“They have to treat us well”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump has not invoked the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of medical supplies and equipment, and why not? Doesn't he love to wave his hands and make things happen like a big boy?

He does, but not if it may benefit someone he dislikes.

Speaking at the White House yesterday, Trump said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has to 'treat him well' if the state wants help. It's a "two-way street," Trump said, and White House officials say he started attacking Cuomo in private earlier this month.

“If you’re good and respectful to [Trump], he will treat you the same—it’s that simple,” said one senior White House official. “The president has always said that he fights back when he needs to, and the situation with [Cuomo] is no different. If you keep that in mind, their sort of seesaw relationship during [coronavirus] doesn’t come as a surprise.

Another person who had spoken to the president earlier this month recounted that one day Trump had mentioned in a meeting how well Cuomo was behaving and handling the crisis, only to, two days later, start bashing the governor in a different private conversation as “nasty.”

It is quite literally true that more people will suffer and die than otherwise would have because Trump is refusing to act out of personal spite. And it's not even about the sick people; it's about a personal beef with their governor who, unlike Trump, is displaying actual leadership.

To call this 'petty' feels like an understatement. It's deranged. And defending Trump by saying he's just 'fighting back' is equally callous. He's fighting back against human lives.

I expect Trump will invoke the Defense Production Act when and if the epidemic explodes in a conservative state like Florida or Texas, both of whom have lickspittle governors that will kiss Trump's feet.

  • Draxiar

    Anyone remember that time when after Hurricane Sandy President Obama called up Chris Christie and told him to be nice or he wouldn’t help rescue and repair the Jersey Shore? Yeah…me neither.

    I no longer have the language capacity to express my galaxy-sized disgust for trump.

  • Christopher Foxx

    “You have to be nice to me or I won’t help you.”
    “Your people are in need. Let me help.”

    Tell me, all you “Christians” who support Trump. Which would Jesus do?

  • Badgerite

    This, of course, is not “fighting back”. This is a violation of his oath of office and another impeachable offense. Actually an offense that absolutely calls for removal from office. The gop are just craven power mongers and don’t care how they get it or how they hang on to it.

  • muselet

    “… I think we’re doing very well. But, you know, it’s a two-way street. They have to treat us well, also. They can’t say, ‘Oh gee, we should get this, we should get that.’”

    There are several ways to interpret Donald Trump’s words, none of them flattering.

    No, mister president, governors emphatically do not have to treat you well, even if you genuinely believe you are acting reasonably. If you can’t put on your big-boy pants and absorb some criticism, you’re in the wrong line of work.

    And no, “senior White House official,” Trump does not have to “fight back” against Andrew Cuomo, no matter what the governor said or did. This isn’t an episode of an unscripted television program; pointless interpersonal conflict isn’t appropriate.

    People have died and will continue to die because of Covid-19. Keeping to a minimum the number of parents, children, co-workers and friends we will eventually lose depends on government at all levels taking decisive and science-based action.

    Donald Trump is taking active steps to prevent that from happening.


  • Nefercat

    He’s making a demand for something in return (emergency aid). Is that a quid pro quo?

    Don’t governors, like every other US citizen, have the right to hold whatever political opinions they like and to express those opinions without punishment from the government?