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Republican Playbook: Risk War With China; Attack Obama, Voting, Etc…; Ignore Trump DMT.NEWS

Article by WN.Com Correspondent Dallas Darling

The Republicans may have ignored the Obama Administration’s step-by-step playbook in how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, but they are not about to ignore their own playbook for the November election. Neither are they going to let President Donald Trump’s chaotic and failed response towards the COVID-19 pandemic go to waste. Instead, they plan to risk a war with China; attack Barack Obama, the Democrats, the Deep State, voting rights, etc…; offer Americans a litany of conspiracy theories and false hope; and above all ignore Trump.

The decision to finally ignore Trump was made when Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed more of the president’s misstatements, falsely accusing the Obama administration of failing to leave the Trump administration “any kind of game plan” for something like the COVID-19 pandemic. After he was fact-checked about the 69-page “Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Diseases Threats and Biological Incidents” left by the previous administration, McConnell was forced to issue an embarrassing apology. It will not happen again.

Attack and Risk War with China

The Republican Party’s 57-page document urges candidates to stay relentless on message when responding to any questions about COVID-19.

“Don’t defend Trump, other than the China travel ban-attack China.”

The memo includes guidance for what Republican candidates can say when asked whether blaming China for the pandemic incites racism or shifts the blame. “No one has suffered more from the murderous Communist Chinese Party dictatorship than the people of China. We stand with them against their corrupt government that caused this pandemic.”

The playbook encourages Republicans to blame the virus on China and to fuel an anti-Chinese sentiment at home and abroad and for the Pentagon to confront Chinese maritime claims in the South China Sea with US warships and planes. In the meantime, China is not amused. The US ships have become so provocative that China’s intelligence ministry issued a report to President Xi Jinping warning: “The risk of a direct war with the US is at its highest since the Tiananmen Square Massacre.” A war Republicans are willing to risk if it means holding on to power.

Attack Immigrants and Obama

Republicans had been excited to launch Trump’s 2020 campaign, touting it a win for capitalism and the corporate right. The only problem is the economy tanked.

They have decided to ramp up racist attacks, to divide and conquer. The order that all immigration would be suspended was the first step. The second included suspending those who passed all requirements for U.S. citizens. The third is racially coded: anti-lockdown protesters are “very fine people;” blacks are dying disproportionately due to lifestyles; and there is another story to the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.

Charles Blow goes a step further and claims that Obama “lives” in the president’s head because the current president knows his predecessor is everything he is not: “intelligent, articulate, adroit and contemplative.” More importantly, “Trump is a racist at heart who cannot stand a black man overshadowing him-and still does more than three years after leaving the Oval Office.” Destroying Obama’s legacy and remaining silent when blacks are murdered is a way to reinforce a colonial, white nationalistic and supremacist view that African Americans are inferior.

Attack Voting Rights

Republican operatives have also decided to rely exclusively on Trump’s base instead of healing and uniting a broken country.

Since a minority voted him into office in 2016 and he has not been unable to grow his base, they plan to win by attacking voting rights.

The latest volley was to hire 50,000 poll watchers on election day to monitor polling stations and prevent voter fraud. They really hope this kind of vigilantism, together with gerrymandered districts, strict voter ID laws, and the shutting of certain polling places, will drive many minority voters away in November.

Another attack is the threat to block funding for states that may decide absentee voting in November. Both Trump and the Republicans agree that if states like Michigan decide to send absentee ballot applications to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, funds for the coronavirus virus should be “held up.” Although withholding funds is illegal, they could appeal to the Supreme Court which is currently dominated by right-wing judges. Voting rights activists call it “blackmail,” warning that forced public voting will only serve to keep many away who plan to vote Democrat.

Attack Democrats, Push Conspiracies

The Republican’s China coronavirus conspiracy has one aim: get Trump elected. Keven Rudd reports that News Corps is campaigning full-bore for the president with reports of a Wuhan lab “intelligence” dossier that COVID-19 either escaped from a Chinese lab or was created as a biological weapon. There also is the 5G, Bill Gates, GMO, and Deep State/Big Pharma conspiracies, and the one made popular by the president: the virus is a “hoax” and does not even exist. Plots like these often exist as a rhetorical tool to shift blame or a way to escape inconvenient conclusions.

By pushing conspiracies, Republicans also hope to portray Trump as a victim, linking Democrats and any whistleblower to the Deep State. The House’s “new articles of impeachment” to review withheld documents from the Mueller Report has already been labeled a Deep State plot. So have the IGs that were just purged. One passed on information about Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president. Another found kickbacks with a $2 trillion pandemic relief fund. The last wrote about the severe shortages of supplies and equipment in hospitals around the country.

Attack Experts, Suppress Death Toll

Newly leaked documents just showed how the Trump White House and Republicans concealed the spread of the virus and muzzled the Center of Disease Control’s early COVID-19 warnings. Several CDC employees advised the president to issue a public alert for air travelers and to consider travel bans-long before Trump banned flights from China. “We’ve been muzzled,” said one CDC official during a live interview on CNN.

“What’s tough is that if we would have acted earlier on what we knew and recommended, we would have saved lives and money.”

The Trump White House and Republicans are also pressuring states to understate the actual number of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Some Red states, like Georgia and Florida, have had to apologize after being found to have undercounted the ever-rising death toll. This has not stopped Republican operatives from recruiting “pro-Trump” doctors to openly support the president. They are being paid to go on national television to discredit the seriousness of the virus and prescribe reviving the U.S. economy as quickly as possible. The full picture may never be known.

Make False Promises

The Republicans are betting that the promises made about COVID-19 and the economy will not be as bad as the lies. News of a potential vaccine for the president’s hand-picked Moderna trial and announcement that he was taking hydroxychloroquine caused stocks to rally.

Ethics experts say, however, that the promises are a prime example of why there needs to be more regulation and transparency over the coronavirus vaccine race, specifically since Trump and his Republican backers stand to make millions from lucrative stock options whether the vaccine fails or not.

Dr. Tom Inglesby of the conservative-leaning John Hopkins University and Center for Health Security was more truthful. He said a vaccine for the novel coronavirus may arrive by the end of the year, but do not “bank on it.” A year to year-and-a-half timeline for a vaccine normally would be unrealistic. He was also worried that half of the counties in the U.S. do not have testing kits. This still will not deter Republicans from making more drug deals and promises that may never occur. For many of Trump’s supporters, false hope is better than having to admit failure.

Focus on Battleground States, Ignore Trump

Another plan of attack is to pour campaign funds into battleground states Trump won in 2016, which some say is a “flashing red warning sign” for his re-election chances. In addition to concerns over a stagnant base, Republican operatives worry that he may be “losing” his base. Some have become so desperate that they are dusting-off their 2016 playbook that beat Hillary Clinton.

But this time it will be difficult to paint the president as the outsider, or as someone who is an anti-establishment candidate and wants to “drain the swamp” in Washington, DC.

Some Republican officeholders in competitive districts even fear the president’s unpopularity-particularly in view of his COVID-19 failures and the collapse of the economy. This is especially true in centrist districts where lawmakers like Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) are up for reelection. According to the New York Times, he could rise or fall based on how he speaks about Trump and the pandemic. The president’s combative news conferences do not help. Rep. John Katko (R-NY) admitted, “It does make it difficult at times.” The playbook warns: “Steer clear of Trump.”

Betting on Conservative Courts

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, and his Secretary of State, another Republican, moved to cancel voting in the state earlier this year after the state Supreme Court Justice Keith Blackwell announced he would step down after his six-year term expires at the end of 2020. Consequently, that same high court just ruled last week that a special election set for Tuesday could be canceled. The state Supreme Court which is led by Republicans sided with Kemp in a 6-2 vote and opens the door for future cancellations and possible election rigging.

On the national level, Republicans are betting on the Supreme Court to do the same. Even as the president botched nearly every single aspect of the federal response to the COVID-19 crisis and they prepare to cover up the number of cases and deaths to make his “numbers” look good, they are expecting the Court to rule that a

“sitting president is immune from any and all investigation and prosecution, and he is also immune from congressional oversight.”

At least this is what Trump’s lawyers are arguing as the Court weighs-in on three important cases concerning Trump.

When All Else Fails…

The Republicans are already prepared for a contested election in November that may have to be decided by the Supreme Court. Even worse, a war with China. On Wednesday, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) told his colleagues that,

“The international order must be ripped up to avoid America taking second place to the imperialists in Beijing.”

He went on to say, “The system designed by Western policy makers at the end of the Cold War do not serve our purposes in this new era.” Consequently, China is not about to sit by in the face of such threats and belligerent talk.

There is one more plan in the Republican playbook if the Supreme Court or China options do not work. Just as then-candidate Trump warned Clinton and the Democrats in 2016 that he might not accept the election results if he is losing, he has hinted at doing the same if he is losing to Joe Biden or any other candidate. Considering that the Republican Party has become much like their leader, Donald Trump, it is more than just a possibility.

Dallas Darling (darling@wn.com)

(Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Reading on Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some Nations Above God: 52 Weekly Reflections On Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context of John’s Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace. He is a correspondent for www.WN.com. You can read more of Dallas’ writings at www.beverlydarling.com and www.WN.com/dallasdarling.)



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