Rachel Maddow went off on Donald Trump on Monday night, blasting him for what she called a “fundamentally incompetent and embarrassing” response to the deadly California wildfires.
The MSNBC host said, “There is just something toxic about having the leader of the country there in the middle of that catastrophe and him being so profoundly unable to get even the basic simple human stuff right.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) November 20, 2018
It’s easy to laugh at or scoff at the president for being so fundamentally incompetent and embarrassing and classless on a presidential trip like this one that he took this weekend, but in the context of whole communities burned to the ground and dozens of Americans killed in absolutely horrifying circumstances, a number that may rise to hundreds if and when their remains can finally be found and sifted. There is just something toxic about having the leader of the country there in the middle of that catastrophe and him being so profoundly unable to get even the basic simple human stuff right. I mean, the notes that you’d give somebody for a trip like this could fit on an index card: “People died. Don’t blame them. Express concern. Figure out the name of the place you’re talking about. Do not make stuff up about any of this, specifically about how you would have avoided the disaster if people were only as smart as –.” I mean, most presidents wouldn’t even need instructions like that because most human beings could intuit those basic rules for how to approach this kind of a trip. So I just — sometimes when the president, you know, screws up and spells stuff wrong and gets names wrong and misstates facts, sometimes there is an element of funny to it. In this context, it’s just, as I said, sort of toxic.
Donald Trump’s behavior isn’t a laughing matter
As Rachel Maddow pointed out on Monday, there are some instances in which Trump‘s incompetence is almost laughable.
But when it comes to the devastating California wildfires, which left hundreds of Americans either dead or missing, it isn’t a laughing matter. It’s a disturbing embarrassment.
Each step of Trump‘s response to the wildfires has been despicable – from blaming the state and threatening to withhold federal aid to wrongly diagnosing the problem and failing to even learn the name of the devastated community he was visiting for his photo-op.
With entire communities literally burned to the ground in California, the least any president can do is take himself out of the equation and show some compassion for the people going through immeasurable suffering.
But as long as Donald Trump is in the White House, no community in any corner of the country will have a leader that is able to play that role in the aftermath of unspeakable tragedy.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.