Bob Franken




Breaking news! In the polls, Trump is trailing Biden by a ton. In other words, Donald Trump has Joe Biden exactly where he wants him.
While citizens of all hues are engaged in national introspection over the racism that permeates our society and ongoing deadly police violence, Trump has been pandering to bigots. Plus, given Trump’s dismal leadership during the COVID pandemic, the Trumpster has been plummeting in just about every credible survey when matched up with Joe Biden. His disapproval ratings are so low that he’d lose in a landslide if the election were held today.
But it isn’t being held today. It’s more than four months away, and Trump is planning a strategy that is most reliant on Biden doing something so ridiculous that Trump will look good by comparison. Biden’s history has shown that it’s not an altogether bad game plan. Time and again, Biden has pulled defeat from the jaws of victory.
The Democrats have the same habit. At this time in 2016, Hillary Clinton was measuring the White House drapes, and we all know how that turned out. Still, even Donny — whose approach to the coronavirus was wishing it would go away, and when it didn’t, ignoring it — has acknowledged that he could be in trouble this time around. Replying to a puffball question from Sean Hannity about his next term, Trump gave a meandering response, including the dejected tone of his answer that perhaps Biden is “gonna be your president because some people don’t love me, maybe.”
Ya think? Since his inauguration Donald Trump has managed to make himself a national embarrassment with his toxic mix of ignorance, racism and outright lies. Then the country faced two overlapping crises. First it was the coronavirus. His administration’s incompetence managed to turn the pandemic into a debacle. Americans are dying at a startling rate. The spreading tragedy is partially blamed on the president’s all out campaign to prematurely reopen the country. People, particularly young people, flocked to bars to socialize over alcohol while casting aside any semblance of social distancing. You’re now seeing that in an explosion of new COVID cases.
And when these millennials staggered out of the bars and resumed their normal lives, they became carriers, particularly those who, with the president as a role model, refused to wear a face mask.
A great example of his downfall was the puny turnout at his first rally since the lockdown, held in Tulsa, Oklahoma. If you looked around at the screaming crowd, there weren’t a lot of face masks.

That followed his mishandling of the mass turnout in so many cities in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis. Floyd became a metaphor for law enforcement’s deadly abuse that has gone on for generations, but now has been documented by citizens recording video. Compound that with the Trump-inspired excessive police response to thousands of demonstrators, and the buffoonish example he set when he ordered peaceful protestors violently shoved aside so he could take his ridiculous stroll from the White House to a nearby church where he held up a Bible. Even some evangelists were offended by that.
The Democrats fear that his showing in the polls will inspire a complacency in overconfident anti-Trumpers who will stay home on Election Day and/or not bother with mail-in ballots in places where they’re allowed to use them, which is not everywhere. The Republicans are actively suppressing turnout, particularly among those afraid to cast ballots in person because of coronavirus fears.
Still, preference polls predict that Biden will wipe the floor with Trump. A word to the wise is never to count your predictions before they your predictions before they hatch.

© 2020 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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