Daily Bread for 8.1.20

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of seventy-eight.  Sunrise is 5:47 AM and sunset 8:14 PM, for 14h 26m 37s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 95.0% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand three hundred sixty-second day. 

 On this day in 1944, the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi German occupation begins.

Recommended for reading in full —

 Timothy Snyder writes Trump’s ‘Delay the Election’ tweet checks all 8 rules for fascist propaganda:

Just before 9 this morning, President Trump wrote this and pinned it to the top of his Twitter feed: “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

With this tweet, the president both revives fascist propaganda and exploits a new age of Internet post-truth: He follows a trail blazed by fascists, but adds a twist that is his own.

A fascist guide to commentary on elections would have eight parts: contradict yourself to test the faith of your followers; tell a big lie to draw attention from basic realities; manufacture a crisis; designate enemies; make an appeal to pride and humiliation; express hostility to voting; cast doubt on democratic procedures; and aim for personal power.

Trump achieves all eight with admirable concision in this one tweet. He decries voting by mail, but praises absentee ballots, which are nothing else but voting by mail. The blatant contradiction, the test of faith for the true believer, is there right at the beginning, a gatekeeper for the rest of the tweet.

The big lie, in all capitals, is that the coming elections will be the most inaccurate and fraudulent in history. Historically speaking, the greatest source of inaccuracy and fraud in our elections is the suppression of African American votes, which is bad now but has been much worse. Of course, this is not at all what Trump means, and that is the point of a big lie: to replace a familiar reality with a nonexistent problem.

Tyrants in general and fascists in particular like to manufacture crises. Something that is true but of limited significance is transformed into an emergency that requires breaking all the rules.

 Jim Swift writes Where Does Joe Biden Go to Get His Apology? (‘The right mocked Biden for correctly predicting Trump might seek to delay the election’):

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., at a fundraiser: “Mark my words, I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held.”

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and look back at how some on the right reacted.

At the Washington Examiner, my friend Jim Antle wrote a story on April 28 with the headline: “‘He’ll seize power!’ ‘He’ll postpone the election!’ The Trump schemes that never happen.”

Antle, a keen observer of politics, writes that there is no mechanism for this to happen absent Congress.

Here’s Antle quoting Jonathan Turley: “Georgetown University law professor Jonathan Turley calls the idea the ‘ultimate conspiracy theory’ and ‘little more than constitutional mythology, used for political advantage.’”

To be clear, Turley is talking about Biden here.

 Tonight’s Sky for August:

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