The coronavirus surge continued yesterday through the Sun Belt, with another record-high daily case total of over 70,000.  It’s the eleventh time in the last month that a national daily case record has been set.  You would think the raging virus would merit the attention of the Trump regime.  Think again.  Trump has instead ordered hospitals to no longer send their infection data to the CDC, but instead to HHS, run by Trump crony Alex Azar.  It’s a safe guess that Trump will try to hide, massage, or obfuscate “the numbers” in some malevolent way.   Here’s coverage from ABC News:

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/transparency-questions-hospitals-directed-report-covid-data-hhs/story?id=71803141

Mary Trump’s new book was released this week and shot to the top of the bestseller list, selling a million copies in two days.  Mary, Donald’s niece, was interviewed on the Rachel Maddow show last night on MSNBC and underscored several of the points in her book.  She’s among many personal acquaintances of Trump who believe Democrats will need to provide Joe Biden with a large and decisive victory this November in order to keep Trump from trying to invalidate or cheat the outcome.  If the vote tally is close, Trump will turn his lawyers loose in swing states and pull as many shenanigans as possible.  We already know that many states will experience a larger-than-usual amount of mail-in voting, which takes much longer to count.  So if the election is close, we might not have a clear result for days, maybe weeks.  And that gives Trump time to use the levers of power to manipulate the process and possibly the outcome.  Regardless, it’s hard to imagine Trump calling Joe Biden at 3am the night of the election to concede under any circumstances.

On the other hand, it’s easy to imagine Joe Biden winning if you pay attention to current polling.  Biden’s got a double digit national lead, and he’s ahead by a significant margin in several battleground states, including Florida.  (If Trump loses Florida, game over.)  In a recent poll by Priorities USA, 8% of respondents who voted for Trump said they will instead vote for Biden.  And Trump’s disapproval rating reached 60% in a national poll for the first ever.  But we can’t allow ourselves any complacency or optimism.  We have no idea what effect interference from Russia and China might have on the election.  We also have no idea what ultimate effect voter purging and disenfranchisement will have on the outcome, especially in swing states.  We also have no idea what effect voter intimidation might have.  You may not know that the Republican National Committee is spending millions of dollars to organize an army of 50,000 poll watchers to challenge the eligibility of voters in states that allow such activity.  Poll watchers have a history of voter intimidation in minority communities and if widely organized can suppress the vote.  Here’s coverage from NBC news:

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/gop-recruits-army-poll-watchers-fight-voter-fraud-no-can-n1217391

The Trumpublican party knows this is their last stand.  United States history will likely proceed in one of two highly divergent ways after November.  Either Trump will win a second term and dismantle our Democracy, leading to permanent rule by an authoritarian hard-right minority (Trump, then Don Jr) backed by a corrupt Justice Department and partisan courts.  Or Trump will lose and Biden and the Democrats will restore America to a diverse and pluralistic course that rejoins the world on issues like human rights and climate change, and values equity and equality over corporate greed.  If Trump loses, the GOP as it’s currently constituted will not control the levers of power again for decades, and Trump’s supporters know this.  They know the demographics are going against them in a big way.  They know Texas and Arizona will be solidly Blue in five years.  They know their policies are repulsive and anachronistic to an ever increasing fraction of Americans.  They know that everything they care about is on the line this November.  So we can’t underestimate their desperation.

Trump also knows that the minute he is out of office his financial empire is at risk.  The tax fraud that transferred hundreds of millions of dollars from his father’s estate to him and his siblings has been exposed, and it will surely be of interest to prosecutors.  And the Manhattan DA will be getting Trump’s taxes soon–who knows what other malfeasance will be uncovered.  Trump knows everything he cares about–money and power and image–will be on the line this November.  So we can’t underestimate his desperation.

On the local front, there will be a Black Lives Matter rally in Pleasant Valley tomorrow (Saturday, July 18th) at 2pm, gathering at the baseball field beside Town Hall, 1548 Main Street.  More info here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1393351067541017/

Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”

Have a safe and restful weekend.

 

 

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