Welcome to this week’s mega issue of The Banter Brief!
1. Most Important Story Of The Week
Trump insults the troops
In this week’s issue of “what insane, illegal, immoral thing has Trump done now,” it appears the president believes American soldiers and dead war heroes are “suckers and losers”. In a stunning story broken by The Atlantic, anonymous sources have claimed the president was more interested in keeping his hair dry than paying respects to dead American soldiers, and repeatedly insulted the troops for sacrificing their lives for others:
When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.
Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.
Don’t expect Trump’s supporters to bat an eyelid over this — they stood by him after he called John McCain a “loser” and mocked him for getting caught and tortured in Vietnam. Trump is of course denying the story completely, which is a pretty sure sign it is true.
The story is a big one, and the damage will be lasting. If there’s a silver lining, it might be that this finally tips some moderates and independents over the edge just in time for November.
2. Poll Analysis
There is some concern amongst Democrats that Trump is closing in on Biden in crucial swing states, most recently Florida — a huge state worth 29 Electoral College votes. Biden is still favored to win the election according to most polling projections and simulations, but the race is tightening as we head down the stretch. Time to panic? No. But definitely time to do your part to help Biden over the line.
3. Quote Of The Week
“Every hoary stereotype leveled against the right for decades has been given credence by the GOP’s support for this monster of a human being. If moderates have any chance of defanging the snake of wokeness, and its attempt to deconstruct our Enlightenment inheritance, we must begin with removing the cancer of Trump from the body politic. It is not an ordinary cancer. It is metastasizing across the republic and spreading to the lifeblood of our democracy itself. Removing it will not be enough. But not removing it is democratic death.”
- Andrew Sullivan putting aside his disdain for the “woke left” in order to get rid of Trump and save American democracy
4. What to Watch
We like to make things easy for you here at The Banter, so you can watch this week’s recommended viewing right here. This is Joe Biden absolutely ripping into Trump after an anonymously-sourced report in The Atlantic accused the president of calling dead military veterans as “losers” and “suckers.” Rarely have you seen Biden so angry:
Bonus: ‘Blackadder’ on Amazon Prime.
This classic BBC pseudo-historical sitcom starring Rowan Atkinson is as entertaining as ever 37 years after it first appeared on British television. The show was written by Atkinson, Ben Elton and Richard Curtis and is set in several distinct periods of British history. It follows the hilarious misadventures of the scheming Edmund Blackadder (and his descendants in the following series) with a fantastic cast of future comic greats that includes Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, and Rik Mayall. Blackadder is a darkly funny, extremely intelligent comedy featuring some of the sharpest dialogue you’ll ever see. (Oh, and skip season one — it doesn’t hold a candle to the rest of the series).
5. Good News
Joe Biden’s stunning haul
This was truly extraordinary. Via NPR:
Joe Biden's campaign announced on Wednesday that it, the Democratic National Committee and joint fundraising efforts raised $364.5 million in August, breaking records for a one-month haul….
More than 50% of the month's haul, over $205 million, came from online small-dollar donations, according to the campaign, and more than 1.5 million Americans contributed for the first time in August.
This means Biden’s campaign is no longer at a huge financial disadvantage heading into November, as it has been until now. Biden still needs huge amounts of cash to take the fight to Trump effectively in the coming weeks, but this is stunningly good news.
Have a great weekend!
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This is going to get very dark, very quickly.