The Jury Talks Back


No Matter How You Look At It, It Looks Bad

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:38 am

[guest post by Dana]

Optics matter. They mattered then, they matter now.

Yesterday, a clearly desperate and distraught Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz of San Juan, made a plea for help for her ravaged island:

I will do what I never thought I was going to do. I am begging, begging anyone who can hear us to save us from dying. If anybody out there is listening to us, we are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency.

So, Mr Trump, I am begging you to take charge and save lives. After all, that is one of the founding principles of the United States of … America. If not, the world will see how we are treated not as second-class citizens but as animals that can be disposed of. Enough is enough.

Since Hurrican Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, there has been an ongoing struggle to get relief aid directly to the people because of issues in the supply chain: due to the devastated infrastructure, truckers can’t be reached to transport the aid, roads have crumbled or been blocked as a result of the storm, there is a diesel shortage, and on it goes. In a nutshell, per a shipping company official on the scene, “The problem has been with the logistics, the parts of the supply chain that move the cargo from our terminal to the shelves or to the tables of the people in Puerto Rico. This hurricane was catastrophic.” According to recent reports, 44% of Puerto Ricans do not have fresh drinking water, and it may take months before electricity is restored.

President Trump, who had received fairly good marks for the response in Texas and Florida, could not resist taking the frustrated Cruz’s comments personally instead of taking them with measured grace and understanding. So, in a series of early morning tweets from his golf resort in Bedminster, N.J, the world was reminded of just how small and thin-skinned this president is, and how he makes nearly everything about himself. And in doing so, he took the attention away from the incredible work first responders are doing and put it on himself:




Following these tweets are several tweets about the amazing work by the first responders, but unfortunately, they got back-burnered so that President Trump could defensively lash out at a mayor who is facing an Herculean task. Also, predictably, the President blamed the “Fake News Networks” too.

In an interview, Cruz explained that her number one goal was to save lives:

“Actually, I was asking for help. I wasn’t saying anything nasty about the president,” Cruz said on MSNBC following the tweets. “It’s not about politics, it’s not about petty comments, it’s about moving forward, putting boots on the ground and saving lives.”

Unfortunately, for this president, being “petty” is exactly what he far too frequently excels in being.

As I’ve said here at this blog many times over since Trump was elected: There is no doubt the media and the Democrats, working in tandem, look for any opportunity to get this president, so for his sake, he should stop giving them so much to work with.


[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]


  1. Bad optics indeed. When General Honore starts taunting Trump, things are not going to end well for someone and my bet is that Trump will be the loser.

    Comment by DRJ — 9/30/2017 @ 12:21 pm

  2. Trump mentioning himself in the tweet comes across as petty and narcissistic. Very bad move. The only way it could be worse is if he’d done it from the golf course… oh, wait, he did.

    As for Cruz, is it true that she’s declined to visit the FEMA HQ there, and that she’s not pushing to get San Juan government workers actually working? If so, she’s failing badly.

    The White House actually did prep for the storm; Naval assets were on the way before it hit.

    As for Puerto Rico, it sure is a shame that the military had to come from so far. It would have been far better had there already been a large military base there (with hardened facilities and prepositioned supplies, troops, and logistics) to aid in the recovery, plus pumping 350 million a year into the local economy. They could even call it Roosevelt Roads. Actually, they did (It was a Navy base), but Puerto Rico, in its infinite wisdom, decided it didn’t want the Navy using the test range as Vieques island, and so shut it down, knowing that without it the Navy would shutter Roosevelt Roads, which it did in 2004. Well, they got what they wanted, and I hope they enjoy the consequences they are enduring at the moment.

    Comment by Arizona CJ — 9/30/2017 @ 2:19 pm

  3. I think the naval assets were in the Virgin Islands for the first days after the hurricane hit on Sept 20. It appears the Kearsarge was helping open the Puerto Rican airfield and doing SAR by Sept 25th. All these places needed help but it seems most of the initial military assistance was directed to the Virgin Islands.

    Comment by DRJ — 10/1/2017 @ 12:31 pm

  4. Its becoming clear that the San Juan mayor is mugging for the camera.

    Comment by SPQR — 10/2/2017 @ 9:48 am

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