We already know all there really is to know about Donald Trump. He has no bottom. A few of us knew that in 2016. There is truly no excuse for naivete after what we heard from him in the primary and general elections of 2016 and the nearly four years since.
From the very beginning of the Covid pandemic, Donald Trump did everything wrong. He ignored the warnings in his intel briefings. Then he denied it was here. After that, he claimed the pandemic was a hoax invented by the “Democrat Party” because even a pandemic was really all about him. He did nothing until it was virtually uncontrollable, then, when he suggested drinking bleach, he claimed he was following the science.
This week we were reminded of everything we stand to lose if Trump finds a way to steal the presidency again.
Yeah, I know he “won” the Electoral College vote and with it the presidency. But as the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence committee acknowledged in its report this week, that “win” was engineered with a lot of help from Russia.
It was a week of contrasts between the democracy we have and the tyranny Donald Trump is trying to build on the ash heap of what use to be America.
Enter Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, representing the America we are, where people seek a more perfect Union. All people regardless of skin color, citizenship, how they pray or who they love are recognized as human beings worthy of respect and dignity. It’s a place where character and honesty matter. The law applies to everyone the same way whether they exercise power every day or once every two years.
The law was not kind to corrupt people this week. The DC Circuit sided with congressional oversight when it said the House could sue Don McGahn if he didn’t comply with a subpoena. We learned that Deutsche Bank gave up Donald Trump’s financials to Manhattan prosecutor Cyrus Vance, and the crown jewel came with New York Attorney General Letitia James’s announcement of a civil suit against the NRA over its corrupt business practices.
During this past week many of us mourned the loss of John Lewis and the kind of greatness he had. The iconic civil rights leader was a man who refused to give up or give in after being beaten within an inch of his life. Those who knew him described him as someone you just had to love. Even Moscow Mitch had to take a moment to speak well of John Lewis.
During the past few days I heard a lot about the N word. Unsurprisingly, Mary Trump acknowledged that was a word her uncle, the sitting president, used over the years.
Earlier on the day when Rachel Maddow interviewed Ms. Trump, I had the honor of conversing with Rodney Hurst, who, at age sixteen, organized a protest in Jacksonville, Florida that led to a day we know now as Axe Handle Saturday. That was in 1960. When I asked Mr. Hurst what white people could do to give Black people meaningful support today, he said several things, which I’ll get into shortly. He did say, importantly, that he wishes white people would stop using the “N” word and other slurs.
This term’s Supreme Court rulings prove that America’s democracy is destined to survive the incompetent dictator-wannabe currently occupying the White House. Without question, the rule of law and democracy won. The unanimous finding among Supreme Court Justices across the ideological spectrum used various methods of legal analysis to find that the president is not above the law – at least he isn’t this week.
During this past week, there was yet another debate over Trump’s sanity, which to be honest, is beside the point.
Crazy or not, Trump is a danger to Americans, to our troops and to the democratic political system. But a crazy Trump is preferable to the very real possibility that the president and commander-in-chief betrayed our troops to Vladimir Putin.
Americans in the nation’s capital live with no representation. Not only do we have taxation, but we pay more taxes than 22 of the 50 states and we pay the highest per capita tax rate in the country.
Our books are balanced. Yes, most of DC is liberal by default and most of the people who live here are of color. I say liberal by default because Republicans and Trump have nothing but political servitude to offer DC. It’s likely that if Republicans had something to offer other than racist excuses for denying us representation, more conservative Americans in DC would at least take a look at their candidates.
In the latest series of articles about Mary Jordan’s upcoming book, we learn more about Melania’s effort to be seen as more than arm candy for the most narcissistic president ever.
As she pontificated over her disdain for people who need attention (no shortage of irony there), the woman who married Donald Trump wants the world to know “I lead meaningful life.” To read Laura Miller’s review of “The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump” is to confirm any perceptions we had that maybe Melania married Trump because she has a deep and abiding love for his money.
“She is a highly focused utilitarian who likes nice things and whose spoiled stepdaughter gets on her nerves. A childhood in a working-class family in the former Yugoslavia did not offer her many paths to couture wardrobes and private jets.* Her father, Viktor, was a chauffeur, and her mother, Amalija, sewed children’s clothing in a factory. Amalija craved elegance, making stylish clothes for her daughter and instilling in her a penchant for design.”
In 2016, we were introduced to a carefully-crafted image of Donald Trump’s third wife, Melania, as a private, family-oriented wife and mother. We read about her self-consciousness over her ability to speak English. So many people felt sorry for her, as a reserved former model married to the bombastic Trump, who is 20 years older.
All of it was stage craft. The Art of Her Deal: the Untold Story of Melania Trump, sheds the veneer of a shy and private Melania away to expose the inner political operative who wanted Trump to run for president and win. The image of Melania Trump got blown away as Washington Post reporter Mary Jordan looked deeper into Melania’s life.
Evidently, the current First Lady is hardly the damsel in distress that her cultivated image suggests. In fact, her image is, in many ways, as much an illusion as her husband’s. According to Jordan, Melania used the current president’s extra-marital affairs as leverage to get more money. And that’s just the beginning of the character striptease.
There was a thug in the George Floyd case. He was sitting in the White House tweeting toxins as usual. They were so poisonous that, for the first time in Twitter history, Donald Trump was docked for violating Twitter’s Terms of Service.
Anyone who endures the Trump presidency understands why there’s a minimum age qualification to be president. Trump proved, however, that chronological age doesn’t necessarily reflect the maturity that one needs to make rational decisions as the president of the United States. Trump’s outbursts are more like that of a two-year-old having a tantrum than of a grown man in control of his emotions.
Donald Trump is learning he can’t escape the ominous death toll resulting from decisions he made in handling Covid-19.
So this week brought on more attacks on the rule of law and a shocking level of callousness in Donald Trump.
There was that moment when he admitted that he doesn’t like testing because it gives him numbers he doesn’t like. Even with the low proportion of testing, the numbers were so devastating that we saw an even uglier version of Donald Trump lurking beneath the surface.
Despite Trump’s best efforts to assume privilege from laws and icky peasant illnesses like COVID-19, the pesky features of democracy penetrate his walls.
In two days, three people within Trump’s inner circle tested positive for COVID-19. News broke late Friday night that his daughter Ivanka’s personal assistant tested positive. Also testing positive is Trump’s valet, but maybe Trump can just get someone else to serve him Diet Coke and Chicken McNuggets.
On Friday, Joe Biden went on Morning Joe to answer questions posed by co-host Mika Brzezinski. I didn’t watch the interview because the very fact there was one demonstrated that nothing has changed since 2016.
Before we go any further, I’m not about to pronounce guilt or innocence of Trump, Biden or anyone else. This is about how we politicize the way we treat survivors.
If you have the misfortune of surviving a sex crime committed by a Republican, his spouse will defend him and his party will attack you. After the Access Hollywood video came out in 2016 and the original public scolding by some prominent Republican politicians, Melania Trump explained the complicated concept of boy talk to Anderson Cooper. Voila, Donald Trump survived what would have, at one time, been a campaign-ending scandal. The rest, we know, is the nightmare we continue to live.
We saw it again as Brett Kavanagh went through the confirmation process. Christine Blasey Ford braved the thug mentality that is a feature of Trump defenders to tell her story to the Senate Judiciary Committee. She was so credible that even in his smarmy way, Trump had to make that concession before sending Kavanaugh to do his best Trump imitation before that committee. Lindsey Graham displayed temper unlike anything we’ve seen from him before – in defense of Kavanaugh.
There was no meaningful investigation into the stories of several women who alleged that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted them during his drunken frat boy days. Donald Trump’s DOJ made sure of that.
On the other hand, if the alleged perpetrator is a Democrat, presidential candidates face a different process. You don’t even have to be the person who allegedly committed the crime. Even without investigation, let alone charges and a guilty verdict, If you were married to the accused, that means you enabled him. Or if you are the person accused, then suddenly Republicans care about believing the women.
In America, everyone who is accused of a crime has the right to be presumed innocent. It’s also true that accusations of criminal behavior are investigated. That should be done with every case of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual assault, or rape. Every single one. It starts with believing the survivor, but does not end there. To suggest that believing them means convicting the accused overlooks legal protections beginning with the presumption of innocence and going on to the right to confront your accuser and evidence offered and so on.
Me Too became a thing because mostly privileged men pretty much had immunity from prosecution for rape and other sex crimes. Then we saw some high profile convictions, such as those of Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein. Jeffrey Epstein was awaiting trial he died in prison. The survivors in all these cases had to fight decades just to get their day in court.
And yet, as Christine Pelosi pointed out in a thread on Twitter, the process for investigating alleged sexual misconduct by members of the Senate or the House is broken.
I still wish there was a confidential independent investigation for charges like these, with counseling due process and transparent results – in that absence, I look forward to seeing the National Archives response and hope we can stop weaponizing trauma and promote healing.
On Friday, states and manufacturers of Clorox and Lysol were issuing public service announcements to ignore Donald Trump’s proposed prescription of injecting or drinking those products to cure COVID-19. To be clear, he thought it would “be interesting” to test the effects of bleach on killing the novel corona virus in the human body since it works so well on the surface.
By making items of privilege out of hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and access to testing for a deadly disease, Trump’s mishandling of COVID-19 dragged the skeletons out of our national closet.
It’s the nation’s worst kept secret. The racism, sexism and nativism are so pervasive that they define you, the opportunities you will have, the quality of your life and the quality of your health.