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andym's Journal
andym's Journal
October 1, 2020

Trump had traps set for Biden, but didn't have the discipline to spring them

Trumpworld 'worried' amid debate performance fallout
NBC News
Shannon Pettypiece and Leigh Ann Caldwell and Carol E. Lee and Monica Alba and Hallie Jackson
,NBC News•September 30, 2020


"But Trump failed to deliver many of his planned remarks — and when he did, they were often delivered out of context and with no explanation, two people familiar with debate preparations said.

When he attacked Biden for backing the 1994 crime bill, he was then supposed to point to Alice Johnson in the audience and demand that Biden apologize to Johnson, 65, a grandmother who spent more than two decades in prison on a nonviolent drug charge before Trump commuted her sentence and then pardoned her. Instead, Trump pivoted to his polling numbers among African American voters.

During the Supreme Court section of the debate, the president was supposed to go after Biden as "the godfather of turning Supreme Court confirmation hearings into sideshows," dating to Biden's work on the Senate confirmation hearings for Robert Bork in 1987 and Clarence Thomas in 1991, when he was chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Instead, Trump steered the conversation toward health care...."
The first one was a particularly egregious attempt to try to embarrass Joe -- since they remembered how Kamala Harris used the "little girl" phrase at the first Democratic Debate last year. But Trump was thrown off by his own aggressiveness and failed to spring the trap. (The actual story is more complex btw https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Marie_Johnson -- I don't think Joe has anything to apologize for)

Expect more traps like this from Trump in the next debate-- that's the kind of trick Trump likes, but fortunately he is incompetent even at games like these.

September 30, 2020

Next time either cut off the mics or the moderator should bring a loud whistle

and blow it until Trump shuts up.

September 30, 2020

Interrupter in Chief

could be added to Trump's well-earned nicknames like Divider-In-Chief.

September 30, 2020

Moderator needs to be able to turn off the mics

when necessary. Without that it's not possible to moderate against Trump.

September 28, 2020

It's not that he didn't pay much tax that bothers them, it's that he was losing money like crazy

that's what destroys his narrative as the smart, wealthy businessman sacrificing himself to help the poor white working men of the Rust Belt, etc etc. That was one of his strongest appeals to the MAGAs.

He already addressed the not paying much in taxes in 2016, and people didn't care much, because it was just an example of how smart he was. It's that he is not rich, but rather deeply in debt (>$400M personal loan guarantee coming due) and is actually a cheap grifter using the presidency to try to save his ailing businesses. He is a loser to use one of his favorite words, and his it highlights his incompetence with Covid-19 and the resulting dire human and economic consequences.

September 28, 2020

The most damning part for his followers will be Trump not being who he said he is: instead a loser

He is not really their better, a superior being who loves their pathetic worship, but really an incompetent loser whose businesses were bleeding millions for years. This is a key component of his teflon. People forgive their perceived betters (think lords or leaders) any transgression.

It's not only that he has a huge personal debt of greater than $400M that he probably can't pay. It's what it tells them about the man: he is not competent-- can't plan, not a financial wizard. No wonder Covid-19 overran the country. No wonder the economy crashed (negative GDP means recession), and no wonder so many Americans died needlessly.

Trump is weak because he is incompetent-- that will lose him a few followers no doubt. Trump being superior to them is one thing that motivates some very strongly-- think a hierarchy with Trump on top. This destroys some of the narrative, It will eat away at the edges of their consciousness, and doubt will finally be created. For example, the pieces will fit together for them such as why he isn't financing his campaign now that there is a shortfall-- he doesn't have money.

Most of his other scandals contained elements that some of his "deplorable" supporters (mostly uneducated white males) could actually admire because they point to a "superior" male in their crude thinking: like sex with a porn star despite being married or a celebrity grabbing kitties. Moreover, he wasn't nobly sacrificing big bucks he normally made to help the common men of the rust belt-- the new narrative is that he was running as fast as he could from debt collectors who were anxious to collect ASAP. The tax leaks portray an inferior man, a loser in Trump's parlance-- true he managed to get away with playing games with his taxes so far, but that is as far as any potential positive will go, the negative reality of being an incompetent, a loser, far outweighs this.

The lesson here is to call Trump a loser, an incompetent because it will stick with some of his soon to be former fans and perhaps keep them home on election day.

September 28, 2020

Trump's fortune may be worth less than Elizabeth Holmes' is now. Sad.

She was once a "billionaire" too-- until her company's hoax products were uncovered by the press.
Now she is awaiting her trial for fraud:

September 27, 2020

Amid talk of civil war, America is already split - Trump Nation has seceded

Robert Reich
Sat, September 26, 2020, 10:00 PM PDT

What is America really fighting over in the upcoming election? Not any particular issue. Not even Democrats versus Republicans. The central fight is over Donald J Trump.

Before Trump, most Americans weren’t especially passionate about politics. But Trump’s MO has been to force people to become passionate about him – to take fierce sides for or against. And he considers himself president only of the former, whom he calls “my people”.

Trump came to office with no agenda except to feed his monstrous ego. He has never fueled his base. His base has fueled him. Its adoration sustains him.

So does the antipathy of his detractors. Presidents usually try to appease their critics. Trump has gone out of his way to offend them. “I do bring rage out,” he unapologetically told Bob Woodward in 2016. In this way, he has turned America into a gargantuan projection of his own pathological narcissism.

MORE AT LINK (worth reading)
The basic argument is that to Trump and his followers think only states in which he has a majority matter, and the rest are enemies-- a horrible distortion of the United States.

Robert Reich is using hyperbole, but he is very perceptive here. In the end, Reich states that real civil war is unlikely but that if Trump loses, his fans will still consider him their rightful leader even if he loses, which he will never admit. That will be a big problem. I think that suggests that Trump will be a big problem for years to come and he himself has laid the groundwork for someone even worse: someone who has the brains to not only exploit Trump followers but intends to make the US a dictatorship.

What Reich does not talk about is how we got here: the groundwork was laid by propaganda and gas-lighting from talk radio, right wing internet sites like Breitbart, and Fox News, then compounded by the bubble chamber of tight-knit social networks. Something urgently needs to be done about them within the constraints of what is possible constitutionally.

September 27, 2020

Let's call it the PT Barnum court and for that matter the PT Barnum presidency

because there are and were so many voters who have been bamboozled by Trump promising them unrealistic things like the return of big beautiful coal, good-paying jobs, and fantastic health care to name a few. He conned himself into power and has so many of his supporters fooled, it's frightening.

Joe Biden is correct that Trump is like Goebbels telling lies so big some people believe they must be true. Although I think that Trump is as much like PT Barnum who apocryphally said a "sucker is born every minute." The thing about Barnum was that people enjoyed being fooled by him, by being suckers and some of that psychology comes into play with Trump voters. He is a populist PT Barnum who appeals to the worst of America from prejudice and xenophobia to greed, envy and promising defeat of imaginary elitist leftist enemies.

The worst part is that in exchange for power most of the GOP has supported Trump and his shenanigans to the detriment of the country and the GOP as well. The problem is that the GOP is quite the party of selfishness, so it's not surprising at all to see them act in their own perceived self-interest, even though in the end it might fracture their party forever and destroy the country.

September 26, 2020

Elizabeth Warren claims Trump is 'flirting with treason' and that Republicans are 'a party to it'

Stephen Proctor
Thu, September 24, 2020, 11:29 PM PDT


“When Donald Trump says that he is not necessarily going to accept the will of the voters, he’s flirting with treason,” Warren said in response. “He’s saying, peaceful transition of power doesn’t matter to him. All that matters to him, once again, is Donald Trump and whatever Donald Trump wants.”

Trump and Senate Republicans are making a hard push to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Trump has spoken openly about his desire for the Supreme Court to decide the election. If his nominee is appointed, there will be a 6-3 conservative majority on the court. Trump has been spreading unfounded conspiracies about mail-in voting fraud, something that even his own hand-picked FBI director, Christopher Wray, has said is not happening on a national scale. Some believe Trump is doing this to sow doubt about the results of the election before a single vote is even tallied, giving him an excuse to take the election to the Supreme Court. Republican senators have recently joined Trump in prematurely talking about the Supreme Court deciding the election.

“These Republicans senators, to enable him in that, to support him in that, and to start to talk about the Nov. 3 election as if this isn’t about voters getting their choice, but it’s about Supreme Court justices getting their choice,” Warren said, “means that they are a party to it.”


“Lindsey Graham has simply said, ‘Donald Trump has my proxy on this. Senate doesn’t need to look at it. If the president’s good, Lindsey Graham is good.’ Man, there’s a man with a spine,” Warren quipped, “a spine kept in a box somewhere else, because he certainly doesn’t have it to exercise for himself.”...


We need to hear this everyday and have these sentiments echoed by mainstream editorials etc.

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