Tuesday, September 15, 2020

President Super-Spreader Does Nevada


Trump's hate rally in Henderson, Nevada Sunday night was another super-spreader event in a state struggling with a dangerous second spike. Yesterday, Nevada reported another 277 cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 73,814, a terrible 23,964 cases per million Nevadans, the 11th worst in the country. The Real Clear Politics polling average shows Trump losing Nevada by 6 points-- Biden 46.5% to Trump 40.5%. Hillary-- having run up a big margin in Clark County (Las Vegas) and having won Washoe County (Reno) narrowly-- beat Trump in the Silver State 539,260 (47.9%) to 512,058 (45.5%).

Sunday night, Governor Sisolak (D) was not at the rally. He was on Twitter letting Nevadans know what a selfish and reckless move Trump's packed, largely maskless rally was.

NBC reported that there were thousands of people packed indoors and violating state pandemic laws. "Henderson authorities said in a statement late Sunday that officials warned the event organizer in writing and verbally that they must obey the governor's directives, which include not gathering in groups larger than 50 people, wearing face coverings and social distancing. In response to criticism the campaign received for holding the indoor rally, Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign 2020 communications director, said in a statement, 'If you can join tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets, gamble in a casino, or burn down small businesses in riots, you can gather peacefully under the 1st Amendment to hear from the president of the United States.' The president had also held a rally on Saturday on the tarmac of Nevada’s Minden-Tahoe Airport where most people were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing. Reacting to the rally Sunday night, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted that the president is 'deliberately killing people.' Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) tweeted Monday, "Trump is using his position of power to spread COVID-19. People died after his last indoor rally.'"

And not wasn't on Democrats who were outraged by COVID-Mary's rallies. NBC reported that "Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary to President George W. Bush, tweeted Monday, 'Indoor rallies are irresponsible. Covid-19 is real and this was a bad idea.' The anti-Trump group of Republicans called The Lincoln Project tweeted, 'Thinking about how Donald Trump knew that coronavirus was airborne and deadly, and still chose to have an indoor rally.'"

Former Jeb Bush Communications Director, Tim Miller, who now writes for the conservative Bulwark labeled the rally in Henderson reckless, atrocious and deceitful, noting that "the spittle was flying [and] so were the lies." He downgraded the event from super-spreader to mini-spreader because so few people turned out, noting it "was Trump’s first indoor rally since the Tulsa disaster that cost Brad Parscale his job and after which Herman Cain lost his life. This latest public-health monstrosity came on the heels of the president, at a separate maskless gathering earlier in the weekend, mocking his opponent Joe Biden for having followed responsible social-distancing protocols."
For those who have been beaten down by the Trumpian disaster porn, rallies such as this don’t really make a mark any longer. The cable networks and even the three C-SPANs landed on the BORRRRING side of the ledger: None of them chose to air the event. And for political junkies and Trump-watchers, these rallies increasingly have the feel of a boring nostalgia act with a lead singer halfheartedly crooning his old hits. And there’s something to be said for that.

But it is important to take a moment to shake yourself free from the blunting effect of the orange Trumpian film that has subsumed our daily lives (and here in northern California, our atmosphere). Seen with fresh eyes, the Henderson rally was truly a shocking and unimaginably wheels-off undertaking given that it came amid a pandemic that is still killing a thousand Americans a day and with wildfires making much of the West Coast uninhabitable.

And so over the course of the president’s interminable harangue, I began to jot down the moments that stood out, beginning with his foray into the insane #Obamagate conspiracy. As Trump began a side-bar about Obama supposedly being caught spying on him, he eyed an attendee who was beginning a “Lock Him Up” chant. He then egged on the overwhelmingly unmasked crowd into a frenzy in which they projected airborne spittle throughout the building in an attempt to will to life the fantasy that their wannabe strongman president might jail his predecessor, the first black president, for an imaginary crime.

This was not the only coronavirus projectile laden with racial invective emitted by the attendees. Following the removal of a protester-- presumably a Black Lives Matter activist, although it wasn’t clear from the video-- the crowd began bellowing that oh-so-clever parlay: All Lives Matter. All Lives Matter.

(At this point it should be noted that the CDC recommends a good way to lessen your coronavirus risk is to avoid gatherings with singing or shouting. If you are going to be in such a location, they recommend a mask.)

In addition to basking in the two racist chants, the president said that his opponent is a Communist (“c-word”) who would eliminate the suburbs and allow anarchists to burn down Hispanic businesses. He fabricated a charge about the Democratic governor of Nevada tampering with ballots, declared that football is “boring as hell,” made fun of Chris Cuomo’s ratings, “joked” about running for a third term, and said flag burners should go to jail for one year. He shouted “I love the Hispanics,” lied about what was said at the DNC, reintroduced the bigoted dog-whistle use of and exaggerated emphasis on the middle name of Barack Hussein Obama (which he had told Bob Woodward he only does in private), said that NASA was almost closed before he got into office and had grass growing on the runways (?), and he once again implied support for extrajudicial killings by U.S. marshals. The only time he acknowledged that his campaign event was running afoul of state regs was when he ambiguously implied that he would help attendees if the governor comes after them. He never recommended that the attendees take any health precautions, despite the advance team building in a nice six-foot bubble between him and his fans.

...Everything about it was fucking appalling.

In fact it was so appalling that it would stand out as the single most appalling and reckless political event hosted by any presidential nominee in my lifetime before yesterday by a long shot, if you just didn’t count anything else that Donald Trump did.

And that’s the problem. Somewhere along the way he removed many people’s ability to be appalled. We have become numbed. Too many regional news outlets either won’t cover the event at all or will have headlines like “Donald Trump Makes Appeal to Hispanics At Nevada Rally.” The national Democrats will let Gov. Sisolak get in his licks, but otherwise move onto something else.

Just because we have become immune to his behavior doesn’t mean it should be treated as if it is one side of a two-sided coin. Just because he lies so cavalierly doesn’t mean he should be allowed to get away with it. Just because his oh-so-unsubtle race-baiting is part and parcel of his presidency doesn’t mean we should just let All Lives Matter chants pass by the wayside. Just because we have become bored by our #takes and have run out of new and clever angles for analyzing our malign president doesn’t mean we should say nothing at all.

All the president’s grotesqueries matter. This is just the latest.

Amanda Carpenter is another #NeverTrump Republican-- former communications director for Ted Cruz and speechwriter for neo-Nazi Jim DeMint-- and she was more interested in obsessing over how so many Republican elites are abandoning Trump. Her Bulwark column Monday was all about "the breaking points for these various White House staffers, cabinet secretaries, political advisers, and others-- the moment when each decided he or she just couldn’t stick with Trump anymore. Because we can learn a lot about Trump and the overall effect he is having on our country by studying what made these individuals-- from revered military leaders to Trump’s sleazy surrogates-- finally snap." Let's look at one example-- "Mad Dog."

Of the men and women who have served Trump and gone on to publicly speak against him, perhaps no one’s words carry more weight than Trump’s former defense secretary James Mattis. Theoretically, the “warrior monk” General “Mad Dog” Mattis, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, who once led Central Command, should have been a good fit inside the Trump administration.

But Trump is a reckless force that not even a military general with 40 years experience could counsel. Mattis walked out on Trump in December 2018 when the president ignored his advice and abruptly pulled troops out of the Middle East. Mattis is quoted in Bob Woodward’s new book, Rage, as saying, “When I was basically directed to do something that I thought went beyond stupid to felony stupid, strategically jeopardizing our place in the world and everything else, that’s when I quit.”

That’s not the only deep disagreement he’s had with the president, though. When Trump used military force to disperse protesters in Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Square, Mattis took the rare step of issuing a public statement on the matter, putting it in no uncertain terms that Trump has crossed an intolerable line.

Mattis said he was “angry and appalled” at the president’s actions, and “We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society.” He went on, “We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.” Then he called for the adoption of a “new path” that could only be interpreted as one leading away from Trump.
Carpenter concluded by noting that "Trump pushes people to take unethical, dangerous, and even criminal actions for his benefit. That’s just who Trump is. He tries to corrupt those around him. This is why-- in addition to the desire to sell books-- so many people have been coming out in recent weeks to explain their disenchantment with Trump. They know that if he gets a second term, he will keep corrupting America, too."

Labels: , , , , ,


At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"never-trump republican" is equivalent to "never-hitler Nazi".

you are either a Nazi or you are not. worship of your fuhrer and everything he stands for is 98% of being a Nazi.

waiting for the party returns to its centrist roots (like 1866)? please, PLEEEEEEZE hold your breath!!

At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where were all of these irate "patriots" when Trump began his campaign and then ran all over the GOP nominees like the losers they all clearly were? When he began abusing his popularity to twist the arm of the RNC behind its figurative back and demand certain rule changes which would only benefit him (like that Republican Bloomberg did to the DNC)?

They cheered Trump. He was great for ratings.

They would still be cheering Trump if their portfolios weren't damaged so badly and they weren't so certain that POC were beginning to look at their suburban enclaves as potential targets.

They WILL again cheer loudly the moment Trump finishes off democracy in America and launches the fascist dictatorship that all Republicans crave.

It IS All About The Benjamins.

Die For Profit$.

At 7:36 AM, Blogger DestinyMatthews said...

"Hate rally"... that's funny, I thought we were supposed to be calling them "Mostly-peaceful protests"


Post a Comment

<< Home