Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Pols seeing Houston as a blessing – Harvey detracts from their problems

President Donald J. Trump is scheduled to be in Houston on Tuesday, getting a first-hand glance at the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey and the severe floods it brought to parts of Texas.
Sun-Times more interested in '19 mayor's race

I suspect that if he could any reason to justify his presence, Gov. Bruce Rauner would eagerly catch a flight for the Lone Star State so that he could express his concerns, while also detracting attention from the many messes that exist in Illinois.

AT LEAST THAT’S how I interpreted the verbose statement that Rauner issued on Monday expressing his concern for the people whose lives have been disrupted by the severe flooding that will take years to recover from – and which some may never do so.

Rauner made a point of saying he’s praying for those who suffered from Hurricane Harvey and how the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is prepared to assist other entities in providing relief to Texans.

Of course, I’ve read news reports indicating that relief could come from some 37 different states, and may well wind up including the entirety of the nation.

So for what Rauner needed 158 words to say was a message I could have summarized in three – “We care too.” Or perhaps “Don’t forget me.”
Heart of the disaster

IT’S ALMOST AS though if there was a political god, he would have caused this disaster so as to give political people a chance to have a distraction from the issues that otherwise would make them look foolish.

For Rauner, I’m sure he’d rather talk about what Illinois could do to help Texans in their time of need, rather than the two issues that wound up dominating his share of the news cycle on Monday – signing into law the Trust Act and also the creation of an automatic voter registration program.
Trump-ite perspective?

Both of which are issues that will gain Rauner some praise from urban interests, but will be perceived by the rural Illinois voters whom Rauner thus far has been banking his re-election chances on as him selling them out.

Too many of them are interested in having a governor who will deliberately harm urban and Chicago interests. Particularly since many of them are going to want to believe that making it easier to be registered to vote is bad because you don’t want too many urban voters to be able to vote.

IN SHORT, RAUNER is going to have to cope with many political headaches and there will be speculation over to what degree Rauner’s followers will want to dump on him for what he did on Monday.

Easier for the governor to talk about how he gave Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director James Joseph the order to personally contact Texas officials and let them know we in Illinois care.

Much more pleasant than having to take abuse over immigration policy and wonder if the governor is “selling out” to foreigners – which is the way that conservative ideologues will want to perceive the issue.
How quickly will feds react to Harvey?

It may also be a similar situation for Trump – who has some people believing the reason he issued his pardon for former Maricopa Ariz. Sheriff Joe Arpaio late Friday was because that was when Hurricane Harvey was headed ashore, doing its devastation to Corpus Cristi, Texas, before moving on to Houston.

WHO, IN TRUMP’S mindset, would possibly care about Arpaio when there was a vicious hurricane striking?

Of course, the fact that Trump could focus attention on Arpaio at a time of the first significant natural disaster of his presidency has many people wondering how depraved he could be to do something so repulsive to many at a time when people were about to suffer.

Which is why Trump feels the need to be in Texas on Tuesday. He’s going to want to appear to be presidential. Or as presidential as he is capable of being – which might not be very much.

“The impacts of this disaster will be long-lasting. (We’re) committed to assisting Texas and other states in the Gulf region through the response and recovery process.” A canned quote from Rauner, but one where Trump is very likely to say the same thing later Tuesday.


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