Over the past year, Donald Trump – and the people of the United States – have been incredibly lucky that he hasn’t had to face any semblance of a crisis, beyond the ones of his own making. Instead he’s managed to screw up on a daily basis, just by doing the job lazily and corruptly and stupidly. Today he was handed an easy gimme that could have allowed him to look “presidential” and perhaps changed his fortunes. Instead he took that gimme, dropped it, fell down, and passed out.
Due to what is now being described by state officials as human error, everyone in Hawaii was mistakenly sent an alert today, telling them that a ballistic missile attack was imminent and that they should immediately take shelter wherever they could. This set off a wave of panicked chaos. It was thirty-eight minutes later before officials were able to send out another message announcing that it was a false alarm. This was Trump’s golden window of opportunity.
“HAWAII – THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE.” That’s all that Donald Trump would have needed to tweet during that thirty-eight minute window. Word would have immediately spread across social media, and the dangerous chaos in Hawaii could have come to an end sooner. We know Trump could have done this because the first official word that it was a false alarm did eventually come from a politician on Twitter, when Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard tweeted the all-caps words we’ve quoted above.
Of course Gabbard only has 93,000 followers while Trump has 46 million, so his voice could have spread the word a lot more quickly. But apparently he couldn’t be bothered. He was on the golf course at the time, which is of course his only real priority. Perhaps his military advisers were afraid to tell him, for fear he would nuke something in return. After all, he is mentally incompetent. But surely, hours later, he had been briefed about the Hawaii incident when he finally settled in for a Twitter session.
So what did Donald Trump decide to tweet, in the wake of the Hawaii crisis? He didn’t bother to reassure the million-plus shaken Americans in Hawaii. He didn’t even bother to rant about whoever made the error. Instead he went on an angry rant about the negative book about him that was released two weeks ago. Trump didn’t just drop the ball today when it was handed to him. He fell down, passed out, and had to be carried off the court. To keep the sports metaphor going, it’s time for a 25th Amendment ejection.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report