Trump Seems Incapable of Leading

Trump corona speech

Earlier today a Facebook friend wrote on my wall:

I do appreciate your academic research and study on Politics and History, but I would strongly encourage you to not use this time for divisive discussion and rhetoric! It should be a time to come together regardless of political bent for the sake of the health of our Nation -one Nation under God! We should never allow our differences to divide but allow our uniqueness to unite! The watching world is watching and our desire together should be for the world to see Christ through our lives, friend!

Here was part of my response:

…we as the church and as citizens need to hold our government accountable in times like these. As N.T. Wright puts it in his excellent little book *God in Public*: “it is the inalienable task of God’s people, of those who worship the creator God, whom we see in Jesus and know through the Spirit, to speak truth to power. This calling will mean that reminding governments, local councilors, authorities in every sphere, including church leaders, of *their* calling to selfless stewardship. It will mean pointing out fearlessly (but also humbly:arrogance will spoil the whole thing) where trust is being abused, in whatever way.” The president, some of his evangelical supporters, and his PR firm at Fox News have placed lives in jeopardy by circulating a bunch of lies and mistruths about coronavirus. They have peddled, and continue to peddle, conspiracy theories about the virus. How can the church not speak-up about this? Yes, the “health” of our nation is at stake–both in terms of bodies and social fabric. And yes, the health of the church and its witness is also at stake. 

For example, we are in the midst of a major pandemic and this is what our leader, the President of the United States, is tweeting today:

I offered some historical context for this tweet here.

And there is this:

Trump watched a church service. This is good. Jenetzen Franklin is one of Trump’s court evangelicals so we should not be surprised that he read Trump’s national day of prayer during the service. His sermon was titled “Faith Over Fear.”

And then Trump follows-up these tweets with stuff like this:

The president is still going after Hillary Clinton, his opponent in the 2016 presidential race.

He attacks Obama and Biden. These attacks on the Obama-Biden administration’s response to H1N1 have been thoroughly debunked as lies.

We are in a major pandemic, so why not attack Chuck Schumer about something completely unrelated?

We are in the midst of a major pandemic and our POTUS is still talking about Michael Flynn:

Here is the president, in the middle of a major pandemic, telling more lies:

Maggie Haberman of *The New York Times* calls him out:

 

Sadly, to quote homeland security expert Juliette Kayyem, we need to get through this coronavirus with the president we have, not the president we need.  People like Anthony Fauci and state and local officials are the real heroes.  We also need heroic action from all Americans.  Wash those hands and practice social distancing!  This may be the most Christian thing we can do.

James Fallows on Yesterday’s “Surreal” Oval Office Exchange

In case you missed it, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer had a showdown in the Oval Office with Donald Trump about his border wall.  James Fallows of The Atlantic called it “surreal.”

Fallows has two questions about what happened:

  1. “Did Donald Trump realize that Chuck Schumer was mocking him, to his face, with his ‘When the president brags he won North Dakota and Indiana, he’s in real trouble’ line?
  2. Did Mike Pence register any emotion whatsoever, during the 15-minutes plus of extraordinary exchange?

Read the entire piece here.  Read more Atlantic coverage of the meeting here.

 

Why Chuck Schumer Hopes Trump is Right About the Wire-Tapping

It looks like Donald Trump may have backed himself into a corner with this tweet:

Here is a taste of a piece from The Hill on Schumer’s appearance on Meet the Press this morning:

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday raised questions about President Trump’s claims that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower before the election.

In an interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Schumer said Obama has “flatly denied that he has done this.”

“And either way, Chuck, the president’s in trouble. If he falsely spread this kind of misinformation, that is so wrong,” Schumer said.

“It’s beneath the dignity of the presidency. It is something that really hurts people’s view of government.” 

Schumer said if this is the case, it shows the president doesn’t know how to “conduct himself.”

“On the other hand, if it’s true, it’s even worse for the president,” Schumer said.

“Because that means that a federal judge, independently elected, has found probable cause that the president, or people on his staff, have probable cause to have broken the law or to have interacted with a foreign agent.”

Of course there is also a third option:  Trump is right and Obama broke the law.