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Sheltering-in-place Stream of Consciousness

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We’re having our first serious heat wave in California. Temps today in the inland suburbs will be well into the 100s; even here in Oakland, it will be close to 90, or higher.

People unfamiliar with the Bay Area are always amazed how the temperatures vary within a short distance. Let’s say it will be 105 today in Concord, less than 20 miles inland from the beach. Yet right on the beach, the high won’t get out of the 60s. That’s a 40-degree differential. You’d never see that on the East Coast, or anywhere east of the Sierra Nevada for that matter.

That’s one of the things I love best about Oakland. It’s right in the middle, the Goldilocks of the Bay Area: not too hot, not too cold. I once saw a weather survey of American cities and it said that Oakland has the best climate of them all. Of course, there are things about Oakland that drive me crazy. But that would be true no matter where I lived, I guess.

We’re reopening here in the Bay Area, same as everywhere else. You still have to social-distance and wear a mask, but restaurants, thank goodness, are slowly reopening, and wine stores are doing curbside. Gov. Newsom’s “Phase 3” should be here within a few weeks; hopefully it will allow gyms to reopen. The headline in today’s paper is that Newsom is allowing churches to reopen, albeit with specific safety guidelines. I believe that our Governor is doing this a little sooner than he otherwise would have preferred; but he’s been catching enormous flack from church leaders, Republican pols and Trump himself; Newsom after all is a politician, and politicians eventually have to respond to public pressure.

Fine with me. I don’t care if the churches open or stay closed. I do think it’s sad that so many so-called religious people have conflated reopening with Republican politics. But then, these people are so muddle-headed, they see everything in terms of “trump” or “not trump.” Not everything revolves around Trump, of course, but for Republicans, there is no other reality. They are truly as addicted to their leader as a junkie is to his heroin.

We’ve all been coming up with scenarios for what will happen going forward, particularly concerning the election. A new possibility occurred to me last night. Let’s say Trump wins re-election, but Democrats keep the House and regain the Senate. Then what? If it was up to me, I’d Impeach the sonuvabitch a second time, only this time we’d convict him in the Senate and throw his fat ass out of office. That leads to scenarios-within-scenarios. Trump’s followers—the NRA ammophiles, the Rapture crowd, the Pabst Blue Ribbon trailer park freaks—would go ballistic, egged on by Fox “News” and the sociopaths of rightwing talk radio. I could see massive demonstrations, with open-carry thugs threatening Democratic institutions. The police—many of them Republicans themselves—would have to make hard choices. But then, in civil uprisings, the constabulary always has to decide if it’s on the side of the Law, or of the Lawless.

Incidentally, I refer to Trump’s “fat ass” deliberately. Some people have taken me to task for “fat-shaming” him. I’m not even sure what that means. To point out an obvious fact, such as the fact that Trump is morbidly obese, is simple reporting. It’s no different from saying Trump likes to wear long red or blue neckties. To candidly state that Trump is a fat person is not “shaming” him. I’m sure that Trump wishes he weren’t so fat. I bet that Melania wishes he’d lose 50 pounds. Trump hates having his photo taken when he’s golfing (which is most of the time) because they camera always seems to catch him from the rear. Trump has no “good side” in photographs, but surely, his gigantic buttocks are one of his worst aspects. This wouldn’t be worth noting if Trump weren’t such a megalomaniac. He thinks he’s God’s gift to everything, and in his purblind eyes, he probably sees himself as the hot young guy who used to hang out at Studio 54 with Roy Cohn. Trump may actually have been a decent-looking guy 40 years ago, but he lost his looks as he gained weight, and the jowls and facial puffiness that have always marred the heads of the various Trumps have added to his generally unattractive demeanor.

Anyway, it’s going to be hot today, and Gus is already wiped out: anything above 75 degrees hits him hard, with his long, black fur coat. So I think I’ll let him rest today and not do anything strenuous. Myself, I’ll take my usual 3-1/2 mile walk around the Lake, maybe grab a cappuccino and chocolate cookie someplace, and bring my iPod. If you see an old dude wearing a red face mask doing dance moves out there by the Lake, it’s me, with Brown Sugar blasting in my ears.


Trump’s re-election pitch

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It’s exhausting, isn’t it? I mean keeping up with all the Trump scandals. That’s why I didn’t blog last Thursday or Friday. I’m just tired of him, tired of them, of Republicans. Everyday there’s a new crime revealed, a new attempt to subvert our Republic, another nail into the limbs of America. One runs out of literary metaphors. What remains, even if there’s nothing new to say about it every day, is a dull pain, like a toothache.

With this in mind, here’s the argument Trump’s going to make going into the election.

Why you should vote for me

No President since F.D.R. has confronted as many crises as I have, and won them all.

I led and won the two greatest battles of the 21st century: I created the Greatest Economy in the History of America after the debacle of the Obama Great Recession, and I alone, single-handedly, defeated the China Virus.

Democrats and liberals will never give me credit for these Amazing Victories. No, if it was up to them, our economy would be in the toilet, like it was during the so-called presidency of the corrupt, incompetent Barack Hussein Obama. And if was up to Democrats, the American people would be dying by the millions from this China Virus. That’s what Democrats want: they want you, the American people, to be poor and sick and afraid. Only then, in their warped imaginations, will a weakened, frightened public turn to the tax-and-spend Nanny State the Democrat Party always tries to impose, the way they’re imposing on YOUR freedom now with this sick, insane quarantine lie.

Liberate America! Open her up again!

But something happened during their march to dictatorship: God sent an amazing Savior to America (and the World?). You know who that Savior is. I don’t have to tell you His Name, because it is My Name. My people—the hundreds of millions of Americans who love me—always tell me the same thing. “God sent you, President Donald Trump.” At the risk of sounding un-humble, I will confirm that, Yes, I think He did. He sent me here to undo the damage Democrats have inflicted on America, our beloved country, and to restore our country’s Greatness and Belief in Almighty God. And that is why I will be re-elected in November by an overwhelming landslide that will catch our enemies in disbelief. Because Americans want God in their lives, and they know that, if Democrats are in charge, God will be banished. And that is why God hates the Democrat Party.

And who do you think won the Battle Against the China Virus? When Democrats were ignoring the early warnings of a pandemic, it was Me who warned Americans to prepare for the coming struggle. It was me who told Americans “This could be very, very bad.” In fact I predicted 100,000 deaths months ago—although you’d never know it because the Fake News refused to report it. I knew it, because I’m a stable genius. My own advisors, including the hacks at the Centers for Disease Control, were telling me this China Virus was no big deal. But I overruled them. That’s why, all during February and March, I was rounding up our country’s greatest experts, people like Rev. Franklin Graham, to fight the virus. I was galvanizing our American industries to produce the Personal Protective Equipment and Ventilators I knew would be needed, even as corrupt politicians like Andrew “Vote For Me” Cuomo were playing golf and nobodies like The Haircut From California were moaning and groaning and lying. And it was Me who is leading the effort to produce a vaccine. If the Democrat Party had its way, the drug companies would not be working at all to develop a vaccine, because these Democrats don’t believe in Science. I’ve had to push and prod and threaten them, because only I have the interests of the American people at heart.

And now these same Democrats are trying to outlaw church services! How dare they! Just because they’re atheists doesn’t mean the American people are. I will take severe steps against ANY governor who shuts down the churches.

Who does the world look to for leadership in fighting the China Virus? America, which means: Me. All these foreign leaders, they wouldn’t have a clue if I didn’t show them the way. They all follow me on Twitter. They don’t dare do anything without checking first to see how Trump will react to it. I can’t name names—you’ll have to use your imagination. But every day I get calls from Japan, from China, from Canada, from Russia, from Brazil, from Iran, from Korea, and they’re asking me, “Donald, what should I do?” That’s why I tweet a lot. Americans should know how lucky they are that I was here in 2020, instead of some shithole Democrat traitor.

People want to know, will we have an election in November? I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see. It depends. The Constitution is silent on that. I may have to cancel it—temporarily, of course—but I hope not. That’s something I would not like to do, even though the Schumer-Pelosi loser Democrats are begging me to cancel it because they know they’ll lose, and badly. These polls are all crooked, anyway (except the ones that show me winning). We learned all about liberal-lefty polls in 2016, didn’t we? Lots of people have been asking me about the 22nd amendment to the Constitution, which as I understand it limits the president to two terms. How undemocratic is that? What if the American people demand a third term for a beloved president, such as me? Wouldn’t he owe it to them? I might want to go back to Mar-a-Lago in 2025 and live out the rest of my life playing golf, but if the American people beg me to stay, who knows what’ll happen? We’ll just have to wait and see, folks. That’s all I can tell you. MAGA!


Trumpism as the COVID-19 of our culture

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I loved it when Speaker Pelosi called Trump “morbidly obese.”

Trump is a guy with a high estimation of himself. He thinks he’s (to use an old Bronx phrase) “shit on wheels”: the greatest guy ever, smarter, richer and handsomer than anyone else. Well, he might be richer than most (we’ll find out when the Supreme Court makes him hand over his taxes). But he’s certainly not a handsome man. He inherited his father’s boxy, chinless head, squinty eyes, pinched Dutch mouth with its gopher teeth, and jowls—traits his two sons, Eric and Junior, have in even more exaggerated form. (Poor Barron looks okay now, but he’ll probably turn into an ugger like his brothers. Can’t escape those genes!) But the thing that drives Trump crazy—the thing he’s most ashamed of, and can’t hide—is his extreme fat. He has a huge ass—we see it whenever he plays golf and some paparazzi gets a picture—and even though he tries to hide his belly and love handles under that oversized blue suit jacket and low-hanging tie, we still know that Trump is exactly what Nancy Pelosi called him the other day: morbidly obese.

I’m not fat-shaming him. I have friends who also are a bit on the heavy side. But most of my full-figured friends at least try to diet, and limit their food intake to healthier fare. Not Trump. He celebrates the high-calorie, high-fat fast foods he lives on and eats in apparently huge quantities. Eating occupies nearly as much of Trump’s time as tweeting.

We’ve had obese presidents before, but Grover Cleveland and William Howard Taft are not known as two of our better ones, and certainly, our best presidents—Lincoln, F.D.R., John F. Kennedy, Barack Obama—were lean and well-built. Even Reagan carefully watched his weight. Now, Trump joins the other fatties in the tubber hall-of-fame.

What must it feel like to be Trump and be so fat? Surely, his shame at his obesity accounts for a great deal of his hatred of Obama. Trump grew up in a racist household—his father, Fred, has been documented as a follower of the Ku Klux Klan—and it must hurt Trump like hell to be compared, unfavorably, to a colored man, not only performance-wise and popularity-wise, but in terms of his body. Obama is so slender and sexy, while Trump is disgustingly fat. Trump always has fancied that the porn stars and strippers he lusted after liked him for his “good looks.” What he’s now having to face up to is that Stormy, Melania and all the rest were after him for his money.

Well, being morbidly obese is Trump’s problem. I, personally, hope it shortens his lifespan. What a terrible thing to say, right? But it’s true. Trump is a danger to my country and my planet, to the values of decency and reason I cherish, to my freedom and yours. Why would I not want my country and my world to be rid of such pestilence, the same way I want to be rid of the coronavirus? In so many respects, Trump is a virus, and Trumpism is the COVID-19 of our culture: a killer that strikes down whole segments of the population, in this case, rural, under-educated people of the “Christian” persuasion. They are the most vulnerable to the disease called Trumpism, which kills minds as well as bodies. It’s too bad that scientists aren’t searching for a vaccine to prevent the spread of Trumpism. Oh, wait: they are: the vaccine is called the Democratic Party, and you can protect yourself and your loved ones from being infected with Trumpism simply by voting Democratic this November.


These Trump sons are the worst of the worst

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Trump’s modus operandi, of course, is to portray his many and repeated failures as “lies” from Democrats and the “fake media.” Anytime Trump gets caught with his tiny, fat hand in the cookie jar—whether it’s hiding hush-money payments to porn stars, bribing Ukraine, or lying about the size of his inaugural crowd—he has a fallback response: “Democrats invented this lie to hurt me.”

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The other day, it was one of Trump’s sons, Eric, who was out there spreading the disinformation. Coronavirus and COVID-19, he alleged, are “propaganda” from Democrats designed “to hurt Trump.” There is no problem with the virus, Eric asserts; sure, it’s killed a few people, but it’s just the flu, and these victims would have died of something else at some point, anyway. Same with Trump’s other crimes and scandals. “[Democrats] tried to do [it] with the Russia thing, they tried to do it with the Ukraine scandal, they tried to do it with impeachment. Now, they’re trying to do it with coronavirus.” 

Well, coronavirus seems pretty real to me and to the 90,000 Americans who have died from it and the 1.5 million and counting who are infected by it. And lest there be any doubt about it, most Americans know that Trump blew his response to coronavirus very badly. He refused to even admit it exists, and when he couldn’t lie about that anymore, he lied that cases would soon be “down to zero,” and when he couldn’t lie about that, he lied that his administration was fighting the virus better than any other country in the world. And now he’s lying that the growing list of COVID-19 deaths and cases is Obama’s fault (!!!), or the CDC’s (!!!), or China’s (!!!)—anything but his ineptitude and incompetence.

Look: it wasn’t “propaganda” when Robert Mueller found Trump guilty of multiple counts of obstruction of justice in the Russia-Trump scandal, and would have indicted Trump had it been legal for him to do so. It’s also not “propaganda” that Trump was caught bribing the President of Ukraine, for which he was justifiably impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives. What is propaganda is the craven attitude of Trump’s enablers in government, and the lies they tell to distract attention from their boss’s crimes and misdemeanors. Trump does bad shit; Republicans circle the wagons, deny the facts with straight faces, and then turn reality around and accuse everybody else of doing the bad shit Trump did.

I don’t like anyone in that Republican-clerical-fascist crowd, but the two Trump sons are especially annoying. We have got to see Eric and his older brother, Donald, Jr., for what they are: spoiled, rotten little twerps and bullies, who have gotten away with crap their entire lives. They think they’re better than you and me, which makes them entitled to have anything they want. Never held accountable to anyone or anything, sure that they deserve everything they have due to their inherent moral superiority, they’re the poster children for lucky sperm brats, arrogant and amoral, whom the country would be better off without. Can you name one single, noble thing any Trump spawn has ever done? What a horrible, sickening contrast they are with truly admirable Presidential children, like Sasha and Malia Obama and Chelsea Clinton.

Well, Trump remains underwater in his polls, largely as a result, I suspect, of his hideous personality; even Americans who might like his notions of lower taxes, smaller government and a strong military are turned off by him. Among his other lies the other day, Eric Trump said something that’s a real howler: “the American people love him [Donald Trump].”

It’s just not true. More than half disapprove of him, according to five different surveys compiled by fivethirtyeight.com in the last ten days. Another poll found his support among independents rapidly dropping, while a third poll shows that only 23% of Americans trust anything Trump says about coronavirus.

So I don’t know what planet Eric Trump inhabits. The fact is, most Americans don’t “love” Trump; most want him to go down to defeat in November, and various polls (for instance, here) have shown that two-thirds of Americans think Trump is a criminal. My own preference, when Democrats regain the presidency, hold the House and retake the Senate, is to reopen criminal investigations into Trump and his family, including the two sons. There’s been so much nefarious activity by this klepto Trump family, and that’s exactly why we have Federal prisons: to lock up rogues and thieves like them.


Biden needs to change his approach, and fast

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I saw Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams together on one of the news stations yesterday, and as I watched with increasing horror, I thought, “We’re going to lose the election.”

Biden and Abrams have been appearing so frequently in joint appearances lately that it’s hard to escape the conclusion that she’s Biden’s choice for vice-president. I’ve been saying for weeks now that Biden needs to pick a Black woman; that would seem to eliminate people like Amy Klobuchar, who’s been running for Veep for a year. But, based on what I saw yesterday, I don’t know if a Biden-Abrams ticket can be successful.

It’s not all Abrams’s fault. She’s a nice enough person, and her values seem solid enough. But she was so scripted last night that it was painful to watch her try to remember her lines. She didn’t connect with viewers at all; in fact, she disconnected. All I could think was, “If Biden died in office and Abrams was launched into the Presidency, could she do it?” And what I saw was an ambitious, careful pol, not an inspirational leader.

As for Biden, he was doddering to the point of near senility. I really hate to write that, but it’s true. Joe Biden has got to stop answering questions in the lawyerly, pedantic way he has. Asked a question that should have permitted him to wax eloquent, Biden instead began with his tedious, “First, two things.” Uh oh, I thought, here comes another parliamentary speech that’s about as inspiring as reading the telephone book. Mr. Biden, “First, two things” is not the way to begin talking to the American people. It makes us cringe: if your very first point has two sub-points, then your second point probably has at least two sub-points, and so on. We’re going to need a pocket calculator and a chart to keep track of your points; you’re going to lose peoples’ attention almost immediately. In last night’s case, Biden’s “First, two things” devolved into a complicated (and memorized) recitation of past Senate legislation nobody ever heard of and no one cares about.

That’s when I had the horrifying thought. “We’re going to lose.”

No matter what you think of Trump—and no one in this country has been harsher on him than I—he’s good on T.V. He’s got the charisma to make you keep watching. Granted, watching Trump is like rubbernecking a multi-car collision on the freeway: you watch in horror. But you’re still watching. Biden and Abrams last night, by contrast, were really unwatchable, like the most rank amateurs on Dancing With the Stars. It’s too late for Democrats to choose another Presidential candidate. It’s Biden. But, based on Abrams’s performance, she is not qualified to be Veep, and it’s not too late yet for Biden to pivot and choose someone else for his running mate.

Unless Biden can up his game, Trump is going to destroy him in the debates. He’ll call him “Sleepy Joe” and the T.V. audience will notice Biden’s droopy eyes and stammering, will hear the misstatements and false starts and umms, will see him trying to recall some boring statistic his team planted in his mind. It will not be pretty. Granted that Biden’s policies are infinitely preferable to Trump’s. Granted that Trump is a clear and present danger to America and to the world, and that his amorality is simply disgusting. Granted all that: but swing voters will still see in Trump someone who seems strong and committed, while seeing Biden as a vague smear of a politician, and Abrams as the most unqualified vice-presidential candidate since Sarah Palin who, at least, had the credential of having been a Governor.

As I say, it pains me to make these observations. There are two things Biden can do to get back into his game. First, don’t pick Abrams! She’s just not ready. Kamala Harris, maybe, or Michelle Obama or, if it can’t be a Black woman, Klobuchar or Whitman of Michigan: someone with experience, who can speak off the cuff instead of spouting rehearsed talking points. As for Biden himself, throw away the talking points! Stop with the “First, two things.” Just talk to us straight. We know you’re a good man. We know you’ve personally suffered a lot in this life. Show us the inner Biden. Let Joe be Joe, not the automaton we’ve been seeing. It’s not too late to make the change. The most effective (from a communications point of view) modern Presidents—Reagan, Clinton, Obama and, yes, Trump—have the ability to look into the camera and connect emotionally and spiritually with viewers; they have, for better or for worse, the appearance of authenticity and spontaneity. Joe Biden, as far as I can tell, does not. I think he can do it, but it’s going to require a revolution in the management of his candidacy, as well as in his own head.


Dear Republicans, Science is Real

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I had double cataract surgery last week. Needless to say, I was scared going into the procedure. People crawling around my eyeballs, scraping and cutting! Wow.  

But the procedure was miraculous. No pain during or afterwards. And now, for the first time in my life since I was seven, I have long distance vision that’s near perfect. I can look out my window and see the flowers on trees half a block away, people’s faces on the sidewalk, the kind of sneakers they’re wearing, even the shoelaces in those sneakers. That was unthinkable last week; it all would have been a blur.  

In cataract surgery they remove the old eye lens, which has become occluded with a film that makes everything gauzy, and replace it with a new lens that comes in a fancy box that looks like it could be sold at Wal-Mart. They not only get rid of the gauzy cataract, they replace the old, near-sighted lens with a brand-new one. Although I can now see perfectly at distance, I still need reading glasses, but what an improvement over the old situation.

What a miracle modern science is! Throughout human history people with cataracts had to go blind. No longer! Then there was the time, in the 1990s, when I had intense pain in the side of my left knee, the result no doubt of heavy-duty downhill running in San Francisco. Again, throughout history, people would have had to deal with the pain, and their mobility would have been limited. But because of the modern miracle of arthroscopic surgery, the Kaiser doctors were able to operate on me, and within weeks, I was back to full running capacity. In fact, I took up the study of karate, developed a lethal kick, and got my black belt.  

I respect modern science. It saves lives and restores to people their abilities. That is so wonderful. And yet, here we are in 2020, and there is a segment of the American people—mostly Christian Republican Trump supporters—who hate science. They question it all the time, whether it’s concerning global warming, the truth of evolution, or the coronavirus pandemic, which they insist is a Democrat hoax.

Why do Republicans hate science so much? It’s because so many Republicans are evangelical Christians. Now, you have to realize that these peoples’ main source of information is not science, but their Bible. And the Bible, which was first compiled by multiple authors between 3,000 and 1,500 years ago but was subsequently rewritten, translated, retranslated and rewritten again multiple times, is completely illiterate about science. The Bible is, in fact, the quintessential definition of superstition, defined as excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings.  

What does “excessively credulous” mean? Children believe in superstitions like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Adults know that these “beings” do not exist. Similarly, Bible believers believe in superstitions like a personal God in the sky (usually an old white guy with a long white beard), while “adults” know that no such being exists. Or—if they’re unwilling to go so far as non-belief—then at least they know that God may exist, but there’s no proof she does; and, at any rate, science—the explanation for the realities of the world—does not depend on the existence of God to justify itself, but is the ongoing effort to understand the physical realities that governs existence.  

Individual scientists, obviously, may or may not believe in God. Isaac Newton, the father of modern physics, was a Christian. Even Albert Einstein believed in Der Alte, “The Old One,” although he never defined just what he meant. But all scientists, regardless of their personal beliefs, believe in a science that seeks to describe the underlying physical properties of the world through comprehensible, provable physical mechanisms—not the personal actions of “supernatural beings.”  

This is where Christian Republicans get so confused. They want to believe in their Bible; indeed, the ultimate motive force of their lives is the Bible; to disbelieve it, or any part of it, would be tantamount to having their mental foundation stone completely undone. But that Bible is entirely inconsistent with science. If humans only adhered to the Bible as the fount of all knowledge, there would be no cataract surgery, no arthroscopic surgery on damaged knees. There would be no automobiles, no anesthesia, no plumbing—well, just about everything that has lifted humankind above the level of the apes would never have been discovered or invented. Of course, when Christian Republicans get cataracts or tear the meniscus in their knee, they never hesitate to run to their doctors to get surgery. They turn, in other words, to science, to heal what is broken. On the other hand, when those same scientists, in different areas of science such as climatology, tell Republicans that the climate is radically changing due to man-made fossil fuel emissions, those Republicans profess horror and disbelief. “God promised mankind he would never again destroy the Earth!” they cry, citing Genesis 9:13-16.  

That Christian Republicans do not see the hypocrisy and absurdity of their conflicted beliefs is obvious. Fortunately, most of us do, which is why we view Christian Republicans with such skepticism. We do not want superstitious, ignorant people—the kind of people who first denied the existence of coronavirus and, now, deny its epidemiological destructiveness—running our world. Sadly, in America, they do, for a simple reason: more of them showed up to vote in 2016 than the rest of us, by a very slender majority, but just enough to turn Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan red. That was a tragedy for America, but it also was a stain on rationality in America, which the people who voted for Trump, or who didn’t vote at all, will never live down.  

This post started out as a message for Republicans who don’t believe in science, but nothing I can say will change their minds. They’re stuck in their atavistic ignorance; they neither desire a truthful conversation nor are they capable of being convinced by fact. All we can do—the rest of us who do not have an “excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings”– is to vote this November. That’s exactly what President Obama tweeted last week, that single, one-word admonition: Vote.          

He knows he’s losing, and it freaks him out

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Sitting at home on Tuesday evening, sipping a crisp, delicate Vino Verde, one thing is clear to me. What we’re witnessing, live on T.V., is the penultimate attempt by this rogue regime and its clerical-fascist supporters to hold onto power before the election strips it away from them.

We know, from multiple polling results, that Trump would lose the election if it were held today. We know, also, that Democrats would keep the House, possibly adding to their majority, and that they would probably take back the Senate, albeit narrowly. Trump sees the same polls. He also has access to his private, internal polls. If the public polls are as bad for him as they are, imagine how bad the secret ones are. Trump knows he is going to lose. Bill Barr knows it too. Pence knows it. They all know it, all the Republican mafiosa. And, like mafiosa everywhere, they’re not about to let it happen without a huge fight.

They have a number of ways to fight it. One is the usual Republican modus operandi: voter suppression. This is why the Trumpites are so opposed to mail-in voting. Trump himself said, in March, that if Democratic plans to vote-by-mail were permitted, “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.” There it is: sometimes a pathological liar tells the truth. Let that sink in. The Republican Party, through its chieftain, just admitted that universal suffrage would result in the extinction of the Republican Party. So the Trumpites will do their best to prevent it, and to keep voter turnout everywhere as light as possible, by making it harder for minorities to vote no matter where they live.

But that’s not the only tool in their arsenal. Trump is also, in his inimitable way, poisoning the national conversation with red herrings and shiny objects that are complete, utter lies; but he knows they will appeal to his neo-fascist base, and he knows also—and this is very sad for a former journalist like me to say—that the media is going to have to cover his absurd allegations, in their attempt to be “objective” and report “all sides.” For example, Trump is now throwing out a brand new lie, which he has personally dubbed Obamagate.” The details are ludicrous and not worth explaining, but the point is that the media now are going to have to devote time and energy into looking into Trump’s lies, and they’re going to have to give precious T.V. moments to it, even if they’re debunking it. But Trump knows that time spent debunking the lie of Obamagate is time not spent on exposing his lies, incompetence and criminality. And that is precisely the point.

Trump’s approval rating, according to 538.com, is now at its lowest in at least a year. Why? It can only be his response to coronavirus. He’s tried his best to portray himself and his regime as “successful” and in leading the world in testing. But people aren’t stupid. Well, I take that back. His supporters are. But they represent only 30% or 35% of the American electorate. The rest of us have watched with increasing discomfort how Trump first ignored the warnings of his own healthcare experts and then peddled lie after lie in order to avoid having to respond responsibly, as any normal President would, even as Americans died in numbers now approaching 100,000. People, even some who voted for him, are asking themselves, “Why has he done what he did?” or, more acutely, “Why hasn’t he done more?” They don’t know the answers—neither do I. But it’s clear that Trump has now joined the Presidents-Who-Failed-In-A-National-Emergency Club, same as W. Bush did with Katrina. It’s an ineradicable part of his legacy, a permanent stain on his regime, just as is Impeachment and the fact—also understood by most Americans—that Trump was elected with the help of Russian meddling.

These are facts that keep Trump up at night, which explains the tweetstorms the occur around the clock. The most desperate drive in his frantic psyche is to go down in History as the legitimately elected and re-elected President, but he hears the dire footsteps over his shoulder warning him that History’s judgment will be exactly the opposite: illegitimately elected, losing his bid for a second term, the President who divided the American people more than any other in History, who failed to respond to a pandemic that resulted in mass death and the collapse of the U.S. economy. What a horrible legacy, one his descendants will eternally be ashamed of. No wonder he’s willing to lie, cheat, steal, and even to kill to avoid going down as the worst President in U.S. history. Sadly for him—happily for us—he will be so regarded, and he will lose in November. I guarantee it.


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