Paul Waldman at WaPo hits the latest version of the post-prime-time presser Trump show, as Kayleigh “Kayfabe” McEnany does another Vanna White presser.
The last six months of Trump terror a.k.a. Bachelor-Grifter's Price is Reich will feature Individual-1 doing his impression of Thurston Howell on Gilligan-Epstein’s Island. Ignore that second pandemic wave, we’re making a radio from a coconut, or is it a sex toy. Ginger or Mary Ann, Kayleigh or Sarah Huckabee?
After all, only 72,812 people have died, more than what Trump calls “A Yankee Stadium of death”.
In less than a day, President Trump said his coronavirus task force might be closing shop (having done such a great job that its services are no longer necessary, I suppose), then reversed himself and tweeted that “the Task Force will continue on indefinitely with its focus on SAFETY & OPENING UP OUR COUNTRY AGAIN.”
But either way, it seems that the president is tired of worrying about the pandemic, and wants to focus all his efforts on the economy.
As appalling a dereliction of duty as it may be, the political calculation isn’t hard to understand. The election is six months away, and Trump knows that in the midst of a depression there’s almost no chance he could be reelected even if it weren’t for the fact that by that time a couple hundred thousand Americans may be dead because of his bungling.
So what is Trump planning to do? Put on a show.
It’ll be a show about a great American economic comeback, and Trump will be the star. It will involve a running series of photo ops and media events, buttressed by fantastical lies and deception. And nobody is more practiced at it than him.
The TV producers used all their skills, and it worked, reinforcing for Trump a principle on which he had built his career: If you’re relentless enough, you can create a false image that eventually turns into reality, or at least something close. Tell everyone you’re the very embodiment of wealth and success, and you can con people into giving you so much money that you actually become wealthy and successful.
The analogy with the economy as a whole isn’t completely absurd. “Confidence” has a real-world effect: If people believe the economy will be better tomorrow than it is today, they’ll be more likely to spend and invest, which helps improve the economy.
“I had no idea how popular how the COVID-19 Taskforce is.”