There are countless nightmarish scenarios to consider regarding Trump’s possible re-election: More avoidable covid-19 deaths, increased militarization in America’s cities, more Ivanka Trump photo ops, and—of course—a burgeoning crypto-theocracy in the form of Supreme Court vacancies. President Trump made the latter a more immediate concern Wednesday when he announced an updated shortlist to his proposed Supreme Court picks, which includes conservative Senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton.
Also included on Trump’s list: Sen. Josh Hawley, D.C. Circuit Judge Greg Katsas, White House deputy counsel Kate Comerford Todd, Trump’s U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau, and several other Justice Department officials past and present.
But it’s, of course, the prospect of Cruz and Cotton that is particularly chilling. Cotton, a pompous conservative hardliner with a nationalist streak and Christian fundamentalist energy; Cruz, a smug Ivy League prick whose politics are nearly as concerning as the ease in which he allowed Trump to call his wife a fuggo. This could very well be red meat for Trump’s base; perhaps Trump wouldn’t bother with putting either of these Senators through a nomination process. But Cotton already appears to be warming up to the idea of having a lifelong appointment.
Cool, great, normal.
Famed Watergate reporter Bob Woodward says that President Trump knowingly downplayed the threat of covid-19, and he has audio evidence. One’s first thought is probably a mixture of “no shit” and “why are we just now finding out about this?” Well, if it’s the timing that’s alarming you the most, no worries: You’re not alone in wondering why Woodward decided to hold on to this information now while promoting an upcoming book instead of informing the American people months ago.
From the Washington Post:
“This will be the biggest national security threat you face in your presidency,” national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien told Trump, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward. “This is going to be the roughest thing you face.”
Ten days later, Trump called Woodward and revealed that he thought the situation was far more dire than what he had been saying publicly.
“You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” Trump said in a Feb. 7 call. “And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flus.”
“This is deadly stuff,” the president repeated for emphasis.
At that time, Trump was telling the nation that the virus was no worse than a seasonal flu, predicting it would soon disappear and insisting that the U.S. government had it totally under control. It would be several weeks before he would publicly acknowledge that the virus was no ordinary flu and that it could be transmitted through the air.
Trump admitted to Woodward on March 19 that he deliberately minimized the danger. “I wanted to always play it down,” the president said.
It would have been cool if Woodward had a little sit-down interview with the press and spilled the tea back in spring before nearly 200,000 Americans were dead. But this isn’t, ultimately, on Woodward. This is on Trump, who had this to say when asked if he mislead the public: “Well, I think if you said in order to reduce panic, perhaps that’s so. The fact is, I’m a cheerleader for this country. I love our country and I don’t want people to be frightened. I don’t want to create panic.”
The wildest thing about this is that Trump’s blatant admission to obfuscating this kind of information from the American people isn’t regarded as immediate grounds for resignation. If anything, this doubling down will be supported by the Republican party and Trump devotes, and nothing will change. Another day, another few hundred dead Americans.
- QAnon continues to go mainstream, now with the help of Vice President Mike Pence, who will reportedly attend an event held by QAnon supporters in Montana next week. [Associated Press]
- The Congressional Black Caucus is going to get a lot more lefty. [Politico]
- The White House lawn got really fucked up thanks to the Republican National Convention. [Daily Mail]
- Kanye West was snubbed by Bernie Sanders, but he hopes to chat with Joe Biden. [TMZ]
- Susan Sarandon wants everyone to leave her alone: