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Trump’s “Harvey” response? Meh



Everybody’s giving Trump credit for his response to the Texas flooding caused by Tropical Storm Harvey.

The New York Times called it “a test of [Trump’s] competence and empathy” and generally gave him a pass. The right wing fake news source, Newsmax, quoted tea party sympathizers as saying that Trump is showing “great leadership and executive qualities” in his response. The sycophantic Wall Street Journal ran a piece by a conservative Orthodox Jew (of the Jared Kushner type), entitled “Trump’s Reassuring Hurricane Response,” that’s embarrassing in its boot-licking praise. Breitbart picked up on the piece and ran a photo of Trump looking “presidential” as he stares vapidly at a map of southeast Texas. Of course, Trump himself practically broke his arm patting himself on the back on his POTUS Twitter feed, where KellyAnne Conway (yes, she’s still around) called the federal response “incredible.”

Let’s get real. Presiding effectively over a disaster is the most basic part of a president’s job; only someone as inept as George W. Bush could have failed at it. Ever since Hurricane Katrina, when Bush issued his infamous “Heckuva job Brownie” crack, there’s been a checklist for presidents on what to do in a natural disaster. Bush himself got the process started when, following Katrina, the White House issued a “Lessons Learned” primer consisting of 17 categories of response, to identify systemic gaps and improve our preparedness for the next disaster.” In short, you order every level of your government to do whatever it takes to help (and every level, from FEMA to the EPA to the National Guard, has its own checklist). You have multiple press conferences where you announce you’re on top of things. You visit the affected areas and promise all the help they need. And as Obama once said, “Don’t do stupid stuff.”

So presiding over a natural disaster is not rocket science. Trump is simply checking off all the boxes on Bush’s list. This is something any competent bureaucrat could do.

Still, the right wing is busy singing Trump’s praises to the sky, as if he’d achieved Middle East peace, brought the unemployment rate down to zero, and solved the housing crisis. The tea party is so desperate for anything resembling a victory by this hapless regime that even this relatively modest, rote response satisfies them. Trump, whose latest poll numbers are more dismal than they’ve ever been (here, here, and here), is scrambling to look “presidential,” and Harvey is letting him do it—for the next day or so. Meanwhile, the investigations continue, tick tick tick, and increasingly, Trump has that deer in the headlights look in his porcine, frightened eyes.



  1. Bob Rossi says:

    News flash: Today, the sun rose in the east. Breitbart praised Trump for his “unbelievable” efforts to get the sun to rise.

  2. And Melania wore some new designer clothes.

  3. What did you do? President Trump gave one million dollars of his personal money? You?

  4. Oh, please. When he releases his taxes we’ll know what he’s really “given” and what he’s stolen. Meanwhile, you have the right to be a trump supporter, but please don’t accept every one of his P.R. stunts as “truth.”

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