Trump's Last Gasp
The defeated president is taking crazy town to a whole new level.
After a month of denying he has lost the election, Donald Trump restarted his reckless road show Saturday night with a “victory” rally in Valdosta, Ga. Ostensibly there to campaign for Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, Trump instead mostly continued his futile attempt to overturn his defeat.
For exactly 100 minutes, Trump weaved a tale of grievance around two propaganda videos and lightning-fast remarks from the senators he was supposedly there to assist. His targets included Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, one of the president’s staunchest and most sycophantic supporters, along with the usual lineup of Democratic bogeymen.
With the coronavirus pandemic devolving into a full-blown humanitarian crisis, Trump crammed thousands of mostly unmasked supporters together in what will almost certainly become the nation’s latest super-spreader event. Trump, once again, demonstrated his complete indifference toward the health and safety of Americans and, once again, demonstrated his complete devotion to himself.
The man who is addicted to adulation like no other president in American history got exactly what he came for Saturday. His legion of supporters held signs with slogans that read: “Save America!” and “Defend Democracy!” while chanting “four more years,” “stop the steal,” and “fight for Trump.”
Trump made tacit references, seemingly by accident and perhaps unknowingly, to the cold-hard fact that he will no longer be president in 6½ weeks. He also vowed to run again in 2024, a prospect that should send a chill down the spine of every right-thinking American, but a plan that could easily be undone by potential legal entanglements.
Part of the rally was pretty much a broken record of some of Trump’s greatest hits. We heard about Hunter Biden. China. Antifa. The radical left. He called Democrats, including Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, socialists and communists. From that perspective, it had the feel of a pre-election campaign rally.
Then there was the grievance portion of the program. “The election was rigged,” he said. “Hundreds of thousands of illegal votes were cast in each state,” he said. “Poll watchers were thrown out,” he said. “The swing states that we’re all fighting over now, I won them all by a lot,” he said.
Trump said he won Georgia. He said he won Wisconsin. He played a “news report” from pro-Trump propaganda outlet, One America News Network, that insinuated voter fraud in Fulton County, Ga. Trump went on to make, perhaps, the most hilarious false statement of his entire presidency.
“If I lost, I would be a very gracious loser,” he said. Of course.
Trump meandered from topic to topic for 63 minutes before calling Loeffler and Perdue on stage. As Loeffler spoke, she kept glancing at Trump as if she was a hostage making sure she was delivering the proper message. Perdue was shouted down by the crowd’s chants of “fight for Trump.”
There have been a few disputed elections throughout American history. Bush-Gore in 2000. Hayes-Tilden in 1876. Jackson-Adams in 1824. One thing all three had in common was the popular-vote loser became president. Another was the vanquished accepted defeat.
Here we have a situation in which the result is clear. Joe Biden won decisively. He has a 306-232 advantage in the electoral college and more than a seven million vote lead in the national popular vote.
Donald Trump doesn’t have to concede. He doesn’t have to take his defeat graciously. He and his supporters have the right to be sore losers. But, one thing is certain, no matter how much Trump screams, yells, cries and tweets.
He is the loser.