America is in some trouble. Covid19 is surging. The third wave is hitting hard. Suddenly 100,000 daily new infections is not a scary possibility, 200,000 is.
The POTUS is holed up in the West Wing and is busily firing people partly because he thinks it could save his position and partly because he can. Clearly he still thinks that some magic will happen and he will be declared the President of the United States again. His hopes should be fading fast and judging by this press conference it seems that he may be realising the end is in sight.
However grifters are going to grift. There are still fundraising opportunities available and suckers to rip off.
And a stop the steal campaign has spontaneously recently appeared. Or has it? From CNN:
It is an internet battle cry: Stop the Steal has swept across inboxes, Facebook pages and Twitter like an out-of-control virus, spreading misinformation and violent rhetoric — and spilling into real life, like the protest planned for DC this weekend.
But while Stop the Steal may sound like a new 2020 political slogan to many, it did not emerge organically over widespread concerns about voting fraud in President Donald Trump’s race against Joe Biden. It has been in the works for years.
Its origin traces to Roger Stone, a veteran Republican operative and self-described “dirty trickster” whose 40-month prison sentence for seven felonies was cut short by Trump’s commutation in July.
Stone’s political action committee launched a “Stop the Steal” website in 2016 to fundraise ahead of that election, asking for $10,000 donations by saying, “If this election is close, THEY WILL STEAL IT.”
We should not be surprised about current claims. Trump himself has been obsessing about rigged elections for a long time.
In 2012 he claimed that Barak Obama had lost the popular vote by a lot and yet had won the election and urged revolution. Obama won the popular vote by 5 million. Despite this Trump thought that Americans “should march on Washington and stop this travesty”.
In 2016 when Ted Cruz thrashed him in the Iowa and Wisconsin primaries accused Cruz of cheating and tweeted “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it … [t]hat is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!”
He continuously branded his Democrat opponent that year as “Crooked Hillary” and said that she was going to steal the election. He also claimed “People that have died 10 years ago are still voting,” and that “fraud is very, very common” and that illegal immigrants are also voting.
He also claimed that that 2.5 million Clinton supporters were given two votes “so they can vote twice”.
Did anyone think that he would be magnanimous and accept defeat gratefully this time?
Unfortunately a disturbing proportion of the population believe him. It appears that a worrying large number of Americans do not have the mental agility required to spot the openly blatant crap being spun in front of them.
Trump and the Republican Party are still waiting for some sort of miracle to happen even though they are having their arses handed to them on a plate by the Courts.
And so the million person march on Washington was dreamed up in some dark recess of the Internet.
It was no doubt inspired (plaigarised?) from the Million Man March in 1995 protesting against perceptions and threats to Black men in America. Trump and his followers would bastardise any idea to insult others and to gain advantage.
And so the maga million man march happened. Samira Sadeque has this description in the Guardian:
The crowd sang the national anthem, sporadically erupting in cheers for the president. The rally began at the Freedom Plaza on Saturday morning, and would culminate in a crowd of hundreds and thousands by late afternoon.
A large number of protesters had travelled cross-country to show their support for Donald Trump, from as far as Los Angeles and Seattle. One group, with the banner “Korean Americans Support 2020 President Trump”, said they came in from South Korea for the election and had showed up to support their man again on Saturday.
Craig Johnson, who had driven 14 hours from Florida, was giving out dollar bills featuring a photo of Melania Trump.
“Isn’t she gorgeous?” he said to protesters walking by. “That’s my first lady.”
“I want this nightmare to end,” he told the Guardian. “I haven’t slept much since the election because I’m sad that Donald Trump is not our president. He’s gonna be our president though.”
Johnson wasn’t the only one with such strong belief in Trump’s claims, made without evidence, that the election was rigged – and in his refusal to concede to Joe Biden after all major media organisations called the race for the Democrat, by 306-232 in the electoral college.
Estimates of the crowd size varied from over a million by Trump spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany to thousands or tens of thousands by everyone else. More people contracted Covid yesterday than attended the march.
At one stage Trump’s cavalcade, escorting him to a game of golf, drove through the crowds.
Last night there was sporadic violence between Proud Boys and other fascists against the group called Antifa but essentially anyone who opposes fascism. Hopefully it will not get worse.
Meanwhile in as chilling an example you can think of in El Paso there are reports of jail inmates being hired to move bodies of people who died from Covid into mobile overflow morgues and being paid $2 per hour.
America you really need to get things sorted out.