The last 10 days of this election are painful and nerve-wracking
Coronavirus is exploding, and so are Trump's most desperate tricks and ugly smears.
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Jokingly, last night I asked on Twitter if I could be put in a coma for the next 12 days — and wake up after the election. It’s nerve-wracking for many of us, and just seeing the vile antics of a desperate Donald Trump is enough to want to drive you to a cave until it’s over. At the same time, it’s a relief to have the debates done and to get this election on!
It’s 10 days until Election Day — which is to say, 10 days until we start counting votes, tens of millions of which have already been cast. And no one quite knows how long we’ll be counting. I don’t want to go through scenarios, but suffice it to say that it really depends on which states come in quickly enough in terms of giving us an idea of who will win.
In the meantime, as the election is in this final sprint, we’re coming to a dark winter of the coronavirus pandemic, as Joe Biden put it at the last debate, with a one-day record shattered yesterday of over 85,000 cases. That’s showing a surge bigger than what we saw in the summer and hospitalizations and deaths are rising. It is beyond insane that through this terrible period, Trump, still claiming the pandemic is “rounding the corner,” is having rallies several times a day with thousands of people on top of one another, with no masks — including in the Florida retirement community, the Villages, and with few people wearing masks.
We will see the spikes from these rallies — in fact, we’re seeing the spikes from the earlier rallies now, in the places where Trump held rallies previously. This surge is not contained to a few states. It’s happening in over 40 states, especially much of the Midwest and Florida, where Trump has been campaigning.
The only good that Trump’s own coronavirus illness did was perhaps momentarily slowing the spread, as Trump was scheduled to do three rallies in Wisconsin — one of the hardest hit states — that weekend he was taken to Walter Reed, unable to breath and with a high fever.
But he’s back with a vengeance — including in Wisconsin — spewing racism and hate at the same rate as transmission of Covid-19 is occurring. President Obama, in his lacerating, powerful speech in Philadelphia earlier in the week, clearly pushed Trump’s buttons, decimating his ego — as we knew that speech would — as Trump has railed against Obama in his speeches in recent days, saying Obama’s middle name with emphasis in his Florida event.
And, indicative of the kind of cult followers and white supremacists turning out for his rallies, a man in Florida behind Trump continually gave the white power sign, directly into the cameras. This went on throughout the speech with no one from Trump’s campaign stopping it. It’s clear: They want to signal to white supremacists.
We’ve never seen Trump so fearful, as his campaign has blown through its money for these final critical days while Biden’s campaign has raised record amounts and is flush with cash. The sheer recklessness of gathering thousands of people in states that are exploding with coronavirus shows how dangerous Trump truly is and why Joe Biden has to win, and win big. As I said, Biden’s got the money and he’s focused on the states he needs to win while having others — like Obama, his running mate, Kamala Harris, and his wife, Jill Biden — going to the states that are gravy and will help to add to the win, while he’s running TV ads in those states as Trump is forced to pull his in many markets.
Biden’s campaign is right to make sure people don’t become complacent, warning that the polls are closer than they appear — whatever the actual case may be. So no, as much as I’d like to be in a coma, these last days we all have to double down and do what we can to turn out every damned vote, stay alert and fight it to the end.
Borat comes back at just the right time
I caught Sasha Barron Cohen’s Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, the film which brilliantly garnered a lot of pre-publicity this week because of leaked scenes in which Rudy Giuliani was duped into being in a bedroom — lying on the bed with his hands down his pants, after having drinks — with a woman he thought was an interviewer for a right-wing TV show.
You must catch it, and I don’t want to say too much to spoil it. But I will say the film is the comic genius and satire we’ve come to expect from Barron Cohen, and I was howling with laughter, certainly in the beginning. It actually becomes very real, however, with coronavirus, CPAC, Trump, Pence, QAnon, NRA nuts, white supremacists, and all the other horrors — it was shot earlier this year, clearly even into summer, and is amazingly up to date — that we’ve been experiencing. And that makes it jarring, even disturbing, even as you’re laughing all the way through.
Heading out to vote now
Early voting is beginning today in New York State. And I’ll be voting at Madison Square Garden. My plan is to go some time today, though if the line is too long I’ll have to go back. But I know a lot of you waited in line and many have told their stories on my SiriusXM show, so I’ll try to stick it out — and I can’t wait to vote. Wish me luck. And please jump in the comments.