More than 80 percent of Puerto Rico is still in the dark, more than a third of its residents still have no clean drinking water, much of the island’s infrastructure still lies in ruins — and President Donald Trump cruelly threatens to cut off federal aid. Doing so would be government by spite, and should be considered an impeachable offense.
If only Stephen Paddock had been a Muslim … If only he had shouted “Allahu akbar” before he opened fire on all those concertgoers in Las Vegas … If only he were a member of ISIS … If only we had a picture of him posing with a Quran in one hand and his semiautomatic rifle in another …
In the aftermath of the mass murder in Las Vegas, the National Rifle Association has come up with a strategy to shut up the country (beyond telling everyone it’s “too soon”) and divert focus away from substantial gun legislation.
The pattern is by now numbingly familiar. A lone lunatic murders a mass of innocent people in some public location. There is a heartfelt cry for tighter control on gun ownership. Then state legislatures swing into action. They pass a series of laws loosening controls on gun ownership.
Extraordinary crises are the acid test of presidential leadership. As I learned while managing the Obama administration’s response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, a president’s personal engagement is the indispensable variable in ensuring a fully engaged federal crisis response.