Trump’s weekend freakout spilled into Monday as an afternoon presser went from a rambling, profoundly dishonest campaign pitch to an angry racist quip to a misogynist tantrum. Trump began the event by telling a series of lies about America’s virus testing capability, citing bogus statistics about where we stand per-capita versus other nations, sprinkled with every superlative imaginable. ‘We’ve done more tests than anyone else in the world, far more, we’ve really done an incredible job, better than anyone has ever done, much better than anyone ever thought possible, really, and the rest of the world is all saying how great we’ve done, I’m getting calls all day long, you’re testing is so great, can you believe it, that’s what they’re all saying, it’s such a big success story, and the technology, we’ve got the best tests, far better than any other, and they all know it, and it’s happened so quickly, we really got these faster than anyone predicted, so fast, blah blah blah.” I can’t even do justice to Trump’s ludicrous hyperbole. It was beyond ridiculous.
Trump then took questions and a reporter asked why he was always comparing our numbers to other countries–does he see the virus as a global competition? The reporter, a woman of Chinese heritage named Waijia Jiang, was then told by Trump, “Don’t ask me, ask China that question, okay?” She wondered why he was saying that to her specifically and he claimed he would say it to anybody who asked him a “nasty question.” But of course, everybody including the reporter knew he was asking it because she was Asian.
Trump tried to move to another female reporter but Jiang attempted to ask a follow up question. Trump then got frustrated and decided to skip over the second female reporter entirely, who tried to ask her question anyway, and Trump abruptly shut the presser down and walked away. Social media immediately erupted with criticism, noting that Trump cannot stand taking hard questions, especially from women, and almost always singles women out for abuse. His racism, many observed, was only exceeded by his misogyny. Trump has always been a bully, and bullies are cowards at heart. They can dish it out but they can’t take it. And Trump couldn’t take it.
Trump has clearly been feeling the heat. His poll numbers are bad, his response to Covid has been disastrous, his White House has become a hot spot, his rival Joe Biden keeps putting out devastating videos detailing Trump’s historic failures, and his Covid expert/nemesis Dr Fauci is scheduled to testify (remotely) to the Senate today. Moreover, Trump’s attempts to evade subpoenas of his financial records will be heard today by the Supreme Court. His position, co-signed by Bill Barr, is that the President is above the law as long as he’s in office. They contend that law enforcement cannot indict, arrest or prosecute any president while in office. But more absurdly, they contend that a sitting president cannot even be investigated while in office, hence no subpoena can hold any legal weight against the president until he is out of office. As reporter David Brinkley noted after the Watergate hearings, it’s a legal theory that endorses dictatorship.
Most legal scholars believe that Trump will lose badly, as Nixon did a half-century ago. But we know from experience that the majority of today’s Supreme Court are conservative judicial activists. Just how far out of the bounds from the Constitution are they willing to go to placate King Trump? God knows, any “textualists” on the court won’t be able to find a rationale in the text of the Constitution to support Barr’s perverse theory of presidential immunity. And any “originalists” on the court can’t plausibly or credibly argue that the founders wanted a president with unlimited power. So it’s hard to see how the final decision can go in Trump’s favor, but strange things happen when corrupt autocrats are in power.
You should be able to listen to the court’s (remove) deliberations starting at 10am. Go to CNN.com or NYTimes.com and you will likely find a link.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”