The stasis is deepened because as every state moves toward some kind of opening, there is no convincing metric to show conclusively whether the battle is being won.
At the apex of political power, a President who ought to be unifying the country seems to be using his office to indulge his own need for attention and is exclusively talking to the sizable minority that supports him no matter what.
President Donald Trump will visit a Ford production plant in the critical swing state of Michigan pursued by a controversy over whether he will wear a face mask to comply with his own government’s public health advice. The drama exemplifies sharp political and cultural divides over how to deal with the virus that the President is exacerbating with an eye on his own prospects in November’s election.
Amid crushing economic pain caused by shutdowns, a divided Congress cannot decide whether it wants to do more to help, compounding the impression that the fractured national political system and those in it are not equal to the moment.
Every four years, the instrument of political renewal, the presidential election, offers a pressure valve for partisan angst and, for all the nation’s acrimonious political divides, legitimacy to the winner.
In the best of times, and the worst of times, the presidency often sets the mood of the age, in Washington and beyond. But it’s as if Trump, endlessly preoccupied with his reelection prospects, is not engaged in the worst public health challenge in a century and the most debilitating economic crunch since the 1930s.
Each day, he gets further drawn into his obsessions and personal feuds. Impeachment did not slow his testing of constitutional constraints, it accelerated them, as his firing of agency inspectors general and his Justice Department’s efforts to rewrite the narrative of his abuses of power show.