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Anguished Cry of the Wounded Banshee
A Week in the Opening Political Death Throes of Donald J. Trump
We of the craft are all crazy. Some are affected by gaiety, others by melancholy, but all are more or less touched.
- Lord Byron
With the weird virtual party conventions in the rearview and the tolling bell of Labor Day upon us, the crucial final sixty days of campaigning for president has begun. Down in the national polls by twice as much as 2016 to former Vice President Joe Biden and bleeding in swing states – mired in a national pandemic, as the rest of the world goes back to school, attends sporting events and rebuilds economies, while thousands of Americans die daily, countless others are evicted from their homes and dozens of doomed businesses shutter – Donald J. Trump has taken his perpetual campaigning routine and ramped it up this week in a bizarre series of spastic flailing the likes of which the electorate has rarely seen. It is a show for him; a perpetual geek-fest of name-calling, monosyllabic gas-baggery and wild lies. And this is just the beginning.
Seeing how the president has spent his first term incessantly campaigning – against the press, the Left, his enemies, both real and imagined, and whatever floats his boat at five am on a Tuesday morning before tweet-storming – one’s mind boggles at the notion that he is actually doing it for real now. All those crazed Nuremberg-style rants in front of slobbering sycophants chanting “Lock her up!” and “Build the wall!” – neither of which has happened, has it? I missed that – starting six weeks into his presidency should have been a sign that a manic obsession with competitive battle overshadowed governing. The latter means nothing to Donald Trump. His friends in New York would say of him; “Donald wrecks stuff and then looks around for the culprit.” He has wrecked America. And now finds himself actually campaigning to keep this botch-job; a tough gig for a fat, coddled rich kid used to getting what he wants when he grimaces like a four year-old. And this time he actually wants to win, instead of playing at a daily fuck-around to jack-off the media and try mightily to convince his fellow elites that he is worthy of their attention.
This first true week of re-election campaigning for Trump has been a glimpse into unflinching desperation and, predictably, it was not pretty. Or as an already exhausted White House correspondent Stephen Collinson wrote the morning I pen this; “The outrages, conspiracy theories and drama have come so fast that it's almost impossible to believe Donald Trump can keep this up for another eight weeks until Election Day.”
The president began the week trying to stay on the flimsy please-don’t-pay-attention-to-this crippled-economy-and-failures-on-our-raging-pandemic campaign strategy of predicting that the common-place racially charged riots under his watch will be common place under the watch of his opponent. But, as usual, he could not focus. Within hours of this, he returned to the two issues that are killing him in the polls – no viable plan to combat Covid-19 and ignoring the shifting support against systemic racism.
Trump ceremoniously dragged out some hack to pitch a “herd immunity” concept, which could have been something to consider when the infection numbers were under one-hundred thousand in March, not currently over six and a half million. A day later, filching from the Trump playbook, the hack denied everything he said into a microphone. Looking to disguise this farce, Trump floated ideas that there will be a vaccine by Election Day, like there will be a wall paid for by Mexicans and Hillary Clinton would be locked up and he would repeal-and-replace Obamacare (On day one!) and manufacturing jobs would return to the Rust Belt. This is despite every living scientist denying such a claim is remotely possible and nearly seventy-percent of Americans already deciding not to take any vaccine offered by this fraudulent administration.
This was followed with whiplash imprecision by Trump insisting, after pleas from the governor of Wisconsin and mayor of Kenosha, to visit the volatile street-madness aftermath of the shooting of yet another unarmed black man by police – this time seven times in the back. Because, you know, the “Bible in front of the church photo-op” worked so well last time… for Joe Biden, who spiked from four-percent up to double digits a week after the stunt.
Trump’s visit to Kenosha included no mention of the severally wounded Jacob Blake or his family, replaced by a vehement defense of a chubby white supremacist seventeen year-old wind-fart charged with two counts of murder, who decided it would be a good idea to carry a semi-automatic rifle across state lines to kill whoever confronted him. Trying to force another ham-handed photo-op in front of a burned storefront, on which the owner of the place told Trump to go fuck himself, the campaign ran out and got the previous owner to stand there with the president and make like he cared.
There was the usual, weekly eerie Russian connection leaked again from the Department of Homeland Security, which reportedly withheld the foreign enemy’s attempt to besmirch Trump’s opponent with its signature parade of misinformation. This was followed swiftly with the removal of in-person congressional briefings on election security by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence at Trump’s request. Even Republican senators, usually bagged and carted for whatever pro-Russia ass-licking comes from the White House, were appalled.
Somewhere in the midst of this carnival folly Trump sat for what was supposed to be another softball love-fest interview on Fox News with whatever dead-eyed echo-chamber flotsam showed up that instead resulted in the president blurting out two year-old Facebook conspiracy theories about evil dark-shadowed marauders coming for the white “suburban housewives”, or whatever 1953-meets-1983 shit Trump heard at one of his piss-addled hooker parties with his sex-traffic pal, Jefferey Epstein.
In the midst of his ongoing campaign to stir up unfounded distrust in mail-in voting to soften the blow of his ignominious defeat in November, the president of the United States thought it a good idea to tell a mini-crowd of unmasked goobers in North Carolina to vote twice. When the N.C. Board of Electors was forced to send out a notice that such a maneuver was a crime, Trump went to New Hampshire and said it again. Then someone thought it was a better idea to send his lacky attorney general onto CNN to admit out loud that he was unsure that voting twice was illegal. Then the already disgraced William Barr continued to lay further groundwork on the Trump excuse for his soon-to-come beatdown by sowing doubt about voting.
Trump ended his first real week of Kamikaze campaigning sweating like Nixon on a D.C. tarmac bathed in darkness trying to defend some lunacy he told reporters, confirmed by officials from the Pentagon and his own administration, that he considers dead soldiers of foreign wars “losers” and “suckers”.
And this is only mere days into this. Another week of this Dali-esque surrealism mocked up in greasepaint political theater may finish the job for our game show president. He is on fumes, and by that I mean inhaling them. Either that or these rumors of his mini-strokes may provide further answers. No one, not even Trump, is this stupid. Or is he? It is getting harder and harder to tell where the act ends and the stupidity starts. Nevertheless, I advise Mr. Collinson and anyone cursed to cover this relentless grab-ass absurdity to get some sleep and drink heavily. But know this: It will all be over soon, and then we can get back to covering a real president.
© James Campion 9.9.20
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James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, "Midnight For Cinderella" and “Y”. +, “Shout It Out Loud – The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon” + “Accidently Like a Martyr – The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon”
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