“I call it the ‘super-duper missile.'” -President Donald Trump
It sounds like cruel satire, but that is an actual quote from the sitting president about new hypersonic missiles now in development. And while it’s a childish thing to say, and an easy target for mockery, it’s by far the tamest of his criticism-worthy moves lately.
I lost count long ago of the times Donald Trump did something stupid or cruel or corrupt and I chose to bite my tongue and not mention it publicly. Politics is divisive and off-putting to many people, and I don’t want to alienate every friend and relative who supports him. But the sheer, breathtaking scope and magnitude of his stupidity and cruelty and corruption cannot—must not—be ignored. That’s one of the main reasons I started this blog.
And the election is coming.
Even if I could survive without food and sleep, and had no other responsibilities, it would be impossible to write a full article every time he does something to debase the presidency. There are only 24 hours in a day. But today I will catalog some of the most recent examples. I hope you’ll keep them in mind as November approaches.
Candidate Trump told us over and over that he would release his tax returns as soon as his audit was finished. Once he won the election, his tune changed, and four years later, he is the first president since Richard Nixon to refuse to release them. He has refused even though his records have been subpoenaed by New York state prosecutors and the House of Representatives, and even though a judge has ordered him to turn them over. His legal team has fought all the way to the Supreme Court to keep Congress from seeing his tax returns, arguing that a president should be fully immune to investigation while in office. As one of the several judges who has ruled against him wrote, this argument is “repugnant to the nation’s governmental structure and constitutional values.”
Firing Inspectors General who displease him or investigate his favorites:
After Watergate, Congress created the role of Inspectors General as independent watchdogs, installed in federal agencies to root out corruption, waste, and lawbreaking. In the past twenty years, just one president, Barack Obama, has fired an Inspector General. He received bipartisan criticism for it, and never did it again. Donald Trump has fired five Inspectors General in six weeks. He usually does it on Friday nights, a favorite move of politicians who want to avoid media coverage. And he is replacing the fired Inspectors with loyal political allies, some of whom still hold their jobs within the agencies they are supposed to be investigating. It has been too much even for Senator Chuck Grassley (R), who wrote a letter to the President reminding him that he is required to give Congress 30 days notice before removing an IG (he didn’t) and that “Inspectors General are not removed for political reasons.” Mitt Romney was more direct:
Accusing states of trying to rig the election:
In October 2016, polls looked bad for Trump. Most people (myself included) thought he would lose. He preemptively threw out reasons for why he might lose: the election was rigged; it was rigged by the media; it was rigged by the Democrats; there was massive voter fraud taking place. Now, in 2020, polls are looking worse for him than they did in 2016, even in swing states, and once again he is making wild and false accusations, already laying the groundwork for his excuses should he lose. He falsely tweeted that Michigan was illegally mailing millions of ballots. He later deleted it, since they in fact mailed applications, just like several Republican states have done. He also tweeted his oft-repeated claim that mail-in voting results in massive fraud—which is also false. He publicly threatened to withhold federal funding from Michigan and Nevada unless they caved to his demands about how to run their own elections. A quid pro quo, if you will.
More not cruel satire, but actual quotes from the sitting president:
On coronavirus testing per capita: “There’s many per capitas. And, you know, when you say ‘per capita,’ there’s many per capitas. It’s, like, per capita relative to what?”
On testing negative for coronavirus: “I tested very positively in another sense so — this morning. Yeah. I tested positively toward negative, right. So, I tested perfectly this morning. Meaning I tested negative. But that’s a way of saying it. Positively toward the negative.”
These from the man who says of Joe Biden: “He’s not mentally sharp enough to be president,” and “He was never known as a smart person.”
Knife in the back of the first Senator to endorse him:
Jeff Sessions (R, Alabama) was the first Senator to endorse Candidate Trump. Trump made him Attorney General. Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after bipartisan Congressional demand that he do so. Trump has never forgiven him for this perceived betrayal, and now that Sessions is again running for an Alabama Senate seat, the president is chucking him directly under the bus.
The two proceeded to have a public Twitter spat.
There’s more, if you care to see it. But the greatest part of this kerfluffle was the reaction from Ann Coulter, the right wing immigration hawk who was an early and outspoken supporter of Candidate Trump, and who literally wrote a book called “In Trump We Trust.”
She was not having any of it, and I think it’s safe to say she has soured on Trump.
If only there had been a group of conservatives around in 2016 to warn Ann and others that Trump was unfit for office. Sigh.
Accusing his critic of murder:
Joe Scarborough, former Republican member of Congress and current co-host of Morning Joe on MSNBC, has been critical of Donald Trump, and their public catfights are nothing new. But now Trump has taken their feud to a level almost too demented to be believed. He has now repeatedly tweeted a debunked conspiracy theory accusing Scarborough of having an affair with and then murdering his aide, Lori Klausutis. She was only 28 when she died in 2001 of an undiagnosed heart condition, but the president urged his 80 million Twitter followers to “Read story!”
This “story” was published by the same right-wing misinformation site that claimed Hillary Clinton was involved in a child sex ring operating out of a DC pizza restaurant.
Here, the President of the United States retweets Matt Couch, who is currently facing a lawsuit for defamation from the family of Seth Rich, a DNC staffer whose tragic murder was twisted into a conspiracy theory. This theory was relentlessly pushed by Couch as well as Sean Hannity of FOX, and the Washington Times, both of which were eventually forced to issue embarrassing retractions—but not before they had made the lives of Rich’s grieving family hell.
Lori Klausutis’s widower sent a wrenching letter to Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, pleading with him to delete the president’s tweets. “These conspiracy theorists,” he says, “including most recently the President of the United States, continue to spread their bile and misinformation on your platform disparaging the memory of my wife and our marriage.” He goes on: “I’m asking you to intervene in this instance because the President of the United States has taken something that does not belong to him—the memory of my dead wife—and perverted it for perceived political gain.” (Dorsey declined.)
The president is condemning another grieving family to be hounded and tormented by his credulous followers. It is irresponsible and cruel beyond belief, bordering on sociopathic.
Calling female opponents fat and ugly and skanks:
This is nothing new. We’ve known for a long time now how Donald Trump enjoys talking about his opponents, and especially how he likes to mock women’s looks. But I refuse to become accustomed to a president behaving this way. I would be grieved to my soul if my son grew up to act this way; I’d be ashamed to show my face in public. Behavior like this debases the office and humiliates our nation. Don’t accept it. Don’t get used to it.
Praising a Nazi sympathizer for having “good bloodlines”:
Last week in Detroit, during a speech at a Ford plant, after mentioning Henry Ford, the president commented, “good bloodlines, good bloodlines.” That comment, when describing anything other than show dogs or thoroughbreds, is inadvisable at best. But when directed at a man who was a raging antisemite, who proudly accepted the highest honor Nazi Germany gave to foreigners, it’s pretty horrifying.
There are two possible explanations here: the president knows all about Henry Ford’s record of antisemitism and affinity for Nazism, and was tossing red meat to the similarly-aligned extremist segment of his base (possible but unlikely). Or, he knows nothing about Ford’s history and simply made a cringey statement that was only coincidentally horrifying due to his ignorance (likely). Neither is reassuring in a president.
Giving shout-outs to white supremacists:
Michelle Malkin, once a respected conservative commentator, has been shunned by the right now that she has aligned herself with Holocaust deniers and outright white supremacists. She defends the “groypers,” a loathsome group led by Nick Fuentes, who grins in one of his YouTube videos while doubting whether 6 million “cookies” could have really been baked in ovens. She actually called herself the “mother of groypers.” She’s no longer invited to CPAC, the Young America’s Foundation kicked her out, and Daily Wire and National Review dropped her column. But she says things the president likes, so she’s okay by him. He retweeted a video from America First (Nick Fuentes’s organization) featuring a speech by Malkin, and wrote “Thank you, Michelle!”
The video was later removed by Twitter.
I had several more to add, but this article has to end at some point. A couple of these stories, like the firing of the Inspectors General and the accusations against Joe Scarborough, deserve thorough articles of their own, but there is simply too much to cover. None of these is from before April, and most are from this past week. And this is not unique. It’s been going on like this, week after week, for three and a half years. A constant tidal wave of stupidity, ignorance, cruelty, and corruption.
I was a Republican my entire life, until Trump happened. I’m still a conservative. That’s why I’m writing about this. There must be a viable alternative to the Democratic party in order for America to have a healthy, balanced system of governance, and it absolutely must be better than this.
Donald Trump is morally, intellectually, and temperamentally unfit for office, and he has to go.