As though it’s dirt on a political rival

Business Insider notes that not listening to Fauci is one thing (Trump listens to no one and wouldn’t understand if he did) and smearing him is another.

Sidelining Fauci is one thing. Actively defaming him is much worse, though entirely expected from this White House.  Trump and his lackeys are smearing Fauci, probably the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, as wrong “about everything” and even circulating a list of Fauci’s alleged mistakes to reporters, as though it’s dirt on a political rival. 

President Trump tolerates only one kind of relationship with his employees, toadying. Everyone who won’t boot lick ends up fired, libeled, under investigation by Bill Barr, or all of the above. Since Fauci is a civil servant he can’t be fired, and he hasn’t yet been investigated by Barr — but don’t count that out! — so instead he’s just being defamed.

This White House has proved time and time and time again during the pandemic that it doesn’t want truth. It wants good news, even when it’s false. Trump prefers happy lies to grim truths, and thanks in part to his negligence, the pandemic is proving to be a long roster of grim truths — testing catastrophes, spiking caseloads, surging deaths, a failed lockdown.   

Because there are some situations that lying just can’t change. You can draw new hurricane paths on the map with a Sharpie all you like, but it won’t change what the hurricane actually does. You can say the virus is going away all you like, but the virus pays no attention.

But then Trump doesn’t want to change the path of the hurricane or the infection rate of the virus, all Trump wants to change is how people think of [the National Weather Service/Fauci/everyone] in relation to how they think of him. Trump’s lies are all in aid of convincing everyone that he is Immortal Perfection and all others are scum.

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