If the Constitution had established an office of National Cheerleader, Donald Trump would have been given pom poms. Instead, he was given the power of the chief executive, about which he is clueless. Trump only knows how to be a booster — to sell. Well – lie and sell. He doesn’t know how to plan, manage, oversee, or guide. What’s more, he lacks the wisdom or vision to set a course for subsequent generations. Worse still, he doesn’t give a damn.
He’s transactional, nothing more. Every piece of official business he has proposed has been tied to his personal interests: hotel revenues, campaign contributions, help from foreign governments. He is nothing other than a fast-talking salesman. He promises first, then he brutalizes his production team to deliver on the crazy promise. When the team can’t deliver, he feigns ignorance and blames them. But he’s the President, not a salesman, and he is responsible for all of it. Beyond any doubt, he has failed the American people, including the minority that elected him.
Today’s news carried two stories depicting his failures. In taped interviews conducted by Bob Woodward concerning his handling of Covid-19, Trump states that he knew as early as January how deadly the virus was and being airborne, how easily it is spread. During the critical month of February, he dithered. He should have been calling for masks and other personal protection equipment, telling all that the gear helps to contain the airborne virus. Instead, Trump spent February taking a star turn. He played golf and crowed about beating back the House impeachment. Finally, he took revenge against those who testified against him. When infrequently he spoke of the virus in February, he was vague. He insisted that the country was “in great shape.” Later that month, Trump falsely assured Americans that things were under control — the virus soon would disappear.
By March, Trump began backtracking. He convened a group of CEOs, an infomercial for investors. He puffed and built up each of the companies, explained why they were there and how they would save us all from the suddenly horrific plague. At the same time, he has ignored expert advisers. He previously had gutted the CDC, dismantling the pandemic response team established under Obama’s administration. He has attempted to cow the FDA. At the Ides of March, he pledged that the country would “reopen” by Easter, only two weeks away. All the while he blamed China, the World Health Organization, Obama, and even millennials.
Trump told Woodward in early March that he intentionally downplayed the seriousness of the virus and withheld critical information from Americans. He wanted to avoid a panic, he said, oblivious about the people relying on him, who went without masks and refused to maintain social distance. And the poor soul from Kansas who drank disinfectant on Trump’s recommendation.
He was counting no doubt on the Blue coastal states to absorb the brunt of the damage. He encouraged his followers to rebel against the mask-wearing Democratic elite. He browbeat some of the Republican governors to reopen prematurely, causing widespread harm in several states, some of them swing states that hold the key to the upcoming election.
Today’s other noteworthy story revealed that the Department of Homeland Security received orders from the White House to understate its intelligence reports of Russian election interference and overstate the presence of ANTIFA and “anarchists” at Black Lives Matter protests. DHS altered its statements to fit Trump’s campaign and ginned-up law and order crisis. This may also explain why intelligence officials were barred from giving any more oral reports to Congress last week.
In “Disloyal,” Michael Cohen’s forthcoming book, the former fixer writes that Trump never wanted to be president. He saw it as a “branding opportunity.” This explains Trump’s ashen appearance following his post-election Oval Office meeting with Barack Obama. Obama told him about the most critical situations he would face. He also told him not to hire Michael Flynn; advice which, if followed, would have spared him two years of grief. It appeared that Trump first realized at that meeting what he had gotten himself into. In a couple of months, he would become the nation’s first-string quarterback. Unfortunately, he only wanted to be a cheerleader.
There’s one more story. Benjamin Ginsberg, a top GOP election lawyer, published an opinion piece in today’s Washington Post. Perhaps Ginsberg was moved to speak out by Trump’s direction to his North Carolina supporters to vote twice – once by mail and once in person. Ginsberg wrote:
The president, who has been arguing that our elections are “rigged” and “fraudulent,” last week instructed voters to act in a way that would fulfill that prophecy. On Wednesday in North Carolina, he urged supporters to double vote, casting ballots at the polls even if they have already mailed in absentee ballots. A tweet claiming he meant only for people to check that their ballots had been received and counted sounded fine — until Trump renewed his original push on Thursday evening in Pennsylvania and again Friday at a telerally.
The president’s actions — urging his followers to commit an illegal act and seeking to undermine confidence in the credibility of election results — are doubly wrong….
Ginsberg then addressed Trump’s strategy of claiming the election to be rigged or the results unreliable.
The president has said that “the only way we can lose … is if cheating goes on.” He has asserted that mail-in voting is “very dangerous” and that “there is tremendous fraud involved and tremendous illegality.”
The lack of evidence renders these claims unsustainable. The truth is that after decades of looking for illegal voting, there’s no proof of widespread fraud. At most, there are isolated incidents — by both Democrats and Republicans. Elections are not rigged. Absentee ballots use the same process as mail-in ballots — different states use different labels for the same process.
The instruments of federal power have been slow to line up against Trump. They now are assembling as a powerful array: retired generals, past presidents, cabinet officers, judges — even a former GOP lawyer — to say that Trump’s election-rigging argument is bunk. All but his acolytes and the feckless Republican members of the House and Senate, who have quaked in terror for the last four years.
© Revolted Colonies 2020
Russia, are you listening?