Donald Trump will be at the presidential vacationing resort Camp David this evening as Hurricane Harvey is gaining steam. It is expected to strike the coast of Texas, which has ordered an evacuation,sometime Friday evening. It has officially magnified into a Category 4 storm and is bringing with it tremendous winds of up to 130 mph, a massive storm surge, brutal flooding- and perhaps the first real test of Donald Trump as a president capable of handling a serious crisis. Millennial Democrats regretfully informs you that instead of preparing for this disaster, the president started a political hurricane by officially pardoning Joe Arpaio.
George Bush’s mishandling of the Hurricane Katrina crisis was one of the things held most strongly against him as a president. In Karl Rove’s book, Courage and Consequence, he opines that the Bush administration mishandled Katrina in a number of different ways. He flew over the scene in Air Force One, without bothering to land and speak to the people. A photograph was taken that indicated an aloof and indifferent response. Aloof, at least, is not the style of this president, but his job performance thus far, indicates a disaster atop a disaster. He is not ready for this, and he is not taking it seriously. He doesn’t even plan on visiting Texas, until early next week.
Earlier this week, Mashable’s Senior Editor for Science and Special Projects Andrew Freedman dubbed the storm “the meteorological equivalent of a White Walker from Game of Thrones.” The storm was thought to have lost potency earlier this week. Over the past two days, however, it has risen from the dead, born again, stronger and harder. What is dead can never die. Hurricane Harvey is coming, and those in its path have had little time to prepare.
Hurricanes usually come with only one of two terrifying characteristics. Either heavy, persistent rainfall or strong, violent winds and storm surge. Harvey could have both, because unique wind patterns may prevent the storm from moving quickly out of the region. It has been hovering over the Yucatan Peninsula for much of the week. None of this has proved of much concern to the president, however. He was busy announcing an official order banning transgender recruits from the military. Until Thursday evening he was still tweeting unhappily about fake news, which advisers have begged him not to do, at least until the hurricane passes.
One can only pray, for the Texans in the path of this disaster of a hurricane. The Trump White House has not done much to prepare. The top position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which monitors storms, is one of the hundreds of jobs in the Trump administration to remain unfilled, now nearly 8 months into his tenure. They do have some hope, however. While Trump may not be competent, his predecessor was. Officials left over from the Obama administration are the ones in charge of governing the evacuations, preparations, and relief efforts needed to cope with this storm.
“Federal civilian employees with decades of experience are currently serving as acting in those positions,” a FEMA spokesperson reported today. They are holdovers from Barack Obama’s presidency, David Grant, and Kathleen Fox. Democrats both, who we are very proud of, and lucky to have. Trump can’t even manage the trouble going on over Confederate statues, let alone a hurricane.