Donald Trump has long had a “say, “A behavioral tic that betrays his game: He has in the past accused his opponents of doing or planning what he and his supporters actually do or plan.
To take a few obvious examples, he accused Hillary Clinton’s campaign of working with the Russians to undermine the elections when abundance of evidence suggested that it was the Trump campaign that benefited from Putin’s efforts to put mud in America Throwing voting works (even if the Müller investigation came to the conclusion that this had not been done through targeted coordination). And throughout his presidency, Trump has accused the media of distributing “false news” for free, even though Trump himself practiced the dark arts of propaganda and misinformation in ways no other president has come close.
The longer and louder Trump speaks about his opponents’ electoral fraud, the more certain it is that while Trump’s people are lagging behind in the polls, they are playing out how they themselves can undermine the integrity of the voting process.
If you’re looking for a signal 18 days before the election, you could do far worse than listening to a shocking story from California. Apparently, the state’s GOP has deliberately broken the law in several communities in Southern California and the Central Valley by setting up more than four dozen of their own unsecured voter dropboxesin areas likely to attract conservative voters – including in several gun shops in and around Fresno.
This comes after months of Trump denouncing loud mail-in polls and voter dropboxes. As I reported in Tuesday’s column, conservative politicians like Texas Governor Greg Abbott have been looking for ways to close drop box locations.
Earlier this week, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Secretary of State Alex Padilla sent cease and desist letters to the State RepublicansLetting them know that their Dropboxes are in violation of the state law that gives election officials – and only election officials – the authority to set up such facilities.
Meanwhile, Trump appears to be enjoying the prospect of more electoral chaos deliberately sown and promoted by state Republicans. On Tuesday and Wednesday He sent out a number of tweets Urging Republicans in California to stand firm in their illegal activities – whereupon the party suggested ignoring California’s cease and desist letters and keeping the boxes functional – and making proposals to Party officials in New York, Illinois and elsewhere should pull the same stunt.
To sum up the broader context for this particularly unsavory signal, as the GOP senators in Washington morph into amoral knots to justify their hasty endorsement of an amazingly conservative Supreme Court candidate – and do everything in their power to ensure that she is in her place before an election that the so-called law-and-order president is trying to throw into legal chaos so that disputes over the number of votes in the Supreme Court end – so is the same law-and-order president busy encouraging dirty tricks activists to break electoral laws in multiple states at the same time.
Don’t assume that this is all just Trumpian noise, similar to his recent, rather deaf noise, for example Retweet a teen rhyming meme Mocking Biden for being so old he would be more of a “resident” of a nursing home than a “president”. No, when it comes to electoral phenanigans, that’s serious stuff; because Trump becomes fully authoritarian to destroy confidence in an election that he is more likely to lose.
In my opinion, this is the unrivaled domestic signal of the moment. But I wouldn’t be sure if I hadn’t also consented to the unfolding of international stories – because in this Trump-obsessed Covid-19 moment, it’s all too easy to turn inward and forget the rest of the world is still there outside.
Take for example the escalating violence between Armenia and Azerbaijanthat has all of the characteristics that set off a broader regional fire. The Trump administration has taken a direct approach to international crises for the time being, and the American public does not seem in the mood to focus on events outside its own borders. However, if you read overseas news sites you will know that in this latest incarnation of a decade-long argument, both sides are firing rockets into each other’s territory, leaving heaps of debris and human devastation that could be mistaken for images from the Syrian civil war.
It is also worth paying attention to the story of an alleged Turk Conspiracy to murder a Kurdish-Austrian politician in Vienna– If confirmed, it would put extraordinary pressure on the European Union to impose harsh sanctions on the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey, even though Turkey is a member of NATO.
Or think about it the October UNICEF report This indicates that as a result of the pandemic, 150 million more children are living in so-called “multidimensional poverty” and have no access to basic education and / or health care. You would have thought the “Pro-Life” president and his allies in Congress would be everywhere. instead, nothing. Just the unpleasant spectacle of an American leadership too preoccupied with their own ailments, too fixated on creating the chaos of the national elections to consume political and emotional energy even pretending to care for the rest of the world World to care.