Trump in 2016: Us Against Them. Trump in 2020: Us Against Us.

Thanks to Janine Robinson for sharing their work on Unsplash.

It took almost four years but here we are.

Trump used to rally his base with innuendo about shadowy others who threatened America: Mexicans are rapists and members of obscure, violent gangs. A Muslim travel ban would keep out terrorists. Orphaning the children of parents fleeing Central America by locking them away and concealing them from their families would ensure that only Americans would receive benefits from paying taxes.

Where we are now was a gradual and incremental shift but it’s easy enough to look back and see it coming. After all, Trump made his mark on the political scene by questioning Pres. Obama’s legitimacy and refusing to acknowledge that Obama was born in Hawaii, not Kenya.

We know the cascading inflection points ever since. Good people on both sides. Pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio before he could be sentenced for what the U.S. Dept. of Justice called “sadistic punishments” of Latino inmates. Trying to shut down the NFL because Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem in response to police killings of Black people. Calling Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas. Labeling a free press the enemy of the people. Saying the members of “The Squad,” four Democratic congresswomen, should go back to their countries although all but one were born in America. Calling Jews who vote for Democrats “disloyal.” Retweeting white supremacists. The list is endless and neither of us has that much time.

Now, as Poltico’s Michael Kruse, Renuka Rayasam, and Myah Ward note, Trump is no longer talking about us versus them. He’s ginning up the base by making it us against us. […]

Trump: If Dems Win, the Nation Will Become Minneapolis

“I feel that if the Democrats get in we are literally going to end up in a recession-slash-depression the likes of which you’ve never seen. There will be tremendous negative growth, tremendous bedlam all over the place, there won’t be law and order. You’ll have a Seattle, you’ll have a Minneapolis like you’ve never seen before. The whole country will be Minneapolis.”

— President Trump, quoted by the Washington Post, during a 20-minute interview with Donald Trump Jr. on his online show “Triggered.”

Biden Leads Trump by Nearly 10 Points Nationally

50.5% to 41.3%

FiveThirtyEight launched its polling averages for the 2020 presidential race: “Biden currently leads Trump 50.5% to 41.3% in national polls, according to our average — a 9.2-point lead. … Biden also leads Trump in swing states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona — although his lead in many swing states are not as wide as his margin in national polls, suggesting that the Electoral College could once again favor Trump in the event of a close election.”

Biden’s Lead Up to Double Digits Over Last Two Months

10.2%

Nate Cohn explains that every high-quality national poll with proper education weighting had Joe Biden leading Donald Trump two months ago by an average of 6.2%. And nearly every one of them have him leading by more today, by an average of 10.2%. Vox notes that Biden’s lead is not only larger than Hillary Clinton’s in 2016, “it’s more secure.”

So This is What Living In a Failed State is Like

Marc Maron

I know most of you realize, I don’t need to tell you, that obviously we are living in a failed state.

And that our government’s reaction to this was too late, and that it was not enough. and a lot of what the federal government is supposed to do they’re not doing.

Because over the last few years — but certainly over the last 20 — whenever possible, Republicans tried to dismantle the government, everything they see as non-essential. And some of that being what was needed to respond to this properly.

So this is the goal: the failed state. This is the Republican vision. Let private enterprise take care of it. Great. So now we have people who need ventilators and masks and there’s a bidding war going on over who is going to make a profit on those items and which states they’re going to sell to. It’s all working out.

— Marc Maron, speaking on his WTF podcast about the COVID-19 pandemic, the death of Adam Schlesinger from the disease, the consequences and reality of running government like a business, and the catastrophe that is the Trump administration.

Keep Talking Trump. You’re Getting Less Popular Each Day

From RealClearPolitics.com

New polls are showing the limits of Americans rallying around their leader in times of crisis.

The more Trump crows during his daily free TV rally that his poll numbers are excellent, the more they show signs of declining. After Trump tweeted a New York Times quote that said, “President Trump is a ratings hit,” Never Trumper Rick Wilson responded:

“This is what you are to him, Americans. An audience. Not his constituents. Not the people who hired him. Not even humans. You’re boxes in a spreadsheet of his Nielsen ratings.”

[…]

Contrasts with South Korea Show How Badly Trump Team Failed at Early COVID-19 Efforts

There are facts that won’t change as the COVID-19 virus spreads, and the bungling of the crisis by the Trump Administration is etched in stone.

A story by Reuters contrasts the South Korean response with that of the United States. It ain’t pretty for the U.S. Both countries discovered their first cases on the same day but South Korea acted decisively, pioneered drive-through testing, and slowed the spread of the disease.

South Korea’s swift action stands in stark contrast to what has transpired in the United States…the Koreans have tested well over 290,000 people and identified over 8,000 infections. New cases are falling off: Ninety-three were reported Wednesday, down from a daily peak of 909 two weeks earlier.

The United States, whose first case was detected the same day as South Korea’s, is not even close to meeting demand for testing. About 60,000 tests have been run by public and private labs in a country of 330 million, federal officials said Tuesday.

As a result, U.S. officials don’t fully grasp how many Americans have been infected and where they are concentrated – crucial to containment efforts.

Read the whole Reuters special report.

Super Bowl Political Ads Finished at Bottom of USA Today’s Ad Meter Poll

60th and 62nd

The two political ads that aired during the Super Bowl broadcast, from the campaigns of Michael Bloomberg and Donald Trump, finished 60th and 62nd out of 62 commercials, respectively, in USA TODAY’s Ad Meter, which ranks Super Bowl ads by consumer rating with voters giving each ad a score from 1 to 10.

Move Over George Bush, Trump Is Now the Most Unpopular President in the History of Polling

Donald Trump’s incessant boasting is one of his most obnoxious traits — another is the fact that much of his bragging is based on lies — the size of the crowd at his inauguration, for example.

But here’s an achievement Trump has chosen not to boast about. In October 2019 he became the most unpopular president in the history of polling, according to ratings compiled by Gallup.

[…]