Yesterday was another horrible day for America. Second quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell a record -32.9%, crushing every other downturn in American history by a wide margin. Weekly jobless claims also fell for the second week in a row, adding over a million more citizens to the jobless rolls. Deaths from Covid are once again rising rapidly, especially in the Sun Belt. Despite these calamitous numbers, the Senate refuses to present any relief package remotely compatible with the House’s HEROES act, which has been sitting in front of Grim Reaper McConnell for weeks. Hunger in America is at an all time high, nearly one-third of American households FAILED to make their housing payment last month, eviction protections have expired, the $600-per-week coronavirus unemployment benefit has expired, yet some Senate Republicans don’t believe any further assistance should come from the government while others in the Senate try to co-opt the stimulus package to pad the defense industry or insulate businesses from liability for negligence that contributes to the death of their workers. Covid has laid bare the stinking rot at the heart of the Trumpublican party. They only care about their corporate overlords, including a rogue’s gallery of filthy-rich American oligarchs. They don’t care that local communities are going bankrupt and they sure don’t care that millions of Americans are living on the knife edge of starvation and ruin.
The only thing Trump himself cares about is his re-election. Yesterday he tweeted “Delay the election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” It was the kind of tin-plated-dictator move that would make conservative heads explode if ever suggested by a Democrat. But in Trump’s banana republic, it’s just the latest horrifying window into his bottomless ego and willingness to shatter any norm, tradition or law to save his ass from a humiliating electoral defeat.
What story can Trump tell voters now that the economy is in ruins, the virus is rampant thanks to his failures, Russia is targeting our soldiers in Afghanistan, and his border wall is lying on the ground, blown over by storm winds? Here is Trump’s playbook for the months ahead:
- Trump will continue to stoke division and fuel the flames of culture war. He will continue to describe non-whites and immigrants as lethal threats to your jobs and lives. He will continue to demonize Democrats, especially women. He will continue to describe the protest movement as an ultra-violent terrorist scourge poised to flood every peaceful white community.
- Trump will continue to lay the groundwork to bolster his future claim that his election loss will be the result of massive voter fraud. He will continue to paint mail-in-voting as a threat to Democracy and the worst thing that has ever happened to our country. He will continue to pretend that the polls consistently showing him losing badly to Biden are all fake and meant to crush the morale of his voters.
- Trump and his surrogates will continue to cheat and bend the election system in any way they can. Voter purges, voter intimidation, voter challenges, reduced polling places, reduced voting times, challenges to vote-by-mail, challenges to vote counts, destroying the USPS, etc.
- Trump will continue to promise a vaccine or cure for Covid soon, even though the vast majority of experts say no broad-based vaccination regime will be possible until at least early next year. He will continue to paint an unrealistically rosy picture of upcoming treatments and cures while blaming our massive outbreak on China, not on his abject failure to respond.
The funeral of Civil Rights icon Rep John Lewis was held yesterday and presidents Obama, Clinton and Bush were in attendance. President Obama gave an extraordinary eulogy–please listen to it or read the text if you haven’t already–and it was a stirring and emotional reminder of what an actual, competent president sounds like. On the other hand, Trump gave an interview recently to Jonathan Swan of Axios where he was asked about Putin’s bounties on American soldiers and Russia arming Afghan soldiers. Trump waffled and dodged and basically dismissed the reports, excusing and minimizing Russia’s role in the Middle East based on no evidence whatsoever.
I would say to any Trump voter: If you watch Obama at John Lewis’ funeral and say, “that guy’s a disgrace,” and you watch Trump interviewed by Axios and say, “that guy’s awesome,” your reasoning, your perceptions, and your values are profoundly broken and indefensible. They go against everything I’ve ever understood America to represent.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”
Have a save and relaxing weekend.