A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 203rd 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 203.
This week, the Supreme Court refused to hear two efforts to overturn the election. First, the case attempting to overturn the Pennsylvania results was tossed aside. Then, on Friday, the Supreme Court rejected the Texas case that Donald Trump was placing all his hopes in. But I’m not going to talk about the cases themselves. Instead, I’m going to discuss the absolute capitulation and shameless authoritarianism of the Republican Party that backed them.
The case brought by the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is under federal investigation and is likely seeking a pardon, was joined by 17 other Republican Attorneys General. The case was a baseless, seditious effort to disenfranchise millions of voters in four battleground states. In spite of its undemocratic dubiousness, 126 House Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), backed the lawsuit.
NEW: Another 20 House Republicans sign onto an amicus brief supporting the Texas lawsuit that seeks to overturn the election – including @GOPLeader.
The total is 126; 64% of the House GOP caucus
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) December 11, 2020
Far from the brave “I am Spartacus” showcase of loyalty they thought it was, these 126 Republican lawmakers essentially stood up and proclaimed, “I am seditious.“ While undemocratic tactics, like voter suppression, are nothing new to the GOP, this was still a historically disgraceful moment in American history. What makes this worse is the fact that this disinformation is actually working on their base.
An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Maris poll found that 72% of Republicans do not believe the election results were accurate. Other polls indicate a majority of Republicans think the election was stolen. This happens every time. At first, the majority doesn’t have a stance and once Trump takes that stance, they all fall in line. At this point, if Trump started repeatedly claiming gravity is fake, GOP polling would shift.
To be a Republican right now is to put one man above your country. It’s to be in total opposition to democracy itself, and specifically, one that allows Black people equal voting rights. What we’re seeing is an embrace of fascism. We can never let anyone whitewash this era.
This was not just another Republican President. This was not just a moment where “both sides” were polarized. This was not just another instance of lawmakers and voters being loyal to their party. This is a moment where one side of the country, gaslit into a false reality by one man and his propagandists, turned against what America is supposed to stand for.
We can’t sugarcoat this. We can’t beat around it. We need to call this era what it is and hold the people who enabled it accountable. These were people who shamelessly and disgustingly abused their power and influence with complete disregard for the consequences of their actions.
We can be gracious to those voters and Americans who later admit they were misled, but we have to be merciless to the “leaders” who engineered this. They need to be held accountable at the ballot box and through whatever legal means apply to their given corruption so this never happens again. Anti-corruption laws and other democratic norms need to be codified into law. Until then, we have shorter-term battles to fight.
Even after the electoral college is set to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s win, Republican lawmakers are planning flimsy challenges ahead of the January 6 congressional confirmation of the election. I’m less worried about that actually working as I am about the effect this will have on their base. The longer this lie carries on, the more people will be radicalized. After the latest Supreme Court defeat, there was dangerous rhetoric on Twitter and Parler calling for war. Proud Boys took to the streets of Washington DC, sparking violence. The FBI needs to be on the lookout for radical right terrorist attacks.
Trump supporters call liberals sheep for believing in objective reality but rely on a disinformation-crafted false reality for their conspiracy theories while actively supporting one of the greatest anti-democracy conspiracies in modern history occurring right in front of them.
I’ve always understood bad people exist, but the only parallels I had for millions of people rejecting reality and embracing a depraved leader was in history or comics books. I’m only 27 and hadn’t witnessed anything like this in America. Then came President Trump. I have never witnessed someone so devoid of a conscience. Trump has no line he won’t cross.
Even now, as America has hit over 3,000 COVID-19 deaths daily, Trump’s callousness continues. Instead of convening a meeting and presser with health officials to assure Americans we’ll get through this, Trump met with the GOP AGs backing his attempt to overturn the election.
As I reflect on the past four years, I wonder what Trump would have done if our laws, media, institutions, and ultimately the voters didn’t stop him? What would he have done next if we didn’t stop him at child separation? What other cruelty would he have unleashed? Would he have actually crowned himself an unelected dictator if enough Republican officials backed his coup attempt? I’m glad we’ll never find out.
Let’s dive into yet another Unpresidented week.
Georgia Confirms Biden Win, Again. Trump Attacks Kemp.
Day 1,418: Monday, December 7
Monday’s top stories:
- CNN: Georgia reaffirms Biden’s victory for 3rd time after recount, dealing major blow to Trump’s attempt to overturn the results
- The Washington Post: Trump asks Pennsylvania House speaker for help overturning election results, personally intervening in a third state
- Axios: Biden announces health team, taps California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to lead HHS
- CNN: Biden picks retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to be his secretary of defense, source says
- The New York Times: Trump administration officials passed when Pfizer offered in late summer to sell the U.S. more vaccine doses.
- CNN: As US average of daily cases nears 200,000, experts say ‘behavior and cold weather’ are behind Covid-19 surge
- CNN: House conservatives urge Trump not to concede and press for floor fight over election loss
- Politico: Rudy Giuliani tests positive for Covid, Trump says
- Bloomberg: Details of $908 Billion U.S. Pandemic Relief Plan Set for Release
- CNN: Attorney General Barr considering leaving post before Trump exits office, source says
- AJC: At Georgia rally, Trump tells GOP to vote in ‘rigged’ election
- The Hill: McConnell says Senate will pass defense bill despite veto threat
- Sun-Sentinel: Florida police raid COVID data whistleblower’s house with guns drawn
- The Washington Post: Millions of Americans are heading into the holidays unemployed and over $5,000 behind on rent
- NBC News: Loeffler refuses to say whether Trump lost, spars with Warnock over agendas, records
- Business Insider: Jon Ossoff debated an empty podium and called Sen. David Perdue a ‘coward’ for skipping the debate a month before their Senate runoff
- The Arizona Republic: Arizona Legislature shuts down after Rudy Giuliani possibly exposed lawmakers to COVID-19
- HuffPost: Armed Michiganders Gather Outside Secretary Of State’s Home To Deny Voting Results
- Gizmodo: ‘Mystery Illness’ Kills 1 and Sickens Hundreds in Eluru, India
- Rantt Media: The Post-Election Civil War Is Actually Within The GOP
Biden Introduces Health Team, Including Dr. Fauci
Day 1,419: Tuesday, December 8
Tuesday’s top stories:
- NBC News: 100M shots in the first 100 days: Biden unveils Covid priorities, introduces health team
- BBC: Covid-19 vaccine: First person receives Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in UK
- CNN: Supreme Court rejects Pennsylvania Republicans’ attempt to block Biden victory
- USA TODAY: Today marks an important Electoral College deadline. Here’s why that’s bad news for Trump
- CNN: DHS updates website to indicate DACA program has been restored
- NBC News: Biden picks Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge for HUD secretary, Tom Vilsack to lead Agriculture
- The Washington Post: White House proposes dramatically lower unemployment benefit in exchange for $600 stimulus check
- Bloomberg: McConnell Refuses to Endorse Bipartisan Stimulus, Risking Deal
- ABC News: House passes defense bill with veto-proof majority despite Trump’s objections
- The Hill: First signs of Thanksgiving COVID-19 wave emerge
- Business Insider: Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis has reportedly told associates she has the coronavirus
- HuffPost: Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s Husband Bought Stock In Sectors Set To Benefit From Then-Secret Bill
- Axios: Trump plots mass pardons, even to people not asking
- HuffPost: 1,500 Attorneys Call On Bar Associations To Condemn Trump Campaign Lawyers
- CNN: A new McConnell-aligned super PAC plans $43 million ad blitz to sway Georgia runoffs
- Rantt Media: Trump’s Incompetent Authoritarianism Failed, But A Smarter Trump Looms
- Reuters: Indonesia’s Bio Farma says interim data for Sinovac vaccine shows up to 97% efficacy
- Reuters: Japan unveils $708 billion in fresh stimulus with eye on post-COVID growth
- BBC: Civilians killed in air strikes in Afghanistan soars by more than 300%
COVID Kills More In One Day Than 9/11
Day 1,420: Wednesday, December 9
Wednesday’s top stories:
- The Washington Post: Coronavirus live updates: U.S. records more than 3,000 deaths in a single day, a new high
- Reuters: UK warns people with serious allergies to avoid Pfizer vaccine after two adverse reactions
- CNN: All 50 states and DC have now certified their presidential election results
- The Philadelphia Inquirer: Trump, 17 states join Texas effort to convince SCOTUS to void the vote in Pennsylvania and three other battlegrounds
- Vox: Trump says Texas’s challenge to his election loss is “the big one.” It’s almost certain to fail.
- CNN: Feds to investigate after a sheriff’s deputy killed a Black man entering his own home in Columbus, Ohio
- NBC News: Hunter Biden, president-elect’s son, says federal prosecutors probing his taxes
- NPR: 48 AGs, FTC Sue Facebook, Alleging Illegal Power Grabs To ‘Neutralize’ Rivals
- USA TODAY: House passes bill to avert a government shutdown for one more week; bill goes to Senate
- Business Insider: How many coronavirus vaccine doses each US state will get to start
- Politico: U.S. could face months of vaccine shortages amid global competition
- Business Insider: Giuliani shares that he’s getting the same COVID-19 treatment as Trump, as the US reports 2,622 more coronavirus deaths on Tuesday
- The Washington Post: Nevada Supreme Court rejects Trump campaign’s appeal to overturn Biden’s win
- Axios: Biden eyeing Buttigieg for China ambassador
- Business Insider: Mitt Romney tears into Republicans who are threatening to protest the Electoral College vote that will confirm Biden’s election victory
- The New York Times: U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Chinese Officials Over Hong Kong Crackdown
- NBC News: John Kerry aims to strengthen Paris climate accord when Biden administration takes power
- CBS News: Arizona Republican Party asks followers if they’re willing to die to overturn election results
- BuzzFeed News: Spokane Democrats Say A Man Tried To Detonate A Bomb Inside Their County Headquarters
- NPR: Poll: Just A Quarter Of Republicans Accept Election Outcome
- ABC News: Trump keeps holding White House holiday parties despite CDC warnings against indoor gatherings
- Reuters: Canada approves first COVID-19 vaccine, expects inoculations next week
- BBC News: France to start research into ‘enhanced soldiers’
- The Guardian: Nine out of 10 in poor nations to miss out on inoculation as west buys up Covid vaccines
Over 100 Republicans Sign Onto Texas Effort To Overturn Election
Day 1,421: Thursday, December 10
Thursday’s top stories:
- Axios: 106 House Republicans back Texas lawsuit to overturn election results
- USA TODAY: Key committee endorses Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, paving way for clearance by FDA and vaccinations in US to begin
- CNBC: Biden picks more Obama veterans for key roles: Denis McDonough at VA and Susan Rice as domestic advisor
- Reuters: Biden picks Capitol Hill staffer Tai as U.S. trade ‘czar’ – sources
- CNN: Battleground states issue blistering rebukes to Texas’ lawsuit to invalidate millions of votes
- ABC News: Jobless claims rise to 853,000 last week amid relentless pandemic
- CNBC: McConnell rejects bipartisan Covid relief plan while House adjourns until next week
- CNN: Threat of government shutdown looms amid holdups to spending bill vote
- Forbes: Sanders, Hawley Mount Rare Bipartisan Push For $1,200 Stimulus Checks
- ABC News: With Texas AG facing federal probe, lawsuit to help Trump comes amid whispers of pardons
- NBC News: Biden will travel to Georgia to boost Ossoff and Warnock in runoff elections
- Axios: Some GOP senators may stall Biden confirmations
- Politico: How Biden aims to Covid-proof his administration
- The Guardian: ‘It’s surreal’: the US officials facing violent threats as Trump claims voter fraud
- Politico: CDC’s Redfield told staff to delete email, official tells House watchdog
- CNN: Minneapolis City Council votes to cut millions from the police budget
- New Yorker: Dianne Feinstein’s Missteps Raise a Painful Age Question Among Senate Democrats
- CBS News: U.S. to shatter record for billion-dollar climate disasters in 2020
- ABC News: Rudy Giuliani says he got ‘celebrity’ coronavirus treatment, advice from president’s doctor
- NPR: Newly Sworn-In GOP N.H. House Speaker Dies Of COVID-19, Autopsy Shows
- Axios: Morocco to normalize ties with Israel in deal with Trump over Western Sahara
- BBC News: Brexit: ‘Strong possibility’ of no trade deal with EU – PM
- Reuters: Australian scientists develop genome sequencing to trace COVID-19 cases within four hours
- ABC News: Pentagon plans to cut most of its support to CIA’s counterterrorism missions
- Reuters: U.S. senators seek possible sanctions over Ethiopia conflict abuses
- Reuters: Japan’s bird flu outbreak worsens with record cullings
Supreme Court Rejects Trump’s Coup
Day 1,422: Friday, December 11
Friday’s top stories:
- CNN: Supreme Court rejects Trump’s bid to overturn election
- USA TODAY: ‘The moment of truth’: The Electoral College prepares to hand Trump the loss he refuses to accept
- The Washington Post: Pelosi accuses Republicans of ‘subverting the Constitution’ as more GOP lawmakers backed undoing Biden’s win in the Supreme Court
- CNN: White House chief of staff told FDA chief vaccine must be authorized Friday or he needs to resign
- NBC News: Biden introduces Susan Rice, others for key administration posts
- Axios: Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia announce new COVID-19 restrictions
- CNBC: New York City will shut indoor dining starting Monday, Gov. Cuomo says
- The Hill: CDC director: US COVID-19 deaths likely to exceed 9/11 toll for 60 days
- NBC News: Coronavirus relief negotiations reach a breaking point with time running short
- NBC News: Congress passes one-week funding bill to avert government shutdown
- CNN: Senate approves defense bill with veto-proof majority in rebuke to Trump
- Business Insider: Idaho’s attorney general joins at least 4 other high-profile GOP lawmakers in opposing Trump’s long-shot Texas lawsuit to overturn 2020 election
- The Indianapolis Star: Brandon Bernard executed at Terre Haute, marking ninth federal execution this year
- ABC News: Billionaire behind pardon effort pledged massive donation to Trump: Sources
- The Daily Beast: Barr Knew About Hunter Biden Tax Probe Since Spring—and Worked to Keep It Under Wraps: WSJ
- Business Insider: The FBI has subpoenaed Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general leading the long-shot lawsuit to overturn the 2020 election for Trump
- CNN: Utah Sen. Mike Lee blocks votes to establish Smithsonian museums for Latinos and women
- BBC News: Hong Kong pro-democracy tycoon Jimmy Lai charged under security law
- Business Insider: California Rep. Devin Nunes says he tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies
- Military Times: US conducts strike on Taliban amid drawdown, negotiations
- Vox: EU leaders agree to deeper cuts to greenhouse gas emissions by 2030