Can Trump Survive the Political Hurricane?
As Hurricane Florence batters the coast with rain, President Trump is busy defending his administration’s performance during Hurricane Maria. If he can’t own up to the shortcomings of the Maria response, will he be able to respond properly to Florence? More at NBC News.
Hurricane Florence again decreased in speed late Thursday and was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, but the storm has already wreaked havoc and meteorologists warn that it will do considerable damage. One forecaster says the harm done by a 90 mph wind would be comparable to that suffered from a 110 mph wind. “I would not read too much into the categories,” said Howard Silverman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Hurricane categories only consider the wind speed, Silverman said, and “a hurricane is so much more than just the wind. You have the rain, you have the storm surge.”
For most presidents, thousands of dead Americans would be a cause for grief. For Mr. Trump, they are evidence only of his own victimhood… Mr. Trump seems incapable of processing new information or learning from mistakes. Instead, he did what he always does: reject inconvenient data in favor of a story in which he is the hero. In the president’s view, increases in the official death toll cannot possibly stem from a more comprehensive analysis. They must stem from yet another conspiracy by his political enemies. The 3,000 lives lost, in other words, are all about him.
If history is a guide, it won’t be long after Hurricane Florence’s winds ease and floods ebb that President Donald Trump will award himself high marks for his handling of the latest natural disaster. Given his previous grade inflation, reflected in a new controversy he unleashed over the human toll of a hurricane in Puerto Rico last year, his assessments may not carry the unquestioned authority that those of a commander in chief should.