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In This Cruel Summer, the COVID-Era Election Looms

This week, democracy-ish dissects the state of the 2020 race with fewer than 100 days to go until the election.


  • Biden is ahead in key swing states, but this isn’t your average election year.

  • The former VP seems to be leaning back so Trump has plenty of room to fumble. Is that the best tactic in this high-stakes race?

  • We’re just days away from Biden’s big announcement. Who should he choose as his running mate? Who will he pick?


Although the latest polls suggest Trump is losing bigly, we live in unprecedented times. The president’s secret police are still terrorizing his detractors in multiple cities. The U.S. remains the epicenter of a global pandemic.


But Republicans continue to politicize the public health measures that could save lives, like masks and social distancing. They’re clamoring to reopen schools.


Even if polling is correct and Biden has an eight-to-10 point edge over Trump among likely voters, we’re still on pins and needles.


But this year’s race –– both for the White House and control of Congress –– seems to be moving in slow motion, says Toure.


Candidates “can't campaign in any real functional way like we're used to,” he explains. “It’s late July. There should be constant beehives of media around these people all the time. Thousands cheering at their stump speeches. We have none of that.”


It’s arguably the strangest election year in American history, with the highest stakes. But is Biden up to the challenge? And who will he pick for VP?


Let the speculating, and the venting, begin.



Episode Highlights –– The Shitshow Continues



Are Biden’s numbers juiced by the ‘rona?

If there wasn’t a pandemic, Danielle asks: Would Biden’s numbers be what they are?


“We can rattle off all the ways in which Trump has fucked America over the past three-and-a-half years. But aside from COVID being a complete and total disaster, with 150,000 Americans dead ... I don't know.”


Toure thinks Trump’s dismal pandemic response reflects “at least three to five points” in favor of Biden –– who has, he argues, chosen to “lean out of the way” and let the president make a fool of himself.


“Trump has to change the trajectory. Biden does not,” he adds.


Danielle agrees: “Right now, Biden is doing what Nancy Pelosi did around impeachment, which I couldn’t stand –– we'll just wait for him to impeach himself.”



Blue lies matter

This week, we’re seeing New York look a lot like Portland, with one disturbing new wrinkle.


“A gang –– and I use that word on purpose –– of plainclothes cops pull up in an unmarked van, tackle and kidnap an 18-year-old transwoman named Nikki Stone and speed off,” says Toure. “We knew that Trump would try to replicate what he did in Portland. But this wasn’t ‘federal police.’ This was the NYPD.”


New York’s “finest” claim Stone was wanted for the crime of putting stickers over police cameras.


“But we can't believe anything the police say,” Toure notes. “Two weeks ago we were told there was a national epidemic of gun violence across the country –– that homicides suddenly spiked. We’ve heard nothing more about it.”


If there was a measurable uptick of crime, the media would surely cover it. “But it went away, because the initial report was bullshit,” he adds. “The police use information like that to manipulate us.”


Case in point: NYPD's Twitter account claims rocks and bottles were thrown at them during the arrest. “We all saw the video,” says Toure. “That's just a straight-up lie to try to gain sympathy for the police.”



‘More footage’ = more bullsh*t

Police have long abused their power and justified it in the media or courts of law. They’ve attempted to obscure the facts surrounding high-profile cases like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.