Trump really thinks like a mafia don, granting and withholding favors (and sometimes killing people) according to his whim and needs. He that the government is his personal business, that he can dole out taxpayer money to his friends and withhold essential services from his enemies as though he were making reservations at one of his hotels. Combine that with his malignant narcissism and absolute need to have his ego stroked (I cleaned that up), and you get stories like this:
(CNN)At a rally in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said something incredible — even by his standards.
Recounting how his campaign had to move the site of the rally to comply with Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's Covid-19 protocols, Trump said this:“I'll remember it, Tom. I'm gonna remember it, Tom. 'Hello, Mr. President, this is Governor Wolf, I need help, I need help.' You know what? These people are bad.”
Because the governor of Pennsylvania wouldn’t let Trump spread coronavirus around to Pennsylvanians, Trump said that the next time the governor calls on the federal government for help, Trump might not give it to him.
To add insult to this injury, Gov. Wolf didn’t even do what Trump is accusing him of:
Oh, and by the way, a spokeswoman for Wolf's office insisted to Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Trump's version of this story is simply wrong — that the governor's office sent a letter to Trump's campaign earlier in the year requesting that they adhere to social distancing and masks guidelines, but that's it.“Outside of that, the administration has had no contact with the Trump campaign about its events,” wrote Wolf spokeswoman Sarah Goulet in an email to the Tribune-Review. “The Trump campaign is under no obligation to reach out to the administration when it is planning visits. We believe the campaign works directly with the owners of property or local officials when planning. Again, what the president said is inaccurate.”
Please tell your rally attendees to wear a mask. Please tell them to practice social distancing. That’s what Trump was objecting to, because it meant it would remind people that the virus is still around, still causing havoc, still making Americans sick and killing them. Trump doesn’t want to be reminded of any of that, and he doesn’t want his base to remember any of that. Force him to be a good citizen and he will punish you.
Yes, this is Chris Cillizza writing this. So what? He may be an asshole, but right now he’s helping to make the case that Trump is a walking, talking, slouching monster.
For Trump, the power of the federal government isn't really about doing the most good for the most people. It's about him. It's his government — to do with as he pleases.
And, as Cillizza points out, other governors see this and factor it into their calculations. Remember not long ago, Gov. Newsom of California had to make nice to Trump to get federal disaster aid for our fires?
[W]hat if, say, Pennsylvania is hit with some sort of natural disaster between now and January 20, 2021? Does Wolf really need to worry that because Trump thinks he got screwed on a venue to hold a rally that the state might not get the money it needs to effectively deal with its challenges? Of course not.
Trump thinks l’etat, c’est moi. It’s time for him to face the deluge.