It’s an axiom that the cover up is frequently worse than the crime, and right now it’s a toss up whether the White House’s denying Trump knew about the Russian bounties — or the White Power! salute, or Juneteenth or coronavirus — isn’t in fact more damning than admitting that he knew about these things and just shined them on, or mismanaged them. Columnist Dana Milbank opines, “ignorance may be the only bliss for Trump as his presidency dissolves into failures” and then goes on to record that “Trump’s own secretary of health and human services is saying the ‘window is closing’ to get control” of coronavirus, which is being referred to as “Trump’s plague.”
Even Don Jr. has gone on record saying, “I don’t think it’s too complicated to wear a mask,” speaking of the upcoming Republican national convention in Jacksonville, Florida — a state where COVID-19 is presently surging, and where Governor Ron DeSantis fired the expert in charge of keeping track of COVID-19 deaths so that he could personally misreport the facts however he pleased, enabling Trump to tout Florida as an example to other states of how to reopen sooner rather than later.
The Trump administration is the embodiment of George Orwell’s comment, “ignorance is strength,” which means that the ruling class is able to maintain power and control by keeping the rest of the population ignorant. This is Authoritarianism 101 and it is the guiding light of this administration. Washington Post:
Previous presidents have claimed not to have been briefed about things they shouldn’t have known about, as when then-Vice President George H.W. Bush claimed he was “out of the loop” on the Iran-contra affair during the 1980s. But this is quite unusual: The White House insisting the president was out of the loop on something he should have known about. It’s as though Trump’s ignorance is a point of pride. […]
By Trump’s own account, he was kept in the dark by China on the coronavirus. He was oblivious to the significance of Juneteenth or of Tulsa when he scheduled a campaign rally on that day in that city. And John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser says Trump was unaware of many things, including Britain’s status as a nuclear power.
Ignorance may be the only bliss for Trump as his presidency dissolves into failures. As other countries keep the coronavirus in check, states that followed Trump’s encouragement to reopen early — Florida, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina — are seeing record levels of infections. His allies are calling for a campaign shakeup as polls show the unpopular president trailing Democrat Joe Biden by nearly 10 points.
His rally in Tulsa was a debacle. His dalliances with white supremacists (McEnany declined Monday to disavow the display of Confederate battle flags at Trump rallies) has galvanized the opposition. Bolton revealed that Trump sought reelection help from China. And now, Russians have apparently put bounties on the heads of U.S. troops.
Kayleigh McEnany unwittingly was telling the truth, for once, and that is that Donald Trump doesn’t know jack about anything and isn’t really running the country — except into the ground. What is really going on, is that the White House has always figured out a way to work around Trump and sanitize his most egregious stupidities and that’s becoming increasingly more difficult — and they want you to know as little as possible, while they figure out how to cobble together an acceptable truth. That’s what the denial is about. Yes, it’s totally implausible, but it’s a stall tactic while they furiously figure out what the hell to do: because Trump country, i.e., red states, is in big trouble right now. Politico:
Six states — Texas, Florida, Idaho, Tennessee, Utah and Georgia — all reported their highest single-day totals of new coronavirus cases on Saturday, a development Abbott described as “a very dangerous turn” in his state.
Top White House officials remain divided over the best course of action as the rate of new infections spikes in states across the U.S. Some officials, including health aides, believe the government needs to offer Americans more information on a regular basis about the best practices to keep Americans safe in the age of Covid-19 as well as continuing updates on new infections. Other aides firmly believe the White House should charge ahead with its economic message, regardless of the virus. That faction inside the White House does not want regular briefings on the state of Covid-19 or too many public appearances from officials like Fauci that could sour the nation’s mood in the coming months.
It’s still all a PR campaign at this point, because that’s how these people operate, but unfortunately, the Trump administration, like the Trump plague, was left unchecked for too long and now things are going out of control. In the last 48 hours Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell have reversed their positions and advocated mask wearing because they know how dire straits are — they’re just hoping like hell you don’t, as they see victory in November recede like the horizon.