America’s 2020 election

2020-02-04

in Politics

Now that it seems virtually certain that the US senate will acquit Donald Trump the key question about resisting him effectively is who the Democrats could nominate to beat him in November.

There are passionate arguments in favour of both a progressive and a moderate. William Saletan at Slate argues that being able to run against Bernie Sanders and socialism is just what Trump wants: enough Americans are or can be made fearful enough of socialism to give him a path to victory. On the other side are those who argue that a moderate candidate like Joe Biden has the best chance of winning, even if there may be less reason to hope that such an administration will make big positive changes. Of course, there are also those who argue that a progressive candidate will be so out of step with congress that even if they win they will spend their term getting blocked from implementing all their big ideas.

What’s happening in the US is frightening. Republicans have proved terrifyingly willing to back an incompetent president who aspires to authoritarianism, and America’s checks and balances have somewhat hampered but not really impeded his agenda. Republicans seem to have made the cynical calculation that supporting Trump can get them what they care about – whether that’s gun rights, conservative judges, uncritical support for Israel or whatever else – and that the steamroll strategy which blocked Obama’s last supreme court nominee can help them keep winning. At the same time, relatively mainstream Republicans perceive the intense emotions of Trump supporters and fear what will happen to them if they openly break ranks.

It’s a mark of the decay of US politics that it was ever possible for Trump to be nominated and elected. It’s even more disturbing that his contempt for the law has now been ratified by the senate and chief justice. Virtually anybody would be better and might have some chance to start repairing the damage, but it’s also quite possible the Democrats will elect someone whose flaws are sufficient to let Trump win again. If so, we can expect a second term to be a further erosion of the supports which maintain America as a free and democratic society.

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. February 5, 2020 at 12:02 am

What to expect as the Trump impeachment drama draws to a close

As the impeachment drama skids to a close, Republicans and Democrats alike turn their attention to the Iowa primary, the State of The Union speech and the 2020 Presidential campaign. But the echos of the trial seem likely to linger, says The Nation’s National Correspondent Jeet Heer.

. February 5, 2020 at 2:13 am

When Iran Took Americans Hostage, Bernie Backed Iran’s Defenders

As Democrat Socialists condemned Khomeini’s hostage taking, Sanders stood with a communist party that condemned “Carter’s war drive against the Iranian people.”

. February 5, 2020 at 2:36 am

‘Try to stop me’ – the mantra of our leaders who are now ruling with impunity

Trump, Bolsonaro, Modi, Johnson. Across the world, flouting the law has become normalised. We have to stop it

. February 26, 2020 at 8:16 pm

A Bernie Sanders presidency could be a nightmare for Saudi Arabia | Saudi Arabia | Al Jazeera

Saudi Arabia spent $18bn on US weapons in 2017, has nearly doubled its ownership of US government debt under Trump to just under $180bn, and is now the biggest source of capital for US startups. It could threaten to shift its resources to China and Russia, among other places.

. March 24, 2020 at 6:18 pm

Trump has improved his numbers with the evangelical Christians, Tea Party supporters, and observant Catholics who make up the core of his Republican Party, but it is a diminished party. The percentage of people identifying as Republican since Trump took office has dropped from 39 to 36 percent, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Trump has pushed moderates out of the party, and those moderates are changing their voting patterns accordingly. Fully 5 percent of the voters in the South Carolina Democratic primary had previously voted in the state’s Republican primary. In Michigan, Republican strategists tried to make sense of the 56 percent increase in Democratic turnout in Livingston County, a white, college-educated, upper-class community that Trump won by 30 points. Republicans are shedding voters.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/the-democrats-dont-understand-their-own-strength/608611/

. March 30, 2020 at 12:05 pm

According to our analysis of states that have reported, as well as estimates for California, Mr Biden now has roughly 671 of the 1,991 delegates he would need for the nomination. Mr Sanders has 589. (Ms Warren, with only 89, dropped out of the race on Thursday). That leaves plenty of room for doubt about which septuagenarian will prevail. Yet Mr Biden has demonstrated his advantage. While Mr Sanders mainly won votes from his usual fanbase—made up of white lefties, young voters and Hispanics—the former veep drew support from across the party. For example, he also did well in the sorts of affluent, mostly white suburbs that gave Democrats their House majority in 2018 and where they would need to win again to defeat Mr Trump in November. In Virginia, for example, where he beat Mr Sanders by 30 points, he ran up sizeable margins in both the heavily black Tidewater region and in the diverse, highly educated suburbs of Washington, dc.

. June 24, 2020 at 1:28 am

Unfortunately for Trump, his chances of getting to the 270 electoral votes he needs to win a second term are looking, at least the moment, quite dim.

Over the past week, two major political prognosticators — Amy Walter at the Cook Political Report and Nate Silver of 538 — have released updated looks at the electoral map. And the picture they paint for Trump is dire.

“With just under five months until the election, President Trump is a severe underdog for re-election,” writes Walter, who puts 248 electoral votes solidly or leaning to Biden and 204 solidly or leaning to Trump.

Adds Walter:

“To win the Electoral College, Biden would need to win just 26 percent of those Toss Up states/districts, while Trump would need to win over 75 percent of them. In other words, Trump has little room for error, while Biden has a wider path to winning.”

Silver’s analysis is similar.

“Overall — assuming that states that haven’t been polled go the same way as they did in 2016 — Biden leads in states worth 368 electoral votes, while Trump leads in states totaling 170 electoral votes,” he writes.

. June 26, 2020 at 4:17 pm

Trump Suggests Navy Sent $5 Billion to Wisconsin Firm to Help Him Win Election

IN WHAT SOUNDED like a confession that his administration is corruptly using federal funds to boost his re-election campaign, President Donald Trump told workers at a shipyard in Wisconsin on Thursday that “one of the big factors” in the Navy awarding a $5.5 billion contract to their firm was, “your location in Wisconsin, if you want to know the truth.”

The president’s startling admission came as he veered off-script during a speech to employees of Fincantieri Marinette Marine, the firm chosen by the Navy on April 30 to build 10 new guided-missile frigates for its FFG(X) program. The Wisconsin firm was chosen over rivals that build ships in Alabama, Mississippi and Maine — three states that are far less important in the electoral college.

. June 29, 2020 at 7:24 pm

In hundreds of highly classified phone calls with foreign heads of state, President Donald Trump was so consistently unprepared for discussion of serious issues, so often outplayed in his conversations with powerful leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan, and so abusive to leaders of America’s principal allies, that the calls helped convince some senior US officials — including his former secretaries of state and defense, two national security advisers and his longest-serving chief of staff — that the President himself posed a danger to the national security of the United States, according to White House and intelligence officials intimately familiar with the contents of the conversations.

The calls caused former top Trump deputies — including national security advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House chief of staff John Kelly, as well as intelligence officials — to conclude that the President was often “delusional,” as two sources put it, in his dealings with foreign leaders. The sources said there was little evidence that the President became more skillful or competent in his telephone conversations with most heads of state over time. Rather, he continued to believe that he could either charm, jawbone or bully almost any foreign leader into capitulating to his will, and often pursued goals more attuned to his own agenda than what many of his senior advisers considered the national interest.

. June 29, 2020 at 8:13 pm

The idea that his loss is so certain that he might drop out of the race, while still a very long long shot, is ever so gently bubbling up out of the netherworld from which “buzz” is born. Things don’t always happen for entirely linear, logical reasons. Sometimes someone just says something, and then someone else picks it up, and eventually the idea has so much “momentum” that people in charge think they need to do something about it, just because everyone else is doing it, and all of a sudden you can’t find a plastic straw anywhere even though banning them has only a negligible effect on the environment. (A recent political example of this is when Democrats delayed the start of Trump’s impeachment trial for several weeks for no other reason than a law professor suggested it and it seemed like a good idea.) On Friday, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough speculated that Trump might drop out of the presidential race if he didn’t think he could win; over the weekend, Fox Business macho man Charles Gasparino reported that anonymous “GOP operatives” were discussing the possibility too. At this stage, all that we have are wisps of hypotheticals chasing themselves in a circle, but if the polls continue to be bad, and the rallies empty, and the news cycles gruesome, more pundits will start talking about Trump dropping out, and more Republican donors will worry if they should spend their money on a lost cause, and more Republican politicians will wonder if the MAGA brand is the right fit for their future ambitions.

. July 8, 2020 at 3:20 pm

Trump has a plan to stay in the White House if he loses election, former senator says

Tim Wirth shares theory on how Trump can stay in White House after election loss

. July 8, 2020 at 3:25 pm
. July 9, 2020 at 1:42 am
. July 14, 2020 at 4:20 pm
. July 30, 2020 at 3:30 am

Elizabeth Warren calls on agency chiefs to commit to not deploying federal forces on Americans should Trump not leave office – CNNPolitics

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/28/politics/warren-letter-agencies-federal-forces-protesters-trump/index.html

. July 30, 2020 at 6:01 pm

How Donald Trump Could Steal the Election – The Atlantic

The danger begins with the fact that, regardless of what people believe, the Constitution does not give Americans the right to vote for their president. Rather, the Constitution says that a college of electors votes for the president, and Article II of the Constitution gives states nearly unlimited power to decide how these electors are chosen. In the early years of the American republic, many state legislatures decided which presidential candidate the state’s electors would support. South Carolina used this method until 1868. Today, all 50 states grant their residents the right to vote for president, and the people’s vote determines which electors from each state will select the next president. However, any state could change its law and instead allow its legislature to decide which electors will choose the next president.

. July 31, 2020 at 11:13 pm

McConnell signal to Republican Senate candidates: Distance from Trump if necessary – CNNPolitics

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/31/politics/senate-mcconnell-trump-firewall/index.html

. August 2, 2020 at 12:26 pm

Polls show Biden leading, but these swing voters favor Trump

Polls show a widening lead for former Vice President Joe Biden, even in traditional swing states; but in focus groups among actual swing voters, it seems President Donald Trump still holds sway.

. August 12, 2020 at 8:57 pm

“Ultimately, every day that Trump stubbornly refuses to change course [on the coronavirus pandemic] is another day that it becomes increasingly likely he may not only tank his own re-election bid but could be on a kamikaze mission to take the Republican-held Senate down with him. At this point, a net gain of five to seven seats for Democrats looks far more probable than the one to three seat gain that would leave them shy of a majority.”

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/12/politics/2020-senate-control-democrats-gop/index.html

. August 12, 2020 at 10:51 pm

Facilitating the smoothest possible transition—if one should happen in January 2021—is of paramount national importance, particularly at a time of ongoing upheaval at home and abroad. If elected, Joe Biden would face the extraordinary challenge of seizing the reins of government amid the triple crises of a global pandemic, an economic collapse, and a national reckoning over racial justice, and his effectiveness in managing these would redound to the entire nation’s benefit. Yet there is ample reason to worry that the outgoing Trump administration will disregard the laws and the norms that are supposed to govern the transition period. Without question, a stolen election or a refusal to accept electoral results is the nightmare scenario. But well short of a constitutional crisis, the Trump administration can nevertheless hobble the incoming Biden team and endanger the nation with a scuttled transition process.

Biden may also face an outgoing administration that hinders his efforts, whether because of incompetence or malign intent. Planning, coordination, and information-sharing across government agencies and functions are vital to a successful transition. With an administration that remains dramatically understaffed, senior Trump officials may simply lack the bandwidth to reach into their bureaucracies to collect data on personnel and policy, collate it in neat binders, and brief its contents to successors. If the president is not reelected, and especially if he behaves as a sore loser, some of his appointees may begin shirking their responsibilities as they start searching for new opportunities and lose interest in fighting for a lame-duck agenda.

The risk of information loss is particularly acute for matters of national security—an area where the president’s pique toward the intelligence community and the so-called deep state might make him particularly resistant to cooperation. Ths is a concern prior to the election, when major-party candidates usually begin to receive horizon-scanning classified briefings on global events after their nominating conventions—and all the more so if Biden wins, as postelection briefings typically delve into sensitive national secrets such as planned military operations or covert actions, particular threats, and diplomatic secrets. Unlike the formal transition planning process, the content of intelligence briefings to presidential candidates and presidents-elect is discretionary, not legislatively mandated, creating considerable latitude for dangerous omissions.

Imagining more extreme forms of sabotage is also possible. Even as a lame duck, President Trump will remain the commander in chief until Biden takes the oath of office on January 20, 2021. Already, the Trump team is reportedly working to lock in its foreign-policy priorities by killing the Iran nuclear deal, pushing through troop withdrawals from Germany, and levying new rounds of tariffs and tech restrictions; after the election, the president could undertake more dramatic moves, such as announcing an intent to leave NATO or ordering all combat troops to depart Afghanistan. Though improbable, Trump could defy the norm of consultation with the president-elect and lead the nation into conflict with a foreign adversary such as Iran—or decline to act when faced with an imminent domestic or global threat. Even if Biden immediately reversed or denounced such eleventh-hour maneuvers, the policy whiplash would undermine America’s already-damaged credibility as an ally and an adversary.

. August 30, 2020 at 3:20 pm

Michael Moore warns that Donald Trump is on course to repeat 2016 win | US elections 2020 | The Guardian

Moore identified opinion polling in battleground states such as Minnesota and Michigan to make a case that the sitting president is running alongside or ahead of his rival.

“The Biden campaign just announced he’ll be visiting a number of states – but not Michigan. Sound familiar?” Moore wrote, presumably indicating Hillary Clinton’s 2016 race when she made the error of avoiding some states that then swung to Trump.

“I’m warning you almost 10 weeks in advance. The enthusiasm level for the 60 million in Trump’s base is OFF THE CHARTS! For Joe, not so much,” he later added.

He continued to voters: “Don’t leave it to the Democrats to get rid of Trump. YOU have to get rid of Trump. WE have to wake up every day for the next 67 days and make sure each of us are going to get a hundred people out to vote. ACT NOW!”

Moore cited CNN polling of registered voters this month to assert that “Biden and Trump were in a virtual tie”, including a poll that showed the pair tied at 47% in Minnesota. Moore said that Trump “has closed the gap to 4 points” in Michigan.

A national CNN poll this month showed that Biden’s lead over Trump has narrowed nationally, 50% to 46%, while a survey from the Republican-leaning Trafalgar Group found Biden and Trump statistically tied at 47% in Minnesota, and Trump narrowly leading Biden in Michigan. The margin of error for the poll, which surveyed 1,048 people, is 2.98%.

. August 30, 2020 at 3:20 pm
. August 30, 2020 at 3:53 pm

In mid-August, a Pew Research Center poll found that the issue of violent crime ranks fifth in importance to registered voters—behind the economy, health care, the Supreme Court, and the pandemic, but ahead of foreign policy, guns, race, immigration, and climate change. The poll found a large partisan gap on the issue: three-quarters of Trump voters rated violent crime “very important,” second behind only the economy. Nonetheless, nearly half of Biden voters also rated it “very important.” Other polls show that, over the summer, Biden has lost some of the support he gained among older white Americans in the first months of the coronavirus pandemic.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/08/how-biden-loses/615835/

. September 3, 2020 at 9:24 pm

Opinion | What Will You Do if Trump Doesn’t Leave? – The New York Times

On the evening of Nov. 3, Americans settle nervously in front of their screens to await elections results. In the early hours Donald Trump seems to be having an excellent night. Counting the votes cast at polling places, Trump is winning Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Those states don’t even begin processing mail-in ballots untilElection Day, yet Trump quickly declares victory. So do many other Republican candidates. The media complains that it’s premature, but Trumpworld is ecstatic.

Democrats know that as many as 40 percent of the ballots are mail-in and still being counted, and those votes are likely to beoverwhelmingly for Joe Biden, but they can’t control the emotions of that night. It’s a gut punch.

As the mail-in ballots are tallied, the Trump leads erode. But the situation is genuinely unclear. Trump is on the warpath, raging about fraud.

Within weeks there are lawsuits and challenges everywhere. It’s like Florida in 2000, but the chaos is happening in many states at once. Ballots are getting tossed because of problems with signatures, or not getting tossed, amid national frenzy.

Trump says he won’t let Democrats steal the election and declares himself re-elected. It’s an outrage, but as when he used the White House for a campaign prop during his convention, who’s going to stop him?

A certain kind of Republican takes to the streets to enforce Trump’s version of events. According to research done by Larry Bartels of Vanderbilt, 50 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents believe “the traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it.” Nearly as many believe, “A time will come when patriotic Americans have to take the law into their own hands.”

. September 5, 2020 at 4:18 pm

Alexis Dudden, a Korea and Japan expert at the University of Connecticut, was even more blunt in assessing the odds of another Kim-Trump meeting — or an entirely different approach by the unpredictable U.S. leader.

“If it strikes Trump’s fancy in the middle of the night to fly to Pyongyang and meet Kim in an effort to appear presidential, he will,” she said. “If it strikes Trump’s fancy in the middle of the night to order a militarized attack on a North Korean nuclear facility in an effort to appear presidential, he will.”

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/07/19/asia-pacific/north-korea-kim-jong-un-october-surprise/

. September 7, 2020 at 5:38 pm

If the election is close and there are delays in counting ballots on election night, it could well appear that Mr Trump is winning in some key states. He might then claim victory before the results were in, as he did in Florida’s 2018 mid-terms. As more postal votes are counted, the result could then shift in Mr Biden’s favour. America would have two candidates claiming victory. Electoral cases in multiple states might have to be heard in the courts. Protests would surely erupt, some of them armed. The president might call out the national guard, as he threatened to do this summer, or send federal agents into Democratic cities to police restive crowds, as happened in Portland. At this distance, it is easy to forget quite how wrenching a disputed presidential election was in 2000. And that dispute took place at a time of maximum American self-confidence, before 9/11, before the rise of China, before elections were fought on social media, and when the choice was between two men who would be considered moderate centrists by current standards.

Now imagine something like the Florida recount taking place in several states, after an epidemic has killed 200,000 Americans, and at a moment when the incumbent is viewed as both illegitimate and odious by a very large number of voters, while on the other side millions are convinced, regardless of the evidence, that their man would have won clearly but for widespread electoral fraud.

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2020/09/03/americas-ugly-election

. September 9, 2020 at 4:56 pm

In this hyper-polarized environment, state forces are taking a more heavy-handed approach to dissent, non-state actors are becoming more active and assertive, and counter-demonstrators are looking to resolve their political disputes in the street. Without significant mitigation efforts, these risks will continue to intensify in the lead-up to the vote, threatening to boil over in November if election results are delayed, inconclusive, or rejected as fraudulent

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/09/america-insurgency-chaos-trump-violence.html

. September 16, 2020 at 6:57 pm

Russian, Chinese and Iranian hackers all targeting 2020 election, Microsoft says – CNNPolitics

https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/10/politics/microsoft-election-hacking-report/index.html

. September 21, 2020 at 2:10 pm

We’ll know more soon, but absent the defection of four GOP senators, Donald Trump has a clear path to add yet another right-wing justice to the Court. There has been brave talk on left-Twitter about the prospect that a Democratic sweep in November will allow Democrats to pack the Supreme Court by adding as many as four new justices in response to Trump’s successfully replacing Ginsburg with a new justice in the last days of his administration. But all of those plans depend on former Vice President Joe Biden winning the election and the Democrats gaining a majority in the Senate—and neither is anything approaching a sure bet.

Setting aside those uncertainties for a moment, it’s far from clear that Democrats would find 50 votes, even in a Democrat-majority Senate, to pack the Supreme Court. (It’s not even clear that a President Biden would sign a court-packing bill, an idea that he expressly opposed in the recent past.) Although the historical memory of most of today’s Democratic officeholders may not reach back so far, it is instructive that Franklin Roosevelt’s attempt in the early 1930s to pack the Court failed. That may be because it seems odd to try to fix politicized courts by even more explicitly politicizing them, as court packing does.

Another problem with court packing is that we’re not playing one-move chess here: there will be a tit-for-tat response. When the GOP regains power, it could pass a law demoting a group of justices to the lower courts—a move which would very likely be constitutional. And then it could “re-pack” the Court with a new set of right-wing justices. If this is the game we end up playing, then we’ve only deepened our political dysfunction. (Indeed, that was Biden’s argument against the idea.)

. September 21, 2020 at 2:31 pm

After a presidential election, when Congress reconvenes early in January, the nation’s 435 representatives and 100 senators are required to meet in the House chamber in a special joint session. The Constitution designates the sitting vice president to preside over the proceedings — in 2021, Mike Pence will be in the chair.

The process is rarely dramatic. The Constitution instructs the vice president to “open all the certificates” — the reports of the electoral college vote counts — submitted by the states. Beginning with Alabama and ending with Wyoming, each result is announced and the joint session is asked to approve it (the House members vote on the presidential certificates; the Senate votes on the vice presidential counts).

However, there is an exception to the general rule. Precedents established by Thomas Jefferson in 1800 would permit Pence to invalidate a particular state’s electoral returns on the grounds that the underlying vote-count was generated in an illegitimate fashion — that it was rigged.

Pence could refuse to allow the House or Senate to consider a state certificate that he found fraudulent and eliminate its electoral votes from the overall tally. That would reduce the number of electoral college votes required for a majority. If Pence used his prerogative in a partisan manner — for example, invalidating close results that favor Biden, but accepting those that favor Trump — he could mathematically upend the overall election.

. September 25, 2020 at 4:10 pm

The Transition Integrity Project, a group of more than 100 current and former senior political campaign leaders on both sides, simulated the election in a “wargame” in June. They tested four scenarios: a big Biden victory, a narrow Biden win, an indeterminate result like in 2000, and a narrow Trump victory. In all but the Biden blowout, the country descended into chaos. They write:

“We anticipate lawsuits, divergent media narratives, attempts to stop the counting of ballots, and protests drawing people from both sides. The potential for violent conflict is high, particularly since Trump encourages his supporters to take up arms.”

. September 25, 2020 at 4:59 pm

But Trump’s crusade against voting by mail is a strategically sound expression of his plan for the Interregnum. The president is not actually trying to prevent mail-in balloting altogether, which he has no means to do. He is discrediting the practice and starving it of resources, signaling his supporters to vote in person, and preparing the ground for post–Election Night plans to contest the results. It is the strategy of a man who expects to be outvoted and means to hobble the count.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/11/what-if-trump-refuses-concede/616424/

. September 27, 2020 at 4:52 pm

Should Trump refuse to leave office, America could be plunged into a constitutional crisis and find itself in unchartered territory. Whatever the outcome, there is a high risk that a significant chunk of the population will not accept the winner as legitimate, leading to angry street protests in a country flush with guns and a fear that, after decades of corrosion, a system that was once the envy of the world is beyond repair.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/27/recipe-for-chaos-2020-election-threatens-snap-us-already-pushed-limit

. September 27, 2020 at 4:55 pm

“It is feared that the president will seize that initial narrative and declare a premature victory and then, if mail-in ballots gradually turn the tide and produce a Biden victory days later, claim that the election is being stolen from him.

Josh Mendelsohn, chief executive of Hawkfish, a Democratic data and analytics firm, told the Axios on HBO programme: “We are sounding an alarm and saying that this is a very real possibility, that the data is going to show on election night an incredible victory for Donald Trump.””

. September 28, 2020 at 2:11 am

TRUMP WILL FACE FINANCIAL PRESSURE AS DEBTS COME DUE.
Trump seems sure to face heavy financial pressures from the enormous pile of debt he has absorbed. The Times said the president appears to be responsible for $421 million in loans, most of which will come due within four years. On top of that, a $100 million mortgage on Trump Tower in New York will come due in 2022.

https://news.google.com/articles/CAIiEE-75L54NNvGXafKLAjBXl4qGQgEKhAIACoHCAow6f-ICzDjj4gDMJTFnwY?hl=en-CA&gl=CA&ceid=CA%3Aen

. September 30, 2020 at 4:45 am

The section ended with Trump flatly refusing to condemn White supremacy when asked to do so by Wallace and Biden. “Stand back and stand by,” he said to the white supremacist militia group Proud Boys, in a moment reminiscent of his response to White supremacists’ march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
“The commander in chief refused to condemn White supremacy on the global stage in front of my children, in front of everybody’s families, and he was given the opportunity multiple times to condemn White supremacy and he gave a wink and a nod to a racist, Nazi, murderous organization,” said Van Jones, the CNN political commentator.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/30/politics/trump-biden-first-debate-takeaways/index.html

. September 30, 2020 at 3:03 pm

More than once, Trump set out to damage Biden’s left flank.

Trump raised policies embraced by the farther-left factions of the Democratic Party, such as the Green New Deal and defunding of police.

Biden replied each time that these were not his policies. The Democratic nominee stressed that he — not socialists — spoke for the Democratic Party.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/debate-reax-panetta-1.5744238

. September 30, 2020 at 3:17 pm

Trump tried his darndest to paint Biden as a socialist, or at least beholden to the “radical left.” But on issue after issue — “Medicare for All,” defunding the police, the Green New Deal — Biden disavowed policies the Trump campaign has tried to lasso to him.

Biden just restated his positions, and they all line up with the middle of the electorate, far more than Trump’s policy positions do.

That might have harmed Biden with the progressive left, particularly when it comes to the Green New Deal, if Trump hadn’t gone quite so Trump.

https://www.npr.org/2020/09/30/918500976/trump-derails-first-presidential-debate-with-biden-and-5-other-takeaways

. October 4, 2020 at 2:05 pm

Conley failed to answer basic questions about the President’s condition and admitted that he had omitted those alarming drops in the President’s oxygen levels during a news conference Saturday because he wanted to “reflect the upbeat attitude” that the team and the President had about his condition and didn’t want “to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction.”

https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/04/politics/donald-trump-coronavirus-alternate-reality/index.html

. October 6, 2020 at 10:57 pm

How the U.S. election outcome could affect Canada’s energy and environmental policies | CBC News

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/us-issues-canada-environment-1.5746288

. October 7, 2020 at 6:35 pm

Nils Gilman of the Berggruen Institute, a think-tank, one of the founders of the Transition Integrity Project, says one of the lessons he took away from June’s war games was that “the aggression of the first mover had a really decisive effect on how the game played out”. If instead of just tweeting that counts should be stopped, as he did when he saw the blue shift in action in 2018, Mr Trump gave consequential orders to that end, they might be followed. Nearly 80 left-leaning groups have joined what they call the Protect the Results coalition, which aims to push state election officials to keep counting whatever the president says or does.

https://www.economist.com/briefing/2020/09/03/covid-19-and-an-atmosphere-of-distrust-pose-grave-risks-to-americas-election

. October 9, 2020 at 4:07 pm
. October 10, 2020 at 5:44 pm

The worst case, however, is not that Trump rejects the election outcome. The worst case is that he uses his power to prevent a decisive outcome against him. If Trump sheds all restraint, and if his Republican allies play the parts he assigns them, he could obstruct the emergence of a legally unambiguous victory for Biden in the Electoral College and then in Congress. He could prevent the formation of consensus about whether there is any outcome at all. He could seize on that un­certainty to hold on to power.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/11/what-if-trump-refuses-concede/616424/

. October 11, 2020 at 1:33 am

President Trump’s reelection bid received a vote of support Friday from an entity most in his party would reject: the Taliban.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told CBS News in a phone interview, “We hope he will win the election and wind up U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.” The militant group expressed some concern about Mr. Trump’s bout with the coronavirus. “When we heard about Trump being COVID-19 positive, we got worried for his health, but seems he is getting better,” another Taliban senior leader told CBS News.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/taliban-on-trump-we-hope-he-will-win-the-election-withdraw-us-troops/

. October 11, 2020 at 1:35 am

The Taliban noted it thinks highly of Mr. Trump’s “America first” creed.

“It is the slogan of Trump from the start that they are not cops for the world and don’t want a single flag and anthem for the globe, but their priority is America,” Mujahid said.

Another senior member of the Taliban praised the president’s honesty. “Honestly, Trump was much more honest with us than we thought, even we were stunned with his offer to meet Taliban in Camp David.”

. October 11, 2020 at 1:36 am

A senior Taliban member told CBS News, “Trump might be ridiculous for the rest of the world, but he is sane and wise man for the Taliban.”

. October 12, 2020 at 5:52 pm

Meanwhile, the scenarios that have been spun out in reputable publications — where Trump induces Republican state legislatures to overrule the clear outcome in their states or militia violence intimidates the Supreme Court into vacating a Biden victory — bear no relationship to the Trump presidency we’ve actually experienced. Our weak, ranting, infected-by-Covid chief executive is not plotting a coup, because a term like “plotting” implies capabilities that he conspicuously lacks.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/10/opinion/sunday/trump-election-authoritarianism.html

. October 18, 2020 at 4:32 pm

Trump accused Whitmer, whom he has previously called “a dictator,” of unnecessarily locking down her state as she fought the pandemic. That led his crowd to break into a chant of “Lock her up!” a little more than a week after federal authorities revealed a plot by extremists to kidnap Whitmer and overthrow the government.

Rather than condemning the derailed plot — which led to terrorism, conspiracy and weapons charges against more than a dozen men — or discouraging that kind of divisive language, Trump essentially endorsed the cheer with his authoritarian rhetoric about jailing his political opponents by adding Clinton and the Biden family into the mix.

“Lock them all up,” Trump replied to the crowd.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/america-votes/trump-continues-bizarre-appeals-to-suburban-women-as-he-campaigns-in-covid-19-hotspots-1.5150100

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