Huge Battle Over Covid-19 Tests and Trump's Liberation Tweets
Assailing President Trump’s silence on aid to states and municipalities, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York said, “Mr. President, are you going to save New York City or are you telling New York City to drop dead?”
Please consider White House Calls Testing ‘Sufficient’ but States Say They Need More.
In Maryland and Virginia, governors said stay-at-home orders would have to remain in effect until those states begin to see decreases in the number of Covid-19 cases. Elsewhere in the nation, state officials said they would need to conduct far more testing before easing restrictions, and continue to face shortages of supplies and testing kits.
“We are fighting a biological war,” Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia said on the “State of the Union” program on CNN. He added that governors have been forced “to fight that war without the supplies we need.”
On the NBC program “Meet the Press,” Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday morning that “there is a sufficient capacity of testing across the country today for any state in America to go to a Phase One level” of easing some restrictions.
Mr. Northam, a Democrat, called Mr. Pence’s claim “delusional,” saying that Virginia lacks the swabs needed for the tests. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan another Democrat, said her state could handle “double or triple” the current number of tests “if we had the swabs or reagents.”
And Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland said that it was “absolutely false” to claim that governors were not acting aggressively enough to pursue as much testing as possible.
Larry Hogan, a Republican
In addition to being a Republican, Larry Hogan is also the chair of the National Governors Association.
“Every governor in America has been pushing and fighting and clawing to get more tests not only from the federal government but from every private lab in America and from all across the world and we continue to do so,” said Hogan.
Despite saying he would "allow" governors to make their own decisions on when to reopen their economies, Trump called on Minnesota, Virginia, and Michigan to "Liberate" their economies.
For starters it is not up to Trump to "allow" states to to make their own decisions. Rather, states get to make their own decisions, period.
Second, after that presumptions power grab, Trump incited residents of those states to defy their governors.
Trump Encourages Protests
The New York Times claims Trump Encourages Protest Against Governors Who Have Imposed Virus Restrictions
In a series of all-caps tweets that started two minutes after a Fox News report on the protesters, the president declared, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” and “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” — two states whose Democratic governors have imposed strict social distancing restrictions. He also lashed out at Virginia.
His stark departure from the more bipartisan tone of his announcement on Thursday night suggested Mr. Trump was ceding any semblance of national leadership on the pandemic, and choosing instead to divide the country by playing to his political base.
The Washington Post claims Trump’s ‘LIBERATE MICHIGAN!’ tweets incite insurrection.
“Liberate” — particularly when it’s declared by the chief executive of our republic — isn’t some sort of cheeky throwaway. Its definition is “to set at liberty,” specifically “to free (something, such as a country) from domination by a foreign power.” We historically associate it with the armed defeat of hostile forces during war, such as the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control during World War II. Just over a year ago, Trump himself announced that “the United States has liberated all ISIS-controlled territory in Syria and Iraq.”
It’s an echo of the “Second Amendment remedies” rhetoric of the 2010 midterm election. It’s clearly a violation of federalism principles, and it’s quite possibly a crime under federal law. And insurrection or treason against state government is a crime in Virginia, Michigan and Minnesota, as well as most states. Assembling with others to train or practice using firearms or other explosives for use during a civil disorder is also a crime in many states. But the president himself is calling for just that.
Regardless of whether the tweets are criminal on their own, more importantly, they are irresponsible and dangerous. Private armed militias recently expressed eagerness to support the president’s veiled call to arms when he shared a comment on Twitter suggesting that if he were impeached and removed from office, it could lead to civil war.
Irresponsible and Dangerous
I am no constitutional expert, but I have some friends who are. I will bounce this idea off them.
Regardless, I agree with the WP that the Tweets are at best irresponsible and dangerous.
Pence Ducks and Dodges Question
Please consider Pence Ducks and Dodges When Grilled on Trump’s ‘Liberate’ Tweets
Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace immediately confronted Pence on the growing anti-quarantine protests, asking him to personally weigh in while also noting that many of the participants were ignoring social distancing.
Pence, for the most part, swept that question aside in favor of generally praising the president’s handling of the pandemic before saying that Trump now wants to get the country back to work.
Wallace, meanwhile, pointed out that in many cases “these protesters—who are not social distancing—are saying they don’t want to wait” and are actually protesting against the administration’s own guidelines to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
Over on NBC’s Meet the Press, anchor Chuck Todd also stated that the three states Trump targeted are all following the administration’s guidelines, pressing Pence to explain what the president is trying to liberate them from.
As he did with Wallace, Pence ducked the question, instead talking about Trump’s hopeful wish to quickly reopen the country while parroting Trump's refrain that the “cure can’t be worse than the disease.” Todd, however, interjected to repeatedly ask what the president was tweeting about.
“I have given you a lot of leeway,” the NBC News host continued. “Why is the president trying to undermine the guidance you have been laying out? And that he’s been — he laid out this guidance on Thursday and undermined it on Friday.”
Appeal to the Base Foolishness
Please note that even the Fox News anchor is uncomfortable with Trump's Liberation Tweets. And Pence repeatedly dodged the question.
Once again Trump plays to his base with such tactics. But his base is going nowhere.
Nearly everyone except those who would always vote for Trump anyway is at least somewhat uncomfortable with such divisive tactics.
All Trump had to do to win in 2020 was act like a President instead of a partisan clown.
He cannot do it because he thrives on the adulation he gets from rabid supporters who will always vote for him anyway.
This message comes from someone who voted for Trump in 2016.
Neither the extreme Left who believes the Democrats need a Progressive candidate to win, nor the Ever-Trump Right, understands what I just said.
The swing voters, independents, and anti-Hillary voters are why Trump won in 2016 and they are why Trump will lose in 2020, assuming Biden makes a sensible choice for VP that independents can back.