Is this Trump’s fault? – Today, Explained.

Ezra Klein says that while Trump is not to blame for the pandemic, he’s making it a lot worse. 60 days in and the White House still doesn’t have a plan of action. And Trump is outright sabotaging state efforts to recover, withholding aid from states whose governors he doesn’t like, getting into bidding wars over medical supplies, and encouraging citizens to protest shutdowns, in contradiction of his own federal agencies’ guidelines.

Also, to the extent that some of those protesters are armed, Trump is encouraging domestic terrorism.

In the business world, when a chief executive or manager routinely undermines his own employees’ work, we call that executive incompetent.

Trump will face a tough road to re-election. He has proven to be a historically unpopular president even before the coronavirus, and that was with the economy humming along and the US at peace (by 21st Century standards of “at peace”). Even under those conditions, Trump never cracked 50% popularity.

The economy is likely to be awful in November, and Trump has no plan to stanch the bleeding. If Republicans were interested in re-election they’d be spraying federal spending like a firehose; instead they’re suddenly remembering deficits. (Republicans only remember deficits when it comes to helping the poor and middle class. When it’s time to give handouts to billionaires, Republicans are all in.)

Even Trump’s enemies think he’s a political genius, Klein notes. But he’s not. Trump just got lucky and rode a wave of discontent to the White House.

I’m not as confident as Klein. Some people are just plain lucky and Trump is the luckiest man in the world. The racism, poor judgment, rage and discontent that propelled him into office still exists. And the Republican Party excels at stealing national elections. Trump could very well take a second term.

Democrats need to fight this election as if it’s going to be very close – because it will be. And Democrats can never declare victory. Not on the day after elections, not on the Inauguration, not if and when Trump and the Republicans concede. Never.

Mitch Wagner's Blog @MitchWagner