Dropping in the polls and desperate, Trump spent Tuesday morning tweeting his usual whiny and accusatory garbage, but he also retweeted a vile conspiracy theory that the 75yr old peaceful protester in Buffalo whose skull was fractured when police pushed him to the ground was actually an “ANTIFA provocateur” who may have staged the incident to make the police look bad. Every day is a new low for Trump, and Tuesday was no exception. Asked about the incident by reporters, Republican Senators either hid in shame or answered that they hadn’t seen the tweet. But the comment created a firestorm of anger and once again put Trump and his circle of bootlickers on the defensive.
Joe Biden, meanwhile, spoke via video to the memorial service in Houston yesterday for George Floyd, providing another stark contrast between Biden’s warm, compassionate personality and the heartless, divisive spirit that Trump has brought to every public appearance since his election. All Biden has to do to have a good shot at winning the presidency is continue to give level-headed, empathetic talks and responses to questions because there isn’t enough time left before the election for Trump to fix the economic mess caused by his disastrous non-response to the coronavirus. And just as importantly, Trump will never stop being a vile, divisive, vengeful, ignorant, arrogant liar who would burn the Constitution if it bought him another four years in office–as an expanding number of Americans now grasp.
One of the main campaign tactics Trump and the Republicans will employ this November was on display yesterday in Georgia–voter suppression. Georgia Governor Kemp and his Secretary of State have done less than nothing to improve Georgia’s voting system since the voting debacle of 2018. White suburban areas still have no issues with citizens voting quickly and easily, but black and Latino neighborhoods continue to face horrendous wait times–often many hours–because there are far too few polling places, the polls are understaffed, the staff is undertrained, and the voting machines are worse than low quality (which assumes the machines don’t automatically cast votes for Republicans). This isn’t by accident, it’s by design. The state controls the voting system, and it reflects an institutional racism that is blatantly unequal and profoundly undemocratic. Jim Crow is still alive and well in Georgia.
Is it any wonder that Trump and his cult have made a cottage industry out of bashing “vote from home” and “mail-in voting?” Ballots sent in the mail can’t be hacked by Russia, nor can they be hacked by the conservative billionaires who own the voting machine manufacturers. Mail-in ballots don’t have to wait in line all day, they don’t care if the machines “aren’t working,” they don’t have to hire child care, they don’t have to forgo a paycheck. And that’s why Trump has spent so much time trying to demonize voting by mail. He knows it’s the end of his presidency and probably the end of Republican control of Congress. So voting rights and pandemic voting measures have to be at the top of our list of issues to focus on in the coming weeks and months. Nothing we care about will be possible if Trump remains in office. And if the voting system is rigged and warped in favor of Republicans, it will be increasingly difficult for Democrats to win elections no matter how big their majority. We have to pressure states to make their elections safe and fair.
At least we have the wind at our backs. States like Texas, Florida and Georgia are increasingly in play, and if any one of them went to Biden instead of Trump, it would be game over.
On the local front, NY lawmakers passed more police reform bills yesterday. One bill prohibits law enforcement officers from using racial or ethnic profiling and forces departments to set up procedures to review profiling complaints. The House and Senate bills will have to be reconciled before it can go to the governor. Here’s a good overview in the Times Union:
The State Senate also repealed the law that kept police disciplinary records confidential, meaning it will much easier for the public to see who the bad cops are. Here’s a good overview in Rolling Stone:
Finally, a Federal Judge yesterday called for a hearing with the Department of Justice after reading the entire, unredacted Mueller report. He want’s Barr to answer questions about the reason for specific redactions. It’s hard to imagine this happening if the judge were happy with what he read. Here’s a strong overview from Salon:
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”