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For some reason, examination President Trump’s revisit to Puerto Rico on Tuesday brought to mind the stage in Charles Dickens’ “Tale of Two Cities” in which the Marquis St. Evrémonde runs over a child with his carriage and but distress or caring declares, “It is unusual to me that you people can't take caring of yourselves and your children!” He throws a silver at the lamentation father and another into the crowd, and as he moves on, one of the peasants on the street throws a silver back in the carriage, at which indicate the Marquis turns in anger and threatens to “exterminate” them all. The peasants hang their heads and contend not a word, meaningful what energy the man has to destroy them.
Donald Trump didn’t chuck coins into the throng in Puerto Rico, but he did chuck Bounty paper towels. And he didn’t repremand the island’s people to their faces for unwell to take caring of their children, but he didn’t need to. He’d finished it clear in his tweets that he suspicion Puerto Ricans had refused to help themselves since “they wish all to be finished for them when it should be a village effort.”
Officials on the belligerent wisely behaved much as Dickens’ peasants did. They kept their eyes down and parroted the boss as he complimented his own care over and over again. This was some-more like an assembly with the king, not a revisit from a democratically inaugurated personality who had come to forge a personal tie to what had happened.
Trump first insisted that the hurricane had hit accurately a week earlier, which wasn’t even close. It finished landfall two weeks ago today. Maybe he’d lost lane of time, but it’s some-more likely that this was a unwavering distortion to cover up the fact that his administration’s response has been so delayed and so inadequate.
It only got worse from there. Trump unctuously lauded his administration, starting with himself, of course. Then he went down the list, starting with FEMA executive Brock Long, whom he gave an A-plus. He thanked Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke and DHS confidant Tom Bossert and praised his “fantastic general,” Jeffrey Buchanan, saying, “No doubt about it. You are a general. No games.”
He thanked Jenniffer González-Colón, Puerto Rico’s nonvoting congressional representative, for “saying such good things” about him. (She is also the state chair of Puerto Rico’s Republican Party.) He lavished regard on Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, since he “did not play politics” when “he was giving us the top grades.”
He thanked all the branches of the military in ornamented terms, nonetheless when he got to the Coast Guard there was this weird moment:
Trump: What a pursuit the Coast Guard has finished via this whole — [inaudible] They would go right into the center of it. we wish to conclude the Coast Guard.
They are special people. A lot of people got to see the genuine Coast Guard in this trouble. In Texas was implausible for what they did. Thank you very much. We conclude it. Would you like to contend something on interest of your men and women?
Unidentified: I’m representing the Air Force.
Trump: I know that.
I’m going to theory that that Air Force representative perceived a tongue-lashing for that reckless remark.
Trump also distinguished the fact that, according to him, the Category 5 Hurricane Maria that hit Puerto Rico wasn’t a “real disaster” like Hurricane Katrina. He asked the governor, “What’s your death count?” When Rosselló told him 16 people have been reliable passed so far, the boss smugly replied, “Sixteen people contra in the thousands. You can be… very unapproachable of what’s taken place.”
We know Trump is very unapproachable of the whole effort. He tells anyone who will listen what a good pursuit he’s finished and was happy to listen to local officials as they told him the same thing. And they did. One after the other voiced their deepest thankfulness for his extensive efforts.
He didn’t ask the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, to contend anything, needless to say. She doesn’t know that the peasants must agree and tan if they wish to have bread and water. (He did shake Cruz’s palm progressing in the revisit and she told him, “It’s not about politics,” at which indicate he reared up and haughtily incited away.)
The boss is clearly indignant that this service bid is going to cost money. In fact, he can’t stop articulate about that. He has mentioned the island’s debt and the cost every time he’s addressed the disaster, and he didn’t forget to do it on this occasion, saying, “I hatred to tell you, Puerto Rico, you’ve thrown the bill a little out of whack. We’ve spent a lot of income on Puerto Rico.” He easily combined that it was “fine” since they were saving lives, which is strong big of him.
I don’t remember Trump indignant about the income it cost for hurricane service in Texas and Florida. In fact, Trump wanted it so much he was even peaceful to make a understanding with “Chuck and Nancy” to get it done. This one seems to be a bit reduction obligatory for some reason.
He finished the self-congratulatory photo-op and ring kissing rite and trafficked around San Juan for a brief tour, finale up in a church where they were delivering some supplies. He took selfies with the locals and then started throwing those paper towels into the throng as if he were Elvis tossing one of his sweat-soaked scarves to the swooning ladies in the audience.
Afterwards, he actually said, “There was a lot of adore in that room.”
Mingling with the peasants is something he believes makes them feel uncomfortable. He once said:
I’m sitting in an unit the likes of which nobody’s ever seen. And nonetheless we represent the workers of the world. And they adore me and we adore them. we consider people aspire to do things. And they aspire to watch people. we don’t consider they wish to see the boss carrying his luggage out of Air Force One. And that’s flattering much the way it is.
He believes people wish to admire him from a distance, see him as bigger than life, as one anointed to care by dint of genetic destiny and special talent. But once in a while an ingrate will toss the silver he easily sent their way back in his carriage and he gets angry. If you need something from the king, you’d better tell him how good he is and then ask very, very nicely.
Heather Digby Parton, also famous as “Digby,” is a contributing author to Salon. She was the leader of the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism.