The widespread protests against police brutality have revealed clearly what some of us have known all along, that Trump is a paper tiger. After all his bombast demanding that governors use force to crush the demonstrations and that he would send in US troops if they did not, what has happened is that the protestors have largely ignored his threats and continue to demonstrate even in front of the White House and ignoring the curfew. The protests have been largely peaceful and when they were not, much of the violence was caused when police used force to attack demonstrators, as seen in numerous videos captured by bystanders.
The main display of military force was when they were used to clear the streets of demonstrators in order for Trump to walk to his embarrassingly inept photo op in front of a church. Military helicopters buzzed low over the crowd, a tactic used in wars overseas to threaten people. The army has immediately suspended the helicopter crew and started an investigation into who issued the order to use this dangerous military tactic in response to civilian protests.
Further embarrassment was created when it was revealed that Trump and his family had been cowering in the White House bunker while the protests were going on outside. His excuse that he had gone there briefly to inspect is yet another lie that has been met with widespread ridicule.
There is nothing Trump hates more than weakness. And the image of him cowering in an underground bunker while protesters stood outside the gates of the White House is simply not something he cannot accept. This is a man who has been telling himself a story of his life — one in which he is always the toughest, the smartest and the winner-est — for, well, his entire adult life.
While his image of toughness and strength is deeply warped, it is all he has. It is the building block on which Trump has built a person and a career — in and out of politics.
It’s why he wanted to clear protesters out of Lafayette Park, stroll across H Street and hold up a Bible in front of the historic St. John’s Church — all the while flocked by a phalanx of law enforcement officials. It’s why he tells governors that they need to “dominate” the streets against protesters and says things like “I am your President of law and order.” And it’s why he feels the need to suggest, within the friendly confines of Fox News, that he was really only going down to the bunker to “inspect” it.
An additional ignominy is the news that he has effectively built a protective wall around the White House.
The People’s House continued to be fortified from the public Thursday, as workers erected a perimeter of tall metal fencing around the White House complex.
After law enforcement forcefully dispersed peaceful protesters so President Donald Trump could participate in a photo opportunity with a Bible outside St. John’s Episcopal Church, workers were seen constructing fencing around Lafayette Park and at the intersection of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue beside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building late Monday evening.
And on Thursday, construction of additional fencing along the White House complex began before dawn — perhaps a sign of security concerns ahead of expected continuing protests this weekend.
By Thursday afternoon, the fencing extended down 17th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution Avenue.
This image of him hiding in a bunker behind a protective wall completely undercuts the image he wants to project of being a tough guy, not afraid of anything, which was always a lie.
The mayor of Washington, DC Muriel Bowser had asked him to remove the National Guard because they were simply inflaming the situation. She does not have the authority to force them to leave because the city has the unusual status of being under the direct control of the federal government. Despite his blustering, Trump does not have the power to send federal troops to the states unless he invokes the Insurrection Act, a step so extreme that even his secretary of defense does not support it. Trump complied the next day and the troops started leaving the city, but Trump insisted he was doing it because the protests had ended, when they clearly had not. In fact, Sunday saw a massive crowd that some are claiming was even larger than the one for his inauguration, and curfews are being violated all over the place. And he cannot do anything.
As is always the case, Trump is claiming victory even as he has clearly lost.
I have just given an order for our National Guard to start the process of withdrawing from Washington, D.C., now that everything is under perfect control. They will be going home, but can quickly return, if needed. Far fewer protesters showed up last night than anticipated!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2020
He gets more pathetic by the day.