Saturday, July 11, 2020

Race for the White House # 80

No, Kanye West is not running for President. At least not this cycle. Regardless of what he might have said on social media or the wacky interview he might have given to a magazine, it is simply not going to happen. Perhaps not bad publicity though for the member of the Kardashian-Jenner celebritocracy He also may be mentally ill. Of course so may the current President. It was pretty ridiculous though to hear how much mention this "candidacy" received early in the week, as if he could even get on the ballot. Trump supporters seemed especially anxious to consider how he might cut into Joe Biden's support among African-Americans, putting aside that West was not long ago a red-hat wearing public admirer of the incumbent.

Future elections may see all sorts of unorthodox Presidential candidates, but minus a drop out, it seems like this race is pretty much baked in the cake. Who will get the third highest number of total votes this cycle? Will it be Libertarian Jo Jorgensen, a South Carolina college professor? She is about the most low profile Libertarian candidate in decades but perhaps one of the least crazy too. Then again, just how much do we really know about her?

Once again this week, it seems like the mood of the country remains the same and fatigue of Trump has Biden in good shape to defeat him, in spite of perhaps little enthusiasm for Biden personally. Each day, there seems to be another story about Trump. I heard the saying on tv today, "shocking but not surprising", and that seems to define just about everything Trump does. At least he wore a mask today though, visiting patients at Walter Reed Hospital. It would be a good thing for America if his acolytes follow suit and help us mitigate the increasing cases of Covid 19. The cable news stations seem to be playing the video of the Presidentially masked Trump walking down the hallways with his entourage on a constant loop. I am sure somewhere on the internet, it is already set to "The Imperial March" from the Star Wars saga. Darth Vader turned out to have some redeeming qualities at the very end though The effort to get Trump to wear a mask was said to be very difficult with staffers basically pleading with him to do so. Clearly, the people around him like to leak too.

Personal opinions of Trump have long been present for most of us. I should note that my personal diagnosis of Trump's psyche as a mere amateur appears to jibe completely with that of his niece Mary, who is also a professional in the field. Basically, Fred Trump Sr. was a horrible person who did permanent damage to his sons at a young age. This would lead her father Fred Jr. to a struggle with alcohol and an early death, while Donald was able to focus on trying to please his demanding father and became what he did. (I also think there might have been a similar dynamic in play in the suburban Chicago Rodham household, albeit with a more active mother figure involved as a contrast.)

Mary Trump's book, which I have not read, seems to have all sorts of "dirt" regarding to her family's finances and potential illegal tax schemes. No wonder Donald Trump seemed so upset this week when seven Supreme Court Justices, including the two he himself nominated, ruled that he as President was not above the law and the Manhattan District Attorney has the right to try to obtain his tax records. Basically though this was remanded down to the lower courts, so the prosecutor in New York City and Congress are going to have to fight this out in court some more. The American people are not going to see the Trump tax returns before the election, which should be no surprise at all .Once again though, he seems to have something major to hide that may put him at great personal risk of prosecution the day he is no longer President.

The niece's book also claims that Trump paid a Jewish kid to take his SAT test for him a long time ago and that his sister used to do his college homework for him. No wonder we have never seen Trump's academic records, which was something he used to frequently mention about Obama. This week, Trump also oddly say that he "aced" a cognitive exam given at Walter Reed Hospital and that the physicians were "surprised." That leads to just what caused him to take this test and why there was such surprise. There has been a lot of gossip about an unusual sudden trip to Walter Reed by Trump months ago. I do not know what to make of that, but hopefully he did not pay anybody to take his cognitive exams.

Yesterday, Trump commuted the prison sentence of Roger Stone, his longest political advisor, who was convicted for lying about Trump in the Russia investigation and was expected to begin his prison term very soon. Technically, Stone remains a convicted felon, but is quite pleased about this favor his old friend did for him. He said openly he could have rolled over on Trump for prosecutors but remained loyal. Now, this loyalty has been repaid. Others are asking just what Stone may have on Trump that his former political consulting partner Paul Manafort did not.

Most Trump supporters will either applaud or shrug off this action, but at least there is one principled GOP Senator left in Mitt Romney of Utah. Today, he referred to this action as an example of "unprecedented corruption." Indeed on the Presidential level he is right. Neither Richard Nixon nor Bill Clinton would have ever done anything this brazen. With Trump though, it might be "shocking" but it certainly is not surprising. Trump boot lickers of course turn their fire on Romney while not even bothering to examine what happened and what it might mean. Many in Trump's official world, including Atttorney General Bill Barr were said to have lobbied against such a move.

For an incumbent with weak numbers and trailing his opponent, this cannot help politically. Perhaps Trump just does not even care anymore. It might cost Republicans the Senate though. The captain seems more than willing to let the entire ship go down with him. Democrat hegemony in the federal government might wind up being bad for America but it is hard to argue that the Republican Party did not bring it upon themselves.


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