Tuesday, March 31, 2020

In Which I Stop Reading the Internet and go out to garden....

Yeah, Feb. 5th; but we need to start there to get this all in context:

“This the price we pay when we elect presidents who have no experience in government at all,” [Elaine Kamarck] told me.

Other presidents, she explained, have tended to have some form of executive branch experience or prior work as governors, in which they are forced to manage in a crisis. But Trump came into office with no understanding of how the government works at all and no apparent desire to learn. He often expresses surprise at the powers he or the government he runs has.

“It is extraordinarily dangerous to elect people who are discovering things as they go along,” said Kamarck, and we’re seeing why now more than ever.

“If the country is at peace and prosperous, frankly, we have the luxury of having a president who entertains us or appalls us as the case may be,” she went one. “Having outsiders is a disaster when we have a disaster.”

One of Trump’s major flaws, she argued, is his distrust of expertise. And that’s largely what the federal government is: an army of subject-matter experts overseeing their own areas of responsibility. A president needs to understand how to use that apparatus to detect emerging disasters and respond to them as they’re coming. Instead, Trump dismisses these experts as the “deep state.”

“What most presidents understand is they need a system around them that accesses the expertise in the federal government,” Kamarck said. But Trump has never understood this. Under his leadership, the pandemic office at the National Security Council was disbanded. It seems this made it much harder for the issue to make its way to the president’s desk early on, when active intervention could have mitigated the disaster we’re now experiencing.
“You didn’t have the competency in the White House to pull this all together,” she said. “So who is he left with? He’s left with Jared!”

Trump’s reliance on his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is emblematic of his disdain for expertise. Kushner came into government without any particular policy strengths. Instead of letting him focus on one issue, which he could have immersed himself in, he has bounced around from priority to priority, adding little apparent value but wielding preposterous levels of authority.

And while Trump keeps insisting that no one could have seen this kind of crisis coming, Kamarck dismissed this.

“It was totally foreseeable, you could see it coming,” she said. “I can’t tell you the number of times I taught the SARS cases study.”
Yeah, this is what happens when you elect a President who's dumb as a stick.*

And this is his new talking point (because all he has are talking points):

And that "Impeachment Distracted Us!" meme is floundering:

In other news:

Well, that and by the time automobile manufacturers retool (if they do; there's still California, and Europe has emissions standards despite Trumps' actions), Trump will be out of office and the rules will change again.  So it's not the executives who are fools.

Just yesterday their boss was at the White House calling Trump God's blessing.  I guess not so much for them, huh?

Yeah, well....

Stay inside.  Stay safe.  Hunker down.  God be with you.

*On that point, I'd reconnect you to this, and point out another article on that topic at Vox. 

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