The 45th President of the U.S. Chapter V Feb 2020 –

Written by  //  March 30, 2020  //  Government & Governance, U.S.  //  No comments

The 45th President of the U.S. Chapters I, II, III & IV
Donald Trump Impeachment Inquiry/trial 2020

President Trump’s Prime-Time Pandemic
Mr. Trump became a prime-time star through TV, a political figure through TV and a president through TV. But he has not, as president, had what he had with NBC’s “The Apprentice”: a regular TV show in which he plays an executive in control.
Now, the coronavirus briefings have given him a new, live and unfiltered daily platform before a captive national audience. True to his résumé, he has conducted them as a kind of reality TV, or rather, create-your-own-reality TV.
In its short life, for all its dead-serious subject matter, the program has developed the structure, rhythm and characters of a weekly reality show.
There’s drama and intrigue, such as the reports that the president might be at odds with staffers like Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. There’s the appearance of the protagonist, Mr. Trump, flanked by lieutenants, to announce the day’s topics and story lines.
And there’s the concluding “Apprentice” boardroom-style conflict in the Q. and A. session, in which friendly journalists are praised, and those who ask questions he doesn’t want to answer are “terrible.” After which Mr. Trump leaves the set and his public-health officials climb into the producer’s chair to edit his comments and their own often diverging guidance into a cohesive narrative.

28 March
Alexander Panetta: Trump is more popular than ever, but there’s more to the story
4 takeaways from a mid-crisis polling spike for the U.S. president
(CBC) Leaders poll well in a crisis.
Leaders are getting strong public support in this crisis — it’s happening throughout the U.S., and in lots of other places.
Look at the results from one Fox News poll. It asked respondents to rank the performance of various figures in the U.S. Everyone got good marks — and everyone else polled better than Trump.
Seventy-seven per cent approved of the job done by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Health; local officials got 75 per cent; state governments 74 per cent; Vice-President Mike Pence 55 per cent; and Trump 51 per cent.
NYT: Who Are the Voters Behind Trump’s Higher Approval Rating? – While public perceptions are fluid in a crisis, a notable twist in polling at this point is that independents are driving Mr. Trump’s bump in approval, and some increased Democratic support is a factor as well. Polling experts said that it was normal for the country to rally around a president during a national crisis, and that Mr. Trump’s dominance of the airwaves alone was enough to sway a slice of voters who don’t normally tune in to politics.

27 March
Trump warns governors to be ‘appreciative’
(AP) — After days of pleading from the nation’s governors, President Donald Trump took steps Friday to expand the federal government’s role in helping produce critically needed supplies to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Yet the president rejected any criticism for the federal government’s response to a ballooning public health crisis that a month ago he predicted would be over by now.
One month after predicting the U.S. was days away from being “close to zero” coronavirus cases, Trump in recent days had increasingly tried to shift the blame to state and local leaders as the spread tops more than 100,000 cases nationwide.
He lashed out at governors, continued to diminish the risk posed by the virus and insisted that the federal government was only a “backup” as he looked to avoid political costs from a pandemic that has reshaped his presidency and tested his reelection plans.

20 March
Frank Rich: Trump Lies His Way Through a Pandemic
(New York) Right now the country is waiting for a bomb to drop: that much-predicted turning point when the metastasis of illness and mass death in the U.S. could match the curve we’ve seen in Italy. Trump’s nonstop lies — and those of toadies like Pence — are not just intended to cover up the many failures to prepare for the looming apocalypse (“I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic”), or to blame those failures on China and Obama, or to luxuriate in unearned self-congratulation (“I’d rate it a 10”). What the lies are doing now is throwing gasoline on the gathering fire. Why in heaven’s name would Trump, having previously lied about the fast arrival of a vaccine, now tell anxious and desperate Americans two days in a row that unproven and unapproved drugs for malaria and arthritis might rapidly be a “game changer” for treating the coronavirus? Why would Pence, having previously made up fictitious numbers for the amount of tests available, now promise millions of hospital masks even as hospitals from Washington to Washington, D.C., say they will have to reuse masks because of the shortage and the government’s own Centers for Disease Control is suggesting that under-equipped hospitals use bandanas instead? Why does a president cite the Defense Protection Act, which allows him to commandeer industry to produce emergency supplies, while simultaneously telling the states to find much-needed ventilators on their own?
25 February
Trump Demands 2 Liberal Justices Recuse Themselves From His Cases
The president ratcheted up a fight with a judicial system he sees as biased against him.
Proof of the validity of the article below.
President Trump Has Never Been More Dangerous Than He Is Now
(New York) Taken together, Trump’s escalating authoritarianism and rising popularity make the present moment the most harrowing of his presidency thus far. With the anticlimactic end of the Mueller investigation, Trump learned that federal law enforcement cannot (or will not) hold him accountable for abuses of power. With his Senate acquittal, he secured confirmation that Congress won’t either. Now, the small but electorally decisive fragment of the American electorate that isn’t tightly wedded to either party is signaling to Trump that it won’t necessarily penalize his lawlessness either.
For much of the past five months, indisputable evidence of Trump’s illicit efforts to coerce a foreign power into aiding his reelection campaign have dominated the headlines. That Trump is willing to abuse the powers of his office to persecute his political rivals has been publicly affirmed by a wide variety of his own administration’s officials, and his own party’s members of Congress. And yet, his odds for reelection have steadily risen all the same. For America’s (largely) socially atomized and civically disengaged swing voters, Trump’s authoritarian power grabs and the criticism they inspire ostensibly register as little more than unusually heated partisan squabbles. Not entirely without reason, many have come to see cable news’ serial dramas as tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing terribly relevant to their own lives. They may have gathered that Trump is a bit of a crook, but then aren’t all politicians? And anyhow, why should they care more about sketchy schemes in Ukraine than all the “Help Wanted” signs out on Main Street — or Trump’s firing of Colonel Vindman more than the recent hiring of a friend or relative who’d been suffering from long-term unemployment?
Meanwhile, Trump’s post-impeachment polling bounce has cowed his congressional opposition into more accommodative posture. And, thanks to the onset of primary season, the president’s most engaged and ardent critics in civil society have been consumed with our own internal disagreements. These developments have further expanded Trump’s latitude for lawlessness. He has been taking full advantage.
Where all this leaves the (increasingly aptly named) “resistance” is debatable. But one thing seems clear: The quicker Democrats can resolve their primary, the sooner they can redirect media attention toward Trump’s lawlessness, and their own focus toward the task of ensuring the president pays a belated price for that lawlessness come November.

12 February
As Trump openly corrupts DOJ, a former insider sounds the alarm
(WaPo) President Trump is now openly flaunting his success in manipulating law enforcement for nakedly political and corrupt ends. With the Justice Department in turmoil over the decision by higher-ups to downscale a sentencing recommendation for longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone, Trump tweeted:
“Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought. Evidence now clearly shows that the Mueller Scam was improperly brought & tainted. Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!”
This is a straight-up celebration of the fact that in intervening for Stone — who was convicted of obstructing Congress and witness tampering in connection with investigations into Russian subversion of our election — Barr is doing the president’s political bidding.

10 February
Unhinged Donald Trump poses a threat to the US republic
Asher Edelman, Investor and Art Collector
The Financial Times editorial “Without Fear and Without Favour”, a well reasoned, articulate analysis of Trump’s celebration of his acquittal whereby he targeted “the liars” “human scum” “leakers” “corrupt cops” “evil on his presidency” and other verbiage towards the prosecution of his high crimes, misdemeanors and treason, has, in its well reasoned low key way, overlooked some frightening issues.
Trump’s behavior is without question an example of mental illness – out of control. I would like to believe he skipped his meds that morning but I fear he has crossed the line of psychosis; at least the rout was, indeed, an example of psychotic behavior.
Trump will not go away gently should he lose the election – should there be an election?
the Editorial Board, Financial Times:
Hell hath no fury like an acquitted Donald Trump. Another US president might have used this week’s reprieve to express some contrition for his excesses, or to call for national healing. Yet it is hard to imagine any of his predecessors — even Richard Nixon — soliciting foreign interference in an upcoming presidential election.
Mr Trump instead staged a White House celebration in which he targeted the “liars”, “human scum”, “leakers” and “corrupt cops” who had perpetrated this “evil” on his presidency. “It was all bullshit,” he said. In an epic of unchained venting, Mr Trump suggested he could be entering an even more worrying phase of his presidency. Having secured fealty from 52 of 53 Senate Republicans — with Utah’s Mitt Romney as the lone profile in courage — Mr Trump is now free to pursue vengeance on those who impeached him.

5 February
State of the Union: A preview of Trump’s reelection strategy
Instead of focusing on partisan attacks and Democrats’ efforts to impeach him, President Trump used his third State of the Union address to highlight his administration’s accomplishments and extend an olive branch to prospective voters. William Galston says this strategy represents Trump’s best chance to broaden his appeal and win reelection.
(Brookings) All in all, President Trump’s speech represented the case he intends to take to the American people in his re-election campaign. By not mentioning Democrats’ efforts to impeach and remove him from office, by minimizing partisan jabs and focusing on proposals that could command support across partisan, class, and ethnic lines, he tried to take the edge off what has been a combative presidency and present himself as a leader who cares about all Americans, not just the base he has tended so assiduously during the first three years of his presidency.

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