliver the grimmest news for Trump, and that is the decline in trust voters have in his pandemic crisis leadership. Trump initially received high marks, with numbers reaching as high as 60 percent. Now he is in the thirties, with voters trusting Biden more than Trump, and looking to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the NIAID scientist, and governors in both parties for competence and reassurance during these challenging times.          That last set of polls is the determinative one for Trump, who will be held accountable for his handling or mishandling of the pandemic when the voters cast their ballots on November 3rd. It is the greatest global health challenge in a century, compounded by an economic collapse that will easily rival the Great Depression in depth if not breadth. Judging by his demeanor and odd behavior at recent White House briefings, the enormity of the challenge is getting to him, even unraveling him.          He used to be full of confidence, baiting the media and reveling in the ratings that his appearances guaranteed each day in the White House briefing room. But the polls didn’t reflect the optimism he was trying to generate and his aides begged him to cut back on time spent jousting with reporters while the health officials who stood with him tried not to betray their concern over the false information he was disseminating.          Sixty thousand deaths in 60 days. It took eight years of war in Vietnam to reach 58,000 dead. The rapidity of this pandemic would be difficult for a competent leader to deal with effectively, let alone someone of Trump’s caliber who gyrates from self-aggrandizing banalities to uninformed, unintelligible – dare we say laughable – broadsides.           Douglas Cohn’s latest books are World War 4: Nine Scenarios (endorsed by seven flag officers) and The President’s First Year: The Only School for Presidents Is the Presidency.          Twitter:  @douglas_cohn          © 2020 U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.          Distributed by U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.          END WASHINGTON MERRY-GO-ROUND CC-30-April-Unraveled-by-ridicule.docx

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