Trump’s Election Forces
While Trump appears to be slowly adapting to the new constraints of an election in a pandemic year, he is mustering a breadth of election forces which have long been contemplated and hinted at. Several of them involve organizing the assets of the Executive Branch, Justice, and Military. All of them are supposed to be out of bounds by the Hatch Act, which forbids government employees from engaging in political influence using their government jobs or resources.
Who would be providing oversight against abuses of the Hatch Act? Why, Attorney General Bill Barr, who has granted Trump “Absolute Powers”. There are also the inspector generals, who Trump fires at will. There are also the Whistleblowers, who Trump and Barr bar from reporting to Congress, who they forbid to testify, who are outed, and who are fired if they do testify. This violates the whistleblower act. Of course, the Congressional oversight committees can investigate any of this. Except, Trump refuses to let anybody go testify about these subjects.
Trump once said something like he couldn’t lose the election with the Police, Military, and Motor Cycle gangs backing home. We thought this was an appeal to them if he lost the election. We didn’t know that he would enlist them to help him during the campaign.
Yesterday, Trump flew somewhere for a rally with law enforcement. Air Force 1 was in the background. The Sheriff’s, in official working uniforms, were politically backing Trump’s re-election. But wait, Air Force 1 made it look like a Presidential function. The Sheriffs were in uniform, and therefore acting in their official rolls. This would be a violation of their county non-political interference policies. Nobody was masked or social distancing. But wait! As the camera pulled back, it revealed about 10 rows of marked separators to hold a crowd of a thousand, which were all empty! The few people there were all crowded in the front row. Trump was not masked or social distancing either. At least it was outside.
We have yet to have an investigation about the Department of Homeland Security agents sent to Portland to guard a single Federal building, and politically assault demonstrators in one city block. There was also the brutal assault of definitely peaceful demonstrators in Lafayette Square next to the White House, moved out to give Trump a photo op holding a bible upside down in front of a disapproving church. Trump has threatened to repeat this in other Democratic cities, to heighten his campaign tactic of inducing any and all fears. Chicago is next, but the reasons given are scattered: murders, guns, drugs, gangs, … And, nobody has complained Trump says.
Speaking of fears, which of my medicines have alien DNA in them? While Twitter had Trump’s and Donald Jr.’s retweeted Witch Doctor’s video taken down, Madonna retweeted it. Maybe Trump would have done better by actually lowering the price of medicines, instead of insisting that all parts of them had to be made in new plants in the US by Kodak.
Then there is Trump slowing the postal service to ruin mail-in voting during a pandemic. And enforcing that ballots be received by Election Day, rather than just postmarked by then. There are also Trump’s repeated detailed dog-whistle descriptions of how groups can interfere with mail-in balloting. Interfering with voting and the mail are federal crimes. Who would prosecute them? Update: Trump threatens to sue Nevada for passing a bill to send mail-in ballots to all voters.
The interference of Southern Republican Governors with preventative Coronavirus measures, just to back Trump’s election reopening goals are unethical, immoral, and ineffective. They are spreading the great suffering of the virus, and costing families deaths. They also fall on the old and people of color. Now we are going to see families suffer as Trump and Education Secretary DeVos push in-person school reopening, which will be very short-lived. They are also corrupting federal school funding to fund private schools, DeVos’s continual goal, using the Coronavirus as an excuse. Again, an abuse of scientifically combating the virus to restart Trump’s economic success.
Then there is the Trump-Putin-Johnson-Bolsonaro-Netanyahu mutual admiration election campaigning international society. Trump interferes in all of these elections, and in return, they show up in time to back Trump. It was one thing when Trump was a civilian and not President, in 2016. Now, it’s a compromise of our foreign policy interests, to subvert them to Trump’s re-election as well as those of the other rulers. Didn’t Trump also get Impeached for trying to force the President of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens? Trump also publicly reached out to Xi Jinping of China to investigate the Bidens, but apparently, he didn’t bite. And, he is paying the price now.
The one group which has stood up to Trump is the US Military, which refuses to be used for political purposes.
Update: August 3. Trump says he will introduce a Health Care plan by the end of the month, and an immigration plan next month. This reminds me of a line from the musical Evita: shouldn’t we do a few of the things we promised them. The plans are only four years late, and Congress has heard nothing about them.
I can’t yet go on and on, but I may have to, as future plots are unfolded, like delaying the election a year, suggested after Trump secretly talked to Putin. Trump and his Senate have blocked additional funds to support new election equipment for years. There will be few election workers during the pandemic, and very long lines at Democratic urban districts. Rather belatedly, the House wants to restore the Voting Rights Act, as the Supreme Court said they could, after the Court removed states from its purview.