And by 10 a.m. Trump departed to go play golf, skipping a special side conference that was focused on the coronavirus crisis that’s exploding in many countries — including our own.
Beyond Trump’s non-stop efforts to erode US democracy with lies about voter fraud, the dangerous blocking of the start of President-elect Joe Biden’s transition until the General Services Administration makes a determination that he won the election means the incoming administration can’t start the process of working with all of the federal agencies, including the Covid-19 vaccine team, to prepare for battling this deadly virus and putting in place a vaccine distribution plan. As Biden recently warned about Trump’s actions, “More people may die if we don’t coordinate.” Appealing to Trump to do the right thing for the good of Americans is a fool’s errand. Trump only cares about Trump. We need to make his incentive something that benefits Trump personally. So here’s an offer to Trump: Resign today and American taxpayers will cover the cost of unlimited golf between now and January 20, the day Biden is sworn in — or “Freedom from Trump day,” as I refer to it.
Yes, I know, many of you are saying, “Don’t we already pay for Trump’s golf?!” Fair point. Exact numbers are hard to confirm, but given that it can cost millions every time the President takes a trip — and that Trump had already spent 266 days during his Presidency at a Trump golf course by May of 2020 — it’s clear that Trump’s love of golf has cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars for the federally-funded security and transport needed to get him to his favorite courses. After all, Trump doesn’t just golf in the United States — he likes to play in places like his resorts in Scotland and Ireland too.
I hope Trump takes a moment from tweeting unfounded conspiracy theories to check out Golf Digest’s top 100 golf courses outside the US. (In reality, I’m betting Trump has read Golf Digest more than his daily intelligence briefings.) There, Trump will be treated to an eye-popping buffet of magnificent golf courses that he can visit at our expense while we wait for Biden’s inauguration.
Trump could begin at the top-rated golf course in the world, Royal County Down Golf club located in Newcastle, Northern Ireland.
This course, founded in 1889, is located between Dundrum Bay to the east and Mountains of Mourne to the south and is famous for its “gorse-covered dunes in golden bloom.” As Golf Digest notes, “There is no lovelier place in golf.” From there, Trump could jet over to New Zealand to play the world’s second-highest-rated golf course, Tara Iti golf club.
For golfers, this must be the eighth wonder of the world, with a course that took two years of “gently re-sculpting the sandy soil into hummocks, punchbowls and sand dunes that look like they were formed by wind and vegetated by nature.” It’s breathtaking — and it could be Trump’s at no cost to him if he simply signs that resignation paper. (Of course, he might have to wait until New Zealand lifts its coronavirus travel ban — but perhaps if he books now he can get a credit for later.)
But wait, there’s more. Trump could then skip over to South Korea to play the ninth-ranked golf course in the world, South Cape Owners club, located on the picturesque Namhae Island. This course not only features a view of the ocean from every tee, but it could also feature a very special golfing partner. That’s right: the man Trump exchanged “love letters” with, the one and only dictator of North Korea: Kim Jong Un. Trump already asked Kim to play golf in their February 2019 summit, as noted in Bob Woodward’s recent book, “Rage.” In fact, Trump said to Kim, “Let’s go play a round of golf” and “Let’s go to a movie together.” Well, now they can do both, and we US taxpayers will foot the bill if Trump accepts our offer.
Trump is the “Art of the Deal” guy, so he might say I want more than free golf, how about a pardon?! I can understand Trump’s desire for one considering the potential criminal investigations he is facing upon leaving office. But all we are offering is golf — take it or leave it.
I think most Americans — or at least the 51% of voters who cast a ballot for Biden — would agree Trump can gleefully enjoy all the taxpayer-financed golf, diet Cokes and burgers he can handle between now and January 20. In exchange, all he has to do is resign right away. It’s a win for all involved. This could save American lives from Covid-19, save our democracy from Trump’s assault and provide Trump the freedom to focus on what he does best: Golf and tweeting. What do you say, Mr. President?
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden square off on Tuesday in their first presidential debate. With five weeks to go until the Nov. 3 general election, the stakes are high.
The face-to-face match-up comes after the New York Times revealed that Trump, a wealthy former businessman and reality television star, paid only $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017, and no federal income taxes in 10 of the previous 15 years through 2017.
The report, which Trump called “total fake news,” gives Biden a fresh opening to make his case that his working-class roots better position him to understand the economic struggles of everyday Americans than the billionaire occupying the White House.
Trump also faced persistent questions, based on his statements about a rigged election, about whether he will accept the voting results should he lose. With millions at home watching, how will he respond if Biden pushes him to commit to a peaceful transfer of power?
Both candidates will scuffle over Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump is using his pick to rally his conservative voter base and distract from his record on the coronavirus and other matters, while Biden is warning of threats to health care and abortion rights.
For Biden, the debate will serve as sort of a reintroduction. While he has held limited events in some states and given media interviews, the coronavirus pandemic has largely rendered him off stage for months.
That has allowed Biden to keep the focus where he wants it: on Trump and his performance in office. But on Tuesday, the Democratic nominee will have to make his own case for the presidency, while giving concise answers and avoiding some of the verbal mishaps that have plagued him throughout his political career.
With Biden leading in polls, a strong outing could place Trump in even worse shape. A weak one could reshape the race.
Faced with alarming coronavirus statistics or unrest in the streets, Trump is quick to blame Democratic officials, activists, scientists – anybody but him. One of Biden’s goals will be making sure the public understands that Trump is the one in charge.
Trump could use his office to his advantage, as he often tries to do with the economy. Voters like to see a president take responsibility – for the good and the bad.
John Geer, an expert on voter opinion at Vanderbilt University, wonders if Trump will react poorly to sharp or unfriendly queries from moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News. “Will Trump have a tough time answering non-softball questions?” Geer said.
TWISTING THE TRUTH
As Trump’s campaign rallies show, he can fire off falsehoods in machine-gun fashion. Examples include the Republican’s common claim that the U.S. economy was operating at historic levels before the pandemic (it wasn’t) and that the virus has largely dissipated (it hasn’t).
Attempting to constantly pin Trump to the truth could turn Biden into a real-time fact-checker – possibly to the Democrat’s detriment.
“It’s a big mistake to try and do that,” said Aaron Kall, the director of debate at the University of Michigan. “You have to focus on your own agenda.”
DOWN IN THE MUD
Biden has worried aloud about reacting to Trump’s propensity for ad hominem attacks. On the campaign trail, the former vice president has sometimes shown flashes of temper, getting his “Irish up” as he calls it.
Trump in a tweet on Sunday went as far as to suggest Biden will be on performance-enhancing drugs during the debate, signaling that perhaps there is little he will not do or say to rattle Biden and disrupt the proceedings.