Friday, October 23, 2020

Trump Is The Worst President This Country Has Ever Seen-- But You Already Knew That, Right?



Frank Luntz is probably the best-known Republican Party pollster in the country. At a briefing he gave to for Global Counsel, a British strategic advising company he consults, he said he's "never seen a campaign more mis-calibrated than the Trump campaign. Frankly, his staff ought to be brought up on charges of political malpractice. It is the worst campaign I’ve ever seen and I’ve been watching them since 1980. They’re on the wrong issues. They’re on the wrong message. They’ve got their heads up their assess… Your damn job is to get your candidate to talk about things that are relevant to the people you need to reach. And if you can’t do your damn job then get out... Nobody cares about Hunter Biden… why is [Trump] spending all his time on him? Hunter Biden does not help put food on the table. Hunter Biden does not help anyone get a job. Hunter Biden does not provide health care or solve COVID. And Donald Trump spends all of his time focused on that and nobody cares."

Yesterday, the editors of The Atlantic, in their endorsement against Trump, were not as concerned about the campaign as they were about the man and his policies. In The Case Against Donald Trump, they note that he "poses a threat to our collective existence" and conclude that the choice voters face is spectacularly obvious... [T]he national defense strategy of the United States is built on the unstated assumption that the American people will not allow a lunatic to become president. If that assumption is wrong, then no procedural, legal, or technological mechanisms exist that are able to fully protect the human race from such a lunatic." The Atlantic editors see that-- any least at this moment-- as "a catastrophic flaw in U.S. nuclear doctrine."
In most matters related to the governance and defense of the United States, the president is constrained by competing branches of government and by an intricate web of laws and customs. Only in one crucial area does the president resemble, in the words of the former missile officer and scholar Bruce Blair, an absolute monarch-- his control of nuclear weapons. Richard Nixon... was reported to have told members of Congress at a White House dinner party, “I could leave this room and in 25 minutes, 70 million people would be dead.” This was an alarming but accurate statement.

When contemplating their ballots, Americans should ask which candidate in a presidential contest is better equipped to guide the United States through a national-security crisis without triggering a nuclear exchange, and which candidate is better equipped to interpret-- within five or seven minutes-- the ambiguous, complicated, and contradictory signals that could suggest an imminent nuclear attack. These are certainly not questions that large numbers of voters asked themselves in 2016, when a transparently unqualified candidate for president won the support of 63 million Americans.

At the time, Donald Trump had not yet served in public office, so concerns about his ability to protect the United States from harm were hypothetical, though grounded in his long and terrible record as a human being. As The Atlantic stated in its October 2016 endorsement of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, Trump “traffics in conspiracy theories and racist invective; he is appallingly sexist; he is erratic, secretive, and xenophobic; he expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers, and evinces authoritarian tendencies himself … He is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read.”

What we have learned since we published that editorial is that we understated our case. Donald Trump is the worst president this country has seen since Andrew Johnson, or perhaps James Buchanan, or perhaps ever. Trump has brought our country low; he has divided our people; he has pitted race against race; he has corrupted our democracy; he has shown contempt for American ideals; he has made cruelty a sacrament; he has provided comfort to propagators of hate; he has abandoned America’s allies; he has aligned himself with dictators; he has encouraged terrorism and mob violence; he has undermined the agencies and departments of government; he has despoiled the environment; he has opposed free speech; he has lied frenetically and evangelized for conspiracism; he has stolen children from their parents; he has made himself an advocate of a hostile foreign power; and he has failed to protect America from a ravaging virus. Trump is not responsible for all of the 220,000 COVID-19-related deaths in America. But through his avarice and ignorance and negligence and titanic incompetence, he has allowed tens of thousands of Americans to suffer and die, many alone, all needlessly. With each passing day, his presidency reaps more death.

But let us lay all of this aside for the moment. Let us even lay aside the extraordinary fact that Donald Trump has been credibly accused of rape. Compelling evidence suggests that his countless sins and defects are rooted in mental instability, pathological narcissism, and profound moral and cognitive impairment...

Trump’s opponent, Joe Biden, is in many ways a typically imperfect candidate, but if we judge these men on two questions alone-- Who is a more trustworthy steward of America’s nuclear arsenal? Which man poses less of a threat to our collective existence?-- the answer is spectacularly obvious.

The Atlantic has endorsed only three candidates in its 163-year history: Abraham Lincoln, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Hillary Clinton. The latter two endorsements had more to do with the qualities of Barry Goldwater and Donald Trump than with those of Johnson and Clinton. The same holds true in the case of Joe Biden. Biden is a man of experience, maturity, and obvious humanity, but had the Republican Party put forward a credible candidate for president, we would have felt no compulsion to state a preference. Donald Trump, however, is a clear and continuing danger to the United States, and it does not seem likely that our country would be able to emerge whole from four more years of his misrule. Two men are running for president. One is a terrible man; the other is a decent man. Vote for the decent man.
No comment on Biden's decency but he is certainly the lesser evil. And two groups have made up their minds that-- no matter if they agree with the editors of The Atlantic that's he's decent or with me that he's the lesser evil-- they will cast their ballots for Biden: Jews and young people. Trump, a neo-fascist with outright Nazis int the heart of his regime, has consistently made overtures to Jews, some extremely substantial. Jewish voters are not convinced. A J Street survey of likely Jewish voters in two key battleground states, Pennsylvania and Florida, shows overwhelming majorities against him and against his agenda. Among Jews, only crackpot religionist fanatics, primarily Hasidics who are not permitted to use the internet and who regard non-Jews as taboo, support Trump.

Jews for Trump? Less than in 2016

In an e-mail yesterday, J Street vice president Ben Shnider noted that last year Señor Trumpanzee tweeted "'Jewish people are fleeing the Democratic Party.' He-- and the hawkish right-wing groups that back him-- predicted 2020 would be the year of a major 'jexodus,' leading to a surge in Jewish support for Trump and the GOP. Our new polls of Jewish likely voters in Florida and Pennsylvania show there is, indeed, a movement of voters since 2016. But it’s in the opposite direction.
In both states, Biden leads Trump by a 50+ point margin. The 73-22 spread in Florida marks a five-point drop in Trump’s Jewish support since he faced off against Hillary Clinton.

Trump and his allies on the right have long claimed that the administration’s giveaways to the Israeli settlement movement and symbolic gestures like moving the US embassy would be keys to wooing Jewish support.

But as J Street polling has shown year after year (and as some pundits still fail to grasp) American Jews simply do not vote based on Israel. Like other Americans, we prioritize health care, the economy and in 2020, pandemic response. Our new survey shows that only six percent of Jewish likely voters in Florida include Israel in their top two voting issues.

And guess what? Even if we did vote based on Israel, our surveys show Jewish voters in these swing states prefer Biden to Trump on the issue (56%-35% in Florida).

In fact, our polls show a striking rejection of Trump’s foreign policy by Jewish voters and a strong preference for Biden’s leadership and policies. In Florida:
63% place greater trust in Biden to handle Iran and 64% agree with Biden that the US should reenter the Iran deal;
64% support a two-state agreement with Israeli and Palestinian capitals in Jerusalem.
And the margins were even higher when it came to issues of domestic security:
75% to 20% say Biden would do a better job tackling white nationalism and antisemitism;
67% to 25% trust Biden over Trump to keep American Jews safe.
As for young voters, a new survey for Axios shows that there are only 5 states, all backward and kind of sad, where most voters under 35 are going with Trump: Arkansas, Idaho, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming. I'm shocked North Dakota, which is an even worse red hell than South Dakota, is missing from that list! Oh, wait... North Dakota either has no voters under 46, or voters under 46 weren't polled. (Same goes for Alabama and Kentucky and Oklahoma). Still, Axios concluded that "Trump's path to re-election depends heavily on younger adults staying home... Among 640,328 likely voters surveyed nationally in multiple waves from June through this week, younger voters strongly supported Biden over Trump in most states-- including Texas (59%-40%), Georgia (60%-39%) and even deep-red South Carolina (56%-43%)."

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At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wrt biden's "decency" and "lesser evilism":

"Let us even lay aside the extraordinary fact that Donald Trump has been credibly accused of rape."

You've already laid aside the extraordinary fact that 'decent' joe fucking biden has been credibly accused of rape!

so let's review: both shit candidates are racists, misogynists, corrupt, neoliberal fascists (one a nazi) and BOTH shit candidates have been credibly accused of rape, for which the media and each party has covered up with smoke and silence.

lesser evil? perhaps joe is the one who can pretend to be lesser evil better than trump. we won't know until after he's elected and puts wall street and nazis in charge of his government... will we?

At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting how many truly awful presidents you can come up with.

johnson, buchannan, sure. what about hoover? what about nixon (not a terrible prez, but a colossally despicable human being)? what about reagan, who started this train ride to 'bolivian'? what about slick willie who gave wall street their housing bubble? you certainly need to think about cheney/W for a long list of shit starting with more tax cuts, 9/11 and ending with doing jack shit about the crash beyond threatening martial law.

you must also give consideration to obamanation who refused to remedy banking, torture, war nor did he do much of anything FOR the 11 million who lost homes or the 11 million who lost careers.

All are nicer guys than trump (well, maybe not nixon or cheney) but all managed to conduct their pretense of being nicer. Did that matter to their destructive impulses?

The only one that did not get re-elected was hoover. Too bad hoover wasn't president after 1980. We'd have re-elected him for sure.

At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well no, I don't know that he's the worst president the U.S. has ever seen. On domestic policy he probably is. But better ask those in Iraq about W, ask Vietnam about Nixon, ask those who died in atomic blasts about Truman. And so on.

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last good president America had tried to break the CIA into a million pieces.

At 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary Clinton's 2008 and 2016 campaigns are up there too. Trump 2020 has a much better ground and volunteer operation than Clinton 2016, but in many other respects it mirrors the Clinton 2016 general election campaign strategy.

At 7:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:57 PM

2:23 PM

You need a hobby, dude.

At 4:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taking this thread back from the Party trolls . . .

"Donald Trump is the worst president this country has seen since Andrew Johnson, or perhaps James Buchanan..."

Amazing no one ever offers Woodrow Wilson as America's Worst President.

An unabashed Confederate racist, he re-segregated the military.

Trump hasn't done this - yet.

He sponsored a showing of Birth of a Nation at the White Man's House.

Trump hasn't done this - yet.

Wilson sent American military forces to take Veracruz from Mexico over a relatively minor if bloody incident. This triggered a revolution in Mexico and toppled the government, which almost led to a much larger war with Mexico. Books have been written about this fiasco!

Trump hasn't done something like this - yet.

Wilson also meddled in the internal affairs of Nicaragua, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, and ended up invading each nation with American troops and occupying them for years.

Trump's only "fault" here is that he didn't fulfill his promise to bring American troops home.

Wilson lied to the American people about how he'd keep the US out of that awful war over in Europe, but turned a blind eye when American munitions were shipped to the UK aboard "innocent" passenger ships like the Lusitania. This was confirmed when divers discovered Remington .303 caliber bullets in an area of Lusitania not believed to have carried cargo. Under the rules of war, that would have made the liner a legitimate target, as the Germans maintained at the time, justifying the unrestricted submarine warfare which Wilson used as the excuse to take the US into the war.

Trump hasn't lied the US into such a war - yet. He's just expanded the ones he's inherited.

Wilson put Herbert Hoover in charge of all American farms, and took over all of the American railroads. Through the Overman Act, Wilson became the effective dictator of the entire American economy.

A role model for the Enabling Acts, perhaps?

Trump hasn't done this - yet. I believe he would refuse to take this on. It would be too easy to demonstrate what an incompetent he truly is.

Wilson also pushed for -and got- the Espionage Act (currently being used to persecute Julian Assange) and the Sedition Act of 1918 to prohibit citizens from speaking out against the federal government or its political leadership. Goodbye First Amendment!

Trump IS trying to do these things.

Wilson also created the Committee on Public Information under George Creel, which subjected the American People to a massive propaganda campaign so successful it was studied by the Nazis in crafting their own methods.

Trump has FOX, Sinclair, and OANN to do this for him.

One of Creel's assistants was Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud, who prostituted his uncle's research to make the Committee on Public Information very effective, and which gave him the influence to create both the modern American advertising system and "public relations" which think tanks use to continue to lie the American People into unnecessary wars to this day.

Trump has FOX, Sinclair, and OANN to do this for him also.

There's more, but I'll stop here. It would take too long to document the mess he made of the Treaty of Versailles and the planting of the seeds of the next world war, which cost over 420,000 American lives, and which is the next major milestone Trump's COVID disaster will soon surpass - possibly by the end of 2020.

Trump's global meddling is also too voluminous to relate here. Call this one a close draw.

Convinced yet?

At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your points about Wilson are well taken.


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