From the Washington Post:
As governors across the country fell into line in recent weeks, South Dakota’s top elected leader stood firm: There would be no statewide order to stay home.
Such edicts to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, Gov. Kristi L. Noem said disparagingly, reflected a “herd mentality.” It was up to individuals — not government — to decide whether “to exercise their right to work, to worship and to play. Or to even stay at home.”
And besides, the first-term Republican told reporters at a briefing this month, “South Dakota is not New York City.”
But now South Dakota is home to one of the largest single coronavirus clusters anywhere in the United States, with more than 300 workers at a giant pork-processing plant falling ill. With the case numbers continuing to spike, the company was forced to announce the indefinite closure of the facility Sunday, threatening the U.S. food supply.
Then let’s be clear: every death from Covid-19 in South Dakota is on her hands. And while I’m no lawyer, I’d like one to explain to me why she can’t be held responsible or even charged as an accessory to negligent homicide. And while other governors have exercised their authority to order people to stay home, she’s basically giving it up, all in the name of “freedom” or some right-wing whack-job idea of states’ rights.
And then there’s this:
Trump declared Monday that he has “total” authority and “calls the shots” when it comes to deciding how and when to lift the pandemic restrictions and reopen the economy, even as governors on both coasts proceeded with their own plans and asserted their own powers.
The contrary approaches hinted at what could become a fractured response from state and federal officials in the coming weeks and months, marked by disagreements over who has the authority to dictate when, whether and how to begin the nation’s slow return to normalcy.
“The authority of the president of the United States, having to do with the subject we’re talking about, is total,” Trump said, adding, “The president of the United States calls the shots.”
Which is in direct contradiction of what his minion and sycophantic governor of South Dakota is saying. Clash of egos? More like clash of idiocy that will lead to more deaths and economic disaster.
An observation from John Cole at Balloon Juice:
Trump is looking like an insane person on tv, and most of you are probably thinking “so no different from normal.” And actually, no. He is looking more insane and more unhinged. And it is going to keep getting worse and worse. And there is a simple reason for that.
This is the first time in his life he simply can not bullshit his way through things. The last 75 years, every single time he has been in a pickle, he has been able to buy his way, bullshit his way, or make a deal out of the mess. He and daddy bought his way into schools and bought his way out of Nam. Daddy’s money got him a start in business. He was able to make deals with the mob and pay lawyers to shed liability on his failed real estate bids, he made deals with the Russians to funnel money to him through Deutsche Bank, he’s was able to bullshit his way through the election and bullshit his way through releasing his tax returns and pay off the women.
And finally, he has made it this far through his Presidency because he made a deal with evangelicals and the Republican base, that in return for some judges, shredding the environment, and throwing money at the rich while hating on minorities, they’d just sit quietly by and wear their MAGA hats.
But Trump can’t make a deal with coronavirus, and he has no control over it. No amount of bullshit or Russian money or ginned up racism is gonna keep people from dying. And he is finally starting to realize it.
This realization isn’t that he’s basically responsible for the sickness and death of thousands of Americans. It’s the realization that it might cost him the election. Period. That’s all he cares about.