119 Comments
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Occam's Razor (as modified for the Trump Era): The worst explanation for any act or event involving Trump is always the accurate explanation.

Expand full comment
author

Yeah. And I still have trouble with this. I mean, as I look at it, is there any other explanation for his handling of coronavirus than that he is deliberately killing us? And yet... really?!? But what else can you think at this point?....

Expand full comment

He's deliberately done everything he's done. The reason the Russians supported him was because they knew he would try to destroy us. If he isn't the actual anti-christ he's doing a great imitation.

Expand full comment

As you astutely emphasize - it's the elected republicans who enable that are acutely responsible.

We need to throw the GOP out with the Baath-water ;)

Expand full comment

It seemed to me at the time, that 45's approach to the coronavirus shifted enormously when the news came out that it was primarily hitting people of color. There are allegations that Kushner's task force that had developed some sort of national testing plan and then dropped it, did so because it seemed like the virus was primarily hitting blue states. I don't know if that's even true (although it wouldn't surprise me if it was), or how the timing matches up with the info about hitting people of color.

And yet, even that dismal theory does not account for 45's monumental lack of caring about thousands of his red state supporters dying, which he could prevent by the simple means of wearing and distributing MAGA face masks. It does look like his primary mission is to destroy the country beyond repair.

Expand full comment

Yeah, it's true about them deciding to do nothing when it was only infecting Democratic places. That's how awful they are. And for certain Trump's happy it kills POC.

Expand full comment

I wrote a Facebook post yesterday about an essay in the Nation that argues that Trump is not an idiot, he's a liar. My response is that he is both. In my estimation, Trump covers for his idiocy with compulsive lying, and this at least partially explains his non-response to the pandemic.

https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/trump-coronavirus-axios/

"One of this writer's primary arguments is that Trump is not an idiot, he is a liar. I think both are true. He lies as easily as he breathes, but he's not very good at it. This article includes a transcript of that face-melting argument in the Axios interview as to what COVID-19 statistics mean. Trump not only lies in an attempt to prove his point - his side of the argument is nonsensical. I think Trump spends whatever intellectual energy he has on attempting to distract from his deficiencies by blurting out whatever he feels will explain away the inconvenient truth of the moment. This explains Trump's entire response to our current pandemic: incapable of leading or conceiving of a centrally concerted response, he has chosen to pawn off responsibilities to the states, claim that it will all magically go away, and obstruct expert organizations and individuals from having direct access to the public. Not only is this strategy built on a pack of lies - they are idiotic lies. How on earth did we get here?"

Expand full comment

"I mean, as I look at it, is there any other explanation for his handling of coronavirus than that he is deliberately killing us?"-------My mind keeps telling me to write a letter to the NYT suggesting that our 'Leader" and his Party need to be labeled "Pro-Death". Is there any doubt? aFilure on covid; nonchalance with respect to the need for a new relief bill (really it is more than nonchalance---it is active evil, it seems to me.....), etc. Good night all. Peace and Courage in this troublesome times.

Expand full comment

Brilliant. May steal it. I only steal from the best.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

I know this is "old" news from yesterday, but on MSNBC last night (Aug. 5), Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) was interviewed about the USPS brouhaha, and she talked about ways to save the Service. Never once did she mention H.R. 2382, the bill sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) that would lift the ridiculous burden the G.W. Bush administration placed on it in 2006. It passed in the House (with substantial Republican support) and was sent on to the Senate on Feb. 10, 2020, where it still languishes, never having been brought to the floor for a vote (I know, along with 200+ other bills McConnell won't allow). Would someone PLEASE tell me why this senator apparently doesn't know about it and why it's never mentioned in all this stramash over the Service? I sent Sen. Gillibrand this question last night, too.

Expand full comment
author

Don't know the answer, of course, but it might be possible she just forgot. FWIW, I do this a lot-- not forget about something's existence, but forget that not everyone knows it. My last video, I set up ONE POINT for about 20 minutes... and then never made the point. It does happen, and interviews are SO short. Still, yes, she should've put it on the table.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

We need to save -- heck we need to restore -- the post office!

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Yes. The bill I refer to would lift the egregious burden Bush put on it to fund its retirement fund for the next 75 years NOW. That is why the USPS is struggling and how 45 can leverage the situation to damage it further, first by inserting donor and supporter DeJoy as postmaster general (replacing long-time PG Brennan), who is throwing big wrenches in its works, and then by trying to extort the Service by "bailing it out" in return for greater presidential control. And we all know what that means--the death of the venerable and long-suffering USPS. All to make it look like the USPS is inept so 45 can claim it's unfit to handle mail-in ballots.

Expand full comment

The Postal Accountability And Enhancement Act (PAEA) was and continues to be an insidious tactic to bankrupt the postal service and privatize it. The added bonus would be destroying the postal union. The G.W. Bush administration talked privatization a lot...remember he wanted to privatize Social Security too!

Expand full comment

Thanks for the name; couldn't find it when I went back to use it. And yes, insidious and even rapacious. Come to think of it, I do remember talk of privatizing Social Security. Heaven help me if the Republicans get hold of that; I depend on it to live. What the heck is it with these Republicans?! Have the (modern) Dems done anything so gratuitously nasty?

Expand full comment

Kerin Forsyth, That is interesting! I thought the funding of the Postal Workers retirement so many years in advance came from the Postal Workers Strike in the early 1970s.

Expand full comment
author

No. It was imposed in 2006. If you're interested, this is a good and highly readable history of the USPS: https://about.usps.com/publications/pub100.pdf

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Thank you for the clarification!

Expand full comment
author

I've actually been a bit surprised during all this at how interesting the history of the postal service actually is. (Shhh.... :) )

Expand full comment

Just another foolish question, (since I don't have time to dig for the answer right now) but where is the money from the Postal Retirement fund held? Or is that an IOU from the government, similar to the way companies steal pension fund monies, or by the way, like when Reagan changed the Social Security fund, from being held in a separate fund, to allow the money to go into the general fund?

Expand full comment

Judging by the great passage of time between the '70s and 2006, I can't say whether the two things are related. It's possible that it took the Republicans that long (30+ years) to push through their dearest wish. Wouldn't be surprising.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Thanks...as a NewYorker, I will do the same (I was asleep during that interview!)

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

AND, I hope you won't mind, but I simply copy and pasted your comment onto Facebook, added Sen Gillibrand's phone number and encouraged all to call. AND then I called!

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Thanks! Get the word out. I also sent an opinion to the Baltimore Sun this morning about the DeJoy/USPS situation (not mentioning Sen. Gillibrand). I hope they publish it.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Honestly, I am so grateful to use your words. I find myself emotionally exhausted by all of this. I'm trying to write syllabi for 5 courses, as well as prepare for the upcoming school year (I teach public school fulltime and adjunct part time), while being bullied by my very conservative family members about my political views. It's gotten to the point where I am often speechless! Heather's words, and in this case yours, are very helpful as I try to make coherent points. Thank you.

Expand full comment
author

What do you teach, Mary Beth?

Expand full comment

I teach 8th grade (special education and reading) and prepare preservice teachers at a local university. I just finished my PhD (after 11 years) in educational psychology.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Just like it's a "coincidence" that Kelly Loeffler, a Georgia Senator, sold oodles of stock the day after being briefed at a secret Senate briefing on the coming pandemic. It's quite amazing how these "coincidences" manage to make millions of dollars for those involved.

Expand full comment
author

See, Kodak, CEO.

Expand full comment

I'm wondering how many other of tRump's cronies were 'let in' on this big stock market rush. Why is the SEC seemingly only going after the CEO? All they have to do is find out who bought stock at $2 and sold it two days later for $50.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

When you are up to your ass in alligators, perhaps it is time to recall that you promised to drain the swamp.

Instead of draining the swamp, Trump is bringing truckloads of fresh mud every day and getting rid of anyone who says it is not mud, but sh-t.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

As a vehement cypress-hugger, I always want to point out the valuable ecosystem services rendered by swamps and wetlands.

Expand full comment
author

:) I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that he was maybe speaking metaphorically. Also, the story of Houston and its destruction of wetlands should be headline news, everywhere, always. Privatizing wins; socializing losses.

Expand full comment

Perhaps one day, disparaging other species, their modes of living and particularly, their habitat of choice will be frowned upon, even upon jest ;)

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

You are right. It's hard to find any metaphors for 45's behavior that don't insult the other side of the metaphor.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Trump hasn't drained the swamp; he's turned it into a Superfund site.

Expand full comment

Not draining it at all. He is dredging it, increasing its depth.

Expand full comment

No doubt to turn it into a marina.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

By now we should all be used to following the latest "shiny object" being dangled at us by Dear Leader & Co. The press, both left and right, follow them dutifully like cats do Christmas tree ornaments. As HCR reminds us, there are a LOT of pots simmering on the stove right now (keeping those metaphors flowing...), so it behooves to learn how to multi-task bunches of news stories simultaneously. I don't like it as it really can be overwhelming, but it seems to be the norm these days. And don't forget, wearing everybody down and snowing them under an avalanche of stories (there goes that metaphor again...) is how "they" accomplish what they want. Stay alert, and "keep your powder dry", as they say.

Expand full comment
author

They are definitely "flooding the zone" as Bannon put it. And Trump has always loved all eyes on him. It's hard, but I think it's important to try to see what he's doing AND what he's hiding.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Distraction, thy name is Trump. That is how I view his plan to deliver his speech in the Rose Garden. There is something serious coming up. As for Mr. McConnell, he is really ramping up his ads here in Kentucky. He is using the same strategy of tying his opponent to Ms. Pelosi. He is also taking credit for the first coronovirus relief bill and for the Care Act. On his Senate site, he is accusing the Democrats of holding up this more recent relief bill. I have written him about the Post Office, reminding him of all his campaign literature his campaign sends. And once again, I have never voted for the man. And if I had my way, he would be out. But I fear I am in the minority in Kentucky. There are some nasty undercurrents going on. A woman posted on Facebook about "Bloodbath McGrath -she loves to kill babies". When I told her that this was an awful thing to say, she replied, "Maybe but it's the truth". I reported her post. But this is what we in Kentucky and we in the country are up against. I sometimes weep for my family, my community, my state and my country.

Expand full comment
author

It's so sad. And if they reelect him, they will suffer along with the rest of us. They just can't see that.

Expand full comment

Absolutely. Just recently read something that did a really good job explaining why they do that - I will try to dig it up and share here.

Expand full comment

True

Expand full comment

Did you ask why she thinks Amy McGrath “loves to kill babies”? Amazing that anyone could think that and curious as to why she thinks this is true. I agree that it’s an awful thing to say and I would have reported her, too, but still curious about where she got that idea.

Expand full comment

She just repeated herself. and just said it is true which means she has no receipts for this, just being awful. I make it a habit of not engaging anyone who will not bring their factual receipts to the table. It is too exhausting to talk with them and only gives me an ulcer.

Expand full comment

Amy McGrath is pro choice. She is, and has been, very emphatic about her support of a woman's right to choose. I think in Kentucky support for pro choice is about 36% and against somewhere in the mid 50+% range.

Some people only focus on 1 issue..."loves to kill babies" person may be on of those folks.

Expand full comment

A fair number of Trump’s cult bought into the cult under his pretense that he is anti-abortion. It’s a hyper emotional, highly irrational issue which triggers people to not be able to see the forest for those particular trees

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

The malfeasance of Don Trump and his legion of miscreants is almost literally mind-numbing. I am very grateful, Heather, that you're willing and so able to distill the numerous slurries of corruption into a comprehensible daily digest. Thank you.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Let's not forget: 75 years ago today, nuclear weapons were unleashed on civilian populations in Hiroshima, bringing WW2 to rest, but awakening the world to it's fragility.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

It is what is. And I can’t wait for Jan 21. I hope and pray we can all breathe a little easier by then. Yet we need to know and work at pushing for real change for the liberty and welfare of all. Complacency got us here. We must vow to stay engaged.

Expand full comment
author

Amen.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

As always, a great summary of the day’s events. On a different topic, last night I listened to a podcast by the Lincoln Project. It was a conversation with Stuart Stevens, a long time Republican strategist who is now working with the Lincoln Project and who has written a book “It Was All A Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump”. Not only was it fascinating, it totally aligns with what Heather has been teaching us all along about the history of the Republican Party. He also gave some good ideas about what to say to your Republican friends who are still considering voting for this dirtbag. Highly recommend.

Expand full comment
author

Thanks. I had missed that he had written a book. I'll bet it's an interesting thing to see all this from inside, as he was.

Expand full comment

The Lincoln Project podcast interview was very enlightening. You can hear the disillusionment in his voice. Worth the time if you are inclined.

Expand full comment

The Lincoln Project mock "Trump endorsements" for GOP senators are hilarious:

https://lincolnproject.us/news/imitator/

Expand full comment

I also highly recommend this Lincoln Project podcast episode! I agree with you that it is in line with what Heather has been sharing with us and I thought it was interesting how he described the beginnings of his career in republican politics. You can hear the residual idealism in his voice and I thought it very sad and also sobering to hear the change in both his tone of voice and the content of what he was saying as the interview continued and they began to discuss the current situation. Well worth the time to listen to.

Expand full comment

Wow. It’s overwhelming, isn’t it? It’s all just so terrible. And there are people who spitefully support him. Graham should be drawn and quartered.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Spiteful voting is real - I've seen Trump signs that state: "Make liberals cry again".

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

My own father often says democrats have mental problems and should have their rights revoked, as they aren’t human. Needless to say, we don’t speak much. The hate is real in this country.

Expand full comment

This is the biggest disappointment and concern I have. As a society, we've forgotten how to discuss, debate, and when necessary agree to disagree. And for the record, there are many democrats that feel the same way about Republicans. The hate is real....

Expand full comment

I agree. We need to learn how to speak to each other respectfully. But Fox Entertainment, Breittbart, Rush and others are stirring them up with pure lies.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

A friend of mine, a loving, caring person, visited me last Monday at my invitation (on my back deck). I knew she was a 45 supporter, so I knew not to make any political remarks at all. However, she knew I was not a 45 supporter, and apparently this had been rankling with her for a while. She began venting about how terrible Obama had been. Benghazi seemed to be a particular nut in her craw, accusing him (and Hillary) of gunrunning (I assume she means from Libya to Syria in 2012), a charge that the Republican-headed House investigation found to be baseless (in 2014), but she would not accept as valid. When I said I'd go to some fact-checking sites, she said they'd all be biased. When I asked who I should go to then, she shrugged (obviously implacable). But she parroted everything 45 has said for the past four years, although she tempered her stance by saying he does say idiotic things. My point is that she is not a hateful person, but from what she said, she seems to be a dyed-in-the-wool Republican and declares that 45's never been given a fair shot and liberals have been after him from the beginning. So there's a snapshot of the mindset of one 45 supporter. I never argued, just listened. No need. I would never have changed her mind.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

And for what? Who ARE these people?

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

People who have more hate than love.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

William, Exactly! While that is a simplistic explanation, it is a sad fact. A fact that I have a difficult time dealing with, because I like to think people are better than that especially the American people.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

What are Barr, Pompeo, or even Kushner up to? Anyone else doing bidding for administration lately? What's happening in Ukraine? Russia? Wondering which shoulder to look over to spot the latest fact amid the chaos.

Expand full comment
author

Good questions all....

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Tax fraud, eh? Just like Capone. Whatever it takes.

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Thank you again, Professor Richardson for your clear and concise explanations. I was appalled when I heard yesterday that Trump said he’ll make his acceptance speech from the White House! I am appalled at everything he does, and then depressed that our country has come to this. I do have hope that we can vote him out. I do hope that the country will say “enough is enough”.

Expand full comment

Maybe the "Law and Order" president will experience a bit of Law and Order?

Expand full comment

11:30 can't come soon enough. Is it possible that there will be some "good news" concerning tRump? I have no doubt he's up to his ears in dirty dealings, and I'm not sure there's a "distraction" big enough to hide in his dirty swamp. May he be pulled into the quicksand along with the other swamp rats.!

Expand full comment
Aug 6, 2020Liked by Heather Cox Richardson

Please oh please let it be something and not another distraction or “exoneration.”

Expand full comment

Fingers crossed.

Expand full comment
author

Observers say that it would not have been announced so early if it were about the Trump family. More likely a census decision or something.

Expand full comment