A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 206th Unpresidented Week As POTUS

After 140 House and 12 Senate Republicans backed Trump's flimsy January 6 coup attempt, Trump pressured Raffensperger to overturn Georgia's results in his favor.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (Official Photo) and President Donald Trump (AP).

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (Official Photo) and President Donald Trump (AP).

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 206.

During Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, Impeachment Manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) warned Senate Republicans and the American people of what would happen if they didn’t hold President Trump accountable for his Ukraine extortion plot:

“You can’t trust this President to do what’s right for this country. You can trust he will do what’s right for Donald Trump. He’ll do it now, he’s done it before, he’ll do it for the next several months, he’ll do it in the election if he’s allowed to. This is why, if you find him guilty, then you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters.”

Schiff was right.

When I was preparing to write this week’s column, my first of 2021, I expected to discuss the start of the New Year and the potential for positive changes in the year ahead. I did not expect to have to write about at least 12 Senate Republicans and 140 House Republicans eager to oppose the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win. And I definitely did not expect a write about one of the most corrupt acts of the Trump presidency yet. What a way to start the year.

Today, President Trump awoke and began tweeting out his unhinged conspiracy theories about the election. Trump then attacked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger over a phone call they had. Brad responded by simply saying: “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out.” By the afternoon, the truth did indeed come out.

The Washington Post was first to release a clip of the Saturday phone call, and the content was absolutely damning:

Soon after, they released the full hour. The participants included President Trump, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Trump’s lawyers, Secretary Raffensperger, and Raffensperger’s lawyers. I listened to the full tape, and all I can say is wow. Trump spent the bulk of the call spewing disinformation straight from the QAnon conspiracy theory pipeline. Aside from the authoritarian depravity of the call, Trump appeared to be truly terrified, out of his mind, and pathologically convinced that his own lies are true. Luckily, Raffensperger pushed back on Trump’s assertions and did not commit to doing what was asked of him.

As legal experts have pointed out, Trump may have committed multiple crimes that could be submitted as evidence in a criminal referral to the DOJ and/or Georgia’s Attorney General. Among the legal experts who spoke out were former federal prosecutors and the DOJ Inspector General in the Obama Administration:

Let’s just say Biden’s choice for Attorney General just got significantly more consequential. Trump is engaging in the same behavior he got impeached for, and Schiff warned us about. This was a disgraceful, disgusting, dictatorial moment in presidential history. There is absolutely no low this amoral egomaniac will not stoop. Everyone who enabled him owns this.

President Trump told us he was an authoritarian madman conspiracy theorist in 2016, and the GOP elected him. Trump engaged in authoritarian madman conspiracy theorist behavior in office, and the GOP acquitted him. Now, Trump is going out on the same note, and most of the GOP is still backing him. You can’t separate what Trump just did from the Republican Party.

After it was reported that 140 House Republicans would refuse to vote to certify Biden’s electoral college win, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) announced he would also object. This guaranteed that there would be hours of debate on January 6. Then, in an attempt not to be outshined by Hawley, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and 10 other Senate Republicans sought to one-up him:

As news of those 11 Senate Republicans signing their names on the wrong side of history spread on Saturday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) called for a violent uprising to overthrow the legitimate results of the election. As we tweeted from Rantt’s Twitter account, any Republican who supports this effort to contest Biden electors is supporting an effort to overthrow the will of the American people and install Trump as a dictator. The effort will fail, but never forget what they did.

The process on January 6 will play out like this: When one House member and Senator objects to a given slate of electors, it triggers 2 hours of debate and a vote from each chamber on whether to overturn those electors. There are enough Senate Republicans who will likely vote with Democrats and affirm Biden’s win, and even if there weren’t, it still would still be impossible because the House would also have to vote to overturn a given slate of electors, which Democrats won’t do. This is all depravity signaling for Trump’s base and laying the groundwork for future voter suppression efforts.

This is their game plan. For Trump, this was an attempted coup. For Republicans, these lies about voter fraud are really about stealing future elections, not this one. Republicans are laying the groundwork and political appetite among their base for escalated voter suppression efforts. They are actively diminishing faith in elections and will now seek to disenfranchise Democratic voters under the guise of restoring faith in elections.

I think this tactic of supporting Trump’s coup is not only morally wrong, it’s is gravely politically miscalculated. 74 million Americans voted for President Trump, not for an attempted coup. While people focus on the percentage of Republicans that believe the election was rigged, they don’t talk about the 20-35% that don’t. I personally think Republicans are turning off a lot of their voters. Not all are authoritarians. We’ll see if I’m right in Tuesday’s runoffs.

Moments like these require unrelenting truthtelling. We take pride in being reader-funded. If you like our work, support our journalism.

The other big story this week was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) repeated blocking of Democratic motions for a standalone vote on the $2,000 relief checks. After President Trump pushed for the checks and nearly sabotaged the first COVID relief bill, Democrats tried to push the measure through.

Democratic Senators took turns delivering strong speeches on the Senate floor advocating for the $2,000 checks, but that didn’t persuade McConnell. Instead, McConnell sought to bundle the $2,000 checks with Trump’s request to repeal Section 230 and greenlight a congressional voter fraud probe.

What McConnell did was transparently corrupt, but we need to make sure it’s clearly defined. By bundling these issues, McConnell ensured it would fail so he could lie to his base and say Democrats opposed the checks ahead of the runoffs. This was sabotage, plain and simple.

If his opposition to giving Americans $2,000 checks has done anything positive, it has further highlighted the obstructive nature of Mitch McConnell to more people. Nothing can get people to pay attention to politics more than a politician standing in the way of their survival.

This week, President Trump, McConnell, and the Republicans backing Trump’s attempted coup are reminding everyone what’s at stake in the Georgia runoffs and why even after January 20, the fight for progress is just beginning.

Let’s dive into yet another Unpresidented week.

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House Democrats Push For $2,000 Checks

Day 1,439: Monday, December 28

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi applauding President Trump during the State of the Union – February 5, 2019. (AP)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi applauding President Trump during the State of the Union – February 5, 2019. (AP)

Monday’s top stories:

McConnell Blocks $2,000 Checks

Day 1,440: Tuesday, December 29

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ/Creative Commons)

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ/Creative Commons)

Tuesday’s top stories:

McConnell Blocks Checks Again, Hawley Gets Seditious

Day 1,441: Wednesday, December 30

Wednesday’s top stories:

New Year’s Eve And New Year’s Day

Day 1,442-1,1443: Thursday-Friday, December 31-January 1

President Donald Trump walks towards Marine One as he departs from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Donald Trump walks towards Marine One as he departs from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Top stories:

Rantt Media and ZipRecruiter

Unpresidented // 2021 / Authoritarianism / Donald Trump / Elections / Georgia / Joe Biden / Josh Hawley / Mitch McConnell / Republican Party / Ted Cruz