On Tuesday, a contemptuous President cratered a debate with his Democratic rival Joe Biden, as moderator Chris Wallace vainly tried to stop Trump’s constant interruptions. The President evaded Wallace’s invitation to condemn white supremacists (he finally did so two days later) and insisted without evidence that the widespread use of mail-in ballots in the pandemic would result in a “fraudulent election.” Trump warned, “This is not going to end well. This is not going to end well.”
No President has ever had a week like this. And the future is completely unpredictable.
“Masks are coming off. Gatherings are getting bigger and personal safety protocols looser. Schools, gyms, salons and indoor restaurants are reopening. Many students have returned to college campuses, where they are already socializing in groups and spreading the virus. Temperatures outdoors are dropping, which will inevitably push many more people inside to dine, exercise, celebrate and socialize … The question, experts say, isn’t whether a second wave is coming; it’s how devastating a second wave will be.”
Even before Trump contracted Covid-19, there was doubt about whether the final two presidential debates would take place. The Commission on Presidential Debates, acknowledging the debacle in Cleveland, promised to change the ground rules for the next two encounters between Biden and Trump, who said he would refuse to agree to any alteration in format. With Trump in the hospital, the matter may be moot.
SE Cupp was struck by one line Trump interjected after Biden talked about the tragedy of families who have lost loved ones without being able to be at their side. The President said, “You would have lost far more people.”
For more on the debate:
When Trump ran for president in 2016, he broke with the tradition of candidates releasing their tax returns. Now Trump is in a last-ditch legal battle to shield them from New York prosecutors.
In the debate, President Trump again wouldn’t commit to accept the results of the election and encouraged his supporters to “go into the polls and watch very carefully.” By contrast, Biden said that after all the votes are counted, “if it’s me, in fact, fine. If it’s not me, I’ll support the outcome.”
Nathan Bedford Forrest’s legacy
A slave trader, Forrest rose astonishingly fast within Confederate ranks, becoming a lieutenant general in the Civil War and presiding over a battle in which his “men brutally massacred more than 100 surrendering Black Union soldiers.” After the South surrendered, Forrest became the KKK’s first Grand Wizard.
Now Forrest’s legacy is at the center of the battle over removing Confederate monuments. Carr writes, “In one particularly striking episode that reveals the depth of such belief in their hero, Towne O’Neill visits a meeting with a Memphis chapter of the SCV (Sons of Confederate Veterans), where members seek recommendations from each other on how to ‘choose between their church and Forrest’ — after some of their pastors have signed a letter in support of removing the city’s Confederate monuments, they know they can no longer worship there.”
Chrissy Teigen’s sad news
In a Twitter post, supermodel Chrissy Teigen and musician John Legend said that they were “shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before.” As Peggy Drexler noted, “On Instagram, Teigen posted an intimate photo of herself hunched over and crying, her hair in a hairnet and hospital bracelets around her wrists.” They had lost their baby, following pregnancy complications, “a tragedy that according to the March of Dimes affects some 10 to 15% of pregnant women a year.”
Many people praised the couple for sharing their sad news, while some others had different reactions. In response to those who were critical, Drexler wrote, “no one should be forced to deal with sadness in any prescribed, even socially acceptable way — Teigen included.”
“It’s to her credit that Teigen did not abstain from sharing even if, she surely realized, someone else out there — lots of someone elses out there, in fact — might have it worse,” observed Drexler.