Could there be an easier job on this planet than president of the United States during a hurricane? We hear incessant breathless updates from the White House or Camp David or wherever the president happens to be about how the president is “closely monitoring the situation” and how he is in “close contact with officials on the ground” and blah blah blah.
I guess all this is supposed to make people feel better. Got Blackfin snapper swimming around your second-story bedroom? Don’t worry: your president cares.
Which is all a president has to appear to do during a hurricane: care. Some presidents probably really do care. Those who don’t — Bush II and Trump spring immediately to mind — must at least pretend to.
There are two steps to this little “I give a rat’s ass” dance: 1) sit still in a frigging chair — where people with eagle-seals on their jackets can tell you what’s happening while you nod gravely; and 2) when the phone rings, answer it and say, “The whole country is with you, and you’ll have all the resources you need.” There is arguably a step three as well: other than steps one and two, don’t do or say one damn thing — at least not publicly.
But Trump couldn’t pull it off. While Texans from Corpus Christi to Houston pull seaweed out of their ass cracks, we get this from Trump:
That’s right: while the nation’s second most populous state temporarily loses a third of its landmass, the White House is unveiling it’s latest theme week: America’s shittiest sheriffs. Let’s pardon one as Harvey makes landfall and shill for another as it creeps sluggishly by, leaving a good deal of the Gulf of Mexico behind it — where Texas used to be. Because nothing brings people of all backgrounds and cultures together in a time of crisis like craven allusions to racism and bigotry.
Getting a bump in the polls on the backs of suffering Americans is as easy as one, two, three. But Trump had to be Trump — a soulless, mindless man-child who grinds everything and everyone he touches into ash.
Most of the people who are now underwater voted for this clown, so this is the emergency response they should have expected. At least now, if you’re a Texan in Harvey’s path, as you sip bottled water while floating on a foam lounge chair in your own den, you’ve got your reading list. You can learn all about the evils of Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, and habeas corpus as you dangle your toes in salt water and sewage. Good times.