December 3, 2020

Trump, Kemp and the No Lose Scenario

I was listening to Rush yesterday talk about how great it was that Gov. Kemp of Georgia was allowing for all sorts of businesses to open back up on Friday. The Governor’s order will allow tattoo parlors, bowling alleys, hair salons and the like to open back up on Friday. It does not mandate that they open up nor does it mandate that anyone go to them, but it allows for individuals to make that decision.

During the press conference yesterday, President Trump was asked about this move, as this goes beyond the items that would be considered a Phase 1 opening. His response was that he didn’t agree with it– it was too fast– but he hopes he succeeds.

But I think spas, and beauty salons, and tattoo parlors, and barber shops in phase one, we’re going to have phase two very soon, is just too soon. I think it’s too soon. And I love the people. I love those people that use all of those things. The spas, and the beauty parlors, and barber shops, tattoo parlors, I love them. But they can wait a little bit longer, just a little bit, not much, because safety has to predominate. We have to have that. So I told the governor very simply that I disagree with this decision, but he has to do what he thinks is right. [emphasis mine]

“I love these people. I know the people from spas and beauty parlors, tattoo parlors. Bikers for Trump, a lot of tattoos. I love them, I love these people.”

So what is he doing here, going against what seems would be his line and a GOP governor that he takes credit for supporting?

This is just Trump’s typical way of setting himself up to have two ways to win and no way to lose.

He wins if Georgia Does Well

If Georgia opens up this week and there’s only a minor uptick or no uptick in cases or deaths then it looks like a victory. Watch for someone to claim victory early next week followed by others that say that we’ll actually have to have two weeks to wait and see how it works out because of the incubation period, followed by analysis of how many businesses actually opened or people actually visited them. If it goes well, many will discount it because “people didn’t go out” or “businesses didn’t listen,” but who cares?

If there’s not a significant uptick in cases it will prove what Gov. Kemp is saying– people should be free to make informed decisions– they don’t need the government to make them for them. This will be a significant win, and Pres. Trump will claim that he was right all along to allow Governors the freedom to open things up, and his liberate Tweets were right.

We’ll be in the phase where the media might actually start saying that Trump overreacted.

He wins if Georgia Does Poorly

If Georgia opens up this week and they see a big uptick in cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the next two weeks (especially right away), then President Trump will say that he told Governor Kemp that he shouldn’t have opened things back up, that he disagreed with him, and that he told them to do it slower. The media will jump all over Georgia and Gov. Kemp, telling everyone that they were right and we have to stay locked down.

Pres. Trump will use this scenario to backup his plan– he’ll say that his plan isn’t as aggressive, and just because Georgia failed, it doesn’t mean that any other state that is following the plan would not fail.

The No-Lose Scenario

Pres. Trump is probably very grateful that there is someone like Gov. Kemp that is willing to go further than the guidelines. It allows his some buffer. If everyone just followed the guidelines and they turned out to have a negative consequence then there’d be no way to back down– he’d own it. Gov. Kemp has done Pres. Trump a favor.

It’s almost enough to make you wonder if it was planned.

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