THIS IS WHY WE NEED BORDERS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2020
And we all know what it means. It isn't "apparent," as in "Maybe he meant it one way, maybe he meant what he said." We're well beyond that, now, or we should be:
“Romney’s in isolation?” Trump said, interrupting the reporter. Then, with apparent sarcasm, he continued: “Gee, that’s too bad. Go ahead.”
“Do I detect sarcasm there, sir?” the reporter asked.
“No, none whatsoever,” Trump replied.
By now, we’ve learned how this works: Trump says something that accurately captures his feeling but couches it in enough murkiness to stymie efforts at categorizing it. His base adores it and understands he was saying what he meant, but objective observers are kept at bay with insistences that they are overreacting or misinterpreting what happened. I say he used “apparent sarcasm,” but no Trump supporter who shares Trump’s view of Romney was under any misapprehension about how the president actually feels about the Utah senator’s potential exposure to the virus.
Surely those days are done. This morning, for the first time in my memory, Trump's all-caps tweet that the problem can't be worse than the cure, has prompted news articles already (and Trump is so proud of that he's already retweeted that tweet, to put it at the top of his feed):
The president's tweet follows days of discussion within the White House about the risks posed to the economy of the more draconian stay-at-home policies that the CDC had recommended https://t.co/MCp3y0ACGS— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 23, 2020
It's long past time to stop reinterpreting what the President says, or to merely overlook his tweets because they aren't "official" government pronouncements of policy. He speaks plainly; what he says should be reported on plainly. "Apparent sarcasm"? No one who heard what the President said was in any doubt of what he meant. When he tweets that the country must go back to work, despite the risk to both the economy and the healthcare system and the health of the public (public health be damned, the President needs to be re-elected!), any "objective observer" can objectively see the President is advocating dangerous and destructive behavior. Period. End of story.
Trump's newest tweet means one thing: it means the POTUS is a xenophobic racist who has no clue how to handle the current crisis, aside from blaming everyone but himself. It means he doesn't know how to respond, and he doesn't know how to lead the government in its response. It means, with or without borders, we are more and more likely to go the way of Italy.
And in response to this, which Trump re-tweeted this morning, the county officials of my county are speaking publicly this morning and pointing out that, if we keep low-level offenders in jail now, we will soon have thousands of coronavirus victims flooding our county healthcare system; all because we kept them in jail and forced them to face exposure in the name of being "tough on crime". But the President doesn't understand that, and prefers to heed the advice of Tomi Lahren.
So we are all basically on house arrest but they are letting the prisoners out? Sounds like a brilliant idea.— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) March 23, 2020
And this, as well:
Flatten the curve NOT the Economy— Renee Williams (@FedupMil) March 23, 2020
If we don't flatten the curve, we WILL flatten the economy.
These are the people Trump is cheering on. We are so fucked it's not funny. I fear now we're going to look at Italy and wish we were doing as well as them.
LET LOOSE THE DOGS OF PLAGUE.— Dan Froomkin/PressWatchers.org (@froomkin) March 23, 2020
I AM BORED WITH HAVING TO "GOVERN" https://t.co/cY25Wiv88C