Wineke: The president is a multitasker

You have to give one thing to President Donald Trump: The guy knows how to multitask.

In the midst of what the president calls a “national emergency,” he finds time to threaten to withhold federal emergency funds from California because he doesn’t like the way he thinks the state manages forests.

“Billions of dollars are being sent to California for forest fires which, with proper forest management would never happen,” Trump tweeted. “Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives and money.”

Now, even leaving aside the fact that the president knows nothing about fighting forest fires (he has lived in Manhattan most of his life) and leaving aside the probability that he cannot cancel legal payments from the Federal Emergency Management Authority, this tweet is beyond weird.

A good part of the federal government is shut down. More than 800,000 employees are not being paid.

The work of the government is not being done, all because Trump insists there is a “national emergency” on the southern border.

He delivered a speech from the Oval Office Tuesday in which he said the nation is in crisis and demanded that Congress give him $5.7 billion to build a wall, or a three-story fence, or something. He blamed the nation’s opioid crisis on the absence of such a structure. He traveled to Texas Thursday for some reason or another.

I think this is all nonsense but Trump obviously thinks it is necessary.

But not so necessary that he can’t divert his attention to California and the way California treats forests.
In past statements, Trump has suggested that California rake the forest floors.

It’s probably worth noting at this point that most forests in California are federally owned and that federal forest management workers are unable to do normal winter maintenance because the government is shut down.

But what’s really disturbing about the California tweet is that it is just one further piece of evidence that our president (and he is the only president we’ve got) is absolutely unable to focus on any subject for any sustained period of time.

When I said he is multitasking, I was joking. He isn’t tasking at all. He is flailing around, leaving incredible wreckage in his wake.

And the Republicans who are propping him up have to know this. I would expect they are terrified by what he will do next in their name.

If they’re not, they ought to be.

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