A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 200th Unpresidented Week As POTUS

By putting Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell in charge of his effort to undermine US democracy, Trump pushes GOP beyond a point of no return.
Trump’s lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis delivering a conspiracy theory filled press conference on Thursday – November 19 (C-SPAN)

Trump’s lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis delivering a conspiracy theory filled press conference on Thursday – November 19 (C-SPAN)

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 200.

“It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” – James Baldwin

Rudy Giuliani stood in front of a Trump-Pence podium at the RNC’s HQ, seemingly unaware of how ridiculous he looked. Wide-eyed and drenched in sweat, with strange brown hair dye dripping down his face, Giuliani launched into a conspiracy theory-laden screed that made Kate McKinnon’s SNL depiction of him look chill in comparison. The man once hailed as America’s mayor is now leading one of America’s greatest disgraces.

With fellow Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis at his side, Giuliani unleashed an endless torrent of democracy-eroding lies more befitting of an online QAnon forum than an official argument from the president’s legal team. What we saw this week was a full embrace of the depravity brewing in the Republican Party for decades since the Southern Strategy. Trump’s new legal team is a personification of the GOP’s descent into absolute authoritarian lunacy. The GOP has fully embodied their role as an anti-democracy party, with contempt for people of color exercising their constitutional rights, who will do anything to maintain power.

Before we dive into their wild claims, it’s important to note upfront that there is absolutely zero evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. In fact, Trump’s lawyers continue to acknowledge they have no evidence of voter fraud while in court but continue to lie about it in public.

According to NBC News, of the 36 election lawsuits filed, 24 cases have been denied, dismissed, settled, or withdrawn, 9 cases ended by voluntary dismissal, and 0 instances of voter fraud have been proven in court. In their biggest defeat in Pennsylvania, Judge Brann laid into the Trump campaign, stating:

“…this court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations… In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state.”

It’s also very important to note that Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer who helped get him impeached, is currently under FBI investigation for his possible connections to Russian intelligence and whether he took part in Russia’s election influence operation. Let that sink in.

So, back to the wild arguments being made by Trump’s lawyers at that infamous press conference. Rudy Giuliani claimed that the results in Michigan change if you take out Wayne County, aka the Black voters in Detroit. Giuliani and his colleagues alleged non-existent connections between Dominion’s voter software and Hugo Chavez, Venezuela, etc. They alleged countless votes were switched to President-elect Biden, all without providing a single bit of evidence. Then, Sidney Powell, who is a firm believer in QAnon, delivered this chilling false speech shared by the official GOP Twitter account.

Sidney Powell’s rhetoric was so wild that even Tucker Carlson pushed back on it, saying she refused to give his show evidence of the claims. Later that day, Powell went on Fox Bussiness with Lou Dobbs and said, “The entire election, frankly, in all the swing states should be overturned, and the legislatures should make sure that the electors are selected for Trump.” This was a horrifying proposition, especially as Trump was set to meet with Michigan legislators on Friday. Trump later echoed this sentiment over the weekend on Twitter, asking for the legislatures to overturn the results. This would be tantamount to a coup.

Over the weekend, the GOP would regret elevating such an unstable human being. In an appearance on Newsmax, Sidney Powell baselessly accused Trump ally Governor Kemp of conspiring to defeat Trump due to some imaginary financial incentive with ties to Venezuela. When asked for evidence, Powell responded in classic QAnon fashion, stating she could not give any right now, but it would be coming. That apparently crossed a line. On Sunday, the Trump Campaign severed ties with Powell and pretended she wasn’t on the legal team this entire time. The GOP boosted her conspiracy theories, now they’re the target of one in a state with key Senate runoffs weeks away.

The Georgia conspiracy theory came after Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger called out Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for trying to interfere in their election process. Raffensperger went even further and directly called Rep. Doug Collins a “charlatan” and a “liar.” Days later, Georgia certified the election results after an audit/recount. Trump then requested yet another recount.

While Georgia appears not to be playing ball with the Trump Administration, Michigan was a murkier situation. Chairwoman of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers Monica Palmer, along with one of her colleagues, refused to certify their county’s results. She said she wanted to certify all the “communities other than Detroit.” After the immediate and fierce backlash, Wayne County unanimously voted to certify the votes, but Palmer still tried to file an affidavit reversing her vote. Michigan Attorney General Jocelyn Benson wasn’t having it.

President Trump continued his now-explicit effort to overturn the election results by inviting two Michigan state legislators to the White House. After the meeting, however, they said they see no reason to overturn the results in favor of Trump. Biden won Michigan by over 155k votes. Even if they tried, state laws tie electors to the popular vote.

The losing president is now explicitly asking for a coup via GOP legislature. As dubious as this request is, it’s wildly dangerous. Every single Republican who is not speaking out against this un-American authoritarian depravity is complicit. Some, luckily, are finally speaking up.

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Senators like Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Susan Collins (R-ME) have already pushed for the transition to begin. After the latest Pennsylvania case defeat, Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) sent out one of the most straightforward statements pushing back on Trump’s refusal to concede. Toomey said, “President Trump has exhausted all plausible legal options to challenge the result of the presidential race in Pennsylvania.” Toomey then congratulated President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Trump ally and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie added to his continued call for Trump to move on, this time attacking his legal team: “The conduct of the president’s legal team has been a national embarrassment.” While some speak out, the vast majority of the party is still in lockstep with President Trump.

Former RNC Chairman/Trump Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel were both on Hannity spreading voter fraud conspiracy theories. Senators like Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are still pushing voter fraud conspiracy theories. Senate Majority Leader Mitch (R-KY) still has yet to lift a finger to pressure Trump to concede. The GOP is authoritarian. The mask is fully off. The quiet part is loud. Anti-democracy is a now core, public stance of their party.

President Trump and his cronies are proving there is no low they are unwilling to stoop in their pursuit of power. Trump is holding the transition hostage via GSA Administrator Emily Murphy, putting our national security at risk and damaging our ability to combat COVID-19, while he siphons cash from his base and placates his ego. The Trump presidency was always going to end on the lowest authoritarian note possible. The right will try and rewrite history on this era, and we can never let them. Unfortunately, they’re already successfully doing it for their base.

After first finding little belief in Trump’s election conspiracy theories, a new Reuters poll found that half of Republicans believe the election was stolen from Trump. A new Monmouth poll found that 77% of Trump voters believe Joe Biden won due to fraud in the election. This baseless disbelief in a legitimate election process that was the most secure in American history, according to Trump’s own DHS, is dangerous. Like I wrote last week, right-wing disinformation is one of the greatest threats to democracy.

We need a new Fairness Doctrine. OANN, Newsmax, etc are blatantly gaslighting their audience, and social media makes it worse. Facebook needs to stop creating algorithm-driven, personalized disinformation bubbles. On top of all of this, we need to revamp our education system for the modern world. A current events/media literacy class students have every day would be a good start. The lack of critical thinking in this country is unacceptable and embarrassing.

I keep thinking about that famous moment from John McCain and how he made a choice to reject the depravity festering within the GOP. McCain heard a woman at a town hall say Obama was an Arab, and literally took the microphone from her. Sarah Palin and Donald Trump heard this and decided to become the microphone. The GOP pretends they have no choice but to embrace Trumpism and the authoritarianism it embodies, but they always have a choice. In fact, the GOP stoked this in their own base since the Southern Strategy and Trump is the result. This isn’t a hostage situation. They built this.

Now, we look to the future. The GOP knows Trump has lost, and yet, they back him anyway out of fear for his base. What they’re doing now is falsely justifying more systemic voter suppression under the guise of election “reform” and “integrity” over the course of this decade. For them, this is about stealing future elections, not this one.

If Trump wasn’t such a short-sighted, impulsive, simpleton incapable of long-term thinking, he might’ve been able to pull this off. But he won’t. He will fail, and Joe Biden will be 46th President of the United States. What I worry about most is the long-term damage done to millions of Americans’ faith in democracy. I worry about the competent authoritarians watching Trumpism and recognizing that a sizable percentage of the population has an appetite for this. Needless to say, we have a lot of work ahead of us.

Let’s dive into another Unpresidented week.

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Lindsey Graham’s Election Interference

Day 1,397: Monday, November 16

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Monday’s top stories:

Lame Duck Donald Makes End Of Presidency Moves

Day 1,398: Tuesday, November 17

Tuesday’s top stories:

The Transition Delay Takes Its Toll

Day 1,399: Wednesday, November 18

Wednesday’s top stories:

Absolute Insanity

Day 1,400: Thursday, November 19

Thursday’s top stories:

Biden Wins Georgia, Again

Day 1,401: Friday, November 20

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris celebrate their election victory – November 7, 2020 (Source: Kamala Harris/Twitter)

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris celebrate their election victory – November 7, 2020 (Source: Kamala Harris/Twitter)

Friday’s top stories:

Rantt Media and ZipRecruiter

Unpresidented // Authoritarianism / Conspiracy Theories / Donald Trump / Elections / Radical Right / Republican Party / Rudy Giuliani / Sidney Powell