A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 197th Unpresidented Week As POTUS
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 197, the final week before election day.
If you’re anything like me, then you’ve spent the past few weeks doom-scrolling through Twitter. While we’ve all seen the promising polls, 2016 looms large in our psyche as well as the blatant voter intimidation and hundreds of Republican court cases seeking to undermine American democracy. Rather than come up with more popular policy stances, the GOP is doing everything they can to make it harder for you to vote. Their primary re-election strategy is opposition to democracy itself. But I’m writing this to tell you that in spite of all the obstacles Americans face, we can beat them.
It’s important to remember that a central strategy of authoritarians is to make the people believe they are powerless and their vote won’t count. So rather than use this piece to make a final case against President Trump, I thought I’d talk about why I think Joe Biden will win and Donald Trump’s efforts to steal the election will, like every other venture in his life, fail. We all need a little dose of optimism these days, right?
This weekend, Axios dropped a report that seemingly confirmed our worst fears: that President Trump plans to announce himself the victor on election night if he leads key swing states, even as votes are continuing to be counted. This raised alarms, as Americans took to social media to express their dismay. Trump’s strategy has been clear for months:
- Lie about voter fraud in mail-in ballots (there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud).
- Push his base to vote in person while Democrats vote by mail.
- Sabotage the USPS and slow down mail so fewer ballots are received by Election Day.
- Falsely declare victory on Election Day based on the in-person vote count.
- Challenge ballots counted after Election Day in the Supreme Court.
Here’s why I think it backfired. President Trump undermined this strategy by telling on himself like a comic book villain. Over the Summer, Trump openly announced his intent to sabotage the USPS in order to stop mail-in ballots. After RBG died, Trump openly said he wanted to fill the vacancy because he wanted someone to rule on his behalf at the Supreme Court. He’s gone as far as saying the Supreme Court will declare him the winner and he wants the counting of votes to stop on election night. Talk about saying the quiet part out loud.
Democratic voters responded to this with huge early turnout, standing in lines from the moment early voting began. They’ve been getting mail ballots in early and voting in-person in larger numbers than expected, given Trump’s targeting of the USPS turned some away from mail-in voting. During October, Joe Biden has held a stead 8-10 point national lead in polling averages and leads in multiple swing states, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Nevada, Nebraska’s 2nd district, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, and more. Over 90 million Americans have already voted early during these polling leads. There was no Comey letter to erode Biden’s polling and Trump’s Hunter Biden smears failed, only highlighting his own corruption.
President Trump is also losing in a key demographic he won by huge margins in 2016: seniors. There’s also the fact Trump has continued to bleed support among suburban women that bolstered the blue wave in 2018. Of course, we all have a distrust of polling, but polling methodology has drastically improved since 2016 and was largely correct in 2018. Polls now weigh education levels and have made other tweaks in their sampling. Even if polling is as wrong as it was in 2016, as The New York Times’ Nate Cohn notes, Biden would still be ahead in enough states to make it well over 270 electoral votes. Even if Trump managed to win Pennsylvania, Biden has other paths to 270 in Nebraska’s 2nd with Arizona or even North Carolina.
Wide Democratic margins, early Biden leads, or wins in early announced states like North Carolina would thwart any Trump attempts to announce himself the winner the night of the election. On top of that, the media won’t play ball. In 2000, Al Gore had to deal with the perception he lost because the media reversed their Florida projection and Fox News declared Bush the winner. That stench of loss hung over Gore’s recount efforts. That won’t happen this time. News orgs and social media companies are prepared for Trump’s false declaration of victory and have already been making contingency plans for this.
If a challenge does make it up to the Supreme Court, Trump’s arguments are all predicated on pure lies. Would they really throw out legitimate ballots with zero evidence? Not likely. For the same reasons I believe Attorney General William Barr hasn’t falsely charged Biden, I don’t think SCOTUS would side with Trump based on lies. Chief Justice Roberts cares about his legacy. Trump’s public pressure taints any pro-Trump moves they could make. But again, if the margins are wide enough and in enough states, Trump would need to throw out hundreds of thousands of ballots in multiple states to win. The decentralized nature of how America runs our state elections also makes this plot more difficult for him. He’s corrupted much of America, but enough of it.
I know all that sounds optimistic, but I think the most likely outcome is that Trump’s efforts to steal the election will fail, and his whining will ultimately just serve as an excuse for his loss. The real danger, in my opinion, comes from how his base will react to his loss. They’re already driving around the country blocking traffic and trying to drive a Biden campaign bus off the road, which Trump praised as “patriots.” There’s no telling what Trump’s base will do or what extremists like the white supremacist Proud Boys, who Trump asked to “stand by,” will do.
President Trump wants us to think he’s all-powerful but he’s not. If you want an indication of his growing weakness, look no further than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rebuffing Trump’s attempt to get a stimulus deal done, and instead opting to sabotage the incoming Biden admin’s economy. Their sudden re-embrace of “fiscal conservativism” speaks volumes and echoes 2008.
President Trump has been an incredibly incompetent wannabe autocrat. He doesn’t have the brains or popularity to pull off the feats required to steal this election unilaterally. Look no further than his closing message for evidence of his lack of intelligence. In this final week, Trump decided to focus on Hunter Biden and on trying to gaslight Americans about COVID-19. Trump repeatedly asserted that we are “rounding the turn,” despite the record high daily case count continuing to hover around 100,000. Donald Trump Jr. even said that the deaths were down to “almost nothing,” the same day that we hit 1,000 deaths. These COVID-19 surges were a flashing light reminder of the greatest failure of his presidency.
While they were downplaying the pandemic, we learned more about the scope of COVID-19 outbreaks Trump has sparked. Stanford University economists found that “President Donald Trump’s campaign rallies between June and September may have caused some 30,000 coronavirus infections and more than 700 deaths…” Those aren’t the only health threats Trump’s rallies have caused. In Omaha, Trump left hundreds of his supported stranded in the freezing cold, causing some to go to the hospital. In Tampa, multiple Trump supporters were hospitalized due to the heat. Trump is a public health risk.
President Trump also spent time this week smearing frontline health workers. Trump claimed that doctors are inflating COVID-19 deaths because they get more money. That’s an absolute lie. Trump has been repeatedly smearing health workers and, at the same time, trying to erase those who died of COVID-19. The audacity. The shamelessness and indecency within Trump to so callously defame doctors and the dead… I still haven’t lost my capacity for shock in this administration.
President Trump’s closing weeks was a microcosm of his failed presidency. Trump was anti-science, indifferent to human suffering, calling for his political targets to be imprisoned, and being blatantly indecent. Trump needs to lose by such a historic landslide that the entire GOP has to soul-search, and the public can begin the process of shunning Trump and the depravity that he represents. That is entirely possible and in your hands. Get out there and vote.
Let’s dive into the final week before the election. Next time I write to you, we will be in a much different world. Godspeed.Looking to make a difference? Consider signing one of these sponsored petitions:
Amy Coney Barrett Takes The Oath
Day 1,376: Monday, October 26
Monday’s top stories:
- The Washington Post: Senate confirms Barrett to Supreme Court, cementing its conservative majority
- Reuters: Trump celebrates at White House as Supreme Court nominee confirmed
- CNN: Trump’s taxes, election and abortion cases await Amy Coney Barrett in her first week
- The Hill: Democrats warn GOP will regret Barrett confirmation
- NBC News: In setback for Democrats, Supreme Court won’t let late mail ballots count in Wisconsin
- CNN: At least 5 of Vice President Pence’s aides test positive for coronavirus
- Time: The Third Wave of COVID-19 in the U.S. Is Officially Worse Than the First Two
- CNN: White House chief of staff: ‘We are not going to control the pandemic’
- Reuters: Trump, Biden make pitches to voters in pivotal Pennsylvania
- NBC News: Dow closes 650 points lower, as concerns mount over rise in coronavirus infections
- The New York Times: Kushner, Employing Racist Stereotype, Questions if Black Americans ‘Want to Be Successful’
- Politico: Trump fights in court to block pandemic food aid for lowest-income Americans
- CNN: Fact check: Trump continues to falsely claim that spike in coronavirus cases is due to heightened testing
- CNN: Minnesota reports three Covid-19 outbreaks related to Trump campaign events in September
- USA TODAY: Americans worried about Election Day violence and chaos are buying guns and toilet paper
- Mediaite: Fox News President and Several Top Anchors Advised to Quarantine After Being Exposed to Covid on Flight to Debate
- CNN: Pre-election voting surpasses all 2016 early ballots cast with 9 days left until Election Day
- NBC News: Progressives push for Warren as treasury secretary, signaling bigger ideological battle if Biden wins
- Business Insider: Facebook is taking specific measures to slow the ‘spread of viral content’ in anticipation of possible unrest on Election day, report says
- The Daily Beast: Putin Leaves Trump Hanging and Says There’s Nothing Criminal About Hunter Biden and Ukraine
- NPR: Europe Imposes New Restrictions As COVID-19 Cases Soar
- Rantt Media: How Trump’s Hunter Biden Disinformation Campaign Failed
- Rantt Media: Research Suggests Globalization Doesn’t Drive Nationalism
The Self-Dealing Presidency
Day 1,377: Tuesday, October 27
Tuesday’s top stories:
- The Washington Post: Ballrooms, candles and luxury cottages: During Trump’s term, millions of government and GOP dollars have flowed to his properties
- BuzzFeed News: Philadelphia Police Shot And Killed A Black Man Who Officials Say Was Carrying A Knife
- Rolling Stone: As Trump Declares Surrender to the Coronavirus, GOP-led Senate Punts on Pandemic Relief
- NBC News: Judge says Justice Department cannot defend Trump in E. Jean Carroll rape defamation suit
- CNN: More than 100,000 flee Southern California wildfires under evacuation orders
- The Washington Post: Live updates: Trump claims U.S. is ‘rounding the turn’ as more than 42,000 are hospitalized for covid-19
- The Hill: Trump administration testing czar: Rise in cases is ‘real,’ not just from more testing
- Vox: Why North and South Dakota are suffering the worst Covid-19 epidemics in the US
- NPR: Zeta Triggers Hurricane Warning For New Orleans As Gulf Coast Awaits Storm
- Bloomberg: Trump Campaign Shifts Florida Ad Spending Burden to RNC
- CNN: 20 former Republican US attorneys endorse Biden campaign
- MSNBC: In battleground states, newly registered Democrats are outnumbering newly registered Republicans
- The Texas Tribune: Texas counties will only be allowed one drop-off location for mail-in ballots, state Supreme Court rules
- The State: SC counties ordered to stop rejecting absentee ballots over mismatched signatures
- CNN: Michigan judge strikes down ban on open carry of guns at polling places on Election Day
- The Washington Post: Analysis | Kavanaugh’s argument for rejecting late-arriving ballots is riddled with dubious arguments
- The Daily Beast: Fox News COVID Infection Sends Election Plans Into ‘Chaos’
- Politico: Twitter labels Trump post about mail ballots as ‘disputed’ and ‘misleading’
- AP: Justice Thomas’ wife boosts unsupported claims against Biden
- The Daily Beast: Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl Indicted AGAIN Over Voter Intimidation
- BuzzFeed News: Here Is The Last Day Mail-In Ballots Will Be Accepted In Every State
- CBS News: Russia orders national mask mandate as coronavirus cases spike
- Bloomberg: Lockdowns Near as European Governments Run Out of Options
- Rantt Media: We Can Fix What Trump Broke If We Stop Him Now
- Rantt Media: How Covid-19 Has Boosted The Radical Populist Right In Belgium
Consequential SCOTUS Decisions
Day 1,378: Wednesday, October 28
Wednesday’s top stories:
- CNN: Supreme Court won’t expedite latest GOP challenge to Pennsylvania mail-in ballot rules
- Bloomberg: Supreme Court Allows North Carolina Ballot-Receipt Extension
- BuzzFeed News: Coronavirus Cases Are Now Rising In Almost Every State In The US
- The Washington Post: National Guard responds as protests over Walter Wallace killing engulf Philadelphia
- NBC News: Hundreds of Trump supporters stuck on freezing cold Omaha airfield after rally; 7 taken to hospitals
- CNN: Jared Kushner bragged in April that Trump was taking the country ‘back from the doctors’
- Reuters: U.S. early voting tops 70 million, continuing historic pace
- CNN: Zeta makes landfall as a Category 2 hurricane on storm-weary Gulf Coast
- CNN: New York Times: Tax records show Trump had over $270 million in debt forgiven after failing to repay lenders
- CNN: Trump uses outdated thinking in attempt to woo suburban women: I’m ‘getting your husbands back to work’
- The Guardian: Trump aide Stephen Miller preparing second-term immigration blitz
- CNN Poll: Biden continues to hold nationwide advantage in final days of 2020 race
- Axios: “Anonymous” senior Trump official revealed as ex-DHS chief of staff Miles Taylor
- Politico: Ratcliffe went off script with Iran remarks, officials say
- CNN: Virginia’s governor signs legislation banning no-knock warrants
- NBC News: Iran’s Covid death toll may be four times official tally, says doctor
- Bloomberg: Germany Moves to Shutter Bars and Restaurants for One Month
- Reuters: France must accept new national lockdown, says hospital professor
Trump Sought To Grant Favors To Erdogan
Day 1,379: Thursday, October 29
Thursday’s top stories:
- The New York Times: Turkish Bank Case Showed Erdogan’s Influence With Trump
- Foreign Policy: Wilbur Ross Remained on Chinese Joint Venture Board While Running U.S.-China Trade War
- Vox: A terror attack in Nice threatens to turbocharge France’s debate on free speech and Islam
- NBC News: Top officials were briefed on active threat against Pentagon leaders
- Axios: Coronavirus cases set a new record in the week before the election
- CNN: Federal appeals court rules mailed ballots must be received by Election Day in Minnesota, cutting weeklong window
- The Daily Beast: Trump’s COVID Advisers: He’s Now Pushing Herd Immunity
- CBS News: Fauci voices support for national mask mandate
- FiveThirtyEight: We Have A Lot Of New Polls, But There’s Little Sign Of The Presidential Race Tightening
- CBS News: Zeta leaves at least 6 dead and nearly 2 million without power
- Politico: ‘Helping the president’: HHS official sought to rebrand coronavirus campaign
- The Detroit News: FBI arrests white supremacy leader in extremism crackdown in Michigan
- CNN: Kavanaugh tweaks voting opinion after Vermont official asks for correction
- CNN: 2 people who attended Trump’s rally in North Carolina have tested positive for coronavirus
- NBC News: Heat at Trump rally sends a dozen attendees to the hospital
- The Guardian: ‘I regret voting for him’: Ohioans hit by GM plant closure reflect on Trump
- Politico: Exclusive: Warren will make case to be Biden’s Treasury secretary
- The Daily Beast: Hillary Clinton Joins New York’s Electoral College, Says She ‘Can’t Wait’ to Vote for Joe Biden
- Bloomberg: Walmart Pulls Guns Off Shelves as Precaution Ahead of Election
- Vox: 9 questions about 2020’s record-breaking early vote, answered
- Bloomberg: Record 200 Days With No Local Case Makes Taiwan World’s Envy
Trump’s Lifetime Of Corruption
Day 1,380: Friday, October 30
Friday’s top stories:
- Rantt Media: 100+ Examples Of Donald Trump’s Corruption
- The Washington Post: Live updates: U.S. reports nearly 100,000 new cases in one day as infections surge in battleground states
- BuzzFeed News: Trump Keeps Lying About Doctors Faking COVID-19 Death Rates
- The Independent: President pressures Supreme Court not to allow Biden win and downplays Covid deaths
- The Daily Beast: Don Jr. Says COVID Deaths Are ‘Almost Nothing’ on Day 1,000+ Die
- Los Angeles Times: U.S. detained migrant children for far longer than previously known
- CNN: 9.9 million Americans are not up-to-date on their rent or mortgage payments
- BuzzFeed News: More Than 40 Immigrants Have Died In ICE Custody In The Past Four Years. Here Are Thousands Of About What Happened.
- NPR: More Than 9 Million Texans Cast Ballots Early, Topping State’s Total Turnout In 2016
- NBC News: Poll: Biden leads Trump by six in North Carolina
- Miami Herald: A backlog of mail is piling up at a Miami-Dade post office as Election Day nears
- The Daily Beast: Biden Has 4,000 Lawyers on Standby in Florida for Possible Election Recount
- CNN: Breonna Taylor grand jurors say there was an ‘uproar’ when they realized officers wouldn’t be charged with her death
- Politico: Trump’s chances hinge on a polling screw-up way worse than 2016
- CNN: ‘Do not wait’: Court cases throw late-arriving votes into doubt
- NBC News: How a fake persona laid the groundwork for a Hunter Biden conspiracy deluge
- HuffPost: Trump Mocks ‘Politically Correct’ Laura Ingraham For Wearing Mask At Packed Rally
- The Daily Beast: California Records First Simultaneous Flu and COVID Infections in One Unlucky Patient
- USA TODAY: Kyle Rittenhouse extradited to face homicide charges in Kenosha killings
- Vox: A 7.0 earthquake struck near Greece and Turkey, killing at least 14 and injuring hundreds
- Bloomberg: EU Nation That Beat First Wave of Virus Now Wants to Test Everyone