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The US Presidency 2020

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Kat Stevens

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Great analogy but I'd probably cast DT as Commodus, definitely got the ego for it.
 

FJAG

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An Op-Ed piece written by General (retd) John Allen

A Moment of National Shame and Peril—and Hope
We may be witnessing the beginning of the end of American democracy, but there is still a way to stop the descent.

BY JOHN ALLEN | JUNE 3, 2020,

The slide of the United States into illiberalism may well have begun on June 1, 2020. Remember the date. It may well signal the beginning of the end of the American experiment.

The president of the United States stood in the Rose Garden of the White House on Monday, railed against weak governors and mayors who were not doing enough, in his mind, to control the unrest and the rioters in their cities, and threatened to deploy the U.S. military against American citizens. It was a stunning moment. But, in particular, it was notable for three important reasons.

First, Donald Trump expressed only the barest of condolences at the murder of George Floyd, but he also said nothing about the fundamental and underlying reasons for the unrest: systemic racism and inequality, a historic absence of respect, and a denial of justice. All of these factors are centuries old and deeply engrained in an American society that systematically delivers white privilege at the expense of people of color.
...
Second, Trump was clear he views those engaged in the unrest and criminal acts in these riots as terrorists, an enemy. He said so, ostensibly as justification to deploy the U.S. military to apply federal force—his “personal” force—against the riots. Indeed, the secretary of defense used the military term “battlespace” to describe American cities.

While there may be some very accomplished criminals on both sides of the riots, the truth is that they are minuscule in numbers. The vast majority of the people protesting in the streets are justifiably furious at the murder of George Floyd, but they’re even angrier over pervasive injustice, mass incarceration, frequent false arrests, and an institutionalized devaluation of black lives and property. And yes, as this anger has spilled over, violence and criminality have ensued. But as much as the president would like them to be—indeed, needs them to be—terrorists, that is not what these people are.
...
Third, in a bid to create some appearance that he can empathize with those demonstrating peacefully in the streets, the president proclaimed himself the “ally of peaceful protesters.” But, at that very moment, just a few hundred feet away across Lafayette Park, fully equipped riot police and troops violently, and without provocation, set upon the peaceful demonstrators there, manhandling and beating many of them, employing flash-bangs, riot-control agents, and pepper spray throughout. These demonstrators had done nothing to warrant such an attack. Media who were watching over the scene craned their cameras to try to understand what had happened to justify this violence, until it became clear for all to see. The riot police had waded into these nonviolent American citizens—who were protesting massive social injustice—with the sole purpose of clearing the area around St. John’s Episcopal Church, on the other side of the park, so the self-proclaimed “ally of peaceful protesters,” Donald Trump, could pose there for a photo-op.
...

See whole article here: https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/06/03/trump-military-george-floyd-protests/

In the words of my admittedly old generation: "The Whole World is Watching!"

:'(
 

Brad Sallows

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Allen's summary of what happened in the park doesn't square with the USPP's statement.  Are the people writing in a state of high dudgeon about events not bothering to go to objective sources, or just assuming someone else's account is accurate?

If the USPP published a false or misleading account, that's important to expose.  But until then, whoever is editing copy should be sending the articles back for rewrite.

If nothing else, it's an excellent example of how a myth starts and propagates.
 

FJAG

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Brad Sallows said:
Allen's summary of what happened in the park doesn't square with the USPP's statement.  Are the people writing in a state of high dudgeon about events not bothering to go to objective sources, or just assuming someone else's account is accurate?

If the USPP published a false or misleading account, that's important to expose.  But until then, whoever is editing copy should be sending the articles back for rewrite.

If nothing else, it's an excellent example of how a myth starts and propagates.

I have the USPP statement here:

https://www.nps.gov/subjects/uspp/6_2_20_statement_from_acting_chief_monahan.htm

I note several things from it:

1. The "violence" was protracted over several days yet no action appeared to be taken against protesters then;

2. The statement, while it says the time they started to move out protesters, did not mention this was five minutes before Trump started his speech in the Rose Garden. You know the one which he concluded by saying: "Thank you very much, and now I am going to pay my respects to a very, very special place.";

3. The statement mentions nothing about Trump going across the street. Do you in your wildest imagination think that was an off-the cuff thing? This was planned and orchestrated. It was a piece of performance art;

4. Why would the President in his right mind want to walk into street where protesters were allegedly "throwing bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids" unless this was an attempt to make a show of force in DC where his Attorney General could order around the police and the DC Guard. Note it wasn't the DC Mayor who was controlling this charade; and

5. The statement denies "tear gas" but concedes "pepper balls" which are a form of tear gas so there's no hesitation by the USPP to skew the message.

Do you really think that this wasn't what it clearly appears to be: i.e. Trump wanting a press opportunity looking tough and ordering the area cleared after hiding his bone spurs in a bunker. C'mon. Ivanka even brought a bible in her handbag for him to hold up.

In case you want to check, here's just one site showing videos of what happened. I don't see "violent protesters" before the event as the Guard is forming up. I don't even see protesters fighting the police as they advance throwing and firing "pepper balls" and smaking people with their shields. All I see are young white and black people (who could be my kids or yours) holding their hands in the air. I also notice that not one police officer is moving or dodging as if something is being thrown in their direction.

https://www.vox.com/2020/6/2/21278559/tear-gas-white-house-protest-park-police

But maybe it's just me. Maybe my eyes aren't working "right". What I do think, however, is that the USPP has issued a statement that is clearly intended to cast a bad light on the American citizens who were at that point in time engaged in exercising their 1st Amendment Rights to a peaceful protest in an area well away from and secure from the White House. The USPP statement is cover-your-ass paperwork of a high order in order to justify a horrendously bad tactical decision and it simply stinks. There was absolutely no need for a show of force nor a need to move these people from where they were peacefully protesting except to obey the order of the man currently occupying the White House so that he could take a completely unnecessary walk across a street for a photo op.

You know, I'm a strong supporter of law and order and of the police (hell my daughter married one). If there's one thing that bothers me about these protests it's the cavalier throwing out of the words "racist" and “brutality” against the police without once acknowledging that one of the major issues that the police have to deal with on a daily basis is criminals who use violence to resist arrest and a number of whom also happen to be people of colour. I’m not trying to excuse brutality by police; I’m just saying that those who are protesting need a more balanced view of the world. Policing is a hazardous job and there's nothing easy about it.

On the other hand, I can also recognize institutional bull**** when I see it. The USPP letter, and the White House's campaign to get reporters on the scene to retract their statements that the protesters were peaceful before the clearance action took place is just plain disgusting. It's a Vaudeville Act being put together by a showman who is not very good at his job and who forgets that he no longer has the final cut on what goes out for the public to see.

:2c:
 

Baz

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Brad Sallows said:
>the center is largely fat, dumb, and happy and tuned out.

I'm not dumb or tuned out, and I blame fat on lockdown.

My opinion is those that are active on social media politically, and it seems like a quite small minority, are by definition not turned out.

FJAG: my definition if turned out us sitting in the center taking no interest.  I agree with you the wings are tuned out in a different way.

I note with interest that both FJAG and Brad confess to be centrists, which from their positions I think is true, but yet later in the same thread discuss the USPP in a way that at first glance seems left and right.  It seems to me an example of useful civilized discussion that then gets used by the more radicals.
 

kkwd

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Does Joe want to come out and identify this magical 15% by name or gender or race or religious affiliation or sexual orientation or political leaning?

Biden claims '10 to 15 percent' of Americans are 'just not very good people'
“Do we really think this is as good as we can be as a nation? I don’t think the vast majority of people think that," Biden continued. "There are probably anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the people out there who are just not very good people, but that’s not who we are. The vast majority of the people are decent. We have to appeal to that and we have to unite people -- bring them together. Bring them together.”

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-claims-10-to-15-percent-americans-just-not-very-good-people
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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I'm on my phone so I can't, or am incapable of, posting the link.  Just read a story in the National Post that the Lancet just retracted the story/study on "the Trump-touted drug" hydroxychloroquine. I'm sorry but the Lancet, and later The New England Journal of Medicine, just happened to publish studies that were obviously flawed in some form to discredit Donald Trump?

As outrageous as that sounds i have very little doubt that's how it played out....imagine how a fevourent POTUS supporter see's this.  Just affirms to them the "fake news" is alive and kicking.
 

brihard

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Bruce Monkhouse said:
I'm on my phone so I can't, or am incapable of, posting the link.  Just read a story in the National Post that the Lancet just retracted the story/study on "the Trump-touted drug" hydroxychloroquine. I'm sorry but the Lancet, and later The New England Journal of Medicine, just happened to publish studies that were obviously flawed in some form to discredit Donald Trump?

As outrageous as that sounds i have very little doubt that's how it played out....imagine how a fevourent POTUS supporter see's this.  Just affirms to them the "fake news" is alive and kicking.

This article gives a good description of what happened.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/04/covid-19-lancet-retracts-paper-that-halted-hydroxychloroquine-trials

The authors themselves requested retraction after the company that had provided them with data for the paper was found to have made some data errors, and then was not forthcoming with more data when the authors requested it. This inhibited proper peer review, the authors contacted The Lancet, and asked for a retraction of their own paper.

In the normal course of events, I expect the paper would never have been published in the first place til proper peer review was done. In this case, the ongoing emergency hastened some decisions.

What this does NOT mean is that there is any increased evidence of the efficacy of HCQ against COVID. That still seems to be a pretty much completely unsupported claim. This paper was on the potential dangers of HCQ usage and contraindications, and so it had the effect of halting randomized clinical trials that were working to determine same.

This still leaves us with a US president claiming without any evidentiary basis that HCQ is effective in treating COVID. The literature, so far as I understand, still doe snot offer support to that hypothesis. While he has at least shut up about it, he made a lot of noise touting a drug when there isn't any compelling evidence that it works. That's still dangerous and irresponsible.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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So some hasty decisions are cool with you and some, involving the same drug, are not?  And you think that it's OK for journals that claim to be the experts publish kife, but Mr. Trump, who stated he isn't an expert or a Doctor, can't try a drug on himself if he wishes too?  Pardon???

EDIT:  and my post was actually more to why Mr. Trump supporters are so sure the media is rigged.
 

dimsum

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Bruce Monkhouse said:
but Mr. Trump, who stated he isn't an expert or a Doctor, can't try a drug on himself if he wishes too?  Pardon???

He's not just doing that though.  Remember when he was actively suggesting it be used by others?  Below is his screen-shotted tweet thread from Mar 21 (plus some context on the side to show it was done today). 

 

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Bruce Monkhouse

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Hey, I wish he would put his tweet away so no defense of that, however since he did mention the FDA anyone without TDS would see it as, 'immediate use' after FDA testing and approval.
 

dimsum

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Bruce Monkhouse said:
Hey, I wish he would put his tweet away so no defense of that, however since he did mention the FDA anyone without TDS would see it as, 'immediate use' after FDA testing and approval.

But as you said, he's not a Doctor or anyone involved in the medical field.  What he should have done is not tout any medicine, FDA approved or not.  He should have followed most other leaders and said something to the effect of "let's follow the medical community's lead on this" especially when it's something they haven't seen before. 

In another scenario, wouldn't this be like the age-old military joke of a brand-new Lt saying "let's do X" without consulting the Pl WO? 
 

Remius

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Bruce Monkhouse said:
Hey, I wish he would put his tweet away so no defense of that, however since he did mention the FDA anyone without TDS would see it as, 'immediate use' after FDA testing and approval.

He didn’t start using it after FDA testing and approval did he?
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Now thats a leader.....putting himself in harms way before his people.  :whistle:
 

Remius

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Bruce Monkhouse said:
Now thats a leader.....putting himself in harms way before his people.  :whistle:

And some people follow their leaders into harms way.
 

mariomike

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Regarding the health of presidential candidates.

CNN

June 4, 2020

We *still* know very, very little about Donald Trump's medical history

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/04/politics/donald-trump-physical-health/index.html

Edit to add:

Personally, I believe the health of the 2020 presidential candidates is "on topic".  :)

 

Remius

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What kind of idiots would do that?


Good people do follow idiots. 

So this either a D day type of thing or a Picket’s charge stupidity.  But the president is fond of confederate generals and I really don’t see him following the example of good generals like um, say, Mattis...

 
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