Monday, December 28, 2020

The Last Act Of A Desperate Man

Via the Washington Post:

Trump unexpectedly capitulated Sunday night and signed the stimulus bill into law, releasing $900 billion in emergency relief funds into the economy and averting a Tuesday government shutdown.

White House officials didn’t explain why the president decided to suddenly back down and sign into law a bill he had held up for nearly a week and had referred to as a “disgrace” just days earlier.

Trump signed the bill while vacationing in Florida and on a weekend when he had allowed unemployment benefits for 14 million Americans to expire.

He had demanded changes to the stimulus and spending package for a week, suggesting he would refuse to sign it until these demands were met. This continued defiance caused lawmakers from both parties to panic over the weekend, worried about the implications of a government shutdown during a pandemic. It was unclear what prompted him to change his mind late Sunday, but he was under tremendous pressure from Republicans to acquiesce.

In a statement he issued after signing the law, Trump released a long list of false claims and grievances. He said he would be sending a “redlined” version of the bill back to Congress “insisting that those funds be removed from the bill.”

Trump has less than a month remaining in his presidency, and lawmakers are likely to ignore any such request.

This is probably the last piece of major legislation that he will sign — the Defense bill that he vetoed will most likely be overridden this week — and then that will, at long last, be it.

This whole kinderspiel is a fitting end to his ignominious regime: ranting, whining, tantrums, and then finally he caves and does the right thing only because he’s forced into it.

Word has it that Trump was pissed off by news coverage that made him out to be sidelined in the talks about what to put in the bill. That’s because he was spending all of his time either on the golf course or trying to convince the world that he really won the election. So this last-minute throwing of a turd into the punch bowl is his attempt to be a part of the discussion. That is basically his style of leadership in a nutshell.