Countdown to reality and sanity: now only four weeks left in the Trump presidency…and my having to chronicle chaos of the Trump presidency every week. And what a week it was between street violence by Trump supporters, the electoral college, the first COVID vaccines delivered, news of a gigantic Russian hack of federal agencies, the resignation of the Attorney General. And of course more lies from a delusional treasonous president who is MIA in saving American lives from COVID, jobs from the recession, and national security from the Russians.
The week starts with police in Washington looking for Trump supporters who participated in stabbings as well as attacks on a Black American Church during their weekend protests which were egged on by the President and his propagandists. In tweets and interviews on Fox News the President declared the election was not over, he did not lose, that he won every one of the contested states, the election was rigged and a sham, the state certifications were fraudulent, the Supreme Court chickened out, and that the country would have an illegitimate president in Biden.
Trump has yet to concede the election or acknowledge Biden as the president-elect. When asked, he would not even commit to attend Biden’s inauguration. Is it any wonder that because of Trump’s behavior some 75% of Republicans also say the election is not over, that there was fraud, and Trump should continue to contest the results. They wrap themselves up in the flag as if they are the patriots protecting the constitution and democracy. What traitors Trump and his cult have become as they are participating in a slow-moving coup to overturn an election orchestrated by a sitting president desperate to stay in power.
Despite all this, our American Democracy still has worked, at least so far. The electoral college met on Monday of this week with heavy security, armed guards, closed state capitol buildings, and even convening at undisclosed locations due to threats of violence from pro-Trump supporters. Despite Trump’s attempts to hijack and obstruct the electoral vote, Biden won as he should have with a final vote of 306 to 232. This was the identical electoral win of Trump over Clinton four years earlier which Trump at the time described as a landslide in his favor. Biden had over 7 million more votes than Trump, which was twice the size of Clinton’s popular vote victory over Trump in 2016.
Attorney General William Barr resigned on the day that the electors met. Hmm, why now; what does Barr know or worry that Trump is going to do next that makes even him, an AG that believes in a strong-man presidency with unlimited authority, run from the White House with less than a month to go? Regardless of the reason, good riddance as he acted more like Trump’s personal attorney than the nation’s top defender of our Constitution. After taking over from Trump’s first ousted and publicly shamed AG Jeff Sessions, Barr went on to misrepresent the results of Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia, had cases against Trump advisers like Flynn and Stone dropped by the Justice Department, refused to conduct additional investigations into Russian influence or misdeeds by the administration, orchestrated a show of force against peaceful protesters outside of the White House so Trump could have a photo op in front of a church, and intervened in lawsuits brought against Trump by women who had alleged they were sexually assaulted by Trump. He was so controversial that thousands of former DOJ officials called on him to resign.
Finally, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other senate Republicans acknowledged and congratulated Biden as the president-elect. Oh my, what courage this must have taken to defend the Constitution after weeks of cowardly silence, too scared to rile up Trump or his violent supporters standing by for action. The next hurdle is when Congress meets to accept the results of the electoral college on January 6. Ever so predictably, Trump is said to be conspiring with Congressional Republicans to concoct yet another challenge to hose up the final act standing between Biden and the White House. Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany is seemingly abetting the coup when she tells reporters that the administration is complying with all requirements to ensure a continuation of power by the Trump White House.
After the electoral college met, Biden spoke to the country with appeals to the 74 million who voted for Trump that he would be their president as well. But sadly, most of them won’t accept him as their president. Biden, uncharacteristically forceful in his tone and words, denounced Trump’s attempt to subvert the election and our democracy, as he should have.
Trump remained largely out of sight during the week and was only heard by twitter where he asserted more lies and retweeted conspiracy theories. This despite record number of Americans being infected by COVID (over 200,000 some days this week), being hospitalized (over 115,000 much of the week), and dying each day (over 3,500 on one day bringing the total to 315,000). Read more about the pandemic in this month’s Bearing Witness to the Pandemic. Another million were added to the unemployment roles as Congress remains deadlocked on a pandemic relief bill without any White House leadership. Yet, Trump says nothing to console or comfort a grieving, hurting nation. He does not even seem to celebrate when the first COVID vaccines are distributed because he was preoccupied with the very same day that the electoral college met. When Trump was not trying to overturn the election this week he did find time to appoint numerous supporters, allies, advisors and White House aides to serve on prestigious boards associated with the federal government.
More and more information comes out about the massive hack attack of federal agencies’ computer systems by Russian cyber espionage operatives. It was said to be the largest and most serious cybersecurity breach ever. National security officials said it posed a grave threat to the country in that it included attacks on the departments of treasury, energy, and nuclear security. But not a word from Trump against Russia except to contradict what his Secretary of State and Homeland Security leaders were saying about the Russians being behind it. Once again Trump has failed to defend the country and failed to condemn those who have attacked us. How many times can Trump give cover to Russian interference in our nation’s affairs before his supporters inside the Republican Party and Congress wake up from the alternative reality cult they have been living in?
The above news items have been taken from a number of local, regional, national and international news media including print, broadcast, and digital sources, but no social media. Additional editorial opinions and comments about these news items are those of this author.