The Empty Presidency
(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)
Some pundits speculate that Trump is issuing ever more absurd statements to distract the US population from his abysmal failure in handling the corona crisis, but the president doesn’t think tactically, let alone strategically, and the simple truth is that he has nothing but dangerous nonsense to offer. In one interview he touted his ability to remember the words ‘person, woman, man, camera, TV’ for more than twenty minutes as proof of his acuity, and in an interview with Axios’s Jonathan Swan he argued that the COVID-19 mortality rate should be calculated as a percentage of known cases, not as a percentage of the population. As Swan’s eyebrows reached Olympic heights Trump tried to illustrate his bizarre point that the US is doing much better than ‘the world’ with colored pages prepared by his staffers, and at a press conference on Wednesday he said that COVID would just ‘go away,’ as in ‘everything at some point goes away.’ In the context of the debate on whether schools should be opened the president posted the falsehood on Facebook and Twitter that kids are ‘almost immune for COVID,’ and both platforms took his message down.
Regarding the upcoming election Trump keeps griping about voting-by-mail, which according to him will lead to massive fraud and rigged elections, which has never been shown to be the case. The Postmaster General, a Trump-appointee, has already made delivery procedures harder, so that completed ballots may not arrive in time to be counted, but the president is now getting pushback from Republicans whose constituents also vote by mail and who fear that they’ll lose their election if that is no longer an option. It is particularly galling that Trump keeps trying to disrupt the elections right after the funeral of John Lewis, who literally bled for voting rights. Asked about Lewis the president said he didn’t have a high opinion of a Congressman who didn’t attend his inauguration and his State of the Union speeches, calling that “a big mistake” and thus making it all about himself again. Some reporters see an acknowledgement that he’s in deep trouble in Trump’s actions, and an open invitation for Russia and China to interfere in his favor, without him realizing that they would only do that because they want America as weak as possible.
Sunday August 2nd, the day the White House was supposed to unveil a national health care plan to replace Obamacare, came and went without Trump announcing the policy that was going to knock our socks off. In the ongoing negotiations in DC about corona relief the president limits himself to sniping at ‘Chuck and Nancy’ from the sideline without making any contribution, and when asked about his plans for a possible four-year extension of his presidency the only thing he can offer is a complaint that he’s been treated ‘very unfairly’ during the first four years.
It turns out that already in 2019 the Manhattan DA has asked Deutsche Bank for information about ‘extensive and protracted criminal activity at the Trump Organization’ and has received what he (now she) asked for, which doesn’t bode well for Trump and his eldest sons once the president leaves office. Meanwhile Trump allies are trying to get Kanye West, a bipolar black man in serious need of professional help, on the ballot in battleground states, in hopes that he’ll take votes away from Joe Biden.
An important part of the president’s campaign is making it look like Biden is not playing with a full deck anymore, by showing video clips, sometimes doctored, of Biden speaking incoherently or mispronouncing certain words. Unfortunately for Trump though Project Lincoln has produced a video with the occupant of the Oval Office misspeaking and misreading words at a level that Biden can only aspire to approach, so that’s not working too well.
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