Yes, Donald, It Is Your Fault

I still remember being furious with my middle son over something (a high school test he’d blown off, as I recall); I was beginning a long “motherly” diatribe when he absolutely shut me down by saying “yes, it was my fault.”

Admitting when one is wrong isn’t just a sign of maturity–although it is certainly that. As my son had figured out, it’s also an effective counter to other people’s anger. That’s one of the many, many things our profoundly immature President doesn’t get.

In the Washington Post, Paul Waldman recently noted an exchange between a (simpering) Maria Bartiromo and Trump, in which Trump insisted that “no one” blames him for the economic havoc wreaked by the pandemic.  And of course, he has also disclaimed any and all responsibility for the spread of the virus–it was The W.H.O. or the CDC or China, or his favorite target, Obama.

Medical professionals beg to differ.

My cousin, a cardiologist, recently blogged about a recent editorial in the Lanceta well-regarded medical journal.  The editorial pinned responsibility squarely on the Trump administration for its  marginalization of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It called the extent of that marginalization dangerous for both the U.S. and the world. In the editorial, the journal pled with Americans to put a president in the White House who will understand that “public health should not be guided by partisan politics,” and enumerated the ways in which the Trump administration had weakened the agency.

As Waldman pointed out, absolving Trump of responsibility for our economic disaster requires accepting the “misleading formulation” that we must choose between saving lives or reopening the economy. In his opinion,

this depression is absolutely Trump’s fault. He made a series of disastrous decisions that led us to this point, and other countries that have had far different experiences illustrate what might have happened if we had a president who wasn’t so utterly incompetent…we lost two months when we could have been preparing for the pandemic that would inevitably arrive in the United States. Though Trump was repeatedly warned by people inside and outside his administration beginning in early January that a pandemic was on its way, he continued to dismiss the threat, praise the Chinese government for its response and insist that there was nothing to worry about.

It is now late May, and the U.S. still doesn’t have a national testing and tracing strategy to contain the pandemic. Meanwhile, Waldman points to the experience of countries fortunate enough to have competent leadership.

South Korea saw its first case of covid-19 on the same day we did, Jan. 20. But its government acted quickly with an aggressive program of testing and tracing to contain the spread. The result is that, as of this writing, we have nearly 85,000 deaths, while South Korea has just 260.

Like us, South Korea is facing economic challenges stemming from the pandemic. But its unemployment rate in April was 3.8 percent.

To take another example, Germany has been hit harder than many places by the virus. The Germans have recorded a few less than 8,000 deaths — a lot, but still only about a third as many as the United States on a per capita basis. But because Germany had a system in place in which the government covers payrolls in an emergency, its unemployment rate is only 5.8 percent, while ours heads past 20 percent.

I have a son who lives in Amsterdam. The Netherlands, like Germany, has covered payrolls, and is projecting an eventual “cataclysmic” unemployment rate of something under 9%. (The Netherlands also keeps its infrastructure in tip-top shape, but that’s a matter for a different rant.)

Waldman says our disastrous situation could have been avoided “if Trump wasn’t so shortsighted, so ignorant, so inept and so unwilling to believe what experts were telling him.”

True. And if he wasn’t a walking, incessantly-talking illustration of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, or even if he was enough of an adult to acknowledge when he was wrong. But then, he’d be a different person.

A functioning adult.

27 thoughts on “Yes, Donald, It Is Your Fault

  1. Since Dumb Donny loves to put the TRUMP name on everything,
    may we please start calling this the Trumpidemic?
    Lets give him Naming Rights to the 100,000 deaths (and counting)
    that are his fault. Give credit where credit is due they say.

  2. … our disastrous situation could have been avoided “if Trump wasn’t so shortsighted, so ignorant, so inept and so unwilling to believe what experts were telling him.”

    Equally … our disastrous situation could have been avoided if Trump supporters weren’t so shortsighted, so ignorant, so inept and so unwilling to believe what experts were telling them.

  3. IMO, the term “partisan politics” puts the entire current condition in our nation as simply having opposing views on issues. The Republican party began changing and omitting any form of humanity in their foundation decades ago and sought candidates of the same mindset. What is politely being termed “partisan politics” is in actuality humanity vs. inhumanity. Sheila’s son admitting culpability is not merely a sign of maturity; it is the proof of an honest person. Being truthful about ourselves is one of the most difficult realizations we can face; we will not see that from Trump, his current administration or those of the RNC who foisted him on this country by using a “simple majority” of delegate votes. The vote accepted his 20% of delegates and ignored the 80% who had betters sense than to nominate a lying, sexual abuser, failed businessman and con man and pitiful TV personality on this country and spent billions to put him in the White House.

    They are those “…so shortsighted, so ignorant, so inept and so unwilling to believe what experts were telling them” supporters Theresa Bowers referred to. We must be mature and honest enough about the situation because Trump on his own, could not keep himself in the most powerful position on the earth. And those are the ones who must be removed from office in the local and state level elections along with Trump on November 3rd.

    If you don’t support Joe Biden, if you don’t like Joe Biden, if you want Bernie Sanders or you have someone else you would prefer; that matters less than a fart in a hurricane. Do you want to save this country or do you want to whine, cry, piss and moan and help keep Trump where he currently sits as our Dictator? If you take action against whoever the chosen Democratic nominee will be because they don’t suit your personal taste; you will be as much at fault as Donald Trump and his minions.

  4. Theresa,

    Ditto.

    The ignorance is mind-boggling. I had warned about the virus on Nassim Taleb’s website as far back as January 16th. At the rate, we’re responding to President Death, one of these days we’re all going to be “blown out of the water.”

    I don’t intend to stay around and do nothing to prevent that eventuality. So long it’s been good to know you!

    “I’ve sung this song, but I’ll sing it again
    Of the place that I lived on the wild windy plains
    In the month called April, county called Gray
    And here’s what all of the people there say
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh
    This dusty old dust is a-gettin’ my home
    And I’ve got to be driftin’ along
    A dust storm hit, an’ it hit like thunder
    It dusted us over, an’ it covered us under
    Blocked out the traffic an’ blocked out the sun
    Straight for home all the people did run
    Singin’
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh
    This dusty old dust is a-gettin’ my home
    I’ve got to be driftin’ along
    We talked of the end of the world, and then
    We’d sing a song an’ then sing it again
    We’d sit for an hour an’ not say a word
    And then these words would be heard
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh
    This dusty old dust is a-gettin’ my home
    And I’ve got to be driftin’ along
    Sweethearts sat in the dark and sparked
    They hugged and kissed in that dusty old dark
    They sighed and cried, hugged and kissed
    Instead of marriage, they talked like this
    Honey
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh
    This dusty old dust is a-gettin’ our home
    And I’ve got to be driftin’ along
    Now, the telephone rang, an’ it jumped off the wall
    That was the preacher, a-makin’ his call
    He said, “Kind friend, this may the end
    An’ you got your last chance at salvation of sin!”
    The churches was jammed, and the churches was packed
    An’ that dusty old dust storm blowed so black
    Preacher could not read a word of his text
    An’ he folded his specs, an’ he took up collection
    Said
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh
    So long, it’s been good to know yuh
    This dusty old dust is a-gettin’ my home
    And I got to be driftin’ along”

    Source: LyricFind
    Songwriters: Woody Guthrie
    Dusty Old Dust lyrics © T.R.O. Inc.

  5. Sad but true Sheila, the Dunning Kruger effect is live and well in our illustrious POTUS!
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/markmurphy/2017/01/24/the-dunning-kruger-effect-shows-why-some-people-think-theyre-great-even-when-their-work-is-terrible/#e49cd465d7c9

    It sounds so much like our pet orangutan!

    “Like an idiot throwing firebrands, arrows, and death, such is a man who deceives another and says ‘I was just joking, you know!’”—Proverbs 26:18, 19,

    Some of the other Proverbs in the chapter, there are very timely and appropriate!

    Have you seen a man who thinks he is wise? There is more hope for someone stupid than for him.
    Proverbs 26:12

    The lips of one who is stupid enter into quarreling, and his very mouth calls even for strokes.
    (The whip or punishment)
    Proverbs 18:6

  6. “Their inward wish is that their houses may be to time indefinite, their tabernacles to generation after generation. They have called their landed estates by their names. And yet earthling man, though in honor, cannot keep lodging; he is indeed comparable with the beasts that have been destroyed. This is the way of those who have stupidity, and of those coming after them who take pleasure in their very mouthings. . . . Like sheep they have been appointed to Sheol itself; death itself will shepherd them; and the upright ones will have them in subjection in the morning, and their forms are due to wear away; Sheol rather than a lofty abode is for each one.” (Psalms. 49:11-14.)

    So, as we read in Psalms the 49th chapter, we can glean that although being wealthy, the lawless rich and powerful come to an end that is no different from animals being led to the slaughter house. Because these ignorant and stupid ones seek honor and remembrance by possessions and properties, all that they have will be divided up after they are dead and buried just like the remains of the animal led to the slaughter house. And just like chaff, the wind blows, and it’s gone!

  7. COVID-19 is a formidable adversary that has no use for our collective level of human intelligence. The virus does not negotiate. The virus does not even acknowledge a wounded narcissist with even self imposed power. The virus preys on human vulnerability and innate desire to be social and to touch. The emperor possessed by evil vanity who wears no mask is the unwitting champion for the virus. The emperor thrives on the reality he does not know what he does not know though he publicly claims remarkable powers of great knowledge and wisdom. While many weep in the playtime of partisan politics energized by hardened ignorance, the virus reeks havoc upon the strongest economic power in the world. False pride and vanity are the allies of COVID-19.

  8. Whoa Marv!

    I can’t even count the years concerning the last time I heard that one! Does that bring back some old memories or what.

    My great-grandfather used to sing that while he’d to be skinning rabbits nailed to the door of the barn

    My great-grandfather and Woody Guthrie left way too soon!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cudNm4r9NKo

  9. The subject of today’s blog is yet another symptom of multiple personality disorders, not the least of which is Trump’s utter paranoia, malignant narcissism and the total lack for anyone or anything not him. He is a psychopath. EVERYTHING TRUMP TOUCHES DIES.

    Perhaps even worse that these psychological horrors, is his total buy-in to the Steve Bannon Leninist doctrine of destroying government at all levels. The thing is, they offer nothing to replace what they’re destroying. Not a single idea. In Robert Roarke’s Pulitzer Prize winning classic, “Something of Value”, he starts this historical novel about the Mau Mau uprisings in (now) Tanzania and Kenya with an ancient tribal tenant, that it is sinful to take something of value away without replacing it with something better. What Bannon/Mercer and Trump put forth is pure, unadulterated tyranny.

    And the Republican party doesn’t care.

  10. “..and the total lack for anyone or anything not him.” This should read …total lack of empathy…

  11. It’s true this administration has done too little, too late. And now we still don’t have enough testing, nor enough tracing. This administration refuses to learn how other countries have contained this virus much more successfully. And the president in Brazil has proven he’s just as incompetent as Trump in addressing the virus. And then of course Britain’s prime minister also demonstrated a lot of incompetence- he even got infected. This just shows how minimizing the threat of this invisible enemy leads to more deaths. As we say in 12 step meetings ie Al-Anon and AA, denial is not a river in Egypt.

    Trump’s defense mechanism of denial is so severe it’s delusional.

    Those who have protested and waved their guns around to try and intimidate others are just as delusional as Trump. The Republicans and the judges on the court in Wisconsin are also delusional.

    I thought our government was supposed to PROTECT us against internal and external threats. This government has failed to protect us repeatedly.

  12. The Trumpet as all severely narcissistic personalities, sees himself as the supreme authority on all subjects. Experts will be ignored, shelved, or fired if they contradict him. Thus, he surrounds himself with stooges and puppets that do his bidding. It is not enough that these stooges carry out his whims, they must demonstrate extreme blind loyalty in public. Pastor Pence was the perfect choice for VP. Pastor Pence can carry out his own agenda of Theocracy.

    The Trumpet’s persona appeals to his base: The Macho Male Authoritarian, who dismisses Science and critical thinking as Elitism. The Trumpet’s latest rant concerns his demand to open up the churches, etc. He knows his base has it’s core the bible thumper’s and the NRA Types. No one will change their minds. No matter how far off the rails The Trumpet goes the base follows.

  13. Well said, Robin!

    Donny does take responsibility for the good things happening in society – “HIS” economy was robust – “HIS” stock market was at record highs – “HIS” unemployment was at record lows, etc.

    Then along came a virus created by China and endorsed by the Democratic Party meant to make Donny look bad. 100% Victimhood which also connects to all his white aggrieved male supporters.

    As Sheila pointed out in her son, it’s called maturity or growth. It’s called letting go of victimhood and embracing that you contribute to the bad things that happen to you. It’s not a cosmic conspiracy against you!

    I believe Einstein said the definition of doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is insanity.

    Sadly, this mold fits 35-40% of Americans. They can relate to Donny’s victimhood because they are insane and immature. Since their minds are closed, they lack any self-awareness which allows for growth. Life gives you plenty of lessons to evolve, but if you don’t accept this premise by playing the victim and blame others for all your negative consequences, you don’t learn and you don’t grow.

    Donny and his followers are old men and women physically, but emotionally and maturity-wise, they are teenagers. The best part of their worldview was when they were young and invincible; protected by their mommy and daddy from living life on life’s terms.

    It’s why the MA – Great Again appeals to them. It’s why their insecure selves wrap themselves up with firearms along with Freudian complexes. 😉

    Trump and his followers are petulant teenagers trapped in grown-up bodies.

  14. ‘If you don’t support Joe Biden, if you don’t like Joe Biden, if you want Bernie Sanders or you have someone else you would prefer; that matters less than a fart in a hurricane. Do you want to save this country or do you want to whine, cry, piss and moan and help keep Trump where he currently sits as our Dictator? If you take action against whoever the chosen Democratic nominee will be because they don’t suit your personal taste; you will be as much at fault as Donald Trump and his minions.”
    . . . . .JoAnn Green – 5/23/20
    . . . . . .
    OMG says “We can unseat the Obese Slug by voting Straight Democrat Ticket up and down the Ballot. Please do not waste your vote on GOP liars, thieves and sick narcissists.”

  15. Todd says….”Trump and his followers are petulant teenagers trapped in grown-up bodies.”

  16. It isn’t just a matter of what dear leader did to stem the flow of the virus, it’s what he didn’t do. Thus there would at best have been a few thousand deaths from the virus with the best of presidents in charge, but with a president who is playing golf while 1.8 million travelers are coming from a known plagued Europe (not China) to (primarily) New York City, it is not surprising that New York became the epicenter for the virus and, as those arriving fanned out to the rest of our country, the many thousands who have died, are dying, and will be dying as a result – and all the while with a president who is playing golf and using the cover of “hoax” to describe a plague which neither has nor can have a political description.

    Given such a factual background and looking to his political future, Trump went from hoax to blaming Democrats, China, the media, or anything or anyone else in order to divert attention from his own monumental failure to pay attention to the duties of his office, being structurally unable to admit fault (one of the attributes of neutrality in self-perception not available to the narcissistic). He is a child in the playpen of his narcissistic Otherworld.

  17. It is a very sad thing that every time I venture out I see so many people who are not wearing a mask. I find it very difficult not to immediately judge them as just as ignorant, arrogant, simple minded and misguided as the man I believe they are emulating.

  18. Trump’s relationship with the coronavirus pandemic and the upcoming depression are defined by both what he did and didn’t do and when. Until they came along he was living on the fact that his only challenges were mitigating the consequences of his own actions. The pandemic plus the economic fallout of it were his first challenges, his first trial by fire, and he failed miserably on every front.

    Any President would have found these days confoundedly difficult to navigate but few would have handled them as unsuccessfully as TrumPence McConnell has.

  19. Paul @ 1:35 pm , I just came back from the Target store. I was astonished at the number of people Not wearing masks or social distancing.

    Usually a Leader is expected to set the example for others, especially young people. The Trumpet and Pastor Pence refuse to set any example by wearing a mask. The stooges, and zombies who believe all that The Trumpet says follow along, convinced that Hillary, the Biden’s or Obama cooked up Corona just make The Trumpet look bad.

    I suppose in the minds of The Trumpet Zombies, The Trumpet is this heroic figure like Sgt York, battling the “Deep State”. Rather at best The Trumpet is, what he is a bully, more like Custer at the Little Big Horn, except in The Trumpet’s case he tells the soldiers to charge and leaves the battlefield.

  20. Sadly, it goes even beyond the Dunning-Kruger effect, although it is certainly at play here.

    Trump’s narcissism clearly factors into his own self-delusion, but the key problem is that Trump is so stupid that he does not know he is stupid. He *can’t* know. He has no means with which to perform the evaluation.

    If you are not especially intelligent, you may still be able to recognise this, and take steps to cover up the deficiency. You could avoid unnecessary public speaking, use and defer to experts, avoid certain scenarios, etc. As examples, you’d never challenge someone to an IQ test or brag about your intelligence, especially to a wide audience. And, you certainly would never run for president, because then you’d be aware at some level that you’d be exposing yourself to ridicule by *everyone*.

    Similarly, Trump cannot recognise intelligence. He has no means to determine how intelligent (or not) another person is. This absolutely blinds him. I am confident that Trump truly believes he is smarter than everyone else. He has to believe this, or exposing himself makes no sense.

    And if you are sitting there thinking “well, maybe he is smarter than everyone”, then I know why you voted for him. Sadly.

    P.S. The only other public person I’ve seen who comes close to Trump in this regard is Louie Gohmert. Wow. That guy is… stunning.

  21. John H; I have been a fan of Louie Gohmert’s stupidity since he explained why he would not run for president in 2016. He said the Nixon/Kennedy debates had changed America’s view of the presidency and they would never again elect a bald president.

    Say Goodnight, Gracie!

  22. While I agree with everything you have pointed out about Trump, my fear of late is the realization that we can no longer trust anything out of the CDC’s mouth. Their latest theory that the virus does not really survive on hard surfaces (tables, door handles, etc.), and was so appropriately timed to the reopening of the nation. Go forth and infect!

  23. Lois,

    I don’t think the CDC quite said that. The CDC said that transmission of the virus from surfaces was rare…that face-to-face human transmission was the primary way it was transmitted. I’ve always thought that to be true. But I am not a scientist….

  24. Yet in the face of all these trenchant observations, Trump approaches the 2020 elections as if his victory were a given. He can read the polls, so he knows he is losing. Yet his confidence continues to exceed his arrogance. What is going on here?

    Run down a list of those indebted to Trump to evaluate how they might each react to an electoral loss. Starting with Esper at DoD, continuing with McConnell who dictates to the Senate, moving on to Barr at DOJ, sizing up Pompeo at State, glancing at the Supreme Court, weighing Mnuchin at Treasury, Pence (almost too obvious to mention), Azar, Chow, DeVos, all the states with Republican governors and or Republican legislatures – have you spotted a name that will not support him in his certain claim that he was cheated out of the election?

    Trust me, he has a plan to remain in office regardless of the outcome. He has no respect for the concept of democracy or for our Constitution. He has control of the manpower to back himself up. Will he leave voluntarily? To me, that is the least likely outcome of the election. Unless Democrats can enforce an eviction notice, he plans to stay four more years and then, perhaps, give the job to Pompeo or Kushner. What is our plan for stopping that?

    Nominating Cuomo on the second ballot at the convention guarantees nothing, but it might improve our ability to wage a meaningful fight. When Trump declares himself the winner, Biden will mutter a platitude about the Constitution, fake a broad grin, put his foot into his mouth, then ride off into the sunset.

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