Ladies and gentlemen, behold, some s*** the president said during the previous week:
Our president tweets something like this a couple times each week, but it’s never been true. In fact, an AP poll this week showed the president’s Republican Party approval at just 81%, quite a low number for an incumbent president in the middle of a re-election campaign.
While touting made up Republican approval numbers, our president also bashes legitimate polls as “phony.” When he bashes the most recent Republican Speaker of the House (Paul Ryan) and feuds with the past two Republican presidential nominees (Mitt Romney and John McCain before his death) – it’s no wonder Trump has such low public support. He is driving a wedge into the Republican Party, cleaving off anyone who wouldn’t support him so that whatever remains is fiercely loyal to him but also too small to win an election.
Here’s another example of this trouble in Republican paradise: Liz Cheney (somehow the #4 ranking Republican in the House conference) criticized Trump’s coronavirus response in an internal House Republican conference call. She got blowback. The whole thing leaked. So instead of smoothing it over in the name of party unity, Trump lashes out at Cheney. This doesn’t seem like a well-oiled machine expecting a victory to me.
Did you need another example? Erie native Tom Ridge, a former PA governor and our country’s first Homeland Security Secretary, criticized the Trump administration’s invasion of Portland, OR and said that his fear of fraudulent vote-by-mail was unwarranted. Trump could’ve backed down, but he didn’t. He calls Ridge a “Republican in Name Only,” basically excommunicating him from the party. The choice for Erie is clear: you’re either a Tom Ridge Republican or a Trump Republican. You can’t be both.
Here’s where you see a cynical strategy really start to take shape. Facts first: 20% of the vote was not fraudulent in the Paterson (not “Patterson”), NJ special election back in May. Four people were charged with mailing other people’s ballots along with their own. That’s it. So, why is he tweeting nonsense? A theory: he wants his voters to vote in person so that on election night, he has the lead. When mailed ballots are eventually counted, they’ll wind up overwhelmingly Democratic, likely giving Biden the win but also providing fodder for a contested election. He’s lying now to lay this groundwork.
I think by this stage we’ve all accepted that Joe Biden misspeaks constantly. While we can all laugh at the Biden gaffe of the day, though, remember that Donald Trump is no stranger to the occasional geographic WTF, either. Remember when the Chiefs won the Super Bowl and he congratulated Kansas? Asked if Finland was part of Russia? Said Belgium was a beautiful city? Thought Paris was in Germany?
I get that presidents are busy, but he only announced he was doing this two days prior. I actually thought the timing for mid-August would be perfect, anyway. No fans in the stands to boo him.
The world is a TV show, and all the people are characters.
You probably know by now that in terms of coronavirus infections and deaths, the U.S. is doing far worse than most. Did you know, though, that Europe’s economy is now forecast to outpace ours, too? Our president often speaks of a trade-off between public health on one hand and economic growth on the other. In truth, there is no such trade-off. The economy can’t come back until the virus is gone. Other countries have done what it takes to eliminate the virus.
That’s our report for this week. Be sure to check out the links for more info on any particular topic and, as always, thanks for reading.