President Donald Trump, hours after governors on both coasts announced regional plans for reopening their states, asserted "total authority" over decisions about when and how to emerge after coronavirus shutdowns.
“When somebody’s president of the United States, the authority is total," Trump said at a press briefing Monday when asked about the governors' plans. "And that’s the way it’s got to to be. It's total. It’s total. And the governors know that."
"You have a couple bands of Democratic governors, but they will agree to it," Trump continued about the governors, who also include Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. "They will agree to it. But the authority of the president of the United States, having to do with the subject we’re talking about, is total.”
It's not, of course. We specifically have a Constitution that ensures the opposite.
Our media is beginning to remember that.
I hope that every reporter continues asking him questions like this. @PaulaReidCBS is right—no one who actually cares about the lives he is costing with his willful incompetence wants to hear about his petty rivalries right now.— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) April 13, 2020
(And he lied about Biden.) pic.twitter.com/fbjDzsnlRd
What Trump says isn't true, and some things he can't make true.
Not without a fight, at least.
But a fight is exactly what the ghouls on the right been hoping for, and as the country continues to spiral into chaos, they see the opportunity to light the fuse on the biggest fight of them all.
There are now numerous groups weighing in with different views about what Trump should do. For example, Mnuchin said the 100 business groups would be separated into different groups based on their industry. The conservative groups, meanwhile, are pushing for the White House and GOP lawmakers to push back against health professionals who have urged more caution.
The outside effort from conservative groups is expected to be led by Stephen Moore, a conservative at the Heritage Foundation who is close with White House economic officials; Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots; Adam Brandon, president of FreedomWorks, a conservative advocacy organization; and Lisa Nelson, chief executive of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative organization with ties to the Koch brothers, according to the three people, who were granted anonymity to reveal details of an effort that had not been publicly revealed.
“There’s economic risks in both directions,” Mnuchin said, based on what Trump ultimately decides to do. A reporter asked Trump if he would order the economy to reopen by May 1, and Trump said he would give an answer to that question soon.
Mnuchin said his advice to the president was that the economy should reopen “as soon as it’s ready to open and based upon the medical professionals.”
Part of the impetus for the conservative group effort is political. Many conservatives, who had long counted on a roaring economy to lift the GOP in November, are increasingly uneasy about the party’s chances if businesses remain shuttered.
“Obviously, the sooner we get the economy going and back up, the better it’s going to be for conservatives and Republicans in this election year,” veteran tea-party organizer Richard Viguerie said in an interview. “A lot of Republicans and conservatives feel there might be an overreaction to all of this. We’re all anxious to get back. Conservatives feel the government has overreacted, and it’s got to end.”
Multiple other leading conservative groups are expected to join the effort. The coalition started lobbying Republican lawmakers last week and also is working to influence the White House’s thinking.
The conservative mobilization to reopen the economy comes at a pivotal moment in the nation’s fight against the pandemic, as the president and senior administration officials publicly suggest economic life could be largely returned to normal next month. Their push has faced resistance from public health experts, who warn of potentially disastrous consequences should Americans resume daily routines without a clear national plan for doing so safely, creating an enormous power struggle within the Trump administration.
These conservatives warn the sustained economic downturn could do more damage to Americans by destroying their livelihoods, and that the economy can be reopened safely. Numerous other economists and public health experts have pushed back against that assumption.
“There’s a massive movement on the right now, growing exponentially. In the next two weeks, you’ll see protests in the streets of conservatives; you’ll see a big pushback against the lockdown in some states. People are at the boiling point,” said Moore, who declined to comment on the group. “If this were Hillary Clinton doing these things, you already would have riots in the streets.”
Other conservatives have proposed sidelining the two leading public health experts in the administration, Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Deborah Birx, coronavirus response director. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), a conservative lawmaker, tweeted Monday that Fauci and Birx “should no longer be the primary voices at the table."
Things are going to come to a head very soon. What I fear most is a scenario where protests turn violent, even though the thought of armed protests during a pandemic seems too bizarre to even consider, and Trump decides he's going to restore order using force.
I know that seems greatly far-fetched but at this point we have an unstable sociopathic narcissist seeing his power slip away from him during a medical disaster that he no longer has control over.
Who the hell knows what he's going to do at this point?