Donald Trump suffered a triple whammy whacking this week with his big Tulsa rally a horrible flop, a district judge ruling that the devastating Bolton book cannot be recalled, and Attorney General Barr’s apparent attempt to fire Southern New York District Attorney Berman as a political move to block any new criminal charges being brought against the Trump empire.
The dust has not quite settled on Trump’s summer election campaign rally, in what he thought would be a safe Red State from which to draw a large crowd for a show of strength. The goal was also an attempt to bury the US COVID failures as a campaign issue by using Trump supporters so duped that they would be thrilled to tell journalists that the virus was a hoax.
Always a man for big round numbers, Trump allowed his campaign to throw out a one million number for those wanting tickets, brash by even Trump’s standards. At the end of the day, the Tulsa fire department, the official counter, gave the magic number which included 2000 who arrived late and 400 staffers or workers, for a 6200 total.
Trump had bragged when leaving Tulsa that the crowds were huge (they were not) and that he had been looking at a full arena, plus an overflow crowd outside for 100,000 supporters. With this outlandish claim, he politically pulled the pin on a media hand grenade and put it in his pocket.
By midnight, a grandmother was taking credit for ‘punking’ the rally by organizing TikTok teens to reserve huge numbers of tickets and then be no shows. Trump’s campaign manager was on the firing line, since Trump is known for firing people to place blame on them.
He countered that he had ‘punked’ all the teens, expecting them to do this so the campaign could gather their profiles for the supercomputers to analyze data, since both sides in the 2016 election spent record amounts of campaign money doing voter analysis.
By late afternoon, VT was finding Twitter images of an empty street outside the rally venue, followed by video of the outdoor stage being taken down. Inside the rally, the photos gave us a feeling of a partially filled hall, where it appeared that organizers made the best of it by bunching people together for tight shot photographs, not showing the empty seats around the hall and in the rafters.
There were a lot of red MAGA hats, but none of the entertainment festivities you would normally see at a major rally. For instance, the band was missing. And the worst was yet to come…Trump’s speech, or an attempt to do one anyway. Maybe he was out of practice or in partial shock due to the low turnout.
It seemed to me that he tried to overcompensate with an almost endless tirade against his political and social enemies that droned on for almost two hours. The big shocker was his own caricature of last week’s ‘feeble’ performance at West Point, when he used two hands to take a sip of water and walked down the exit ramp like a 90 year old person. He never should have mentioned it at the rally.
We found lots of photos and video of bored attendees, yawning, and yes…even walking out, leaving during Trump’s speech. The takeaway at the end of the day was to see Trump exiting his helicopter on the White House lawn, an openly exhausted and downtrodden man looking like someone had just given him terrible news.
Meanwhile, his political problems are piling up. His attempt to bury the focus on COVID has backfired, with many states that opened too early or fought lockdowns beginning to report their highest numbers of COVID cases.
Trump, always overplaying his hand and forgetting that the office of president is not a make believe reality TV show, thought he could dismiss the COVID issue by saying that the case numbers had risen because we were testing more.
From a health policy perspective, his statement blew up in his face, while staffers tried to cover for him, stating that Trump had just been joking. Their attempts at humor backfired, with the public becoming indignant that Trump and his campaign workers would joke about a pandemic that has killed 120,000 people, one where the president is on record for calling it a hoax, and then saying another day that it would all just go away. Such statements you would expect to hear from a child, not the President of the United States.
While this fiasco was unfolding, two more bloopers had joined it to make a three ringed circus. A district court judge ruled that he could not stop the publication of John Bolton’s book, as 200,000 advance copies had been distributed, with no feasible way to pull them all back, plus an online version was circulating, which VeteransToday already has a copy, to our own surprise.
But the judge added a poison pill to his ruling in that, if the final security review ruled that there was classified material in the released version, then Bolton would forfeit the $2 million he was paid for the book and possibly lose the movie rights to it, which is usually a bigger paycheck.
Bolton appears to be in a rare situation of being simultaneously the most hated and most loved man in Washington, temporarily. Almost no one thinks he had done any of this for the benefit of his country, as he is viewed as being possibly the most egotistical person in Washington, which is really saying something for a city swarming with self-absorbed politicians, handlers and swindlers.
Some constituents are grateful for his eyewitness revelations about our reality TV president bluffing his way through policy after issue in affairs of state with the help of his Twitter toy. Congress might try to get Bolton to testify but there is a debate on this, as the congressmen and women are extremely busy now and a long drawn out hearing would add to their workload woes.
The Trump administration has another storm cloud gathering from the fiasco of Attorney General Barr, who is fast securing his record as the most politically in the bag Attorney General in US history. Last Friday night, he issued a statement that at the request of the President, he had fired the Southern New York district attorney Berman, the one whose office has been investigating Trump and family’s business operations, including his defunct fake charity.
This issue was the Trump regime wanting to stop any new indictments involving the Trump ‘pretend-a-empire’. VT feels his empire is a house of cards of overextended loans, which has been financially supported by those using him as their tool.
Trump undercut Barr’s statement before midnight by saying that he knew nothing about it. When the US attorney heard the news, he refused to resign, stating that had been appointed by the district court and would not leave until the Senate confirmed his replacement. Barr then came back and said that he was fired for insubordination. This continued until Barr saw he was being savaged in the press, primarily about lying that the President had ordered him to fire Berman.
By Saturday morning, Barr was backpedaling at full speed and looking for a way out of his jam. It appears he quickly arranged with DA Berman to appoint his assistant DA as his replacement, with a promise that the AG’s office would not attempt to interfere in any of their ongoing investigations. While Berman might have this promise from Barr, he does not have it from Trump, a man who increasingly looks like one terrified of facing his legal problems without presidential immunity.
And last, another huge crack is opening in Republican ranks. There is open discussion among Trump haters that, if Trump loses the November election, the Republican Senate must also be replaced with Democrats to effectively investigate Trump’s activities.
Those Republican Senators expect Trump to try to help them in their states, while hinting that such a visit might doom their reelection chances. Politico has been following the shifting political wins and had this revealing quote.
“It’s a terrible situation,” said one of these Republican strategists, who said one solution is for candidates to give speeches before the president arrives to avoid being photographed together. “If you’re onstage in a MAGA hat smiling wide, the Democrats will make it an ad in a second.”
America’s youth are also going to play a key role in the election. They have had a lot of free time on their hands, but even those too young to vote will be manning phone lines and doing field work, which history shows triggers a lifetime of higher interest in politics.
I predict that Donald Trump is going to leave his mark on America, but it is not going to be the mark of a Great Man that he wanted. That said, the electronic vote flipper IT people could make a lot of money in making sure Trump does not lose in November.
Jim W. Dean, managing editor for Veterans Today, producer/host of Heritage TV Atlanta, specially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.