Krugman carefully dissects and dismisses the excuses put forth by Senate Republicans (under the aegis of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) for their failure to provide an aid package to the American people. The right insists that further aid would signify an implicit and unwelcome acknowledgement that government solutions are necessary in times of unprecedented crisis; that much of the aid being sought would go towards Democratically-run states; and that further unemployment aid will discourage people from returning to an unsafe work environment.
But none of these reasons make sense from a political standpoint. Americans are still hurting by the millions, hundreds of thousands of businesses are barely hanging on, and state budgets are collapsing. This is occurring in every state, not just in “blue” ones.
And, as he points out, it’s not only Democrats but Wall Street itself that is expressing the need for further stimulus and COVID-19 relief funding. It is the Federal Reserve that is expressing its exasperation at a president and Senate majority leader who seem to have abandoned all sense of economic reality.
As far as I can tell, nobody has offered a plausible political motive, any way in which refusing even to try rescuing the economy helps Trump’s prospects. What this looks like, instead, is vindictiveness.
Yet getting a relief deal would have required accepting a compromise with that “nasty” woman Nancy Pelosi. And it seems that he would rather let the economy burn.
If this is Trump’s attitude now, and if—despite all his machinations, despite Attorney General William Barr’s phony witch hunts, despite his clarion call for assistance from the Russian Federation, despite his threats of violence and refusal to accept the election results, and despite Fox News’ incessant propaganda supporting and encouraging these efforts—he does in fact lose on Nov. 3, what will be his reaction? And what will someone with Trump’s vindictive mindset and complete lack of human empathy do to sabotage or destroy the country in the final months of his presidency?
The most immediate concern is that he won’t accept the election results. But we should also be worried about what will follow if he is forced to accept the will of the people, but is still running the country. Trump has always been vindictive; what will he do if and when he has nothing left but spite?
It appears we are all about to find out. But one thing seems certain: Whatever revenge Trump takes will be felt by all. Not just by Democrats, who he will see as the direct reason for his downfall, but also by Republicans, who he will see as having failed him.
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