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Nikki Haley, Trump, and Let the Govs. Do It, Part 1

Steven Jonas
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"Either this nation shall kill racism, or racism shall kill this nation." (S. Jonas, August, 2018)


And just think, if hadn't have done the bone spurs dodge, he could have been wearing a uniform too.
And just think, if hadn't have done the bone spurs dodge, he could have been wearing a uniform too.
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"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President . . . is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about anyone else."

Theodore Roosevelt, Editorial in The Kansas City Star May 7, 1918



This column, in two parts, is largely based on one that was first published at buzzflash.com. That one was largely written on April 10, 2020. Why am I explicit on dates here? Because of course this column focuses on Trump as well. Since, if he cannot be Dictator, he is constantly changing his mind on exactly how he is going to try to avoid taking any responsibility, much less developing the desperately needed national plan for what the Federal government can legitimately do to deal with the pandemic, it is important when writing about him to reference dates.

(And actually one of the reasons that he did that 180 on being Dictator was when one of his facilitators said to him, "You know, Mr. Pres., if you make yourself into a dictator with all the power to do whatever you would like to do --- and we know that you would like to do that VERY much --- that means that you would likely end up having to take the responsibility as well --- well at least Die Luegen Presse [lying press, in German] and the DamnedDems. would be dumping it on you --- and even you, SIR, might find that a bit tricky to get out of.")

The original column focused on a New York Times Op-Ed published on April 8, 2020 by Ex-Governor/Ex-Ambassador/Future-Republican-Presidential-Candidate-Wanna-Be Nikki Haley (see link below). In it she argued that it is the Governors who should be doing all the work on, and take all of the responsibility for, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, which, elsewhere, I have taken to calling the Trumpidemic2020Â . As I wrote this expanded version of the original column, it got to be very long. Which is why I am now publishing it on OpEdNews.com in two parts, this being the first.

This one deals mainly with Trump and the pandemic itself. Part 2 presents the original argument on Gov./Amb./etc. Haley's position (which, at least at the time of this writing is also Trump's [but hey, you never know with him, from day-to-day, even hour-to-hour in one campaign speech, I mean daily presser]) and how it clearly flies in the face of what the Constitution says about the role of the Federal government in such a situation as this, in its Statement of Purpose. That is otherwise known as The Preamble (again see Part 2, in a couple of days).

First, as readers of my writings know I have consistently argued, as do so many others, that successfully dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic is both a national problem that requires national solutions for certain major components of it and a regional/local problem, that requires regional/local solutions. I have further argued therefore that in order to effectively deal with such a pandemic it is the President who must take responsibility for dealing with the national aspects of it. As is well-known and widely advocated they include such elements as developing and implementing a consistent nationwide testing-and-contact-tracing program and establishing a national program for developing the manufacture and distribution of the various items of equipment needed by the hospitals and health professionals to both protect themselves when dealing with patients with a highly contagious infectious disease, and provide for the production and distribution of necessary equipment, like ventilators, to help the patients.

I make no claims to originality here. This is the position put forward by many public health, infectious disease, and practicing medical professionals all over the country. What I do here which might be considered a bit of a different approach is that I base my argument on structure and function in dealing with the pandemic on the plain reading of the Constitution. In particular, as you will see in Part 2, as mentioned above on The Preamble.

Returning here to a consideration of this disease, it is very important to note that compared to the broad spectrum of infectious viruses that we humans encounter, this particular virus has a very high level of contagiousness. This was highlighted by Dr. Anthony Fauci in his TV appearance with Top-Level-Trumpite Laura Ingraham on April 16, 2020 during which he said: "I have to tell you the degree of efficiency of transmissibility of this is really unprecedented in anything that I've seen. [And Dr. Fauci has seen a lot of infectious disease, both in the U.S. and around the world.] It's an extraordinarily efficient virus in transmitting from one person to another." The implication here, which is being completely ignored by the Trumpites of all stripes from the desks of the Propaganda Channel to the plazas occupied by the Trumpite disease-spreaders in front of Democratic Governors offices, is that if social distancing rules are left to lapse in some states, the spread of the disease is going to get much, much worse, especially in those states.

This virus doesn't know from state lines. But at a time when President Trump was clearly thinking that it did, and was saying that virtually all of the responsibility for dealing with the pandemic lay with the Governors, including getting all of their own supplies, even it meant bidding against each other and FEMA for them. What a nice way to divest himself of any responsibility when things get really bad, which they already are doing. And he was saying such things at the time I wrote the original version of this column (that is on April 10).

And so, I wrote the column that will be published as Part 2 of this series, about how the Preamble states national goals for the nation and its Constitution that the Constitutional Convention was creating, and therefore does put certain kinds of responsibilities --- for dealing with nation-wide problems --- on the nationwide officer designed in it, the President. That column was published on April 13, the very day that Trump did his Mussolini thing declaring himself dictator (except that he didn't have Italian King Vittorio Emmanuel III standing behind him at the time).

And so, further, I thought that in this Introduction I was going to have to explain why, even though I was holding that the Constitution requires that the President take a leadership role for certain kinds of functions, it does not in any way provide at any time for the establishment of a dictatorship. (See to begin with, the Constitution's built-in Separation of Powers and the limits on the powers of the President emplaced in Article II.) But, lo and behold, as is well-known, the President did a full 180 in the course of two days and went back to "It's all the Governors' Job," just as Gov./Amb./etc. Haley said it is. And he is now mightily doubling down on that position, while at the same time demanding that Democratic Governors ignore the Guidelines set forth in the current Federal government plan to "reopen America." Further he is making it very clear that he will not carry out any of the national responsibilities that are clearly his under the Constitution.

"Clearly his?" Well, yes, because they are based on functions, as set forth in the Preamble, that only the President can undertake, without, as noted just above, becoming a dictator, for the reasons also noted above. One should further note here that the reasons for Trump's sudden whirling about again have nothing to do with any Constitutional principles. (How could they? There is no proof that he has ever read the document even once, much less that he understands what is in it.) It has everything to do with a) the realization by him and his very knowledgeable (sic) "advisors" (read facilitators of his worst impulses) like Jared Kushner and Mark Meadows, that along with that authority would come responsibility. (Oops!!!) AND, when things do go further south (which includes going further South), he needs to have the Governors to blame, to go along with the Chinese and the WHO, and the Democrats, and Die Luegen Presse. Thus, the Haley Argument, is now being sounded over-and-over again through the President's bull-horn amplified a thousand-fold by the Right-Wing Media. As I have said, we will see what the Preamble, the Statement of Purpose of the Constitution, has to say on the matter, in Part 2.


The column of mine that originally considered this question was posted at:https://buzzflash.com/articles/nikki-let-the-governors-do-it-haley-and-the-statement-of-purpose-for-the-constitution-of-the-united-states?rq=Steven%20Jonas

(Article changed on April 21, 2020 at 02:13)

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Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at StonyBrookMedicine (NY). As well as having been a regular political columnist on several national websites for over 20 years, he is the author/co-author/editor/co-editor of 37 books Currently, on the columns side, in addition to his position on OpEdNews as a Trusted Author, he is a regular contributor to From The G-Man.  In the past he has been a contributor to, among other publications, The Greanville PostThe Planetary Movement, and Buzzflash.com.  He was also a triathlete for 37 seasons, doing over 250 multi-sport races.  Among his 37 books (from the late 1970s, mainly in the health, sports, and health care organization fields) are, on politics: The 15% Solution: How the Republican Religious Right Took Control of the U.S., 1981-2022; A Futuristic Novel (originally published 1996; the 3rd version was published by Trepper & Katz Impact Books, Punto Press Publishing, 2013, Brewster, NY, sadly beginning to come true, advertised on OpEdNews and available on  (more...)

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