Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Arizona, California, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming

What did Donald Trump do today?

He had some highs and lows.

Trump spent the portion of the day that he was awake tweeting and retweeting conspiracy theories, insults, and COVID-19 misinformation. (Twitter covered up his completely false claim that the flu is more deadly the coronavirus, which is a bit strange given that he also claims that two million Americans would be dead from COVID-19 if not for his leadership.)

That much was a normal day in the the coronavirus-decimated Trump White House, but one tweet stood out. In an out-of-the-blue announcement, Trump declared he was totally giving up on desperately-needed pandemic relief until "after I win."

Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19. We made a very generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith. I am rejecting their......request, and looking to the future of our Country. I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business. I have asked......@senatemajldr Mitch McConnell not to delay, but to instead focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett. Our Economy is doing very well. The Stock Market is at record levels, JOBS and unemployment......also coming back in record numbers. We are leading the World in Economic Recovery, and THE BEST IS YET TO COME!

Actually, the stock markets aren't at record levels—and they reacted immediately, and badly, to Trump's refusal to shut down the main economic lifeline for the remaining portions of the economy.

Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve and a Trump appointee, had just gotten done with an urgent plea for more economic stimulus when Trump tweeted his intentions. Members of Congress reacted with bipartisan horror at his announcement, particularly Republicans in close re-election fights. 

There was even speculation—bolstered by the 63 other manic tweets Trump fired off today—that Trump's fit of pique was the result of the confusion and mood swings known to be caused by the powerful steroid he's on.

If so, Trump's crash came later in the evening—or, alternatively, he was convinced of the political damage he was doing to himself. He fired off another series of tweets, completely unwinding his previous declaration, and demanding that Congressional Democrats send him legislation that would provide taxpayers with $1,200 stimulus checks.

That just happens to be the centerpiece of the Democrats' HEROES Act, which has already passed the House, and which was the subject of the negotiations Trump had torpedoed six hours earlier.

None of Trump's threats—either the ones to end pandemic relief, or the one to give Democrats what they'd been proposing all along—specified what would happen if he didn't win the election. He trails Joe Biden by as much as 16% in recent polls.

What's the problem?

  • Drug-induced or not, this isn't something a president can afford to be this confused or emotional about.
  • The economic health of the country is more important than Donald Trump's re-election campaign.