It’s bad enough that Donald Trump regularly brags about the state of the economy, more specifically the stock market, to defend everything else going wrong in his catastrophic presidency. Anyone paying attention over the last two years knows that he’s simply taking credit for the stable markets he inherited from his predecessor. He also claimed credit for passing criminal justice reform that Republicans blocked during the Obama era, which was predictable and despicable. But he’s pushed the envelope even further this time, bringing perhaps one of the biggest failures of his presidency back to the forefront.
On Wednesday Trump tweeted: “So important for our GREAT American farmers and ranchers. Help for GA, FL, IA, NE, NC, and CA. Puerto Rico should love President Trump. Without me, they would have been shut out!” Make no mistake. Donald Trump failed spectacularly in his initial response to Hurricane Maria, turning a bad situation into a national tragedy. Now he’s claiming credit for a bill that House Democrats passed – the same branch of Congress he and fellow Republicans like to frame as do-nothings.
Although Hurricane Maria took place nearly two years ago, Congress finally passed a disaster relief bill for Puerto Rico, despite multiple deliberate attempts by House Republicans to block it out of loyalty to Donald Trump, while Trump himself threatened to cut off further disaster relief on the grounds that they had already received too much government help and its politicians were misappropriating federal funds.
Now Donald Trump is tweeting that the American citizens of Puerto Rico should be grateful to him for the bill he routinely tried to block – largely because he was afraid of how his bigoted base would see him. As hurricane season approaches yet again, we can expect more of this dangerous folly from Trump – particularly as regions of the country he depends upon heavily for support are at risk of flooding and other disasters.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making