Yesterday the “miscommunicator-in-chief,” as the mayor of San Juan has dubbed President Trump, actually crowed about how the Puerto Rico hurricane wasn’t a bad disaster (pardon the redundancy) because they only experienced 16 deaths, certified by the governor who as soon as Trump was wheels up, certified that number was more than double that. No fool that governor, he knows the way to Trump’s heart and largess is through building his ego, as if his ego needs any building.
Meantime, the San Juan mayor though seated at the briefing table with the President was not offered a chance to speak. She wasn’t guaranteed to say positive things about the recovery effort therefore she sat silent while Trump praised all those who praised him, including members of his Cabinet who had nothing to do that day but to travel with him to hear his praises sung.
And, for some reason the media likes to quote Jason Miller, who was a campaign spokesman for Trump but who lost any hope of being a White House appointee when it was discovered he was having a baby, with someone other than his wife (probably not a firing offense in TrumpWorld but this was in the transition so it apparently mattered). Here’s what Mr. Miller said about Trump’s visit to Puerto Rico:
“I think there’s something to be said for a commander-in-chief who can both connect with people emotionally when they need support, and who also knows when folks are looking for encouragement and upbeat positivity, when so many of the images around them are so difficult. For a trip like today it’s important. . . to be both the proverbial shoulder for people to lean on but also to give that sense of optimism that the rest of the country is going to be there to help Puerto Rico rebuild the island.”
I agree with his statement. But I’m not sure if he was watching Trump visit the island or some other president because that description does not fit Trump’s visit.
I looked up the definition for “delusional” – there was a picture of Mr. Miller accompanying the entry, right next to the one of Trump.
What Trump did yesterday was take care of the feelings of some folks who live in one of Puerto Rico’s better neighborhoods, who had their electricity and water and other necessities of life restored. Go about a half hour from San Juan and they would have gladly taken those flashlights the President said were no longer needed on the island. Ninety-five percent of the island has no electricity.
Ever been to Puerto Rico? It’s really hot, that’s why people vacation there in colder months. You need electricity to run your air conditioning … that is if you have enough money to own air conditioning.
This White House advance team has to find pockets of happiness for Trump to visit … so he can wrap up his alleged humanitarian mission to ease peoples’ pain an hour early, as he did yesterday. Uh, but not before he could do a photo opp tossing paper towels to Puerto Ricans before he left. He tossed out those rolls of paper like rock star tosses out souvenir T-shirts to his fans.
He even left one island resident with the good-bye message of “have a good time.” Yeah, gonna try to put a roof on my house for my family. Good times.
When asked post-trip how it went, the President said this – I kid you not – when asked if he heard any criticism:
“Honestly, I heard none. They were so thankful for what we have done. I think it has been a great day. We only heard thank-yous from the people of Puerto Rico. They are great people, and it was really something that I enjoyed very much.”
“They” really are a great people. They are Americans. And they are especially great when you only are shown those who say they love you and are grateful that you have been so gracious as to provide them with assistance after a natural disaster demolished their island. And I’m glad we could provide you, Mr. President, with some enjoyment as you visit a crisis area, because that’s why we pay taxes, to bring you enjoyment.
By the way the assistance isn’t out of the goodness of the government’s heart. While Puerto Ricans do not pay federal income tax, they are required to pay most other federal taxes which in 2009 totaled $3.742 billion into the U.S. Treasury.
Oh and before we leave the topic, the President indicated post trip also that “we” need to find a way to pull Puerto Rico out of bankruptcy. Should be easy for a guy who filed bankruptcy numerous times, leaving his debt holders holding the bag. Because when you look at how that would be done in Puerto Rico’s case, there really isn’t a way to do it.
So, while we literally are hearing stories about a “1000 points of light” about heroes who saved lives in Las Vegas the other day when being pummeled with bullets from a kook with an automatic rifle, we see a point of darkness visit Puerto Rico.
And today he’ll be in Las Vegas where he’ll probably say, “58 victims died? Heck not as bad as in the Civil War. You should be proud.”