Down Goes Democracy Edition
APPROVAL ALERT AT PRESS TIME:
FiveThirtyEight Poll: 43.2% — up from 43.0% last week
Rasmussen Poll: 52% — down from 53% last week
ABC News/WaPo Poll: 57% say wait until after the election to appoint SCOTUS
Welcome to Trumplandia, a place where with a bit of wit and snark, we keep the world caught up on all of the tasty Nuggets-O-Trump you may have heard about, but were too busy to care. Because most of this minutia occurs just below the massive headlines about the POTUS, it’s in a land of its own. Here, an infusion of social media, video clips and print media meld with our outdated political views to make more delicious “Fake News” about our commander-in-chief.
So just like the president, we start it all with a little tweet like this:
The week of our Trump — Sept. 19, 2020: During a week that felt like yet another step in the death march of the republic formerly known as the United States of America, impeached President Donald Trump continued to attack our nation’s institutions by politicizing the Supreme Court while the nation mourned losing one of its most iconic justices.
Trump, in defiance of the dying wish of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, spent much of the week reveling in his ability to replace her and even held out the names of two female justices he wants considered as nominees to the high court before election day in November.
Ginsburg, 87, passed away after a bout with pancreatic cancer last week. Like a death in the family, she was mourned all week as her body lay first in repose at the Supreme Court building Sept. 23 and 24. With her past law clerks serving as honorary pallbearers, Ginsburg’s casket was later brought in the Great Hall and placed on the Lincoln Catafalque for public viewing.
Yesterday, Ginsburg’s body lay in state at the National Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol for a ceremony for invited guests. Even in death, the trailblazing justice made history as the first woman and first person of Jewish descent to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol. Ginsburg will be buried during a private service at Arlington National Cemetery.
Her unexpected death touched off a political battle for the ages among the two major political parties, with Democrats calling for her replacement to be named after a new president is elected and Republicans pushing to seat her replacement before the November election.
Ginsburg, who was the second woman named to the nation’s high court, was a pioneer in the fight for gender equality in America, where she reshaped laws for women and others who sought equity in various aspects of day-to-day life.
The seminal Supreme Court justice left instructions on what she requested happen to her seat should she pass before the upcoming election with her granddaughter just days before her death:
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
Trump and First Lady Melania Trump paid their respects to Ginsburg as she lay in repose at the Supreme Court earlier this week. The Trumps, who made a rare public appearance wearing black, protective facial masks, were roundly booed by supporters of the liberal-leaning Ginsburg. Chants of “Vote him out!” echoed outside the Supreme Court as President Trump and the FLOTUS stood by her flag-draped coffin.
The public reaction was a byproduct of another dishonorable handling of a historically pertinent event by Trump. He and Republicans plan to use the death of RBG to reshape the court with a more conservative lean.
Media reports announced Trump expects to nominate his pick for Ginsburg’s replacement today. Published reports state Trump is leaning toward nominating right-wing darling, Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ginsburg. At press time, the White House had not made a formal announcement.
Coney Barrett, 48, and her husband are devout Catholics and belong to the People of Praise group, which was founded in Indiana in 1971. One the basic tenants of the group is men have authority over their wives. According to reports, members of the group swear a lifelong oath of loyalty to each other. Members of the group are expected to donate 5 percent of their earnings to the group.
Republicans kept former President Barack Obama’s choice from being considered for replacement of conservative Justice Anthony Scalia, who died in February 2016, claimed the task should be left to the nation’s voters who would first select a new president since Obama was nearing the end of his second term. Because Obama was a lame-duck, his pick of Judge Merrick Garland was not even considered due to what the Senate was calling a new rule.
However, with Ginsburg’s death occurring fewer than 60 days before the election, many of the same Republicans rushed to contradict their own “new rule” and backed the incumbent Trump’s push to nominate a new justice for consideration before the Nov. 3, 2020 election.
Shamelessly partisan and hypocritical, Republicans lined up behind the soul-less Trump, who saw Ginsburg’s death as an opportunity to influence the high court for a generation and perhaps refuel his re-election bid.
The ruthless Trump may have praised Ginsburg upon first learning of her death, but quickly pivoted to his old, despicable ways the next day by stating it was his duty to quickly fill Ginsburg’s seat. Appearing on Fox News morning show “Fox & Friends” on Sept. 21, Trump said he believed Ginsburg’s granddaughter had lied about the justice’s wishes on when she should be replaced:
“I don’t know that she said that or was that written out by (Rep.) Adam Schiff (D-Ca.) and (Sen. Chuck) Schumer and (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi. I would be more inclined to the second. Ok? That came out of the wind. It sounds so beautiful. But that sounds like a Schumer deal or maybe a Pelosi of shifty Schiff. So that came out of the wind. Let’s see. I mean, maybe she did and maybe she didn’t.”
To cap off his blasphemous behavior, Trump will make official his nominee today.
Although Coney Barrett has been announced as the favorite, the president was also said to be considering U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit Judge Barbara Lagoa, 52, for the position. A conservative judge, Lagoa is Cuban-American and resides in Trump’s new home state of Florida.
COVID On The Rise
Despite his obvious efforts to destroy our democracy, Trump still finds himself smack dab in the middle of a unmitigated health emergency despite how many times he’s said the nation has turned the corner.
This week, America passed the 7 million mark in confirmed cases, of COVID-19 while also mourning the loss of roughly 200,000 people to the disease since March 2020. With the master of disaster stoking the flames during various campaign stops across the country, the United Stated has recorded its largest single day of infections in weeks with 53,000 new reported COVID infection yesterday, according to worldometers.com.
California is still the most infected state with roughly 4,000 new cases yesterday. However, places like Missouri, with 1,700 new cases, and Utah with 1,400 on Friday are also fueling the increase. Wisconsin, a state recently visited by Trump, tallied 2,500 new cases yesterday and Alabama added some 2,400 new cases.
According to a model from the University of Washington, deaths have been running at 770 a day on average and the death toll could double to a terrifying 400,000 by the end of the year.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during an interview on CNN:
“The idea of 200,000 death is really very sobering, in some respects stunning.”
But the rising number of cases have no impact on Trump, who held rallies across the country where large groups have gathered outdoors, with most participants not wearing protective face coverings or social distancing.
Along with hosting the events, Donnie Dimwit and providing fertile environments for coronavirus to spread, he also continues to spread disinformation about the disease, causing doctors to worry about the impact coronavirus will have on the coming cold and flu season.
During a campaign stop in Swanton, Ohio, the president returned to one of his more outrageous claims about the spread of COVID-19, stating that sometimes the deadly contagion affects “virtually nobody.”
“Now we know it affects elderly people, elderly people with heart problems, other problems. That’s what it really affects. You know in some states thousands of people nobody young, below the age of 18 — nobody. It affects virtually nobody.”
Nationally the rate of new cases is up 9 percent from last week, with a seven-day average of more than 43,000 cases nationwide.
Fauci said with colder temperatures increasing indoor activities and more schools opening across the country, the virus could spread even more easily than it did during the summer. During an online chat yesterday with the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Fauci said:
“You don’t want to enter into the fall and winter with a community spread at that level. Because if you do, you got a difficult situation that’s going to be really challenging.”
A Despot for All Seasons
Along with the decision to replace Ginsburg seemingly before her seat was cold, Trump also changed the narrative and the game this week on the upcoming election.
Appearing to be trailing former Vice President Joe Biden across most states, Trump, when asked during a White House press conference briefing if he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he were to lose his re-election bid, chose to stir the pot and sow doubt over the most sacred of democratic principles.
Trump said he would “have to see what happens” during the Sept. 23 press conference, sending the media world into frenzy and again moving the narrative away from his catastrophic failure to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus in the U.S.
Trump’s incendiary statement about possibly not leaving office followed a troubling article in The Atlantic magazine that revealed the president’s campaign has been discussing contingency plans that would involve bypassing the result of the upcoming election and instead allow the president to appoint electors in battleground states who could challenge the actual votes of Americans as unreliable.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-Ky), dismissed Trump’s comments and said he expected the commander-in-chief would leave following a loss in the election.
“The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th.There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, (D-Ca.), who has been one of the outspoken voices against Trump’s hints that he might not peacefully leave office, said she and the Democrats planned to do whatever it takes to ensure the peaceful transfer of power happens in 2021.
Ranging from attempting to cripple the U.S. Postal Service through an appointed Postmaster to openly questioning the validity of mail-in voting, Trump has been attempting to delegitimize the upcoming election.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that Trump would accept the results of “a free and fair election.” However, hours later, Trump again referenced his concerns with mail-in ballots, which he described as “a disaster” the day before:
“We want to make sure the election is honest, and I’m not sure that it can be. I don’t know that it can be, with this whole situation, unsolicited ballots.”