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Hail Trump: An angry president who would be king

By Askia Muhammad -Senior Editor- | Last updated: Feb 12, 2020 - 10:56:42 AM

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President Donald J. Trump shows a newspaper headline during his address Thursday, Feb. 6, in the East Room of the White House, in response to being acquitted in the U.S. Senate Impeachment Trial.

WASHINGTON—President Donald J. Trump had a good first week of February. Everyone else— especially Democrats and the disadvantaged in society—not so good.

On Monday he watched Feb. 3 as the campaigns of his Democratic presidential rivals all descend into chaos in Iowa, when state party officials botched the vote count and release of the results from first-in-the-nation caucus.

On Tuesday he delivered an upbeat, dramatically staged-for-TV State of the Union (SOTU) address to a joint session of Congress that was filled with exaggerations and untruths. Many observers were constantly fact-checking the president, who never mentioned the impending vote in the Senate which could have potentially removed him from office the next day. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore up her copy of Mr. Trump’s text at the conclusion of his address, labeling it a “manifesto of mistruths.”

At least 11 Democratic House members boycotted the speech, and a handful more, including Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) exited in protest during the address. “I walked out of that speech,” Rep. Tlaib tweeted that evening.

“The lies, the bigotry, and the shameless bragging about taking away food stamps that people depend on to live—it was all beneath the dignity of the office he occupies. Shame on this forever impeached president,” she said.

On Wednesday, as was expected, Mr. Trump was acquitted of both impeachment charges. The Senate voted 52-48 not to convict Mr. Trump of the first article of impeachment—abuse of power, when he withheld military aid to Ukraine, on condition that its president announce an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. And then voted 53-47 not to convict him of the second article—obstruction of Congress’s lawful impeachment investigation.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump took a “victory lap,” condemning the architects of his impeachment, first at the National Prayer Breakfast, and then in the White House East Room, where Feb. 6 he cursed, and called Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) a “horrible person” during an hour-long rant before a room full of deferential Republican supporters.

“We had the witch hunt that started from the day we came down the elevator—myself and our future first lady,” Mr. Trump said, referring to his campaign announcement at Trump Tower in 2015, when he and Melania Trump rode down a gold escalator.

“And it never really stopped. We’ve been going through this now for three years. It was evil. It was corrupt. It was dirty cops. It was leakers and liars,” Mr. Trump said.

This, in sharp contrast to President Bill Clinton who apologized in a four-minute Rose Garden statement and called for “reconciliation” after he was acquitted on impeachment charges in 1999. Mr. Trump, however called on his supporters to “fight to the death,” according to Chris Matthews on MSNBC.

Then on Friday, Mr. Trump went full-bore into retaliation-mode, firing European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland, and ordering Army Purple Heart recipient and Ukrainian expert on the National Security Council, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his twin brother Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman unceremoniously escorted out of the White House, because they testified against him during the House impeachment investigation.

He even went so far as to say what some consider a confession that he obstructed justice, when he told the East Room audience: “If I had not fired (FBI Director) James Comey … I wouldn’t be standing here right now,” Mr. Trump said in the East Room.

The president’s critics were unforgiving. “When we impeached the president, the Senate was GOP controlled,” House impeachment manager and former police chief Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) said, via Twitter. “We hoped, we prayed that they would do the right thing. But the most likely outcome was always a cover-up. We did it anyway. A lot of people asked: why? Because it was right,” she said.

“Having proven Trump guilty,” lead House Impeachment Manager and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said via social media, “I asked if there was just one Republican Senator who would say ‘enough.’ Who would stand up against this dangerously immoral president; who would display moral courage; who would do impartial justice as their oath required and convict. And there is,” he said, referring to Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who voted to convict Mr. Trump of abuse of power. It was his “most difficult decision ever,” Mr. Romney confessed when he announced his vote.

“When President Obama came into office, the unemployment rate was 10 percent,” Speaker Pelosi said at her weekly press conference at the Capitol on Feb. 6 in response to Mr. Trump’s SOTU claim that his leadership produced the strongest economy, with the best unemployment numbers in U.S. history. “When he left it was 5 percent. So President Trump did not inherit a mess. He inherited a momentum of job creation.”

Further, Mr. Trump’s “attack on Medicaid is a Reverse Robin Hood on Steroids,” Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman said of his SOTU address, via Twitter, “a coordinated effort to steal from the poor and give to the rich campaign donors and Mar-A-Lago members.”

In his SOTU address, Mr. Trump resorted to a number of made-for-television-like stunts, including presenting right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during the speech, and by singling out several Blacks, including 100-year-old Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee—who was promoted to brigadier general—and his 13-yearold great grandson, who wants to become an astronaut, and others.

In addition to fact checkers, a couple of reports also refuted some of Mr. Trump’s SOTU boasts. Income inequality reached its highest level ever, in the more than half a century of record keeping on the divide, according to the Census Bureau, on Feb. 6. The record-long economic expansion now continues to disproportionately benefit the wealthiest in this country.

The majority of the economic growth reported by the bureau went to higher income-earners, and those who owned financial “instruments”— monetary contracts.

And even as Mr. Trump and his supporters boast of a record-high stock market index, another measurement does not look so good. Farmers are having trouble paying their bills in the heart of the country’s agricultural sector. Farm bankruptcies, in fact, reached an eight-year high in 2019 according to But support for Mr. Trump remains strong in rural areas and in agricultural so-called “red states.”

“So the country is, right now, in great confusion,” the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said on July 21, 2019. “Because the institutions of government, that were set up by the Founding Fathers, are now being challenged by a President who wants to operate as a King.” Now, Mr. Trump has been widely mocked as a wannabe king because of his post-impeachment acquittal behavior.

He was lampooned in cartoons as the legendary king-with-no-clothes with sycophantic Republicans appearing to not notice his nakedness. On the cover of the New York Daily News Mr. Trump was depicted as a criminal-mob boss, lampooning the hit Mafia movie, as “The GOPFather.”

And Time magazine published a cover illustration showing Mr. Trump gazing at a reflection of himself in which he’s dressed up as a monarch, complete with jeweled crown and a fur cape.

Mr. Trump even suggested again that he might remain in office beyond the constitutional two-term-limit if he’s reelected in November. Because his supporters “might demand” that he continue to serve as president, even tweeting out pictures depicting “Trump 2024,” and “Trump 2028” campaign posters.