Chuck Schumer just got a reminder never to pick a fight with Trump
On Thursday, Sen. Chuck Schumer wrote a letter to President Trump, accusing him of failing in his leadership, thereby creating a void that “left America with an ugly spectacle in which States and cities are literally fending for themselves, often in conflict and competition with each other….” (California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, by the way, would disagree.) Schumer further insisted that the only way to solve this alleged leadership failure would be for Trump to hand his responsibilities to a military officer who would then take over the country through the Defense Production Act.
Schumer’s attack on President Trump was not only a lie from start to finish, it represented an unadulterated will to power. If this were 1942 and Schumer thought that rooting for the Nazis would win him the White House, that’s what he’d do.
For Trump, the counterpuncher, Schumer’s vile accusations on Senate letterhead required a knockout blow and Trump’s responsive letter to Schumer is that blow. The opening line sets the tone: “Thank you for your Democrat public relations letter and incorrect sound bites, which are wrong in every way.”
Following that first blow, Trump proceeded to pummel Schumer. In his terse response, Trump reminded Schumer of the following:
- President Trump had long ago assigned oversight of the federal COVID-19 response to Vice President Pence, adding, “By almost all accounts, he has done a spectacular job.”
- President Trump has already been using the Defense Production Act to buy “billions of dollars’ worth of equipment, medical supplies, ventilators, and other related items.” Importantly, because of the power of the DPA, the administration hasn’t had to use it. Instead, the threat is enough to make businesses fall in line.
- “A ‘senior military office’ is in charge of purchasing, distributing, etc. His name is Rear Admiral John Polowczyk. He is working 24 hours a day, and is highly respected by everyone. If you remember, my team gave you this information, but for public relations purposes, you choose it ignore it.”
- The federal government has gotten all sorts of emergency supplies to New York. The problem with New York is that it was “very late in its fight against the virus.” Further, under our federal system, the states, not the federal government, are the front line. “Unfortunately,” writes Trump, “your state needed far more of a back-up than most others.”
Having disposed of Schumer’s dishonest narrative, Trump wound up for the knockout blow: If Schumer and his party hadn’t been so focused on impeachment, and had instead focused on New York, the state would have been better prepared for the virus. “No wonder,” the President added, “AOC and others are thinking about running against you in the primary. If they did, they would likely win.”
That may have been the knockout blow, but the President isn’t above kicking someone as malevolent and useless as Schumer, even when the latter is down. Trump added that others in New York – notably Cuomo and DeBlasio – have been trying to be useful, while Schumer has been useless. He also reminded Schumer that Schumer's open dislike for Cuomo shouldn’t prevent him from working for the people of his state.
In closing, Trump said that, despite having known Schumer for a long time, until he became president, he “never knew how bad a Senator you are for the state of New York.” And then, with a last kick at Schumer’s inert body, Trump offered a snide, disdainful sign-off: “If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call. Or, in the alternative, call Rear Admiral Polowczyk.”
That, my friends, is how you respond to a letter that is entirely composed of ambition, distraction, uglification, and derision, mixed in with dollops of malice, lies, and a raw hunger for unearned power.
Schumer, of course, did what all bullies do when someone calls them on their efforts to intimidate: He cried foul. Having started the fight, and then lost, he instantly whined that he was “appalled” and clucked that Trump should “just stop the pettiness.”
The usual handwringers (here’s an example), sided with Schumer, saying that Trump’s conduct was unpresidential. The handwringers are wrong.
None of us have forgotten that Bush responded with gracious, dignified silence to the calumnies that Democrats hurled against him. Unfortunately, Bush’s silence gained him nothing and, indeed, lost him political ground by allowing lies to stand unchallenged.
Americans voted for Trump in part because they didn’t want a repeat of the Bush years. As Evan Sayet wrote a long time ago, Trump is a winner because “He fights.”
Kudos to President Trump for a successful ground-and-pound against a type of man we all know: the schoolyard bully, someone everyone agrees needs to be beaten and beaten soundly.