Normal warning: These posts are not to entertain. They’re to put a pin in my sanity. If you want funny, please head off to reddit. Because honestly, nothing is funny anymore.
Building on thinking about the US Government a big risk management apparatus from the other day, POTUS is, ultimately, a big risk manager. The job of the President of the United States — at least it was before Trump, who doesn’t understand this — is to read through the daily briefing, consult with the heads of various departments, and decide what risks to manage, what risks to mitigate, and what risks to ignore. For example, if a small South American country is rattling a saber, do we:
- Ignore the threat?
- Engage with diplomacy through the State Department?
- Put troops on the ground?
- Invade the place?
- Nuke it from orbit?
His (or her) job is to make that ultimate call on where the US places its resources and manages its resources to mitigate that threat.
Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race yesterday and people are rattling their special brand of online sabers saying they will never vote for Joe Biden because of various policy stances he’s taken in the past or a lack of full-throated support for Medicare for All (which may change with coronavirus). This is thinking about the job of the President of the United States all wrong — a sort of easy, selfish, post-Cold War thinking. We’re talking about a head of state, not Santa Claus.
Yes, being the ultimate advocate for those policies and signaling to lawmakers the support for such policies that, as POTUS, you would sign a package and you feel it is a legislative priority, is a part of being POTUS. And having someone who believes in those policies as POTUS is important. But, and this is the big but, if you want Medicare for All, or any of Bernie’s policies, you’re better off putting money behind Congressional races and kicking some old white men out of their Senatorial perches.
And all that stuff — that’s the campaign. Not the job. Campaigning is not governing. Think about the governing.
What you get with POTUS is the ultimate risk manager. His (or her) job is to oversee the enormous portfolio of risk the US Government manages and make calls on where and how the US Government applies its energies in managing those risks. The real question you should be asking yourself is:
Is Joe Biden a better risk manager than Donald Trump?
We can look at the current disaster and make that call. I don’t have any doubt that Biden will hire good people to help manage risk, listen to experts, and make the calls he has to make. Donald Trump, well, he just fires them and “goes with his gut.”
Meanwhile, Biden has all kinds of actual campaign challenges. He has to raise a huge bucket of money. He has to build an organization nationwide. He has to not shove his foot in his mouth.
I get that people are disappointed ideologically but sometimes we need to grow up a little, put on the big boy pants, and think a little strategically. It hurts, but that’s what we have to do. Otherwise, we might as well live in 50 little tiny countries.
Meanwhile, people are dying, small businesses are not getting the money they need to stay afloat, we’ve had 20M people laid off in the US (a staggering sum), and the stupid rolls along. A good example of priorities for this administration — the White House is barring health officials from appearing on CNN until CNN relents and shows Trump’s daily grampa ramble on live TV. Because that is what is important: not assuring the public and giving them good information they can act on, but to ensure Trump gets his ratings to assuage his big, broken ego.
That’s my little ramble on politics today.
- 439, 316 cases confirmed cases.
- 15.776 dead
- 24,388 recovered
- 6185 cases in MD, 138 dead.
- While it is starting to level out on the coasts, it’s starting to pick up steam in the interior of the country.