A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 182nd Unpresidented Week As POTUS

As his poll numbers tanked, Trump deployed a secret police force to Portland, took over coronavirus data, and mused about ruling via dictatorial decree.
President Donald Trump (AP) and Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf speaking to Trump’s secret police, which we later found out were CBP officers. (DHS)

President Donald Trump (AP) and Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf speaking to Trump’s secret police, which we later found out were CBP officers. (DHS)

Trump’s first major typo after winning the election was spelling Unprecedented incorrectly. He infamously tweeted “Unpresidented.” This typo is emblematic of his administration: An impulsive, frantically thrown together group of characters with virtually no oversight. After Trump was sworn in, I started writing the weekly “Unpresidented” column, analyzing every week of his presidency. This is week 182.

This week was another one for the history books, and not in a good way. Not only did we lose Civil Rights icon John Lewis, the conscience of the Congress, but we lost more of the safeguards that uphold American democracy. President Trump unleashed his most fascist, unconstitutional, undemocratic display yet.

Throughout the week, there was a clear trend of overtly autocratic actions on the part of the Trump Administration. First, the White Hosue cut out the CDC and took control of coronavirus data. Then, we saw President Trump continue to muse about how the Supreme Court allegedly gave him the power to essentially legislate without Congress. But worst of all, we have what happened in Portland, Oregon.

Images from Portland began to flood social media as an unidentified federal police force dressed in military armor began essentially kidnapping protestors off the street, against the wishes of local officials. The police force refused to identify themselves as they took protestors into unmarked cars, leaving those they apprehended confused and terrified. In one instance, they shot a protestor in the head with a non-lethal round, causing severe skull injuries. It was some of the worst police brutality images we’ve seen since the Lafayette Square assault on peaceful protestors, in which we also saw unidentified military police.

This raised many alarms in Washington and among the American people. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called this secret police force “stormtroopers.” We’ve since learned who they are. Before they publicly admitted it, an internal memo obtained by The Nation revealed that these were US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents. The force was the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC), which is the CBP’s version of SWAT. They were authorized to be deployed under the new special task force called the Protecting American Communities Task Force (PACT), which was created with President Trump’s executive order meant to protect federal monuments. It appears Trump’s transition of CBP into his personal police force has been completed.

This rightfully drew outrage as it violated the protestors’ rights. DHS released statements declaring that these were violent anarchists and these agents were doing their jobs. But a separate DHS memo was leaked to The New York Times and The Washington Post that indicated this police force was not trained for riot control. Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf defended this force and Acting  DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli confirmed that this tactic will be implemented nationwide.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes depicted President Trump’s secret police deployments in Portland as “performing fascism for the base” and he couldn’t be more right. What’s going on in Portland should scare every American, no matter what side of the aisle you’re on. This is not how America is supposed to be. Unfortunately, this was just one piece of the authoritarian puzzle.

After an article was published in the National Review by John Yoo, a proponent of the unitary executive theory, President Trump has made some startling claims. This week, President Trump repeatedly claimed the Supreme Court’s DACA ruling gives him the ability to unilaterally craft bills and sign them into law. This would essentially mean that Trump could circumvent Congress and rule via dictatorial decree. Trump’s legally dubious and dangerous view of the executive power was corroborated by an Axios report that indicated Trump would try to do this in the coming weeks with immigration.

President Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows further raised alarms by confirming that Trump is working with Attorney General Barr to make what happened in Portland a national tactic. Meadows also said that “it’s time for people to go to jail” and signaled imminent indictments in the Barr-Durham probe of Russian interference investigators. All this came as President Trump falsely accused Obama and Biden of treason. This is all slipping very fast.

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Next, we move to the coronavirus pandemic. As America continues to see all-time highs in cases, hitting over 70k cases in a single day for the first time this week, the White House seeks more control of the data. Immediately after the White House took control of data collection from hospitals and cut out the CDC, we saw a data blackout on hospital capacity on the CDC website.

This appears to be a blatant effort on the part of the White House to distort the COVID-19 hospitalization numbers. What’s next, the death toll? This is the kind of authoritarian suppression of data we expect from China, not the United States. Meanwhile, a Trump adviser told The Washington Post that Trump isn’t working this anymore and doesn’t want to be distracted by COVID-19. Translation: Trump doesn’t want to be distracted with mass death and disease burdening the American people he is supposed to govern.

We also learned this week that President Trump spoke to Dr. Anthonly Fauci, the leading infectious disease expert, after not speaking to him for nearly 2 months in the middle of a pandemic seeing new highs. In another indication that science is not leading the federal response, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that “the science should not stand in the way” of reopening schools.

Meanwhile, President Trump continued his war on testing. The Trump administration is pushing back on Congressional efforts to put new funds for testing and contact tracing into the next coronavirus relief bill. Trump also continued to claim that we only have high cases because we’re doing the most testing. For the last time, testing does not create cases, it detects them. If we had no cancer screenings, America would have zero cancer diagnoses but people would still die of cancer.

As long as the Trump administration continues to treat coronavirus as a public relations crisis and not a public health crisis, America will never get this under control until a vaccine arrives. President Trump is willing to do literally anything other than his job to try and win re-election. The smartest thing morally, and politically is to get a handle on coronavirus. Instead, he’s pushing reopenings amid spikes, attacking Fauci, leaving WHO, and overall making things worse.

Another recurring thread in President Trump’s presidency took center stage again this week: his white supremacy. President Trump’s niece Mary Trump said that she has heard Trump say the n-word and antisemitic language. None of this was surprising, but perhaps a little surprising was President Trump’s overt embrace of the white supremacist great replacement theory.

President Trump then launched a very racist attack on affordable housing and zoning laws by claiming it makes crime go up and prices go down for other properties. President Trump essentially said Black people will flood neighborhoods and immediately followed it by saying we need to maintain our “history and culture,” which is what he says when defending the Confederacy – which he did this week too, multiple times.

In an interview with CBS News on Tuesday, President Trump said that people love the Confederate flag and that they don’t see it as representing racism. Trump said that they have freedom of speech to tout the flag just like others can tout Black Lives Matter, a wild false equivalency. In an interview with Chirs Wallace, President Trump said the Confederate flag represents the South. Southerners don’t agree with Trump here.

A new Quinnipiac poll found that 55% of Southerners now see the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism while only 36% see it as a symbol of Southern pride. President Trump’s entire 2020 “strategy” is a bet that enough white people are as racist as he is and will turn out for him. He’s wrong.

In other racist news, Sebastian Gorka, a bigot with ties to neo-Nazi extremists who was previously fired from the White House, got another job in the White House. This was just one of the unhinged moves the Trump Administration made this week.

President Trump’s held another wild “press conference.” President Trump gathered the press in the Rose Garden and listed dishonest misrepresentations of Biden’s policies, outright smears of Democrats, and egomanical lies exaggerating his own success as POTUS. Meanwhile, Americans are still dying of COVID-19.

On Fox News, anchor Bret Baier rightfully pointed out that if Obama gave this kind of speech in the Rose Garden, Republicans on Capitol Hill would’ve been up in arms. Whoever’s idea it was for Trump to have this ego briefing has a real short memory. Trump’s coronavirus briefings were what began to crater his poll numbers. Putting this man in front of cameras only reminds Americans how much of a self-centered incompetent liar Trump is, and judging by recent polls, they don’t need much reminding.

This week saw the absolute worst poll for President Trump yet. Quinnipiac had President Trump down to Joe Biden by 15 points nationally, and the issue breakdowns were no better. The poll had Biden leading Trump on coronavirus (59%-35%), healthcare (58%-35%), racial inequality (62%-30%), and, for the first time, the economy (50%-45%). This week, Joe Biden also unveiled a $2 trillion climate plan while Trump rolled back another environmental law. The contrast couldn’t be starker.

Gallup also released one of the most important polls so far this year. There’s been evidence over the last few years of a shrinking GOP (party affiliation shifts, 2018 midterms, etc) but what’s happened in recent months is some of the most profound evidence of the declining Republican Party yet. The number of people affiliating as Democrats is increasing while it’s decreasing for Republicans.

It turns out President Trump calling coronavirus fears a hoax, botching the response at every turn, prematurely pushing reopenings which sparked case surges, waging a war on basic measures like masks and testing, all while defending the Confederacy is unpopular. Who would’ve guessed…

While publicly claiming all these polls are fake, the Trump Campaign is clearly being driven by them. They demoted Campaign Manager Brad Parscale. The thing is,  Parscale is not what’s wrong with Trump’s campaign. Trump is what’s wrong with Trump’s campaign. Trump could replace his entire campaign with the most brilliant people on Earth and they couldn’t spin his failure of a presidency or cure his character flaws or cure coronavirus.

All of this is driving President Trump’s desperate authoritarian moves. Trump doesn’t have much to run on other than fear, racism, and apparently, fascism.

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Reopenings Continue To Scale Back

Day 1,271: Monday, July 13

Epidemic infographic created for the COVID-19 pandemic that demonstrates the benefits of slowing transmission – March 7, 2020. (Esther Kim and Carl T. Bergstrom/Creative Commons)

Epidemic infographic created for the COVID-19 pandemic that demonstrates the benefits of slowing transmission – March 7, 2020. (Esther Kim and Carl T. Bergstrom/Creative Commons)

Monday’s top stories:

White House Seizes Control Over Coronavirus Data

Day 1,272: Tuesday, July 14

President Trump and Vice President Pence, joined by members of the Coronavirus Task Force, meet with representatives from pharmaceutical companies Monday March 2, 2020, in the Cabinet Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

President Trump and Vice President Pence, joined by members of the Coronavirus Task Force, meet with representatives from pharmaceutical companies Monday March 2, 2020, in the Cabinet Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

Tuesday’s top stories:

#Hacked

Day 1,273: Wednesday, July 15

Twitter Co-Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee – September 5, 2018. (Source: Senator Mark Warner’s Team)

Twitter Co-Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee – September 5, 2018. (Source: Senator Mark Warner’s Team)

Wednesday’s top stories:

Kemp Endangers Georgians

Day 1,274: Thursday, July 16

Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp gives a thumbs-up to supporters, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp gives a thumbs-up to supporters, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Thursday’s top stories:

Fascism In Portland

Day 1,275: Friday, July 17

Photo from Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf of himself speaking to Trump’s secret police, which we later found out were CBP officers.

Photo from Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf of himself speaking to Trump’s secret police, which we later found out were CBP officers.

Friday’s top stories:

Rantt Media and ZipRecruiter


Unpresidented // Authoritarianism / Coronavirus / Donald Trump / Fascism / Racism