He’s playing unsuccessfully at dictator and hammering away at a system of government that is showing itself to be stronger than he is.
Meanwhile, Covid-19 is taking a new root thanks in part to the vacuum in national leadership.
Trump isn’t talking about Covid at all. Rather than work with his successor and mobilize the government he leads to save American lives, Trump has retreated into a post-election bunker mentality that exposes just how distracted he has been from the singular issue of his presidency.
Everyone else is talking about Covid, proving Trump wrong. The President swore coverage of Covid would disappear after the election, but his promise was based on the fake projection that the disease was overblown.
And Trump’s unyielding refusal to embrace an active strategy about Covid will ultimately prove to be the downfall of his presidency and a mark on his legacy.
Instead, Trump’s focused only on rejecting his defeat in the courts and pushing loyalty tests in his Cabinet. His effort to consolidate his power at the Pentagon makes you wonder if he’s putting the pieces together for a sort of coup d’état.
Weak sauce. Legal experts do not seem particularly worried that Trump has ousted Senate-approved officials and put in temporary loyalists for his last two months in office.
When should you worry? Start to worry when there is evidence Trump has the military behind him. There is none.
As with so much in Trump’s administration, what seems like it could be part of a diabolical strategy could actually be nothing more than a pathetic lack of any strategy whatsoever.
You must, however, assume there is some strategy in a coordinated house-cleaning of civilian leaders at the Pentagon because that’s the kind of thing dictators and despots do.
But the evidence is also finally proving this system is stronger than the man as his legal challenges to the election founder and, bit by bit, Republicans move on.
The long-run issue. Senators like Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are contributing to the problem, encouraging the collective frothing at the mouth among Republicans who refuse to believe Trump lost.
This will be a more lasting problem if Republican voters follow him and lose faith in the system rather than accept a result they don’t like.
How many will die before January 20?
Regardless, with the US now again losing more than 1,000 lives to Covid each day, there will be at least tens of thousands of people who die during the presidential transition.
New mask guidance
The CDC has updated its guidance on masks and now says wearing face coverings is effective in protecting the wearer as well as people around them. Previous guidance had stressed masks to help protect others.