By Robert A. Vella

During the Siege of Yorktown in 1781, the British army under Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis became trapped on the Virginia Peninsula between a French naval force (which had cutoff its logistical support) and a superior Franco-American army under General George Washington closing in from the southwest.  Cornwallis constructed concentric rings of fortifications to defend his position, but vigorous assaults forced his perimeter to contract.  Without any hope of resupply, reinforcements, or escape, Cornwallis surrendered which effectively ended the American Revolutionary War.

Today, President Donald Trump is in an analogous position.  Trapped between a populace increasingly hostile towards his corrupt and tyrannical administration, and growing dissent among U.S. military leaders and even among his own political party, Trump has retreated into the White House and is erecting defensive fortifications around it.  To make matters worse, Trump’s logistical support from his strongest allies (i.e. Russia and Saudi Arabia) is being restricted by social media giants which are also feeling the heat from an angry public.  Like Cornwallis before him, Trump’s situation looks dire as darkness descends on his presidency.

When one builds a structure upon a weak foundation, cracks begin to emerge before an inevitable collapse.  For Trump, the cracks are numerous and widening.

After a parade of high-ranking former military officers condemned Trump’s unconstitutional and fascist employment of armed forces (some of which resemble the secret police and paramilitary units typical of authoritarian countries) against the George Floyd murder protests, he launched a barrage of tirades against his detractors.  He is demonizing peaceful protesters as “terrorists,” and is engaging in a bitter fight with the mayor of Washington, D.C. over how to respond to them.  Trump vowed to oppose Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) reelection (which is still two years away) after she agreed with General James Mattis on the floor of the U.S. Senate.  Also in the Senate, Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is blocking Trump’s new inspector general nominees, the Intelligence Committee took the bold step of requiring political campaigns to disclose foreign assistance, and conflicts arose between Republicans in two other committees involved in efforts to discredit the Russian collusion investigations by the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  See:

White House mood darkens as Trump battles with James Mattis, criticism over Bible photo op

Trump vows to help oust GOP senator after criticism: ‘Get any candidate ready’

Grassley blocks nominees over Trump’s inspector general firings

Senate panel approves legislation requiring campaigns to report foreign election help

Raw feelings abound as Senate turns back to Russia probe

Regarding Trump’s reelection hopes, the news is all bad.  Poll after poll after poll consistently shows him and his party trailing Joe Biden and Democrats by large margins.  Even more worrisome than the net polling deficits is evidence of the erosion of Trump’s base supporters.  One GOP pollster said yesterday that the 2020 election is looking like the Republican disaster of 1964.  The Trump campaign knows this, and that’s why they are pumping money into traditionally reliable red states such as Arizona, Iowa, and Texas.  See:

Americans disapprove of Trump response to George Floyd death and protests, polls find

Election 2020: The electoral map is tilting badly against Donald Trump right now

The Electoral College won’t save Trump if this keeps up

George Floyd protests created a surge in voter registrations, groups say

Desperate for good news, Trump overhyped the Department of Labor’s employment report for May which showed a modest dip in the nation’s staggering unemployment rate (when states began easing “stay at home” restrictions) despite questions about the accuracy of the new numbers.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the rate of new COVID-19 cases is once again rising in the U.S. almost assuredly because of the easing of those restrictions.  What did Trump say months ago, that the heat would kill coronavirus and that the pandemic would disappear by summer?  Well, the heat is definitely rising… but only on him.  Here’s the news:

From:  With White House effectively a fortress, some see Trump’s strength — but others see weakness

The security perimeter around the White House keeps expanding. Tall black fencing is going up seemingly by the hour. Armed guards and sharpshooters and combat troops are omnipresent.

In the 72 hours since Monday’s melee at Lafayette Square, the White House has been transformed into a veritable fortress — the physical manifestation of President Trump’s vision of law-and-order “domination” over the millions of Americans who have taken to the streets to protest racial injustice.

The White House is now so heavily fortified that it resembles the monarchical palaces or authoritarian compounds of regimes in faraway lands — strikingly incongruous with the historic role of the executive mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, which since its cornerstone was laid in 1792 has been known as the People’s House and celebrated as an accessible symbol of American democracy.

From:  As protests grip Washington, President Trump and D.C. Mayor Bowser clash in contest over control of city streets

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and President Trump were engaged in an escalating contest over control of Washington streets when the email from a military planner set off new alarms in the mayor’s office.

The official was seeking guidance Wednesday afternoon for the U.S. Northern Command in determining “route restrictions” for the “movement of tactical vehicles” and “military forces” from Fort Belvoir, Va., into the city to assist in “Civil Disturbance Operations.”

To Bowser’s aides, the request smacked of an imminent escalation in the federal force Trump had marshaled to quell the large street demonstrations over police brutality near the White House — the centerpiece of his bid to project the image of a strong leader who would establish “law and order” where local leaders had failed across the nation. Days earlier, Trump had falsely accused Bowser (D) in a tweet of refusing to allow D.C. police to assist in crowd control in Lafayette Square.

Related story:  National Guard troops surge into DC for George Floyd protests but who’s in charge?

From:  “Unacceptable”: Democrats sound alarm over unidentified law enforcement patrolling D.C. protests

photos of unidentified, armed officers donning face shields and protective gear standing guard near the White House have raised concerns among Democrats, who are warning that the dearth of insignia and identifying information could deny victims the ability to hold officers accountable if they engage in misconduct.

“This is unacceptable that you have armed uniformed security, with no identification,” Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, told reporters on Capitol Hill. “It allows for really dangerous potential mischief. When things go wrong you need to be able to identify who it was that punched a reporter or took a club to a protester, and without identification, there’s really no way to do real accountability.”

From:  Live Updates on George Floyd Protests: A National Push for Sweeping Reforms

“It was not the coronavirus pandemic that killed George Floyd,” said Benjamin Crump, the civil rights lawyer who represents the Floyd family. “It was that other pandemic we’re all too familiar with in America — it was that pandemic of racism and discrimination that killed George Floyd.”

That message was also carried by demonstrators who again took to the streets from Seattle to New York City.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who delivered a eulogy for Mr. Floyd, pledged that his death would be a catalyst for change, after a video showed a white police officer kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes as he lay face down and handcuffed on the pavement, saying, “I can’t breathe.”

The protests, Mr. Sharpton said, have a straightforward symbolic message: “Get your knee off our necks.”

Related stories:

Global Leaders Urge U.S. to Protect Reporters Amid Floyd Protests

Another Man Who Said ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Died in Custody. An Autopsy Calls It Homicide.

Testimony: Shooter used racist slur as Arbery lay dying

Washington DC paints a giant ‘Black Lives Matter’ message on the road to the White House

The ‘Defund the Police’ Movement Is Growing. Here’s What It Actually Means

From:  US coronavirus deaths: Over 1,000 reported in the past 24 hours

Any uncertainty about venturing out during a coronavirus pandemic has been seemingly cast aside to protest police brutality after watching the video of George Floyd pinned under an officer’s knee in Minneapolis. They’ve chanted slogans and shouted Floyd’s name, some without masks. During arrests, police have loaded them into vehicles and holding cells — without social distancing.

But despite the sudden shift, coronavirus isn’t over. So far this week, 4,430 people have been reported dead since Sunday. Of those, 1,036 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours.

And by late Thursday, the virus had killed more than 108,000 people in the United States and infected at least 1.8 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.

See also:  CDC is worried Americans aren’t following its advice as U.S. coronavirus cases continue to rise

From:  Coronavirus Rips Into Regions Previously Spared

Globally, known cases of the virus are growing faster than ever with more than 100,000 new ones a day. The surge is concentrated in densely populated, low- and middle-income countries across the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and South Asia.


The pandemic’s new direction is bad news for the strongmen and populist leaders in some of those countries who, in its early stage, reaped political points by vaunting low infection rates as evidence of the virtues of iron-fisted rule.

From:  U.S. Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Fell in May as Hiring Rebounded

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 2.5 million after a 20.7 million tumble the prior month that was the largest in records back to 1939, according to Labor Department data Friday. The jobless rate fell to 13.3% from 14.7%.

Economist forecasts had called for a decline of 7.5 million in payrolls and a jump in the unemployment rate to 19%. No one in Bloomberg’s survey had projected improvement in either figure.


One caveat noted by the U.S. Labor Department: the unemployment rate “would have been about 3 percentage points higher than reported” if data were reported correctly, according to the agency’s statement. That refers to workers who were recorded as employed but absent from work due to other reasons, rather than unemployed on temporary layoff.


Conservative Appeals Court Rules Texans Have No Right to Vote by Mail

Trump, Citing Pandemic, Plans Two Moves to Weaken Key Environmental Protections

6 thoughts on “Darkness descends on Fortress Trump

  1. Heartening to see Biden just 1 point behind Trump in Texas. To flip it would be awesome, but just making them pump resources into that state to try and *save* it will be a huge win.

    Is the senate looking like it will flip? (I saw today the Dem contender is — also — just 1 point behind Graham)

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