Remind Me, Who Exactly Is President?

[ Posted Thursday, August 27th, 2020 – 16:36 UTC ]

Last night, while watching the continuing study in contradiction that is the Republican National Convention, I had to wonder at several points who, exactly, is president right now? After all, the campaign for Donald Trump seems to be operating from the point of view that if only Trump were president then he could solve America's massive current problems. On subject after subject, we were told that things out there are really, really scary and that the only response to this dystopian world was to elect a savior who would deliver us from all the frightfulness.

This would be a fine message for a challenger to get elected as an outsider, as Trump indeed did in 2016. But it also ignores completely that the world we find ourselves in right now is one where Donald Trump has been president for three and a half years. It's the mother of all disconnects, really.

What, after all, is Trump going to do starting on January 20th of next year that he couldn't (or shouldn't) be doing right now? What will Trump do then to solve the problem of unrest in the streets that he isn't already doing or should be doing? How can he save us from a reality that he has been in charge of? When you hear Republicans speak of things like rising crime levels and rioting in the streets (which they do, quite often), what exactly is Trump going to do in January that would be in any way new? What would change about the situation in January if Joe Biden were to be sworn in? Why not solve the problems now, rather than just offering promises to solve them later?

Is it just me, or does anyone else see this?

Believing in Trump requires suspending reality in several ways, of course. This was all painfully on display last night. They bemoan people being shot in the street without any recognition that people are being shot by cops and by right-wing radicals carrying guns. The culmination of this suspension of reality came during Mike Pence's speech, where he praised (and introduced the family of) a federal security agent who had been murdered in cold blood in Oakland, California. Pence said he was "killed during riots in Oakland, California," which while on the face of it is technically true, simply ignores the real story. A White right-wing current member of the military decided to use the cover of the unrest in the streets to just flat-out murder a cop. He did so from a van, and then hid out in the mountains of Santa Cruz County. During his apprehension, another police officer was killed. The murderer was a member of the right-wing "boogaloo" movement, not some crazed lefty. Which Pence conveniently didn't mention last night, while introducing his family to America.

Also, a 17-year-old was just arrested after he killed two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin, because he had decided to drive up there to wave a rifle around during a protest. He was a Trump-supporting right-winger. You will not hear anyone mention this fact at the Republican National Convention as they decry the violence in the streets, which they pin entirely on radical left-wingers.

A video aired during the convention supposedly shows violent left-wingers rioting in the streets of America, but it was actually stock video footage of a riot in Spain. Other video during the convention has shown scenes from Ukraine and Russia that were also supposed to be down-home American scenes. The Big Lie is right there for all to see.

Meanwhile, for the third time in the last four cycles, the Republican National Convention has been interrupted by a hurricane. This happened in 2008 and 2012, too. However, the voices from the pulpit which always seem to jump to the "God is angry with America" conclusion when there is a Democrat in the White House have been totally silent on the fact that whenever Republicans get together, hurricanes seem to happen. Hurricanes in general always seem to be bad news for Republican presidents, when you think about it. There was the political damage Katrina did to George W. Bush, and then Donald Trump had Sharpiegate. The past two times a hurricane interrupted the Republican convention, they scrubbed a day from their calendar. This time, Trump is ignoring the hurricane and refuses to change tonight's lineup. Who knows, maybe he'll somehow try to blame Hurricane Laura on Joe Biden tonight. It certainly wouldn't surprise me, at this point.

The sports world is also stealing headlines from the convention, as a walkout spread from basketball to other sports in the wake of a Kenosha cop killing yet another unarmed Black man (by shooting him seven times in the back). This happened four years to the day after Colin Kaepernick first refused to stand for the National Anthem, by the way. I wonder if Trump will address this tonight in some way. Probably not in a good one, if he does.

The Republican storyline also distorts reality in serious ways on the economy and on the COVID-19 pandemic. In both of these cases, I return to my original question: Who exactly is president right now? According to the GOP, the economy was in tatters when Trump took office, by sheer force of personality he made it the greatest of all time, then something happened of which we will not speak, and now Trump is poised to (as Mike Pence finished with last night): "Make American great again, again." Likewise, the pandemic response was the greatest on Earth, Trump immediately halted travel from China and then at some unspecified point the coronavirus just magically went away and nobody has to worry about it anymore, as we stride into the bright future behind our wonderful Dear Leader. The last seven months or so have gone right down the memory hole, in both cases. Things were peachy, something unspecified happened, and things will be peachy again real soon --just you wait!

Pence only deviated from this script once, when he offered some sympathy to the families of the coronavirus victims. He didn't mention that there were 180,000 of these families, but that he even acknowledged that they exist was notable, because he was only the second speaker in three nights to do so (Melania mentioned them the day before, to her credit). Every other speaker just crammed that inconvenient fact down the memory hole.

Once again: what is Trump going to do on January 20th to save us all that he shouldn't have already done as president? And which is it -- are things peachy-keen great again, or is America a smoldering hellscape of violence that is coming to your neighborhood real soon now? They can't both be true, right?

On subject after subject, we are asked to focus exclusively on the good news while totally ignoring the bad news which preceded it -- while Trump was president. Pence bragged about lots of jobs being created without mentioning the fact that 27 million Americans are now on unemployment. He bragged about what a wonderful job the Trump administration has done on testing and getting equipment to hospitals without a word of the months and months of delay and denial that happened before Team Trump even realized there was a problem. We're asked to believe that Trump did such a great job on the pandemic that there's simply nothing left to be done other than get everyone vaccinated when it becomes available.

The biggest lie, or at any rate the funniest one, is that, as Pence put it: "Last week, Democrats didn't talk much about their agenda, and if I were them, I wouldn't want to either." Seriously? Republicans haven't said a single word about any Trump second-term agenda, with the possible exception of their newfound support for school choice. That's really been the only solid agenda item they've even bothered to mention. And they're saying Democrats were light on specifics? The Republican Party, in deference to their reading-averse leader, put out a one-page document -- nothing short of a bullet-points list -- instead of a traditional platform document. Every single one of the items on the list was similar: "enthusiastic... support [of] the President's America-first agenda." In other words, Trump can do anything he wants and we'll be behind him. If he changes his mind the next day and reverses course, we'll be behind that, too. This is their entire party platform, folks. Their entire agenda is to fawn over every utterance from their personality cult leader, period. This is all Republicans stand for, anymore. And they have the gall to say Democrats didn't offer specifics? Seriously?

Of course, there were also a whole bunch of run-of-the-mill lies last night, many of them uttered by Mike Pence. The fact-checkers had a field day, in other words. My favorite? Lara Trump stating proudly:

This is not just a choice between Republican and Democrat or left and right. This is an election that will decide if we keep America America -- or if we head down an uncharted, frightening path towards socialism. Abraham Lincoln once famously said: "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." While those words were spoken over 150 years ago, never have they been more relevant.

Except, of course, that Lincoln never said that. Earlier, a speaker noted that James Madison signed the Declaration of Independence when he was only 25 years old. Except for the fact that Madison didn't sign the Declaration of Independence, at any age.

Other than that, the third night of the Republican National Convention merely seemed like a re-tread of the first two nights. The focus was aimed at women voters ("Please, suburban housewives, come back to the GOP!") and Black voters ("Please vote Republican, for once!"). There was lots of reminiscing about when the Republican Party was last seen as being the champions against racism (roughly 1860, in other words), without a word about where the party has been since 1965 (the real start of the "Southern Strategy").

Maybe I'm being too negative, though. So allow me to say one positive thing, to Mike Pence's credit: he did accurately place the battle at Fort McHenry (where he was speaking, once again breaking federal law to do so) correctly in the War of 1812, rather than assuming it was part of the American Revolution, as Trump infamously did.

Overall, though, Pence continued making the case against Joe Biden that the whole convention has been striving to make all week: "The hard truth is... you won't be safe in Joe Biden's America." But, to return to my own theme (by way of conclusion), this completely ignores the fact that the proof they are continuously offering up that this is true is that you are not safe right now -- in Donald Trump's America. So what exactly will change on January 20th next year?

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


44 Comments on “Remind Me, Who Exactly Is President?”

  1. [1] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Just in case you missed it, here’s a transcript of the address Reverend Jed Tucker Holtz-Pence delivered at the RNC last night.

    As we pass through this time of testing, some people wonder “Why does God allow such evil to exist?” A simple answer is that we need to be tested by the devil to show whether we are sincere believers or not, but convincing well intentioned people to believe and defend demonstrably false ideas is the devil's greatest triumph. The real test was not the Chinese cold virus that the President defeated this spring with travel bans and robust testing.

    In the name of civil liberties, cultural diversity, and political correctness, a radical leftist agenda of moral corruption and degeneration has pressed forward. God rejects the legal commitment of radical ideological secularism to any and all of the fanatically-twisted fringes of American leftist culture—evolutionists, socialists, feminists, environmentalists, anarchists, and other atheists that will destroy our way of life. The Constitution is a wonderful guideline for self-government by Christian people, but as soon as you allow non-Christians and liberals and socialists to get their hands on it, they will use it to undermine law and order in our society and that's what's been happening.

    One of the most important gifts God has given us is free will. He gave us the free will to choose to love Him and not to sin against Him. Sin can be wrongful thoughts or deeds. Obviously, deeds are worse and they sometimes fall into the category of crimes like arson, looting, and graffiti. The criminal justice system cannot judge thoughts, although liberals would like to, because they really can’t know what the person was thinking. However, God is all-knowing and will take unclean thoughts into consideration when it comes time for judgment.

    The Radical Left and Joe Biden, their Catholic-in-name-only baby-killing cannibal puppet, cannot be allowed to continue their assault on our great nation and economy. Jeremiah realized God’s love and mercy in the destruction of Jerusalem because the city was not completely destroyed. Survivors had been given a second chance to repent and change direction in the midst of desolation and despair. So we see that God’s judgment is good as it demonstrates that God still loves us enough to make a desperate attempt to get mankind’s attention before it is too late. Only the foolish believe that God would not bring calamity.

    And what about miracles? Having observed the obvious existence of the Creator, it would be absurd for us to think that God could not perform them. Faith cannot conflict with reason or God would require the impossible. Many have faith confused with credulity which is believing something without evidence or reason.

    God is love.

  2. [2] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    All good points about the Republican Party's hypocrisy, illogic, and mendacity, most lately seen at this Convention. I'll take your word for the details, not watching it myself.

    But aside from the satisfaction of ranting -- and that's got to be an important form of blowing off steam after watching all Trump, all the time, for three or four days straight -- I question the point of highlighting these things as if they will make anyone angrier at Trump, or make any potential Trump voters change their minds.

    I admit I am stunned to read in the papers that a reporter has unearthed and interviewed an undecided voter. That's got to take some serious digging. But will that fence-sitter make his decision based on this Convention's claims (i.e., for Trump) or its obvious disconnect from reality, history, and logic (i.e., for Biden)? Or will it be some combination of last minute good news from the administration about a phone vaccine and a few chaotic wag-the-dog events from the real world?

  3. [3] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    none of those people are wearing masks, and they're definitely closer than six feet apart.

  4. [4] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    So far tonight...It's all the dems fault, yet trump has brought the manufacturing jobs back.

    After 3 plus years is it to soon to ask when the trumps are going to bring back their manufacturing jobs?

    How about those vineyard jobs that they use h-2 ag visas for?

    Gods, starting to get a headache from all of the gas...

  5. [5] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    (i'm watching with the mute button on. actually listening might be more than my vomit reflex could take)

  6. [6] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    I also seem to recall the Grifting Old Panderers got their knickers in a twist when Obama had dual appearances that could be misconstrued as official resulting in the offical seal being removed from the podium prior to any non-official speech.

    Yet here they are tonight speaking using the seal. In direct violation of 18 U.S. Code §?713. which states:

    (a)Whoever knowingly displays any printed or other likeness of the great seal of the United States, or of the seals of the President or the Vice President of the United States, or the seal of the United States Senate, or the seal of the United States House of Representatives, or the seal of the United States Congress, or any facsimile thereof, in, or in connection with, any advertisement, poster, circular, book, pamphlet, or other publication, public meeting, play, motion picture, telecast, or other production, or on any building, monument, or stationery, for the purpose of conveying, or in a manner reasonably calculated to convey, a false impression of sponsorship or approval by the Government of the United States or by any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

    just sayin'.

  7. [7] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    it would be more fun if it were shown on a station where fact checkers could do this:

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Facts don't matter. When will Dems realize that?

  9. [9] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don is right. Just knowing that there is a lens cap on isn't enough.

  10. [10] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Facts don't matter. When will Dems realize that?

    Gurlfriend, you need to take some deep breaths and think about what you just wrote. Facts don't matter to the retards that still support Trump. They are NOT reachable, but they are in the minority!

    If facts such as 180,000 preventable deaths and a 2nd Great Depression don't matter, what would you have the Democrats do?

  11. [11] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    On a personal note, if we were playing a drinking game where ya have take a shot every time you saw one of the lemmings in the audience wearing a mask, you'd be...not drunk at all. Hope they all get Covid, thus improving the intelligence of our Great American gene pool. *shaking my head*


    Yep, sometimes it feels so good to dwell on the Dark Side, a-yup!

  12. [12] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    goode trickle thanks for digging up the relevant statute re the blatant Hatch Act violations.

  13. [13] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    What will "change on January 20th" will be

    (1) Joe Biden will be inaugurated,

    (2) Melania will start her divorce proceedings,

    (3) SDNY will frog walk Trump out of whatever hole he's hiding in -- he sure won't be at Joe's Big Day.

    It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood -- woot!

  14. [14] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Trump's 4th night address came across to me as a mashup between a low energy Nuremberg Rally and a COVID19 Super Spreader event for Older People*. Not mask in sight.

    The first sign that snoozy Trump was on the mound was his halting walk down the White House Stairs, supported by a banister on his right and Melania on his left. What was his staff thinking? A staircase is just a bumpy ramp. Very slippery! I guess there wasn't enough time to install a chair lift.

    The speech that followed confirmed that Low Energy Trump had indeed shown up. He had a big bucket of Red Meats for the crowd, but he didn't throw them with any force, it was more like dropping them into waiting hands, like Chicken Nuggets from a bucket. Comfort Food.

    What was up with the wall of American Flags? They looked to me like they were made of plastic...or at best, very cheap fabrics. Maybe it was just the lighting.

    Truth to tell, I mostly dozed off after about ten minutes. Woke up with the fireworks and some guy belting out the Star Spangled Banner. Then I listened to some talking heads who did not seem overly impressed.

    With careful editing, Trump's speech can be used in
    commercials from now into November.

    * The 3rd wave starts here!

  15. [15] 
    Kick wrote:

    Chris Weigant

    And which is it -- are things peachy-keen great again, or is America a smoldering hellscape of violence that is coming to your neighborhood real soon now? They can't both be true, right?

    Exactly this! I lost count of these ignorant people contradicting each other and the lies and revisionist history. Verbal whiplash:

    * Joe Biden is responsible for "mass incarceration of Black Americans" but if elected, Biden will "empty the prisons, lock you in your home and invite MS-13 to live next door."

    * These poor hostages were saved from their evil captors by Trump. Pastor Brunson spent two years in Turkey but "President Erdogan was very good."

    * South Carolina "removed a divisive symbol, peacefully and respectfully," (talking about the battle flag of the Confederacy) but Republicans aren't "going to tear down monuments and forget the people who built our great nation,” (talking about preserving symbols of the Confederacy).

    * "I watched him take the strongest, most inclusive economy in our lifetime; the lowest unemployment in half a century, and the highest wage increase for working families in decades and close it down to save American lives" but Joe Biden will close down America and the "cost of the Biden shutdown would be measured in increased drug overdoses, depression, alcohol addiction, suicides, heart attacks, economic devastation, job loss, and much more." Duh! How gullible do you have to be?

    Could I go on? You bet your butt I could; there are literally hundreds of contradictions in their lies, drivel, and spew. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Pick a lane!

    Trump shutdown great, but Biden shut down will lead to Americans dying. Wake up, morons! It is wall-to-wall verbal whiplash for anyone with two brain cells to rub together and not just a gullible Trumpian rube nodding up and down despite the myriad of conflicts and utter asinine garbage they're being spoon-fed like the walking zombie dead. *facepalm*

  16. [16] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I rarely agree with much of anything that the reality TV orangutan says, but last night . . .

    we can never have a situation where things are going on as they are today

    Teleprompter Trump read that like he was bored to death, but those are the words that came out of his mouth. He's running against himself. Ready made for Biden ads.

  17. [17] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Death Harris [16]

    watch the transports that will carry those that made this planet uninhabitable off to the new place for them to live.

    So that is what the alien lizards are planning? Thanks for letting them get away with it.

  18. [18] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    If pointing out what they are doing and offering an alternative to end it is letting them get away with it.

    Online gambling scams as an alternative does not an improvement make...

  19. [19] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    How does that relate to your incompetent handling of your website? It still resolves to online gambling scams...

    And what risk? You have this obsession with money = bad but never put forth a coherent argument as to why. How does legislation change with only small money donations?

    How will your idea prevent the next Trump? I would think it would enable them, as Trump did quite well with under $200 donations, especially early on in the 2016 primary. Your idea makes a solid path for fringe candidates to prosper.

    Can you counter these points or are you going to continue to dismiss anything that requires critical thinking on your part?

  20. [20] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Death Harris [19]

    Shame on you for trying to pin that on me

    I feel no shame for not buying into your delusion that it's CW's fault that your super-amazing, world-changing idea is a spectacular failure and your website has been hijacked. We wouldn't have to false-choose between Big Money Alien Lizards who accept $201 donations if you did a better job. We'd be on Easy Street.

  21. [21] 
    Alin wrote:

    This seems like Mr Bankruptcy-and-Bailout declaring bankruptcy on the 45th presidency and asking for a bailout to start the 46th. Seems like his regular MO.

  22. [22] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    John From Censornati wrote:

    Just in case you missed it, here’s a transcript of the address Reverend Jed Tucker Holtz-Pence delivered at the RNC last night

    Please tell me where you got the "
    "Reverend Jed Tucker Holtz" part of our obviously NOT SUPPOSED TO BE secular VP.

    And BTW this quote is effing scary.

    And also BTW I kinda crack up every time you self-identity with "Cinsornati," as I well recall the Maplethorp "Piss Christ" and stuff. The silliest thing about our sucky Religious Right voters is that they're so unconfident in their Jesus that they feel that they hafta shove THEIR vision down everybody's throats.

  23. [23] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Um, they're version of God...

  24. [24] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Note to Weigantia,

    I'ma playing that aforementioned drinking game while watching tape of Trump's audience last night...

    Only I'm taking a shot for everyone NOT wearing a mask. See y'all in September, I guess

  25. [25] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    "Censornati" dammit.

  26. [26] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [24] Alin

    Dunno if you're a newbie here or an OG here, but either way, welcome aboard.

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I believe this is Alin's first time unless there just haven't been any comments for the last 12 years or so. Which would be quite a hiatus.

    So, I second that Welcome Aboard! :)

  28. [28] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    MtnCaddy [25]

    Please tell me where you got the "Reverend Jed Tucker Holtz" part

    Jed - sounds like a holy roller name
    Tucker - Carlson
    Holtz - Lou

  29. [29] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    K! I like that JFC

  30. [30] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    So, Alin,

    Again, welcome aboard. I somehow got exposed to Chris Weigant a coupla three years ago, and 18 months ago to this Comments section. I consider these folks here in the Peanut Gallery as another kinda family, especially during this Covid threat.

    Myself I'm a Loud and Proud Libtard. Ya know, to the left of Bernie and stuff.

    We have/had two resident trolls. One self-identities as "Don Howard" and he's been bagging on CW for years to plug his One Demand small doner cleansing of Big Money in American politics thang.

    The other one is/was whom I call "the troll formerly known as Michale." This cat disappeared some weeks ago -- probably because he is so far into the Kool Aid that he thinks the Trump will earn 40%(!) of the black vote come November, and even he realizes that Trump is gonna get swamped this time around.

    So there. I've said it.

  31. [31] 
    Alin wrote:

    New to commenting. I've been a reader for some years.
    Hi everyone

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


  33. [33] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    In all fairness, Bush's response to Hurricane Charley in 2004 is considered partially responsible for his "easy" victory in FL that Nov.

  34. [34] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    As Ned Flanders would say*
    Okeley Dokely, here's today's Lincoln Project offering, called Chyna.

    My only objection to the truth/veracity of this ad is the assertion that, "China's military is EXPANDING, WITHOUT AMERICA'S LEADERSHIP IN THE REGION" is complete but bullshit! Fact is that America military budget ads up to the next 7-10 countries COMBINED, including the Rooskies and Red China, and we cain't p any countries n military expenditures unless we INVADE them. A land war in As I a, anybody?

    I didn't think so.

    *My Secret Pleasure ("Don't tell the fellas cuz they'll take advantage of me,") is The Simpsons

  35. [35] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    K, probably should check out (I sure didn't do much proofreading of my (above) comments)

    So there

  36. [36] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    At any rate I'm looking forward to CW's take on Donnie's Thursday evening speech.

    I know... So many lies... So little time

  37. [37] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    ...the Rooskies and Red China, and we cain't STOP any country's level of military expenditures unless we INVADE them, Hello?

  38. [38] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Final night's review is now up --

    It's been an exhausting two weeks, that's for sure...


  39. [39] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Glink! Ooo eez zees mahn?!?

  40. [40] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    welcome to the party pal
    ~die hard


  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hello Alin!

    [35] was in response to [33], ahem.


  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Do come and join us for the CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party Sunday evening, where we leave all the political comments behind but the tunes may be as political as you wish!

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
Comments for this article are closed.