The Daily Beast

Reality TV President’s $2,000 Stimulus Cliffhanger Ends in a Bellyflop


Over the 54 days since the presidential election, the president has golfed, raged, and complained, but he hasn’t shown much interest in the job he’s so desperate to keep. The American people have pretty much been on their own during a pandemic and the largest financial crisis since the 2008 financial meltdown. Not that Trump was ever a particularly effective leader, but at least he used to bother pretending. Now that the American people failed to do their part and re-elect him, he has decided it’s no skin off his back what happens to them. It turns out hell hath no fury like a malignant narcissist scorned or, in his case, voted for by an insufficient 74 million Americans.

On Saturday, the day unemployment benefits expired for millions of people, Trump tweeted, “I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill.” Trump demonstrated his desire to get people more money by refusing until Sunday to sign the virus relief bill that will get them money—and that his own Treasury secretary had negotiated with lawmakers—while letting unemployment benefits lapse for millions of Americans now teetering on the brink of financial ruin.

It was the latest shocker from our reality TV president. As we reached the gruesome milestone of one in one thousand Americans having died of coronavirus, Trump abruptly called $400 million for emergency food assistance, along with $8 billion for distributing vaccines, a “disgrace.” He played golf at his private club in Palm Beach, and declared “I don’t care” if his refusal to sign would hurt Republicans in Georgia or the American people for that matter, while complaining that his party wasn’t doing enough for him and his risible efforts to claim the election was somehow stolen from him. Would Americans get the rose and make their rent or would they be ushered off stage? Sunday evening, hours after tweeting that “good news is coming,” he signed the bill he’d called a “disgrace” in a belly-flop conclusion to his latest shoddy cliffhanger.

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