Is This The End of Donald Trump?

Trump had a bad spring. At the beginning of COVID crisis, he gave long rambling statements at press conferences about COVID. Sometimes, he seemed like a semi-articulate old man. Other times, he looked frantic as he searched randomly for a scapegoat for his woes – China, liberals, the media, governors — while championing himself with the energy of 20-year old publicity agent hopped up on Adderall.

Then in the midst of a nation-wide expression of grief and frustration, he ordered the national guard to shoot a bunch of peaceful protestors with tear gas and rubber bullets. On national tv! We all saw it! All for the purpose of demonstrating strength with an outdoor press conference.

Then he took some awful pictures in front of a church awkwardly holding a bible. An image that birthed a hundred memes.

Now, we have Republican leaders starting to take public positions against him, and his polling numbers are dropping. It is not an accident that we haven’t seen Pence in weeks. They are protecting him from the Trump stain. It’s not an accident that we got that statement from Mattis yesterday. The Republican chess masters are moving the knights and the rooks.

This protest started off as emotional anger about racism and policing policies. Trump himself changed the conversation to make these protests into a statement about his competence as president, a reaction against totalitarianism, and the deep hunger for peace and consensus. Instead of fizzling out, these protests are snowballing.

Now that the looting and bad behavior is under control, I feel like I can attend a protest with my kid. Jonah and I will go to Manhattan on Saturday, when the work week is over. Hopefully, Steve can join us, but we’ll have to figure out what to do with Ian first. Taking an autistic person to a crowded, loud protest is a really bad idea. I have nightmares about him getting torn apart by a crowd, so Ian will have to stay home.

Now, the White House is surrounded by a fence. Finally, Donald Trump has his wall.

47 thoughts on “Is This The End of Donald Trump?

  1. I think you may be giving Republican kingmakers more credit than they deserve.After their obsequiousness to the current president for so long, I think their internal institutions are in disarray and different folks with deep pockets are calling the shots–it’s nowhere near as coordinated as it looks.

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    1. If there’s one thing known about Republican chess masters, it’s that they have been ineffective at blocking Trump when they did try. It’s not their party anymore.

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  2. I’ve been thinking lately about how it is our most traumatized communities who defend the system that has not served them most fiercely at this moment and how it’s important to support them. I am behind you.

    Besides a mask just a few items to please bring – water, obviously, but also a fresh, clean bottle for washing out your eyes, don’t use milk. A cheap pair of drugstore shatterproof glasses can save your sight from rubber bullets. Write any phone number you would want on your arm in Sharpie; this could be the number of a friend who holds your lawyer’s number for you. I know these things might sound like overkill but it’s like a first aid kit – you don’t want to be without at the point you need them. The protests I’ve been to haven’t required the glasses but I think in the US it’s something worth carrying.

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  3. In Denver police have started to let protesters alone even if it’s after curfew. I think they felt tear gassing people just for being there was starting to make them look bad. Last night the news reported that police generally stood by and blocked cars from march routes.
    I’ve never felt unsafe at any protest this week but I also go home by 7ish as I’m not so young anymore.

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  4. I have given up counting the summbish out since he survived ‘grab em by the pussy’. He has had one great insight, which seems to me to be that the Frank Rizzo voters still exist and are still grumpy and his current actions seem to me to fly like an arrow towards that group. Are there enough of them? Damned if I know, I live in Peoples Arlington. We will find out in November, I guess.

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  5. We’ve been itching to go to the protests too, but have not felt safe, particularly up in Boston which is the nearest large city to us. But as the protests have spread, we have some local ones, including the city next door to us where police shot and killed a teenager not long ago. We’re going to head there this afternoon, and we’re allowing the teens to go by themselves – it’s only 10 minutes from our house, and we go there regularly, so they are familiar with the city. Apparently, it’s deeply uncool to go to protests with your parents – consider yourself lucky that your boy is willing to go with you.

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    1. Well, we’ll drive into the city together. He might meet up with some friends there, and ditch me. I do very much worry about teenage boys at these things. I would not let him stay out after dark, after curfew.

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      1. SO much the same here. Which is why oldest is currently pissed at me for not letting him drive up to Boston.

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    2. I’d be having a tough time with my college student if not for the pandemic. She agrees with me that the protests are a place where the virus could spread and that spreading the virus is a social bad & one that could affect the people she lives with.. But, there would be more push back if she thought the risks were only to her personally, in the form of being arrested or tear gassed. Also, lots of people are participating without any greater distress than being shoved around by a crowd or having a long wait to get home.

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  6. My sister, who lives in Florida (but not the Miami area), reports that a week ago her husband took their daughter to a shooting range, because most of her other summer activities (camp, etc.) have been canceled. The range was not crowded and they had a pleasant time. So yesterday they thought, let’s buy the girl a gun of her own. Well, the range was packed, and there was a two hour line at the gun store. So in other parts of America, where the votes count just as much as they do in the tri-state area, people may have a different reaction to the current news, and it may not exactly rouse them to vote for Biden.

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    1. I live in a rural Ohio. The largest town in my county is about 12,000 people; the county is 99% white. A group got together a Black Lives Matter rally. Approximately 700 people showed up to march in support. And the colleges around here have been shut down since March so it wasn’t just students around for the summer. So yeah, reactions differ; make of that what you will. (And no I didn’t go because viruses don’t care why you are out and about).

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      1. bg said,

        “I live in a rural Ohio. The largest town in my county is about 12,000 people; the county is 99% white. A group got together a Black Lives Matter rally. Approximately 700 people showed up to march in support. And the colleges around here have been shut down since March so it wasn’t just students around for the summer. So yeah, reactions differ; make of that what you will. (And no I didn’t go because viruses don’t care why you are out and about).”

        This week, a 20-something employee at a small store apparently did a racism on social media in our medium-sized city. (I don’t know what she said exactly because our newspaper didn’t quote her.) Two dozen people showed up to protest at the store for three hours.

        I wonder how much a year the racist employee makes (probably $30k a year, tops) and what lesson she’ll draw from this if she winds up getting fired because of the protest. At some point in the fracas, she apologized and removed her post–I’m not sure if that was before, during or after the protest. The police is going to put an officer at the store for the foreseeable future.

        My tax dollars at work…

        There are also some George Floyd protests here, I believe. The woke black kid in my oldest’s class went to one. I hope the woke white kid’s parents have locked him up for the duration.

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  7. I will not go to a protest, because I know that the virus does not care about the protest. It is not gone and close contact with large groups will encourage its spread (and not just to us, but to everyone).

    I honestly think that we would all do more good if we would visibly and vocally protest in our own suburban neighborhoods, to take stands on Nextdoor against those who profile in their neighborhood, walk to the corner of our neighborhood business district and stand with a sign demanding change. Doing that local protest means no anonymity, taking a stand with the people we must interact with, but therein, also lies its power.

    My own introverted self is incapable of the action, of talking to close by neighbors and strangers about my beliefs directly, but my window does state my views. I regret my limits, but understand them.

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    1. As, indeed, does, to many, my skin color. Thus, revealing my opinions does not surprise most. And I am not a convincer.

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  8. Also, a significant topic of discussion in our house is what change we would like to see. We will plan on advocating for these changes in the police with our own city representatives (we are represented by among the more conservative city council representative). We’ve been reading the Campaign Zero website and papers and discussing immediate steps to be taken.

    Vox: https://www.vox.com/2020/6/1/21277013/police-reform-policies-systemic-racism-george-floyd

    The conversation started because the 16 & 19 year olds who have both been paying attention (the 19 you working on protests without going to them by delivering supplies providing logistic support) started thinking about what the point of the protests is — what would be a win?

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  9. ” So in other parts of America, where the votes count just as much as they do in the tri-state area, people may have a different reaction to the current news, and it may not exactly rouse them to vote for Biden.”

    Entirely possible, and thus, I never ask whether anything will be the end of Trump. But, would the family taking their child to a gun range and then planning on buying a gun for their child been thinking about voting for Biden anyway? I do think our current politics is creating larger and larger divides. Maybe child-gun buying people were kind of likely to vote for Trump and are now even more likely to vote for him (and, potentially other more radical rightists?). Maybe we would vote for Biden anyway but now are motivated to influence or change our city council representatives (and leaning towards more leftists politicians. One of our mayor candidates is now getting a lot of prominence (she is a long standing police reform advocate). We have non-partisan mayoral elections, but she identifies herself as being from the People’s Party. I am now more likely to vote for her than I was in the last election.

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    1. I think we agree (which isn’t that common). But Laura seemed to be suggesting that those who were previously Trump supporters might defect, whereas I suggest that people’s whose first reaction to protests and looting is go buy a gun are unlikely to defect. (Note, by the way, that my sister’s family’s decision had nothing to do with looting, it is just a coincidence that yesterday was the day they picked to go to the gun store.)

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      1. Laura’s recommendation has led me to the Applebaum article, one of the best I’ve seen on why people have made their peace with Trumpism and in comparison to collaborationists with other governments. Murkowski seems to me to be edging towards defection, maybe she thinks his end is near?

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    2. I think you have very skewed ideas about who owns guns.

      Most people do not talk about their guns unless they think you will be sympathetic. In 2012, my neighborhood was plastered with Obama signs, and I am told that 2008 was the same. In 2016, very few Hilary signs, that were actually outnumbered by some sad Bernie signs. Two trump signs (one belonging to an interracial gay couple – it kept getting torn up, they kept replacing it). This year, the gay couple has Trump 2020 in the window and one former Bernie supporter has a Warren sign in her yard, and one neighbor I frequently socialize with has a Biden sign. We socialize by going to the range. This is Northern VA. Of my neighbors in a good 5 house radius, only one has no guns – because I talked her into selling it because she never goes to the range. The neighbors in that radius (I include houses behind me) are white, Hispanic, black, and Asian.

      You are clueless about gun owners.

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      1. Tulip,

        My sense is that here in TX, it’s normal and expected for everybody who is middle class and up to own guns. In fact, this seems to also be true of people who are liberalish or transplants.

        (I can’t speak to working class and below, but I expect there’s more variation according to ethnicity and rural/urban.)

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      2. Because I believe in data: https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2017/06/22/the-demographics-of-gun-ownership/

        Pew says about 16% of NE people are gun owners, half the ownership of those in the South, Midwest, and the West, so, there could be geographical differences in the characteristics of people who own guns.

        And, regarding partisanship, about 63% of gun owners backed Trump, while 31% backed Hillary, 2:1, which is a big ratio, but certainly leaves a lot of Hillary backing gun owners in this country: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/10/05/upshot/gun-ownership-partisan-divide.html

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      3. If the Trump signs get torn up, that suggests that publicly displayed signs are a poor guide, and there are probably lots of secret Trump supporters. Maybe even some with Hillary signs. Most people don’t want to end up like Erika Christakis or Amy Wax, losing their jobs and being abused by progressive haters, so they keep any right-of-center thoughts to themselves. (Interracial gay couples have very low stakes in conformity, so they can be themselves.)

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      4. “Most people don’t want to end up like Erika Christakis or Amy Wax, losing their jobs and being abused by progressive haters, so they keep any right-of-center thoughts to themselves.”

        Christakis and Wax didn’t put pro-Trump signs on their lawns or in their windows.

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      5. “Christakis and Wax didn’t put pro-Trump signs on their lawns or in their windows.”

        LOL. Imagine if you did that at a university. Wendy and her friends would probably firebomb your house, instead of just canceling your job.

        And the people in the houses/All go to the university/And they all get put in boxes/Little boxes, all the same.

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      6. Most people don’t want to end up like Erika Christakis or Amy Wax, losing their jobs and being abused by progressive haters, so they keep any right-of-center thoughts to themselves.

        And yet Amy Wax is still in her position at the University of Pennsylvania. And Christakis wasn’t fired either. The only thing they suffered was that people were sort of mean to them.

        It’s odd, this. These conservatives are such advocates of free inquiry and debate but when they are subject to the slightest disapprobation for the things they say they go full snowflake.

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      7. Erika Christakis: “the current climate at Yale is not, in my view, conducive to the civil dialogue and open inquiry required to solve our urgent societal problems.” But I know Jay and his comrades will say that President Salovey says it’s not true. And university presidents always tell the truth.

        I learned the administration must be strong/It’s always right and never wrong/Its leaders are the finest men/And we elect them again and again/And that’s what I learned in school.

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      8. “LOL. Imagine if you did that at a university. Wendy and her friends would probably firebomb your house, instead of just canceling your job.”

        Have you ever noticed that you get meaner when you’ve been proven wrong on some points, and you usually take it out on me? I figure you know that it doesn’t really affect me, so when you wake up the next morning and realize what an asshole you were, you don’t have to feel too guilty.

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      9. Erika Christakis: “the current climate at Yale is not, in my view, conducive to the civil dialogue and open inquiry required to solve our urgent societal problems.” But I know Jay and his comrades will say that President Salovey says it’s not true. And university presidents always tell the truth.

        All I know is that Christakis wasn’t fired. Or if she was, she didn’t say so herself. Instead, a reasonable interpretation was that she wasn’t treated with the love and adulation that she felt she deserves, but instead was exposed to criticism, so she decided to leave. Which is her prerogative, but she most certainly did not “lose her job.”

        There is this sentiment on the snowflake right that you should be able to say anything you want and not be subject to any sort of criticism for it. It is the more upscale version of whining about “political correctness,” which is also just wanting to say anything you want and not be thought badly of for doing so. Freedom of expression means you get to say what you want. It doesn’t mean you have the right to do so and still be thought well of.

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      10. I was not going to read this thread, but seriously, “LOL. Imagine if you did that at a university. Wendy and her friends would probably firebomb your house, instead of just canceling your job.” Not OK, accusing a long term commenters of potentially committing a terrorist act without provocation.

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  10. Seattle cancelled its curfew yesterday. No tear gas. Live facebook feeds. And what appears to have been a peaceful protest. But, it might go on. Some protesters stayed the night.

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  11. For MH’s (and others) amusement from McSweeney’s: https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/the-only-acceptable-form-of-black-protest-is-to-stand-in-this-field-in-rural-nebraska-and-scream-into-the-void

    “We hope you’ve found this reminder to be useful, and that, moving forward, you will limit any and all forms of Black protest, be they violent or non-violent, to this little patch of land in the Cornhusker State that’s been specifically set aside for that purpose. Thank you for your cooperation, and remember: we feel your pain, Black America. We just don’t want to hear it, see it, or have to deal with it in any way. So enjoy yelling into those prairie winds”

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    1. That’s rural even by western Nebraska standards. I’ve probably never been within thirty miles of that spot.

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    1. “It sounds simple, and it’s not complicated — but it is certainly not easy. I approach every person I meet on the streets as my neighbor. ”

      Yes, and lovely.

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  12. As I’ve said before, I don’t think hould think Karen applies to you, but, if you want to channel some Karen energy, Here’s Akilah Hughes on Twitter:

    “@AkilahObviously
    White women: please keep this “I want to speak to the manager energy” about the police. You were told by AppleCare that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness applied to all people, and no, you would not like to be placed on hold.”

    The thread is good, containing tweets like the “I’m always thinking is this the day I get to use my loud east coast Italian-Am mouth for good.”, “the radicalization of karens’ and “becky with the good politics.”

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  13. Here’s the thing, my black neighbors didn’t like Clinton. One in particular was very vocal about it. As in “3 strikes bitch, super predators cunt!” during our Friday happy hours. Did he vote for Trump? I doubt it,. But, Trump got more of the black vote than Romney, because so many black voters stayed home. And now, the DNC is putting up Biden. If my neighbors are a guide, many black voters won’t vote again. They are not impressed by CornPop, they are not impressed by the 1994 crime bill, or the drug czar stuff, and they are pissed off by the if you don’t vote for me, you ain’t black. What two have told me is it was disrespectful, and that Biden thinks they have no choice. I do not think my neighbors are necessarily typical, but they are not happy again. That’s on the DNC.

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  14. One more anecdote, in 2018 I dated a guy who was a former DC cop (retired, black – he has rental property and rehabbed houses to sell when I knew him). He was a motorcycle cop and when Bill Clinton jogged. He was surrounded by secret service but DC motorcycle police rode ahead and behind. That was him. He also HAATED Hilary Clinton. I asked him who he voted for – he didn’t, because he would not vote for her. He said a friend gave him a hard time about it but “I had the disadvantage of having met the bitch”.

    I haven’t seen him in more than a year, so I don’t know what he thinks of Biden.

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    1. “I had the disadvantage of having met the bitch”. Both Clintons seem to be people who look better at a distance. The Dems are now on track to nominate an enfeebled geezer, who if he wins (as I expect him to do) will win mostly because Trump’s recent behavior is so alienating. Will Jill Biden play Edith Wilson? Are there others in line for the role? Veep choice matters a lot here.

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  15. I agree that that there are “secret Trump supporters” who don’t want to admit in public that they support a racist, incompetent, authoritarian, xenophobic president. That makes data gathering really tough, and anecdotal impressions of who our neighbors support highly unreliable. But, at least there’s the comfort in knowing that at least in some sections of the country it’s socially unacceptable to hold those views.

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  16. As I said a few posts ago:
    “Cops believe they are brothers. They take idea this *very* seriously in a way that few other professions do.”

    https://www.wivb.com/news/local-news/buffalo/entire-bpd-emergency-response-team-resigns-in-support-of-suspended-officers/

    Note: they are resigning from the team, not the entire police force.

    There are bad apples. But there is also major cultural pressure within departments to support those bad apples in the name of brotherhood, which makes them complicit.

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    1. I suspect the pressure isn’t just cultural. Locally, there are struggles for control between the union and the city. At times the union had more ability to punish than superior offers because of control over special assignments.

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    2. “There are bad apples. But there is also major cultural pressure within departments to support those bad apples in the name of brotherhood, which makes them complicit.”

      Neatly illustrating the full old saying, “A few bad apples spoil the whole barrel.”

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