A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 90th Unpresidented Week As POTUS
The Great Divider
90 weeks into Trump’s presidency and he remains the most divisive figure in the world.
Divisiveness is a foundational component of who Donald Trump is as a man and who he has been as a president.
President Trump’s political platform is based on zero-sum grievance. For him to win, someone has to lose. For him to have something to fight for, he must have something to fight against. In this case, Trump has convinced his base that the Democrats and the mainstream media, their fellow citizens, are the enemies.
President Trump utilizes these tactics when he sends out tweets essentially claiming that Democrats and the press are not just political opponents, but violent enemies of the state. Trump doubled down in his remarks at Brett Kavanaugh’s swearing-in ceremony. Trump apologized to Kavanaugh and, once again, acting as if those who accused him of sexual assault were part of a Democratic smear campaign.
There’s the culture war that President Trump leans on whenever he sees a lull in the news cycle. From attacking kneeling NFL protestors to falsely claiming the #MeToo movement is a covert operation to take down successful white men, Trump derives joy from enraging and dividing the nation.
And of course, there is the ever-present racism. Scapegoating minorities is one of the President’s favorite pastimes, especially Latino immigrants. If you look at Republican ads across the country, they continue to ratchet up the dehumanization of immigrants, claiming that MS-13 is around every corner (in spite of the fact there are only 10,000 members nationwide, and the gang makes up less than one percent of all US gang activity, but I digress).
Since the President has no real policy agenda other than passing legislation that benefits himself and the top 1%, Trump relies on these tactics to get his base riled up. Rhetoric for poor white males, policy for rich white males.
At every turn the sitting President of the United States shamelessly seeks to divide the very people he was elected to govern. That’s why whoever is elected in 2020 must be a complete repudiation of everything Donald Trump stands for. They must be an aspirational leader who not only fights the corrupt forces, domestic and foreign, who seek to undermine our democracy but also reminds us what it means to be American. Someone who leads to unify, not divide and conquer.
Unfortunately for Trump, poll after poll shows the majority of the country, who operate in a fact-based reality, are fed up with his tactics – especially women.
We’ll see how this pans out for Trump and the GOP in November.
Day 627: Monday, October 8
Confirmation And Climate
After Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court by the consequential votes of Susan Collins (R-ME), Jeff Flake (R-AZ, and Joe Manchin (D-WV), the weekend was full of protests in the nation’s Capitol.
That didn’t stop President Trump from going on a shameless victory lap. On Monday, he held the official ceremony for Kavanaugh’s swearing-in. In it, Trump continued his one-sided approach to governing, completely ignoring the majority of Americans (especially American women) who disapprove of Brett Kavanaugh.
Here is the @POTUS apologizing to Kavanaugh for the “pain and suffering” he endured
Trump then falsely clams Kavanaugh was “proven innocent,” but fails to mention the investigation was a sham
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) October 9, 2018
In other news…
- The New York Times: Rick Gates Sought Online Manipulation Plans From Israeli Intelligence Firm for Trump Campaign
- The New York Times: Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040
- Politico: Trump: No plans to fire Rosenstein
- The New York Times: North Korea Agrees to Allow Inspectors Into Nuclear Testing Site, Pompeo Says
- CBS News: Trump administration plans to allow sales of gas with higher ethanol blend
- NBC News: Trump’s tariffs have already cost Ford $1B; now it’s planning layoffs
- CNN: 51% in the poll oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court
- CNBC: Fox hires former Trump aide Hope Hicks as top communications officer
- New York Post: Feds freeze Russian oligarch’s assets, Upper East Side mansion
Day 628: Tuesday, October 9
On Tuesday, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley unexpectedly resigned, setting off a series of theories about what her next move would be. Given her successful tenure as the Governor of South Carolina and her ability to show where she differs from Trump, some thought that she would perhaps try and primary Trump in 2020. That was quickly dispelled by Haley’s statement about her departure.
Others speculated that in the event Attorney General Jeff Sessions or Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis were to be replaced by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) after the midterms, Haley could then be appointed to the U.S. Senate by the governor.
We’ll see how this plays out.
In other news…
- AP Investigation: Deported parents may lose kids to adoption
- NBC News: Trump says Ivanka would be ‘incredible’ at U.N. job, but predicts nepotism charges
- CNN poll: Democrats are fired up and maintain a strong 2018 lead
- ABC News: 1,500 noncitizens may have been registered to vote in California DMV error
- HuffPost: EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler Engaged With Racist, Conspiratorial Posts On Social Media
Day 629: Wednesday, October 10
On Wednesday, USA TODAY made a terrible editorial decision by publishing President Trump’s op-ed on Healthcare that was filled with falsehoods.
Recklessly broadcasting a liar’s unchecked words to the masses is a practice that should’ve been left in 2016, but here we are.https://t.co/8ct3hkyyy9
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) October 10, 2018
President Trump has told over 5,000 lies/falsehoods
His admin gaslights the people
That isn’t journalism
That is propagandahttps://t.co/y34FwCXkSe
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) October 13, 2018
In other news…
- The New York Times: Turkish Officials Say Khashoggi Was Killed on Order of Saudi Leadership
- The Washington Post: Crown prince sought to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and detain him, U.S. intercepts show
- The Wall Street Journal: Late GOP Activist Peter W. Smith Met With Former Trump Adviser Michael Flynn in 2015
- The Atlantic: The Trump Campaign Says Exploiting Hacked Emails Is Free Speech
- Politico: Mueller gets longest sentence yet for man who helped Russian trolls
- CNN: Melania Trump says women ‘need evidence’ if they say they’re victims
- Politico Poll: Kavanaugh confirmation energizes Democrats more than GOP
- Bloomberg: Trump Says Blame ‘Loco’ Fed, Not China Trade War, for Sell-Off
Day 630: Thursday, October 11
A Meeting About Nothing
On Thursday, Kanye West met with Trump in the White House. Rather than touch on that, I’ve republished Rantt Editor Jossif Ezekilov’s great article on what the media should’ve been covering instead of the Kanye-Trump meeting.
- 280 people are missing in Florida after Hurricane Michael made landfall yesterday. FEMA has warned the death toll could rise, but there has yet to be an official White House response or comment.
- It is very likely Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been murdered, and there is mounting evidence it was committed by the Saudi government. Leaks from the intelligence community indicate the US government may have known about the plan to murder Khashoggi, a contributor for the Washington Post and a US permanent resident. An investigation has been called for by Congress, but the Trump administration has not said how it would deal with one of its key allies if it is found to have been behind the murder.
- Democratic candidate for Georgia governor Stacey Abrams has called on her opponent Republican Brian Kemp to resign as Georgia’s Secretary of State, after reports of his office suppressing the voting rights of thousands of minorities, ahead of the November elections.
- Markets are down 546 points today, after tumbling more than 800 points the day before. Investors are blaming rising interest rates, but fears of rising protectionism, falling markets overseas, and an economic downturn may also be at play.
- Washington state’s Supreme Court unanimously struck down the state’s death penalty. Crucially, the court argued that the state’s capital punishment law lacks “fundamental fairness” and that it was racially biased.
- Today is The International Day of the Girl. A year after the beginning of the #MeToo movement, and after weeks of the Kavanaugh hearings, this day will have particular significance in the West. However, the UN designated this day to highlight all forms of discrimination that the world’s 1.1 billion girls stand to face, including violence against women, child marriage, wage inequality, and education and health access, among others. The increased attention is welcome, but more than a day’s worth of action is sorely needed.
In other news…
- The Washington Post: Trump talked with Jeff Sessions’s own chief of staff about replacing him as attorney general
- ABC News: Melania Trump says she is one of the most bullied people in the world; distrusts some in the West Wing
- The Wall Street Journal: Trump Is Mulling Candidates Who Could Succeed Jeff Sessions
- AP: Voting rights become a flashpoint in Georgia governor’s race
- CNN: Trump’s lawyers preparing answers to Mueller’s questions
- NBC News: Mueller can’t hold threat of retrial over Manafort’s head, judge says
- Axios: Scoop: Michael Cohen is now a registered Democrat
- NBC News: Trump accuses Hillary Clinton of colluding with Russia as crowd chants ‘lock her up’
- Clinton Clapback:
Seriously, you asked Russia to hack me on national television. https://t.co/YPktJyQ7Gx
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 11, 2018
Day 631: Friday, October 12
Family Separation 2.0
The Washington Post revealed that although they still have hundreds of separated children in their custody, the Trump administration looks ready to restart their oppressive policy that caused this humanitarian crisis:
The White House is actively considering plans that could again separate parents and children at the U.S.-Mexico border, hoping to reverse soaring numbers of families attempting to cross illegally into the United States, according to several administration officials with direct knowledge of the effort.
One option under consideration is for the government to detain asylum-seeking families together for up to 20 days, then give parents a choice — stay in family detention with their child for months or years as their immigration case proceeds, or allow children to be taken to a government shelter so other relatives or guardians can seek custody.
That option — called “binary choice” — is one of several under consideration amid the president’s frustration over border security. Trump has been unable to fulfill key promises to build a border wall and end what he calls “catch and release,” a process that began under past administrations in which most detained families are quickly freed to await immigration hearings. The number of migrant family members arrested and charged with illegally crossing the border jumped 38 percent in August and is now at a record level, according to Department of Homeland Security officials.
In other news…
- The Washington Post: New emails reveal a central political motivation for changing the census
- NPR: Commerce Secretary Now Recalls Discussing Citizenship Question With Steve Bannon
- The Washington Post: Trump’s potential new attorney general once mused about a new attorney general defunding Mueller
- The Hill: Watchdog files Hatch Act complaint against Sanders for picture with Kanye in MAGA hat
- The Washington Post: Turks tell U.S. officials they have audio and video recordings that support conclusion Khashoggi was killed
- The Washington Post: ‘It’s not a citizen’: Trump telegraphs a soft line on Jamal Khashoggi — even as evidence becomes more damning
- The Guardian: Republican pair apparently pose as communists to make Democratic donation
- Politico: Democrats agree to confirmations of 15 Trump judges
- NBC News: Georgia sued for placing thousands of voter registrations on hold before election