President Donald Trump has rightly gotten high praise for his handling of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma which hit Texas and Florida respectively. However, Hurricane Maria that ravaged Puerto Rico has proven to be a different matter. The infrastructure of the island has all but collapsed, making the distribution of relief supplies very difficult. This fact led the Mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulín Cruz to make an impassioned plea for more to be done. In turn, Trump did not react very well.

Trump’s Puerto Rica tweetstorm

Trump let loose with a tweetstorm accusing Mayor Cruz of “poor leadership” and that her remarks were politically partisan.

He also suggested that the people of Puerto Rico were not as proactive about helping themselves as were folks in Texas and Florida. The result was gruesome. Hot Air suggests that the squabble will not redound to the benefit of the president.

The politics of disaster recovery

Without a doubt, President Trump's various enemies have hoped that he would stumble over disaster recovery, thus setting up another Katrina situation of the sort that blighted the final years of the George W. Bush presidency.

They think they have another opportunity with the recovery from Maria, which is proving to be harder than Harvey and Irma for various reasons. Trump’s critics will naturally want to pin him with the responsibility for causing people to suffer needlessly due to neglect and incompetence. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass has already tweeted her “outrage” over the situation. The media is starting to pile on.

Trump to visit Puerto Rico next week

The conventional wisdom suggests that Trump’s tweetstorm was callous and even cruel, considering the suffering that is going on in Puerto Rico.

From Trump’s point of view, he is just responding to a partisan, political attack. He would note that President George W. Bush was reticent about responding to some of the unfair criticism he got because of Katrina and a lot good that did him.

In any case, Trump is scheduled to visit Puerto Rico and perhaps the Virgin Islands next week. Ever the consummate showman, he can turn things around. It will be tricky if some of the locals decide to make their unhappiness known. However, Trump has had a knack for assuming a take charge stance that looks good for the TV cameras.

One would have hoped that efforts to help people recover from a natural disaster would not get political. Of course, we are in the year 2017 in which everything has become political, even football and children’s literature, mores the pity.

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