The Monday Morning Teaser

Weeks like this raise a difficult question for anybody trying to summarize the news: Is Trump’s fascism supposed to distract us from his incompetence and corruption, or is it the other way around? Whatever I lead with, I wonder if I’ve taken the bait and missed the more important story.

The most eye-catching thing this week has been Portland’s resistance to the tear-gassing, stick-wielding secret police Trump has sent to crush dissent. The protests continue to grow, as Moms, Dads, veterans, nurses, and even grandmothers flip the script on our would-be strongman: It is the protesters who now look like America, and Trump’s goons who look like the violent America-haters.

But as the number of Americans dead from coronavirus closes in on 150,000 and Trump’s insistence that the schools have to open collides with his lack of any plan for opening them safely, it’s hard to ignore the incompetence theme. All of the countries we usually compare ourselves to are handling this pandemic, and we’re not.

And it’s hard to go a week without a major corruption story. This week we found out that Trump pushed our ambassador to the United Kingdom to try to get the British Open moved to a golf course Trump owns in Scotland. Supposedly there’s an inspector general’s report on this incident, which is conveniently classified.

But instead, the featured post is something more broadly cultural: After raising the subject of “cancel culture” in the weekly summary two weeks ago — and getting a lot of thoughtful objections from my commenters — I’m back with a longer article, which I haven’t titled yet. That should be out around 11 EDT. This week’s summary will address the fascism/incompetence/corruption trifecta, as well as Senate Republicans’ inability to put together a new stimulus package, the rising Covid-19 death rate, and a few other things, like AOC’s epic evisceration of Ted Yoho on the floor of the House. That should be out around 1.

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