How to Act Like a President, or Not

First, the bare facts: Shortly before noon today fired police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested in Minneapolis by agents of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. The Hennepin County Attorney said he anticipates charges against the other officers involved in Floyd’s death.

An attorney for Floyd’s family is calling for a first-degree murder charge. So am I, especially after we learned that Derek Chauvin and George Floyd very likely knew each other.

Here is a statement from our last real President on the death of George Floyd.

Last night, Democratic presidential nominee presumptive Joe Biden also spoke about George Floyd.

“We can’t ignore that we are in a country with an open wound right now — a wound far older and deeper than…George Floyd’s killing — and his brutal, brutal death captured on film. His final words, pleading for breathe. ‘Let me breathe, I can’t breathe.’ It’s ripped open anew this—this ugly underbelly of our society,” Biden said during a virtual campaign fundraiser on Thursday. …

… “People all across this country are enraged and rightly so,” Biden said on Thursday evening and added, “Every day African-Americans go about their lives with [the] constant anxiety and trauma of wondering ‘Will I be next?’ Sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s not. These tragedies, these injustices cut at the very heart of our most sacred of beliefs — that all Americans, equal in rights and in dignity, are part of an ingrained systemic cycle of racism and oppression that throughout every part of our society.”

“If we’re not committed as a nation, with every ounce of purpose in our beings — not just to binding up this wound in hope that somehow the scab once again will cover things over — but to treat the underlying injury, we’re never going to eventually heal,” Biden said.


Biden released more remarks today, in which he revealed he had spoken to George Floyd’s family.

There is a transcript of Biden’s remarks here.

So, the previous POTUS and, we hope, the next POTUS did the job a POTUS is supposed to do to address the nation’s pain. And what did our current so-called POTUS do? He was tweeting stuff like this …

Of course. What more did you expect?

Twitter: Nyah, nyah, nyah. A warning label was added to the tweet.


Twitter officials appended Mr. Trump’s “shooting starts” tweet with a note saying the remark was “glorifying violence.” That provoked another tweet from the president accusing Twitter of having targeted “Republicans, Conservatives & the President of the United States” and prompting his aides to repost his original tweets on the official White House Twitter account. It was also flagged by Twitter.

Trump was thoroughly slammed for the “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” line, which has been traced back to George Wallace ca. 1967. So Trump tweeted this today:

Yeah, MAGA heads, tell us all about how Trump means what he says. I’m waiting.

Desperate to change the subject, Trump announced the U.S. would be terminating its relationship with the World Health Organization because of Trump’s petty grievances and personal failures. Yes, I added that last part.

However, it’s not clear that the POTUS can order a withdrawal from WHO without permission from Congress, any more than he can change liability law with an executive order. Maybe we need a law that requires presidential candidates to pass a Constitution test.

More Stuff to Read:

Christianity Today, George Floyd Left a Gospel Legacy in Houston

Paul Krugman, On the Economics of Not Dying

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Of Course There Are Protests. The State Is Failing Black People.

13 thoughts on “How to Act Like a President, or Not

  1. Though many disagree, I've long held the opinion that MLK wat the alternative to Malcom X. Until later in his life, Malcom X believed in a theology which accepted murdering cops until/unless there was justice. (He learned a racist version of Islam in prison and a 'real' version in his pilgrimage to Mecca.) The Black Panthers were doing community work AND preaching racial violence. 

    MLK's Christian version wasn't what the white establishment wanted but large numbers of  white Americans were becoming introduced to institutional racism via TV and MLK's skillful stagecraft of protests. When change became inevitable, the choice (which is evident in retrospect) was to embrace the non-violent Christian message of MLK while preserving a less-institutional form of quasi-equality, quasi-racism and a slick editing job on MLK's actual message.

    The emergence of Malcom X violence is forcing the establishment back to redefine socially-acceptable racism. It's not convenient to have this discussion five months out from a presidential election when the incumbent GOP POTUS has the approval of the KKK. Trump can't alienate the most radical brown shirts who he's counting on to conduct armed voter intimidation in November. (My opinion, but we shall see.) At the same Time, Trump wants the conservative-leaning non-racist to overlook the alliance with overtly racist groups. 

    Joe seems to be navigating this properly. Obama's response is letter-perfect. Five months is a political eternity but the Trump reelection formula requires light turnout by dark-skins. It's not shaping up that way. 

  2. So refreshing to see/read Obama step forward on this. The times when he started talking about race, when he was President, were some of his finest moments. Good to read that Biden is following in his steps.

  3. The Psychopath in Chief

    …Like many other Trump critics, I believed that he was driven by an insatiable narcissistic hunger to be loved, accepted, admired, and praised. That remains prima facie true, but it deflects attention from what drives Trump more deeply: the need to dominate. His primary goal is to win at any cost and the end always justifies the means. Ultimately, he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks or feels. For Trump, the choice between dominating and being loved — saving himself or saving others — is no contest….

    …Greenwood makes a detailed clinical case that Trump is a psychopath, a term that is now used nearly interchangeably with sociopath….As I once did up close, we can observe every day which psychopathic traits Trump manifests in his behavior. The highly regarded Hare Psychopathy Checklist enumerates 20 of them. By my count Trump clearly demonstrates 16 of the traits and his overall score is far higher than the average prison inmate.

    The trait that most distinguishes psychopaths is the utter absence of conscience — the capacity to lie, cheat, steal, and inflict pain to achieve their ends without a scintilla of guilt or shame, as Trump so demonstrably does. What Trump’s words and behavior make clear is that he feels no more guilt about hurting others than a lion does about killing a giraffe.

    • I wholeheartedly agree that Trump is a psychopath. To understand how I've come to that conclusion and without any reservation I would recommend anybody to go to YouTube and type into the search window— Forensic Files — then watch any dozen episodes and you'll become aware of a common thread that runs throughout each episode regardless of the particulars of each individual crime story. That common thread will display all of the characteristics, in varying degrees, that are present in Trump's personality.

      Here is an episode that does a particularly fine job of conveying the point I am trying to make. Even if any of you don't want to be bothered in watching a 20 minute crime story. At least treat yourselves to a worthy assessment of a psychopath from the prosecutor starting at the 15:45 mark in the video. It's all Trump!

  4. Maha, I also wanted the charge to be 1st Degree Murder.

    But according to a lawyer whose blog I read,  there's a reason they're not going for that:  It would be much more difficult to prove intent.  It's less onerous, and much more possible, to get a conviction on 3rd Degree Murder.  The penalty for that is no picnic- up to 25 years in prison.

    So, here we American's sit.  We have a once-in-a-century pandemic on our hands. 

    And if that's not enough, we have racial unrest.  This unrest is about the systemic racism in our country.  This systemic racism is something woven into the fabric if our country.  This racism has been here since the country started.  In fact, systemic racism has been endemic in America since the first slaves were brought to the colonies in 1619.  That's 401 years of racism.

    Racism is a massive flaw, the horrible scar, in the fabric of America that threatens to rip the country apart at any time.  It is our "Original Sin."

    We desperately need to address this problem, and finally come to some kind of total resolution.

    And who do we have as POTUS in these in these perilous times, and in this potentially existential crisis?

    The absolute worst person possible.  Why the worst?  You know:  tRUMP's incompetent – AND THAT'S BEST FEATURE!  He himself is a racist.  A misogynist.  A homophobe.  Etc…  You know the list as well as I do.

    Imo:  This is a real existential crisis.  Will we, can we, survive the next year or two as a representative democracy? 

    Or will what remains be a Theocracy?  An Authoritarian Fascist state?  A Kleptocracy?  A Kakistocracy?  Never mind, with tRUMP and the Republicans in charge, we ALREADY ARE a Kakistocracy.

    So, if we can survive, can we also fix our problem of systemic racism?

    Stay tuned.  Same batshit time.  Same batshit channel.

  5. Cundgulag, his grandfather was a draft dodging pimp, and his father was Klu Klux Klan.  It’s been bred in to him.

  6. moonbat,

    Yeah, great new meme.

    And tRUMP has quite a bit of "Karen" in him!

  7. Looks like Donny is taking up the law and order mantle.Picking up where Nixon left off. He's reverting back to his Central Park 5 days where there is no legitimacy in their protests. They're all a bunch of animals who need to be brought under control. And if the Mayors and Governors aren't strong enough to handle the task then Trump will step up with his strong military and do the job that needs to be done. Arrrgh. When the looting starts, the shooting starts!

    What is bizarre is that Trump claims that the protesters are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd but he can't seem to grasp the idea that they are protesting the fact that George Floyd is a memory. And the fact that he's contributed greatly to the cause of the pain and moral outrage felt by those who are protesting.

     He's a big bag of shit…and to put it in scriptural terms…He's a stench that sears the nostrils of God.

  8. I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City,


    Oh, spare me! You can skip the ipecac. That's really rich coming from a coward. He had no problem standing back when it came time for induction for military service. Trump's and the GOP's racism is finally returning a dividend, and Trump acts all morally indignant at the fruits of his labor.

     Well, to capture the sentiment of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane with slight modification and focus on Trump, I say…Lord, if it be thy will, take this bag of shit from us.

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