As Donald Trump continues his embarrassing, petulant refusal to concede to President-elect Joe Biden, some things have become painfully apparent, even to the casual political observer. The President, whose craving for attention is well documented, has become virtually invisible. His continued public posture that he won the election (as represented by the clownish defenders who continue to champion his cause), has become increasingly laughable.
For three years, the American public has endured his ubiquitous media presence. His language gaffes (covfefe), his manhandling of foreign allies (sometimes literally, i.e. shoving aside Montenegro’s Prime Minister Dusko Markovic at a NATO summit), his racism, nativism, misogyny and overall cultural boorishness have become de regueur to the point where we are no longer surprised by his norm-shattering behavior. But, while we’re all understandably breathing a sigh of relief (and not afraid when our children catch a glimpse of news out of the White House), the President’s invisibility is a cause for grave concern, especially in two areas.
First, the President is refusing to share his Presidential Daily Briefings with President-elect Biden. This clear example demonstrates Donald Trump’s lack of concern for the country’s national security. It is well known that Presidential transitions are times when our country is most vulnerable as adversaries feel emboldened to test the resolve America’s new leaders. By not passing on Presidential Daily Briefings to Joe Biden jeopardizes our safety. This is a clear violation of his oath of office to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Failure to equip President-elect Biden with every tool available to his office in a time of global tensions in order to perpetuate the fiction of a Trump election victory is unconscionable in the extreme.
But as egregious as his national security behavior has been, the true price of this invisible President is his refusal to grant the incoming President access to Administration resources on the coronavirus. The virus is spiking. People are dying—now more than 1,000 per day. With breathtakingly good news from Pfizer and Moderna about successes in vaccine trials, it is essential that groundwork for the formidable logistical task of distributing vaccines to 330 million Americans begins post-haste. A day’s delay means additional infections, hospitalizations and deaths for countless Americans. 1,000 persons are dying each day; equivalent to one 9/11 tragedy every three days.
In the same way a successful transfer of batons in a relay race mandates that runners don’t start from a standing position, or that shift changes in hospitals demand the smooth transition from one team to the next, there is an essential run-up to the Biden administration’s pandemic plan where outgoing and incoming staffs must work in concert. The President’s obstinacy in disallowing cooperation until his fantasy election results are fully considered is criminal behavior of the highest order. It is a fitting conclusion to his science-denial approach to the pandemic from the beginning. But now, in the waning days of the Trump presidency, we see the clearest cause-and-effect example of how Donald Trump has moved beyond incompetence to depraved indifference to human life.
No childish temper tantrum on the President’s part justifies this behavior, nor does the scared sycophantic behavior of the President’s enablers in Congress. Give it up, Donald Trump. You frickin’ lost. Now, get out of the damned way.