How will Trump react when Houston turns from an "epic" photo-op and MAGA-cap sales venue to a soggy hellhole for homeless thousands?
"His responses to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey have been more focused on the power of the storm and his administration’s response," notes the Washington Post, "than on the millions of Texans whose lives have been dramatically altered by the floodwaters." The drama will intensify — fast — as Trump's bluster is drowned out by the daily reality of untold devastation.
"It’s catastrophic, not epic," said former Obama aide Alyssa Mastromonaco. "They have no idea the damage that’s been incurred and how many people will need a place to live when this is over." Nonetheless, "the president seemed to be stopping just short of declaring victory over Harvey," reports Politico.
"We won’t say congratulations until it’s over. We’ll do that later," said Trump from Corpus Christi.
One assumes that in Trumpworld it'll all be "over" by, oh, maybe Monday? Reports of confused, inadequate relief efforts should be pouring in by then, at which time Trump will jump to another shiny object. Perhaps North Korea will loom once again as the exclusive focus of presidential attention. Criticism of his administration's response will be countered by sarcastic tweets, but little else. Off the front pages will any criticism go, as Trump plunges into yet another subject change.
I'm not that keen on presidential visits to disaster areas; they're pure ritual in place of pragmatic action, and, as many have noted, presidents will be criticized for such visits, no matter their timing. But if a visit there must be, President Obama showed the office of the presidency how to do it in 2012 — the real substance of which I have photographically posted by way of contrast. No bragging, no bluster, no high-fiving over impending congratulations.
Just a warm, human embrace.
God how I miss that man.