“This is the most important election in history. And you are the most dangerous president in the history of our country. That’s why you’re going to lose,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders during Trump’s remarks.
Closing out a GOP convention that featured rampant law-breaking, fascistic hysteria, and cynical distortions of the current administration’s record, President Donald Trump delivered more of the same Thursday night as he formally accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination while protesters rallied near the White House blasting music and spotlighting Trump’s deadly failure to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
The sound of demonstrators’ air horns was occasionally and faintly audible during the president’s speech from the South Lawn of the White House, which Trump shamelessly used as a stage for his reelection bid. One ethics expert decried the White House campaign speech as an “abomination” that is perhaps “the most visible misuse of official position for private gain in America’s history.”
Trump’s hour-long address before an audience of 1,500 largely mask-less cabinet officials, Republican lawmakers, and other supporters of the president was jam-packed with fearmongering, “law and order” dog whistles, and lies about the administration’s efforts to fight the coronavirus, which Trump repeatedly called the “China virus.”
“When the China virus hit, we launched the largest national mobilization since World War II, invoking the Defense Production Act,” said the president, who in fact stubbornly resisted utilizing the Defense Production Act despite vocal pleas from experts and frontline workers.
Protest outside the White House on 15th as President Trump gets ready to take the stage. pic.twitter.com/Jf6aXZpq6O
— Kirk A. Bado (@kirk_bado) August 28, 2020
Contrary to his depiction of the White House’s pandemic response as swift and coordinated, Trump dragged his feet and repeatedly downplayed the severity of the virus as it spread rapidly across the United States in March.
As recently as last month, the president insisted that the virus will simply “disappear” on its own as new infections surged across the country, forcing states to reverse their reopenings and sparking another wave of mass lay-offs. In an interview that aired earlier this month, the president said, “It is what it is” in response to the nation’s Covid-19 death toll, which is the highest in the world.
On Thursday night, with the official coronavirus case count in the U.S. approaching six million, Trump claimed the nation will “have a safe and effective vaccine this year, and together we will crush the virus.”
As fireworks erupted at the close of Trump’s remarks, nearly two dozen demonstrators near the White House stood shoulder to shoulder to send an illuminated message: “Trump Failed, 180,000+ Died.”
As fireworks lit up the Washington Monument at the end of President Trump’s speech, protesters gathered around another light display criticizing his response to the pandemic.
“Trump Failed,” the illuminated signs read. “180,000 + Died.” #DCProtests pic.twitter.com/C8oDpQnxlH
— Fredrick Kunkle WaPo (@KunkleFredrick) August 28, 2020
As Trump spoke, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden—whose name the president mentioned more than 40 times in his address—condemned Trump’s disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic collapse, which has left tens of millions of Americans jobless, hungry, and at risk of eviction.
“Donald Trump calls himself a wartime president. But now, instead of leading the charge to defeat this virus, he’s waved the white flag,” Biden tweeted. “He abandoned the American people when we needed him most.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), smeared by the president as a “wild-eyed Marxist,” fact-checked the president’s speech in real time on Twitter Thursday night.
In response to Trump’s vow to “protect Medicare and Social Security,” Sanders noted that the president’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 “cuts Medicare by $845 billion” and highlighted Trump’s promise less than three weeks ago to “defund Social Security by permanently terminating the payroll tax.”
The president claimed he “will always and very strongly protect patients with preexisting conditions,” but the Vermont senator pointed out that Trump is “now in court actively trying to take health insurance away from 32 million Americans and eliminate protections for preexisting conditions during a global pandemic.”
Sanders went on to agree with Trump’s characterization of the November election as the “most important” in U.S. history.
“Yes,” Sanders tweeted, “this is the most important election in history. And you are the most dangerous president in the history of our country. That’s why you’re going to lose.”
‘Truly grotesque’: On way out the door, Trump prioritizes bringing back executions by firing squad and electrocution
Among the slew of potentially destructive policy changes the Trump administration is rushing to implement on its way out of power is a rule that would authorize the return of electrocutions and firing squads for federal executions, an effort critics slammed as a twisted priority amid deadly public health and economic crises.
ProPublica reported Wednesday that the rule, first published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Justice Department in August, "has raced through the process with little notice but unusual speed—and deadly consequences."
"This rule could reintroduce firing squads and electrocutions for federal executions, giving the government more options for administering capital punishment as drugs used in lethal injections become unavailable," ProPublica noted. "The Justice Department surfaced the proposal in August and accepted public comments for only 30 days, instead of the usual 60. The rule cleared White House review on Nov. 6, meaning it could be finalized any day."
Americans ‘won’t stand’ for election results not being honored: Biden
US President-elect Joe Biden said Wednesday that Americans "won't stand" for the results of the November 3 election not being honored.
"Our democracy was tested this year," Biden said in a Thanksgiving Day address in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. "And what we learned is this: The people of this nation are up to the task.
"In America, we have full and fair and free elections, and then we honor the results," he said. "The people of this nation and the laws of the land won't stand for anything else."
Biden did not mention Donald Trump by name but he was clearly referring to the president's refusal to accept the results of the election.
The strange truth about our Trump addiction
Are we addicted to Donald Trump? It's a question that's haunting journalists and political commentators, most of whom hate Trump but cannot deny that his name drives traffic and ratings. Even though Trump lost the election and Joe Biden will be the next president, Trump continues to be the big attention draw for political websites and cable news networks.
Part of that is completely understandable. Trump is still big news. He literally spent the past few weeks attempting a coup. While he failed, that doesn't change the history-making fact that he even tried, or that he got so much support. Certainly Biden, whose main activity is finding boring-but-competent people to staff his administration, can't compete with that, and there's no real indication that he wants to. (Unlike Trump, Biden views governing as a job and not just an opportunity to get attention.)