Monday, June 08, 2020


CNN reports:
After a weekend of massive peaceful protests around the country, White House officials are currently deliberating a plan for President Donald Trump to address the nation this week on issues related to race and national unity, as Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson hinted in an interview with CNN on Sunday and a senior administration official said was under serious consideration.
I don't need to tell you that none of the following will happen:

Another president would use this speech to at least acknowledge systemic racism in America and ongoing racism in law enforcement. When we see Mitt Romney marching to honor George Floyd and using the phrase "black lives matter," it becomes clear that even some Republicans can acknowledge the truth about race in America, at least in broad outline.

CNN's sources are implying that Trump might do the same. But of course he won't.

Trump and his speechwriters and advisers are capable of writing a sentence or two acknowledging the brutality of the George Floyd arrest. (In Trump's Rose Garden speech, he said, "All Americans are rightly sickened and revolted by the brutal death of George Floyd. My administration is fully committed that for George and his family, justice will be served. He will not have died in vain," before segueing to "But we cannot allow the righteous prize and peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob.") He might manage an equally brief and pro forma acknowledgment of systemic racism in this speech. But it's more likely that he'll repeat what he's "learned" from Fox News and other right-wing sources: that racism happens in cities run by "Democrat mayors and governors," and that Democrats have been the source of all racism in America. ("Did you know that the Klan was founded by the Democrat Party?" [It wasn't.] "Did you know Abraham Lincoln was a Republican?")

But what I imagine he'll give us is boosterism. Axios reports:
President Trump's top political advisers, in a private meeting last week, said their boss needs to add more hopeful, optimistic and unifying messages to balance his harsh law-and-order rhetoric.

... They're deeply concerned about "brutal" internal polling for the president in the aftermath of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and George Floyd's killing.

... Advisers settled on a theme of the "Great American Comeback" underpinned by words like "renewing," "recovering," "restoring" and "rebuilding."

Friday's surprisingly good jobs report gave them a chance to road test the theme with a new ad: "The great American comeback has begun. ... Renewing. Restoring. Rebuilding. Together, we'll make America great again."

... The group agreed they needed to build some goodwill with the African American community.

They plan to emphasize policies Trump has approved that may appeal to African Americans, including support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, opportunity zones (tax incentives for low-income communities), and criminal justice reform.
So that's what we should expect: a few sentences briefly acknowledging racial problems, with Trump accepting none of the blame, and possibly shifting all the blame to Democrats (as well as antifa, which will be blamed, without evidence, for all the violence and looting that's taken place during the demonstrations, and which, we'll be told, will be unleashed on black neighborhoods if cities "defund the police"). This will be followed by Trump's campaign pitch to black voters. Conclusion: I, Donald Trump, made America great again, particularly for black people, and I'm going to make America great again again in the next four years. End of speech.

As I told you last week, a lot of this is Jared's idea. Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni reported in May:
Mr. Trump won just 8 percent of African-American voters four years ago.... He is not looking for an outright victory among them, but simply to do better than he did last time.

Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, has pushed the efforts in the hope that even if Mr. Trump could increase his share of the black vote by as little as two percentage points, it could make a difference in the November election’s final outcome.
Maybe Trump will surprise me. Maybe they'll write him a speech that conveys empathy and an understanding of the greatest shame in our history -- I know, I know, but it's theoretically possible, right?

But even if it happens, and Van Jones is declaring that Trump became president with the delivery of the speech, Trump will immediately go back to fighting with people, because that's his happy place. I assume his next beef will be with this guy:
John Bolton is forging ahead with plans to publish a scathing memoir about his time in President Trump’s White House and is in negotiations with network television channels to promote the book, according to people familiar with the talks.

Bolton, who served as national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019, plans to publish “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir” on June 23, after embarking on a media tour to promote the book the weekend before....

Bolton is planning to publish even if the White House does not give publication approval, people familiar with his thinking say....
And that will be the end of Trump as racial healer.

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