Well, okay, it wasn't quite the same as Gen. MacArthur landing in the Philippines. And I don't think there was any risk of him adding, "I shall return."
But we did at least get some memorable quotes. Starting with --
“I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack”
Silly Puerto Rico, what were they thinking causing all this mean problems for Trump and his budget? Because, of course, as we know, it is always about Trump. Even in the middle of a nation's humanitarian crisis.
I'm now waiting for all the cries of, "Oh, please, he was JOKING."
Hey, cool. I always love a good joke. Indeed, seeing the Trump style at such occasions, I am looking forward to all his quips in Las Vegas. Hey, it's Vegas, maybe he'll even play a showroom.
By the way, I should add that, no, I don't think he was actually joking. I think he was making a quip, but being sarcastic and snarky. Like a bully.
But it gets worse than that. Because this is the man who said --
"If you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina..."
No, really. He actually said that about Puerto Rico...and bizarrely and disgustingly he said it IN Puerto Rico. At a table of Puerto Rican leaders. To the cameras. I can't even imagine the thoughts that were going on in their heads, nor the self control it took for them each not to stand and scream at the top of their lungs something about sexual relations with his mother. Their entire nation has been destroyed. They are without water, electricity, gas, medicine, homes and more -- and he tells them to their face that (and my God, I can't believe I've had to type this) they are not dealing with a "real catastrophe."
Mind you, I'm not sure what the proper line is that's drawn between "catastrophe," "real catastrophe" and "humanitarian crisis." I tried looking that up in my Guide to Human Devastation, but it wasn't much help. Just a lot of "See previous..."
And what is the reason this isn't a "real catastrophe" in the warped mind of Trump? Well --
That's when he pulled out his Death Count Scoreboard, comparing the lost lives thus far in Puerto Rico to those from Katrina. It was...well. A) Sort of creepy, and B) incredibly ill-advised, since (if you really wanted to make that death-comparison point for some screwy reason), it would have been best to actual wait until they find all bodies buried under rubble...and actually wait until the humanitarian crisis is over, as people continue trying to make it through no water, no gas, no medicine, no electricity, and the lack of needed food and shelter all rear their ugly heads, and elderly and little children try to desperately hold on with everyone.
None of which even takes into consideration how lives that remain breathing have been destroyed as the entire nation has been destroyed.
Notable as well was when Trump met with the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico's largest city, Carmen Yuli Cruz, who Trump had repeatedly vilified in several tweets for her daring to beg for rescue relief that wasn't coming as her town risked dying. Well...okay, I guess you could call it "met." It lasted about seven seconds, and it wasn't clear he even had a clue who she was. All that was missing was, "Have a good time, honey."
And then there's the video of Trump tossing rolls of paper towels into the crowd. Honest. I guess if this is his standard, no wonder he things the rescue effort is doing such a great job. It's like he's thinking, "Hey, these are the 'Quicker Picker Uppers' so they must absorb a lot of water which will resolve the flooding problem." It's like he's at a sports event, throwing t-shirts to the fans. It's like he was treating these people as dogs he thought were looking for scraps. This isn't "being out of touch," this is empty.
I think we are going to see this video a lot. I think this is Trump's "Bush flyover photo." Only worse. The flyover video could at least be explained in human terms. This video -- Trump throwing paper towels to a nation that has been totally devastated -- can be explained by contempt.
And through it all, all I kept thinking was -- one person, hug one person, just one, hug just one person. That's all, just hug one person. More would be great, lots more even. But to start with, just hug one single person. The nation has been wiped out. Just one.
But in the end, the only person Trump seems to want to hug is himself. And, no, he doesn't deserve even that.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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