For decades, Donald Trump and the entire Trump Organization have had one asset - the Trump brand. The most unlikely president plastered the name, Trump, on buildings, on airplanes, in casinos, a supposed university, books, wine bottles, steaks, and golf courses. Even his kids are branded.
Winning (in a way) the presidency four years ago has not been good for the brand. He's been overexposed, subjected to the sort of scrutiny he avoided for so many years as he established and groomed Trump the Myth.
Serving as president takes a toll on even decent human beings such as Barack Obama.
Trump has also aged but it's hard to tell without removing the makeup and the engineered hairdo. Still there are occasional signs of physical decline as when he has to hold a drinking glass or water bottle with two hands or becomes visibly unsteady negotiating a ramp off a stage. One can only imagine what might emerge if he accidentally tripped into a swimming pool.
Trump is also showing mental decline, especially when he blurts out "orange" when he means "origin" or can't pronounce "Yosemite." I suspect that's why DJT prefers to go off script on rambling, disjointed monologues. At least he doesn't have to read from a teleprompter. He can stick to monosyllabic words. He can communicate on a Grade 3 level. That's his comfort zone.
Being president is hard. Most get tested. Just in the past couple of decades presidents have had to deal with 9/11, multiple unwinnable wars in the Middle East/South Asia, a truly Great Recession, the rise of hegemonic rivals, an avowedly subversive Congress - it never ends.
What must Trump have thought as the New Year ushered in 2020, the year of his re-election? He had the Gullibillies (wrongly) and the extremely wealthy (rightly) convinced of his brilliance in managing the economy. His base remained devoted notwithstanding his outrages such as separating infants from their mothers and consigning kids to chain link dog kennels with concrete floors. Even that he got away with. He must have felt invincible.
Then, in January, word got out of a strange new virus emanating from the city of Wuhan, China. It was the sort of problem that might throw shade on Trump's "Master of the Universe" charade. It might damage, even derail the economy, the Holy Grail of electoral fortunes.
Trump had some difficult choices to make. He had to choose between his personal interests and the wellbeing of the American people. He decided to go with his gut instincts and those instincts are always focused on what best suits Donald Trump. He would bluff his way through it as he had so often in the past.
The rest is history, sordid to be sure, but on the record. Each lie succumbed to facts but the base didn't care and, if the base still backed Trump, Congressional Republicans wouldn't dare challenge him at the risk of being primaried out of their own jobs.
You can find the clips of Trump's litany of lies just about everywhere. They make great fodder for Democrat campaign ads. More than enough lies to bury a normal human being but perhaps not the Grifter in Chief.
Trump needed a distraction, something to divert the Gullibillies. He got it when four cops put George Floyd to death on an asphalt street in Minneapolis. For a racist, race-baiting president that was "manna from Heaven." He was going to defend the base against these uppity blacks and their radical leftie supporters. He would not let them endanger white supremacy. He would send in the troops.
To those who harbour the basest instincts - racism, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, misogyny, all the "us versus them" fears and anger - the Black Lives Matter protests became a recruiting poster to Trump's tribal America. Lincoln's warning that a house divided against itself cannot stand didn't bother Trump. He saw a means to turn division to his personal advantage. He knew what his base expected - cruelty, violence, ugliness - and he delivered.
Despite his worst efforts, Trump wasn't able to stay ahead of the pandemic. He couldn't escape the numbers. America, that boasted of the best health care system in the world, was beaten by a microorganism smaller than the smallest bacteria - the novel Coronavirus SARS-2, Covid-19. With just four per cent of the global population, the United States logged twenty per cent of the global pandemic deaths.
All Trump's reassuring lies failed, one by one. True to form he tried to shift the blame. When asked by a reporter Trump replied, "I take no responsibility whatsoever" for the deaths of his people by the tens of thousands. No Responsibility Whatsoever. Instead he claimed that he and his administration should be praised for their efforts in fighting Covid-19. As the deaths mounted, Trump heaped ever more praise on himself.
The American people got to know Dr. Anthony Fauci, the CDC's infectious disease expert. For a while, Fauci was a fixture at the regular White House pandemic briefings. Unlike Trump's stooges within the White House and Congress, Fauci was honest, a sore thumb who stood out from the Cabal of Contrivance.
It became Fauci versus Trump in many minds, a contest Trump could not hope to win. And so Fauci was sidelined, replaced by the suitably sycophantic Dr. Deborah Birx. Before long she too reached her point of exasperation with Trump's lies and, like Fauci, was sidelined.
As the CDC and its counterparts across the G-7 nations warned - from the outset - the end of summer has brought the dreaded "second wave." During the killer Spanish Flu of 1918-1919, it was the second wave that claimed the bulk of the victims. We were warned it could happen again.
Trump, however, had an election to fight. He utterly failed to prepare the U.S. for a second wave, perhaps imagining he could will it away. Trump kept up the bravado, staging a succession of rallies at which there was neither social distancing nor face masks.
At one big rally, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, former presidential aspirant, Herman Cain, attended representing Black Voices for Trump. Within a week Cain was diagnosed with Covid-19 and admitted to hospital. A month after the Tulsa rally, Herman Cain was in the ground. His death presaged the arrival of Covid-19 in the White House itself.
The Tulsa rally was a watershed event. Prior to the rally, six members of Trump's advance team tested positive. At the rally, attendees were required to sign a waiver releasing the Trump campaign from liability should they contract the virus. A few Secret Service agents assigned to the rally contracted the virus forcing Trump's then campaign manager, Brad Parscale, who had traveled to Tulsa with the agents to self-quarantine.
The Presidential Pandemic continued to claim victims at a gradual pace until last month when it was announced that Trump aide and confidante, Hope Hix, had tested positive. It's believed she may have infected Donald and Melania Trump while aboard Air Force One. The rest is history. Since then the Covid-19 virus has cascaded among the staff and visitors to the White House. Trump's White House has been transformed into a Plague Den.
Trump staged two receptions for Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, at which there were few masks and no social distancing. A number of attendees tested positive including the president of Barrett's alma mater, Notre Dame, a couple of Republican senators, even the Admiral of the US Coast Guard. That Coast Guard admiral then attended a session of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That sent the entire Joint Chiefs into precautionary, self-isolation. Good thing no foreign power is looking to poke America in the eye with a sharp stick.
Most recently Trump's utterly dishonest and nasty press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, contracted the virus followed by two and then three of her staff. Now Trump's own Prince of Darkness, Stephen Miller, is positive. The White House is said to be deserted, the West Wing personnel either under treatment or working from home. The whole place is in need of a thorough disinfecting.
And amidst the carnage what is Trump's response? He's again downplaying the virus, claiming it's no worse than the flu and telling the American people to just get over it. As this Kabuki Theatre grinds on, Trump's poll numbers are sinking. Yet he can't seem to help himself. He seems incapable of staunching the damage. It's self-harm and Congressional Republicans are getting very, very nervous.
Is it possible that Trump is just looking for an out? Has he had enough? Is he throwing in the towel?
Donald Trump is beyond erratic. Yesterday he announced that negotiations for another round of Covid relief funding would be suspended until after the election. The reaction was swift and negative. Today, less than 24 hours later, Trump has reinstated the negotiations. This is a guy in pinball mode.
He's unpredictable, unreliable, erratic. Even Team Trump can't pretend this guy is competent. He should have been ousted months ago but Pence was never up to that, not with Congress full of GOP bootlickers.
Perhaps the Republicans, including Veep Pence, know there's no use removing Trump now. They've left it too late. The GOP is in terminal Thelma and Louise mode. At this point they're just along for the ride.
Mound I am a loss as to what tRump is up to. I wrote a piece on the way voters vote for their own interests as opposed to anything else. If that is the case then the latest moves he has made should cost him big - cutting obamacare and now the abandonment of a relief package.
But these actions if followed through by the base, who will cast their vote for the cult leader, shit or bust might benefit him. However the situation should provide much material for PoliSci lectures for years to come.
Personally I think that madness, like the syphilitic rantings of Der Fuhrer, has overtaken him. I hope he keeps it up and drags down the enablers.
Ben, I came across a piece on Vice News about Trump spending $300,000 on Facebook ads suggesting he might be immune to Covid-19. It's the standard Trump line - "I might be immune - I don't know."
Wasn't it Lincoln who said you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time. Trump's base, devout all-of-the-timers, seems to be waning.
What I'm hearing is that he's exhausting people, even a good many of his supporters. People want a break. They want peace and quiet and sanity. Trump doesn't do tranquility. He only generates conflict. He is an ordeal on two legs.
A quick follow-up, Ben. What has been amazing is how effective Trump has been at getting the unwashed, the Gullibillies, to vote against their interests. He's screwed them rigid with his tax cuts for the rich and a soaring national debt that will be borne on their shoulders and their children's. Yet they still turn out to his rallies, cheek on jowl, no masks needed.
The other thing, where on your many blogs, can I find the piece you wrote?
The other thing, where on your many blogs, can I find the piece you wrote?
Considering world events I find it perplexing that there are so few forward thinking websites.
I put it down to apathy rather than conspiracy.
The zombie culture approaches!
.. Where is Bill Barr hiding out ? Prince Kushner ? Mitch ? Those that seemingly dodged the Rose Garden infection fest.. or just went into hiding. Giuliani appears to be a bald faced liar, coughing his way through interviews and donor parties.. What of Lindsey Graham ?
Its the new Upper Political Crust hide n seek .. the new Trump branded Red Badge of Chlorox.. The award is a pair of Bone Spurs rampant upon a Nazi symbol
As a Canadian watching.. its stunning, ludicrous, dark, dank, reeking of an entirely new Ugly American mass fail.
Erin O'Toole like all current Conservative Party parasites is 'excited' and dying to publicly embrace the idiocy and the brand and the brazen vote suppression evidenced in Texas.. Forget 'reduce the deficit' the MANTRA now.. its Reduce The Vote .. by any and every means.. success is measured by the size of the 'DATAHAUL' which can then be blown into their already bulging 'Nation Builder' database.. built upon and refreshed by Elections Canada after every Federal Election.. and enhanced by any DARK source, begged borrowed bought stolen.. and Canadians cannot view it, RCMP will not look into it.. and don't for a single second think Jason Kenney or Doug Ford cannot wallow into it via their usual data wankers, PR firms or Mainstream Media PostMedia, the Toronto Star.. whereupon it is fired back at us.. as micromanaged horseshit.. Watching the daily 'handyman' O'Toole upchuck is nauseating.. the daily spew.. Meanwhile Harper is advising Boris in the UK 'to nip the British Supreme Court.. Harper may be our most toxic export.. or at least get the 2nd place ribbon after those 'transports' or 'jeeps' as Trudeau describes them.. 50 mm machine guns and rocket launcher option will full armoured turret protection ..
I am going to suggest to Bellingcat that they dig into this.. where are they deployed.. is there footage ???
Sal, Trump gave a rambling interview on Fox today in which he slammed both Barr and Pompeo. He's blaming Barr for not arresting Obama and Biden and Pompeo for not releasing Hillary's emails. This guy, Sal, is seriously losing his shit.
He contradicts himself on just about anything within a 24-hour cycle. You never know what he'll say next.
It came out today that when Trump made an unscheduled visit to Walter Reed in November, 2019, he forced the doctors and staff who treated him to sign non-disclosure agreements. I think the guy must have a case of the incurable Southeast Asian Black Clap. Maybe that's why Melania has her own bedroom.
The White House Covid count now stands at 34. And the Pentagon is into a full bore contact tracing effort for the Joint Chiefs and their aides, anyone who might have been exposed at White House meetings and events.
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