The Elephant in the GOP Room

Trump’s “events” schedule looks like nonstop rallies/superspreader events starring Trump, Pence, and/or the extended Trump family. Exposing one’s most enthusiastic supporters to a deadly infectious disease just 15 days before the election seems a tad risky to me, but I’m not going to argue with the Trumpers about it.

Trump wants you to know he’s tired of hearing about covid-19. He especially wants you to know he’s tired of covid-19 after Dr. Fauci was on 60 Minutes yesterday saying he wasn’t surprised Trump caught it. Trump has been on a rampage about Fauci since then.

President Donald Trump escalated his attacks against Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the White House’s top experts on COVID-19, into a full-blown smear campaign on Monday.

CNN reported on a call Trump had with his campaign staffers in which the President complained about those who raised alarm over his enormous, largely mask-free rallies that pose serious risk of spreading COVID-19.

“People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” he reportedly said.

Trump called the doctor a “nice guy” who’s “been here for 500 years.”

“Fauci is a disaster,” he said, according to CNN. “If I listened to him, we’d have 500,000 deaths.”

The President welcomed the possibility of his remarks getting leaked to the media, saying that “if there’s a reporter on, you can have it just the way I said it, I couldn’t care less.”

We’re all tired of the pandemic, dude. Very, very tired.

Greg Sargent writes that it’s not just Trump; the entire GOP seems to be determined to ignore it. The crisis needs only to be managed by better messaging to change voters’ perceptions of the disease, the GOP thinks.

According to calculations by NBC News, in the past two weeks, we’ve seen cases increase by 25 percent or more in 28 states.

Republicans are required to pretend that none of this is happening or that it’s simply not that big a deal. Trump’s own rallies — the most visible manifestations of his case for a second term right now — unfold largely without masks and social distancing, themselves dramatizing this pathology as vividly as one could imagine.

So it’s hardly surprising that Republicans do not permit themselves to acknowledge what a catastrophe this whole crisis has been, let alone Trump’s own culpability in exacerbating it or the toll that has taken on his political fortunes and theirs.

As has been predicted by infectious disease experts for months, now that the weather is getting cooler and people are spendng more time indoors, more people are getting sick.

Ten states Friday reported their highest one-day case counts: Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, according to Johns Hopkins.
As for the entire country, cases are swinging up after a summer surge waned.

As for the entire country, cases are swinging up after a summer surge waned.

See also ‘Uncontrolled Spread’ of COVID in Majority of U.S. States at Newsweek.

Trump’s rallies are focused especially on Pennsylvania and Arizona, so we can expect positivity rates to soar in those states in the coming days. I’m grateful all the strategists are ignoring Missouri. We don’t have early voting here, and the Missouri mail-in ballot rules were designed to make ballots challengable in court, I’m certain. I’m sheltering in place as much as possible so that I can vote in person on election day.

But the larger point is that for Republicans, the severity of the pandemic is the elephant in the room they can’t acknowledge.

Charlotte Klein writes at Vanity Fair:

President Donald Trump continued to spout his rosy narrative of a nation on the mend at a campaign event in Florida on Friday, which was also the second day in a row that new infections in the United States surpassed 64,000 for the first time since July. “The light at the end of the tunnel is near. We are rounding the turn,” Trump told rally-goers. “Don’t listen to the cynics and angry partisans and pessimists.” Playing down the pandemic in an attempt to salvage his chances for reelection—a prospect upended by Trump’s bungling of the public health crisis that has killed more than 218,000 Americans—has taken on new urgency inside the Trump campaign in recent days. After contracting COVID-19, the president has reemerged with more misinformation and disregard for science than ever, flouting safety precautions and undercutting infectious disease experts to serve his political aims. “I don’t know that Donald Trump can see past the current moment,” former task force aide Olivia Troye told the Associated Press.

Yesterday Trump even mocked Biden for lisening to science.

More than anything else, covid is defeating Trump. That’s a sobering thing; he’s so awful, so infeffectual, so clearly unsuited to be POTUS, yet it took an extraordinary pandemic-of-the-century to reveal that to a lot of people. There’s still a small chance — 12 percent, according to the nerds — that he would win the election.

And he’s not going to learn. The White House Coronavirus Task Force, problematic all along, is coming apart. See Trump’s den of dissent: Inside the White House task force as coronavirus surges at the Washington Post and What Fans of ‘Herd Immunity’ Don’t Tell You by John Berry at the New York Times.


13 thoughts on “The Elephant in the GOP Room

  1. I am not convinced yet that The Donald has fully grasped that he is going to lose.  Whether he has or not, his 'strategy' seems to be that he is going to burn the economy to the ground and kill as many Americans as possible between now and when he leaves the White House.

    From the OldVet Dictionary:

    tRumpTard – A person who, when confronted with two statements from The Donald that are mutually exclusive and impossible for both to be true, believes both statements.

    • Old Vet, don't get your hopes up. The GOP is completely dishonest, without shame, and, actually, completely evil. They have been waiting for this moment or revenge since August 9, 1974. That moment is here, now.

      Remember, for the Trumpkins it is a badge of honor to parrot the lies and jug-headed nonsense that Dear Leader spews out his mouth.

  2. The Trump administration is now threatening to sue media companies for refusing to disseminate Russian propaganda.

    • His loyalty to Putin never waves.  I suspect his debt to Putin remains unpaid.  Putin POISION permeates politics as propaganda prevails.  Pay Putin or he wields the poison Plutonium pill.  

      P-thetic post I know.

      • My advice to Trump, assuming he'd listen, is "Turn yourself in. Prison will protect you from your predatory creditors, like 'Polonium' Putin."

  3. I almost wish the election were another month or two away. So Trump can have more rallies and infect more people. 

    No, I really want to get it over with. He's like a classic cult leader, insisting that his followers sacrifice their lives, which they're willing to do.

  4. The GOP establishment is going along. They know this will be a colossal failure. IMO, the strategy is to NOT mitigate the electoral disaster in any way that leaves any fingerprints except Trump's. After Trump is gone, he's the GOP fall guy. If true, and if Trump positions himself as the comeback kid in 2024, (even as a grift) the GOP will have to destroy Trump with his cult. 

    How? The Republicans have rejected science and objective truth. Trump will (my prediction) say the reason he lost to a candidate as poor as Biden is because Trump was sabotaged by the GOP. There's not gonna be a lot of middle ground. Either you buy into Trump's victimhood (and greatness) or you blame Trump for the loss and regroup around a different message. 

    It will get worse. If/when NY files criminal charges and TOI uncovers massive crimes (fueled by leaks from within the government) Trumpsters will demand the GOP defend Trump's crimes at the moment the party is trying to gently distance themselves from Trump and peel away the Trump voter and redirect him/her to accept a less toxic slate of candidates. Which Trump will vocally oppose. 

    Could the result be a three-party 'system'?  A conservative split might leave 20% in The Trumpian party and 20% in the Republican party. The Democrats (including their share of independents) would become the majority 51% About 9% would be aligned with fringe parties from Greenies to Libertarians. The only way for the GOP to regain power would be to become more moderate. Which would make the democrats more liberal as the Bernie/Liz/ AOC wing gets stronger when less progressive democrats peel off to the 'moderate' GOP.

    I'm optimistic.

      • Swami, I wasn't drinking, but I was thinking DOJ. My guess is that even if the Biden administration does not want to pursue criminal investigations, those investigations will be done by the media, fueled by disclosures by people in government who witnessed these crimes in real-time. Patriots in public service know what and where the evidence is, and if they're frustrated by a directive not to appear vindictive or politically motivated in enforcing the law , people in government will take the 'trial' to the NY Times or Washington Post to force action.

  5. “Don’t listen to the cynics and angry partisans and pessimists.”

    Trump's cynicism, angry partisanship and pessimism are exactly what got him (sort of) elected. His own supporters will tell you that.

  6. I think Trump's going to dig the hole even deeper with the last debate. They're going to shut his mic, and ask questions on topics COVID, climate change etc that he doesn't want to talk about. He can't stand the moderator. His campaign sent a nasty, unhinged letter to the debate organizers complaining that his chosen topic, foreign policy, won't be the subject of debate. I expect an even bigger melt-down than the first debate.

    Plus he's complaining that Biden is taking time off to prepare. Preparation is for losers, I guess.

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