KRWG

Goodman: "Mask up, and move on"

Nov 15, 2020

Credit New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham / Office of the New Mexico Governor

  Commentary: The nation is on COVID-19 red alert and our national leadership has gone AWOL.

The nation and our state are seeing such a spike that hospitals are overtaxed. New Mexico set daily new case records of 1,287 (Friday), 1,418 (Monday), and 1,753 Thursday. Doña Ana County took 77 days to go from 1 death to 20, 21 days to go from 60 to 80, and six days to go from 80 to 100 DEATHS. New Mexico had 182 deaths in the past two weeks, 143% of the 75 during the previous two. The nation recorded a million new cases the first ten days of November, and infection rates are still rising.

Meanwhile, the President is playing golf and tweeting angrily about imaginary election fraud. The VP, nominal head of the coronavirus task force, is also searching for some shred of evidence of fraud.

What we’re seeing on Trump’s way out the door illustrates perfectly who he is.

He’s so emotionally devastated by his clear and public loss that he can’t function, or show his face. (He’s also tired of shouting “You’re fired!” at the virus.) He lost by five million votes and probably 306-232 in the electoral college, and he’s responding by like a child kicking and screaming – a Trumpish twitter tantrum.

It’s not just embarrassing. He’s doing real harm. He fired his Defense Secretary, with two months left, sending adversaries a message of vulnerability and impeding the transition to the Biden Administration.

Good government experts and both political parties agree that a smooth transition is essential, given the size and complexity of our government and the issues facing it, but Trump’s refused. “It’s my football, so I get to make the rules!” No release of information or transition funds to the President-Elect. (Biden is working hard anyway, but a real leader would share information, while perhaps stating that he was not thereby accepting the unofficial voting totals.) U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) has threatened to step in if Biden doesn’t start receiving Presidential briefings.

Trump’s allies fear he may even release classified information, or go on a firing spree, just to feel powerful.

For four years, while Trump’s acted like a spoiled child, defenders have said he’s helping the economy and protecting unborn children and our borders. Just what is he doing for us now? This unnecessary foot-dragging and name-calling can’t help our national security (or fighting the virus) – and has nearly zero chance of changing the result in any state, let alone the several he’d need to catch Biden.

Republican leaders seem too intimidated to retain any principles. Senators are asking mutual friends to congratulate President-Elect Biden for them, and apologizing for not doing so publicly. After years of telling his opponents to swallow their “feelings” and live with it, Trump wants everyone to stop everything and cater to his feelings about losing.

I regret writing about Trump yet again. However, it seems useful to stress – lest he try again to capitalize on people’s anger – this graceless, futile behavior. Overturning elections is what dictators do. If Trump were a bit smarter, or had weakened our country a little more beforehand, he might have succeeded. It’ll take Biden, and future presidents, much hard work to repair the damage to our democracy.

Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Trump golfs and whines while Americans die. If you care about our country, it’s time to mask up and move on.