Trump is gone, but, alas, far from forgotten. The little he accomplished was disastrous at the time and many of the effects are being felt now-- from a nasty socio-political atmosphere across the country and an inability for the overly-partisan country to unite to end the pandemic to inflation and a Republican Party filled with neanderthals-- many of them ascendant-- like Madison Cawthorn, Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Traitor Greene, Paul Gosar, Ronnie Jackson, Mo Brooks, etc. And that's not to mention his attempted coup and his catastrophic Supreme Court appointments.
FactCheck.org summed up his 4 miserable years statistically. And their findings are still actually chilling. After reading them, Florida Democrat Alan Grayson told me that "Looking at these statistics, it’s amazing that we survived the Trumpocalypse. Most of us, anyway."
You hear Republican trying to blame much of this crap on Biden and the congressional Democrats-- like the murder rate rising in Trump's final year to the highest level since 1997 or illegal immigration increasing-- as apprehensions at the Southwest border skyrocketed from the first day of Trump's term to the last day-- despite all his rhetoric, racism and cruelty-- by nearly 15%.
Remember when he was boasting about how he would end the trade deficit-- his wrong-headed policies increased it by 40.5% from when he took over until the voters finally booted him out-- the highest level since 2008. When he entered the White House the unemployment rate was 4.7%. When he left it was 6.3%. His policies destroyed a net of 2.9 million jobs.
After years insurance coverage increasing under Obama, the number of uninsured people dropped by 3 million people under Trump. Despite all the GOP propaganda, the federal debt increased from 14.4 trillion to 21.6 trillion, largely due to his gigantic tax break to to top 2% of families. Home prices rose 27.5%.
One good thing that Trump gets no credit for-- and wants no credit for-- is that coal production declined by 26.5% and coal-mining jobs dropped by 16.7%-- and best of all-- carbon emissions from energy consumption dropped 11.5%. Credit where credit is due.
Handgun production rose 12.5% from 2016 til 2020, a new record.
Other points FactCheck.org pointed out:
The growth of federal regulation slowed to a crawl under Trump.
The number of restrictive words and phrases (such as “shall,” “prohibited” or “may not”) contained in the Code of Federal Regulations stayed below 1.08 million for most of 2019— a little below where it was when Trump took office. But as of the day he left office, the count had crept up to just under 1.09 million — an increase of 10,141 (or 0.9%) since Trump’s inauguration.
That small increase during Trump’s four years is a big departure from the past, when restrictions grew 12.3% during Bush’s eight years and by 12.5% during Obama’s eight years, according to annual figures from the QuantGov tracking project at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.
That slowdown under Trump may be temporary, however.
In what it called “the largest deregulatory initiative of this administration,” the Trump administration issued a final rule that nullified Obama-era fuel economy standards for new cars and light trucks. Trump’s rule requires them to maintain an average efficiency of 40.4 miles per gallon by model year 2025, down from the 46.7 mpg set under Obama. But now the Biden administration is proposing new rules that it estimates will result in average efficiency of 48 mpg by model year 2026.
Murders and aggravated assaults shot up dramatically under Trump, while most other types of crime declined.
In his inaugural address, Trump darkly portrayed America as a country mired in poverty, drugs and crime. “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” he promised. But quite the contrary, the FBI’s annual Crime in the United States report, released Sept. 27, shows 4,157 more homicides were committed in 2020 than in 2016, when Trump was elected. (See Table 1.)
That translates to a murder rate per 100,000 people of 6.5 in 2020, an increase of 1.1 points since 2016. The 2020 rate was the highest since 1997, though still well below the peak 10.2 rate recorded in 1980.
The rate of aggravated assaults also rose under Trump — by 12.6%.
However, the rate of reported rapes declined by 6.1%, and the rate of robberies went down 28.2%. The burglary rate dropped 33%, and the rate of larcenies and thefts went down 19.9%, while the rate of motor vehicle thefts edged up a scant 3.7%.
The big jump in the number of murders is entirely due to a 29% rise in Trump’s final year, which also saw millions laid off from jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic; widespread protests against racism and police brutality following a Minneapolis policeman’s murder of a black man, George Floyd; and a surge in production and sales of firearms.
Trump trimmed the rolls of food-stamp recipients, but only modestly.
The number getting food stamps (now known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance) rose by 14.7 million under George W. Bush and by another 10.7 million under Obama, but fell back only 738,469 by the end of Trump’s time in office. That’s a decline of 1.7% under Trump.
Trump had attempted to cut the number of recipients even further, for example, by tightening work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents. And indeed the total number of recipients dipped below 36.9 million in February 2020. But then the COVID-19 pandemic forced 22 million out of work.
Trump then reversed course. He signed a bipartisan emergency relief bill that (among other things) both suspended the new work requirement rule temporarily and made families eligible for food stamps if their children had received free or reduced-cost meals at schools that were then closed.
During his last month in office, nearly 42 million Americans were still receiving the food aid. That’s about 12.5% of the population, or 1 out of 8 Americans.
In one term, Trump’s nominees filled one-third of the Supreme Court, nearly 30% of the appellate court seats and a quarter of District Court seats.
Supreme Court — Trump won Senate confirmation for three Supreme Court nominees, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh and Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was confirmed in late October by the Republican-led Senate, about a week before the Nov. 3 election. Trump filled one-third of all seats on the high court during his term.
Obama was able to fill only two high court vacancies during his first term (and as it turned out, during his entire eight years in office) — with Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan.
Court of Appeals — Trump also won confirmation of 54 U.S. Court of Appeals judges (30 during his first two years and another 24 in his last two years). That’s far more than the total for Obama in his first term, when he won confirmation for 30 judges (16 during his first two years and 14 more in the subsequent two years). And Trump’s total is just one shy of the 55 confirmations Obama achieved over eight years.
Trump installed nearly 30% of all the 179 appellate court judges authorized by federal law.
District Court — Trump won confirmation for 175 of his nominees to be federal District Court judges.
That’s nearly 26% of the 677 authorized district judges. Obama won confirmation for 143 in his first term and 127 in his second.
Trump also filled 10 seats on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which has nationwide jurisdiction over lawsuits seeking money from the government. And he filled three seats on the U.S. Court for International Trade. Obama filled four seats on the Court for International Trade and no seats on the Court of Federal Claims during his eight years in office.
Trump must share responsibility for this record with Republicans in the Senate.
The Republican-majority Senate not only refused to consider Obama’s appointment of Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy eventually filled by Gorsuch, but they also blocked confirmation of dozens of Obama’s nominees to lower courts. Trump inherited 17 Court of Appeals vacancies, for example, including seven that had Obama nominees pending but never confirmed.
It's Sunday morning... so let's hear how some of this has impacted the thinking of our favorite evangelical pastor, John Pavlovitz. This weekend, at Stuff That Needs To Be Said, he wrote that he has spent much of his life pastoring in predominately white churches in the South. Before that, he was raised in a family with many Conservatives. "I’ve always been surrounded by Republican voters, and until very recently I could respect their positions, even when I disagreed with them. Despite our differences, I still saw them as inherently well-intentioned people. That is becoming nearly impossible, because I now realize something about them that grieves me."
I used to think this was all about education. I’ve spent the last few years trying to make them aware of the ugliness they are tethered to, the criminality of the politicians they support, the irreparable damage they are doing to our nation’s sacred systems. I operated under the false assumption that if I could only make them aware of the malevolence of their party, that their better angels would certainly move them to fully reject it.
It’s only very recently that I realized that they already are aware:
They know their party tried to violently overthrow the Government and overturn an election, and is still actively perpetuating the big lie.
They know they are willfully prolonging the pandemic by shunning safeguards and opposing vaccines and peddling disinformation.
They know they’re gerrymandering and suppressing votes and installing corrupt electors because they can’t win elections any other way.
They know their party is fully infected with Proud Boy, KKK white supremacist domestic terrorism.
They know it is filled with unqualified, unstable sociopaths like Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Madison Cawthorn, and Marjorie Taylor Greene.
They know Donald Trump is a lying, vile, incompetent, traitorous monster who hasn’t had a noble instinct in his lifetime.
They know that their party is on balance, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-LGBT, anti-Semitic, and anti-women.
They know all these things.
They just don’t care.
Worse than that, they’re happy about it.
They are “winning,” in whatever way they define that, and so the intoxicating ends justifies the sickening, violent, shameful means. They no longer have a need to weigh the morality of the people they are in bed with, no longer worry about abiding the teachings of Jesus, no longer have to do the uncomfortable work of examining their own hearts.
The victory trumps decency.
Over the past five years, they have seen the absolutely unfathomable criminality of Donald Trump and the Republicans-- and despite knowing the depths of their misdeeds and the human collateral damage and the economic toll and the national disfigurement-- they will vote Republican again without a moment’s deliberation. I can’t get over that.
Does that sum up the Trump era for you? You want more... listen to the Liberal Redneck for 2 minutes: