55 hours binge-watching the never-before-seen and the unimaginable (America, Jan. 4-7): Part I
Notepad and pen in my right hand, TV remote control in the other, caffeine doses taken as needed. This will be a news-heavy week.
Trump's Speech on the Eve of the U.S. Senate Runoff Elections in Georgia (Jan. 4, c. 8:50 p.m.)
Neither MSNBC nor CNN are airing the speech. I am curious as to how far (low) President Donald Trump will go. Will he cross the line and openly call his "patriots" to arms? Click, click. Fox News is covering it. Tucker Carlson is on, and the MyPillow guy is selling his wares at 20-minute intervals.
It is Dalton, Whitfield County, one of north Georgia's solidly red counties, where Trump and the two sitting Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loefller, won five weeks earlier by 40-point margins.
Marine One has landed, and Trump emerges from its entrails. "USA! USA! USA!" chants the adoring MAGA-capped, unmasked crowd. Wait a minute; that's him. I spot the MyPillow guy in the crowd. Will he sleep well tonight? Will he get his money back?
"Hello, Georgia," salutes the president. "By the way, there is no way we lost Georgia; there is no way. That was a rigged election."
Tonight's litany of lies is more imaginative than usual. It borders on hallucination. Trump takes credit for the power of his coattails, but on Nov. 3, his coattails were shorter than those of a bullfighter's jacket. "I won by a landslide," he claimed. "Mexico paid for the wall." "Caravans are starting to form." "We are rounding the turn because of the vaccine." But there are no Mexican checks to show, no pictures of caravans. On this day, the U.S. added close to 200,000 new COVID-19 cases and over 2,000 Americans died of it, a turn for the worse.
Deeply concerned about the Jan. 6 congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden's victory, Trump nudges his ever-faithful VP. "I hope Mike Pence comes through for us," he says half-jokingly.
Trump says to Sen. Kelly Loeffler: "Kelly, I'd love you to come up and say a few words."
Crowd: "Kelly! Kelly! Kelly! ..." Loeffler: "I have an announcement, Georgia! On Jan. 6, I will object to the Electoral College vote count!" The MAGA crowd cheers on.