It’s been difficult for many among the American public to wrap their heads around Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House, for two distinct reasons. The first is that, with Trump being an illegitimately elected Russian puppet who’s acted like a demented cartoon game show host, they haven’t known what to make of it. The second is that, up to now, Trump hasn’t had to play the role of an actual president. This is the week that all changed.
For his first nine months, Trump had it easy. There was no economic crisis to deal with, thanks to the strong economy he inherited from President Obama. There were no foreign policy crises, beyond the ones he strategically manufactured for effect. There were no cabinet scandals, because the media wasn’t bothering to cover them. And there were no hurricanes, because it wasn’t yet the season. Trump only had to deal with his own unique BS, and not the kind of BS that sneaks up on a president and demands his attention.
But suddenly this week, Donald Trump is being tested along traditional presidential lines. When faced with a devastating hurricane aftermath in the United States territory of Puerto Rico, he managed to botch his initial response even more thoroughly than George W. Bush had botched his own response to Katrina in New Orleans. The American middle finally figured out how out of touch and full of crap Bush was when he declared “Heck of a job, Brownie” as a way of congratulating inept FEMA Director Mike Brown, who was failing on every level. Trump has taken that kind of ignorance to a whole new level by repeatedly bragging about how well his (disastrous) relief effort is going.
Donald Trump is now botching his response to his cabinet member Tom Price’s financial corruption scandal, even as he botches his response to the Puerto Rico crisis. These are the kinds of established lines by which a president’s suitability is judged. Trump is blowing these things on a historic level. Heck of a job.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report