Point of View Columns

Four More Dark Days in America

November 10, 2020

10,110,552-238,251 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Like one of those cataclysmic forest fires that progresses inexorably leaving those in its path frozen with a combination of fear and awe, the Revenge of Trump continues unabated. Even as he continues to accede to the fact that he has lost the election to Biden, making him a “loser” by his own definition, he now endeavors to deconstruct the government.

Having already decimated the leadership of the Defense Department so that the leadership of the Pentagon is composed of men who seem to have sworn an oath of allegiance to Trump. Is this the beginning of some sort of 21st century version of a coup attempt? No one dares to articulate the thought.

Lost in the shuffle is the fact that the future of the Affordable Care Act was argued before the Supreme Court today. Amazingly, in the middle of an epic pandemic the Trump is arguing to strip over 20 million Americans of their current healthcare coverage.

Perhaps more amazingly, it appears that there will be a sufficient number of Supreme Court justices who will vote to keep the Act in existence because of a technicality. Namely, Congress could have abolished the Act if it had chosen to do so and that the Supreme Court was not going to have the blood of 20 million Americans on its hands.

It is rumored that heads will roll at the CIA and FBI and Homeland Security, a kind of ethnic cleansing where the dominant ethnicity is the Trump Tribe. What this means for the country between now and January 20, 2021 is difficult to predict since literally no one has ever seen anything like this in the United States.

To our friends in Zimbabwe this is very familiar.

November 11, 2020

10,258,090-237,655 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

The day begins with the report of another 100,000 pandemic infections. There is no doubt that we will be at 11 million before the end of November and the death count moves inexorably towards a quarter of a million.

Meanwhile at the White House……..Vice President Pence, the head of the COVID-19 Task Force cancelled his Florida vacation because of………….the weather. The pandemic is clearly not his concern.

Meanwhile at the White House …..Trump came out of hiding to show up late at a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington Cemetery and then went back into hiding. Not a word about the plague that is ravaging the entire nation. Not a word.

But he did find time to petulantly tweet about the unfairness of the election and to continue to perpetuate non-existent voter fraud tales. And his ransacking of the leadership of the Defense Department has to make everyone wonder if the unseen hands of Steve Bannon or Steven Miller have some kind of bizarre “Night of the Generals” plot.

And if that sounds crazy, because it is.

But that doesn’t mean that in Trump World it can’t be true.

November 12, 2020

10,402,273-241,808 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Trump continues to pull a presidential temper tantrum – certainly the epic presidential temper tantrum in American history. He continues to refuse to allow for Biden to receive presidential briefings and continues his order to the General Services Administration to deny the Biden transition operational funding as required by law. Trump now reminds of the hotel guest that is about to be thrown out and is trashing the room before leaving.

Trump is now following the playbook developed over the years by the likes of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela and Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia after losing an election. It goes something like this:

  1. Refuse to concede
  2. Accuse anybody and everybody connected with the electoral process of fraud.
  3. Attack the press.
  4. Attack the press.
  5. Vilify all opponents.
  6. Attack the press.
  7. Behave as if he won the election.

Reading and watching the news it would seem that Trump has hit all seven points of the Dictators Playbook. It remains to be seen whether he has the skills to make Number 7 last.

And amazingly, despite the fact that a COVID-19 firestorm is raging throughout all 50 states, the silence from the White House is deafening. And Trump is clearly giving the message to all who didn’t know already – when it comes to welfare of anybody not named Donald Trump – he really doesn’t care.

Meanwhile a true humanitarian disaster now exists in the United States. The Doctors Without Borders physicians, who usually show up in tragic disaster in places like Niger and Sri Lanka and the Democratic Republic of Congo are now in Michigan. And that is not a misprint – the United States is now in COVID Hell.

And, by the way, as of today more world leaders have congratulated Biden than Republican senators.

No further comment necessary.

November 13, 2020

10,555,435-242,435 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

COVID-19 pandemic hospitalizations are now officially out of control throughout virtually every state. The White House remains eerily silent as if Trump is taking out his tantrum on America by turning his back on the country that has made him The World’s Biggest Loser. And all the while the death toll rises.

And a few drops of water in the Republican desert of servile stupidity – some Republican senators seem to have finally seen the absolute madness of denying Biden presidential security briefings and transition funding and saying so. Trump remains the petulant infant who is going to sit on the ball if he isn’t allowed to play

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