Well, Donald Trump finally signed the bill that keeps the government running and contains vital relief funds for the American people who are suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic. His pointless delay still caused much harm to those whose benefits expired. But he didn’t sign it quietly or with dignity. Not that anyone would have expected that from him. True to form, Trump signed the bill with a self-serving statement that was riddled with lies, insults and undeserved boasting. In other words – – same as he ever was.
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In the very first sentence of Trump’s statement he injects pure politics by referring to COVID-19 as the “China Virus.” Of course, it would be more accurate to designate it as the Trump Virus, since his negligence, incompetence, and deliberate malfeasance were wholly responsible for its devastating and preventable spread in the United States. His relentless lies about the perils of the pandemic earned PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” honors.
Trump’s brazen politicization continued in the statement’s second sentence where he falsely blamed small business closures on “harsh actions by Democrat-run states.” That, of course, is typical of Trump’s acting out with childish hostility and an insatiable compulsion to divide Americans from one another. It also ignores the reality that economic hardships are not distributed according to political affiliation. If Trump believed his own spin, then why would he give any relief funds to the GOP-run states that presumably wouldn’t need it because of their supposedly superior management? The truth is that many red states are worse off due to their lax response, dismissal of CDC safety guidelines, and prioritizing of profits over people.
Moving on, Trump lavished himself with glowing praise for his “work with Congress,” that consisted of neglecting the entire negotiation so that he could play more golf. He gave himself credit for having “avoided another Great Depression.” And if that wasn’t enough of his delusions of grandeur, he actually bragged that “my Administration and I developed a vaccine.” The scientists and pharmaceutical companies may take issue with that.
Following that, Trump claimed that he “told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks.” However, the truth is that Democrats were the ones advocating for more generous relief funds. Trump came late to that party, and has still failed to bring his Republican comrades along. What’s more, the “wasteful funding” he is now criticizing came straight from his own budget request.
Still not satisfied with his impotent expressions of imaginary power, Trump demanded “many rescissions under the Impoundment Control Act of 1974.” He seems to think that that gives him something akin to a line item veto. It doesn’t. It’s merely a mechanism to make a request that can – and would – be summarily dismissed by Congress. And again, he insists that the “wasteful Items” in the bill – the ones that came from his budget – be removed.
Finally, Trump claims to have signed this bill only after securing an agreement from Congress to “review” a couple of his pet projects. These include starting “the process for a vote that increases checks to $2,000, repeals Section 230, and starts an investigation into voter fraud.” Big Whoop! So the Senate will review Trump’s obsession with Section 230, a regulation that actually makes for more free speech on the Internet. Trump is bitterly opposed to that because it enables too many people to freely speak about what an idiotic and embarrassing failure he is. And the review of alleged voter fraud won’t find any more of it than the investigations already conducted by Republican officials in several swing states, and even by Trump’s own Justice Department and FBI. They all found nothing. But that hasn’t stopped Trump from escalating his increasingly hostile campaign to overturn the election.
Trump closed his statement by whining that “Big Tech must not get protections of Section 230!,” and that “Voter Fraud must be fixed!” And he associated those ludicrous boondoggles with his promise to “never give up my fight for the American people!” Never mind that none of that holds the slightest benefit the American people. They are purely talking points in Trump’s agenda for elevating his own selfish goals.
And with that Trump signed the bill that he previously insisted was a disgrace. He signed the bill that he could have signed five days ago without creating needless tensions and anxieties. He signed the bill after upending months of difficult negotiations and humiliating his GOP chums. And he signed that bill while taking credit for an array of imaginary achievements and empty agreements for a future that he will have no part in.
Nice work, Donnie Boy. In about three weeks we’ll have a president who actually cares about the people and will work on their behalf for real relief and progress. We just have to remain strong and vigilant until then.
ADDENDUM: It’s interesting that Trump tweeted this 17 hours ago…
Good news on Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2020
…and he hasn’t tweeted anything since. No follow up info. No bragging about the signing. No whining about the bill’s flaws. No praise and/or condemnations of Congress. No next steps. NOTHING!
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