Trump Announces "Demand a Recount" Tour

Come for the faux outrage, leave with the Rona!

COMING SOON to an airport nowhere near you, it’s Donald Trump & The Four Seasons Total Landscaping’s “Demand a Recount” Tour! The band is expected to play their latest smash hit, “Stop the Steal,” as well as new tracks like “Count the Votes (Don’t Count the Votes),” “70 Million LEGAL Votes,” and “Pennsylvania Loves Me, No Really,” plus old favorites like “Hunter Biden’s Laptop,” “China,” “Proud Boys (Stand By),” “Sleepy Joe,” “Sad!,” “Alternative Facts,” “Covfefe,” “Lock Her Up,” “Nancy Got Her Hair Done,” and the all-time FM radio classic, “AOC and Her MS-13 Caravans Are Going to Impose Shari’a Law, Take Your Guns, and Make the Country Socialist.”

Sadly, this is not all a big joke. As Alayna Treene of Axios reports,

President Trump plans to brandish obituaries of people who supposedly voted but are dead—plus hold campaign-style rallies—in an effort to prolong his fight against apparent insurmountable election results, four Trump advisers told me during a conference call this afternoon.

This was entirely predictable. Indeed, on one of the “Narativ Live” shows last week, I forecast that Trump would continue his rallies—of course he would—if only to assuage his battered, bruised, broken ego. It must sting to lose the popular vote and the Electoral College so decisively, and to know beyond all doubt that most people really do hate your fucking guts.

The irony of Trump reading the names of dead people is off the chain. Not only has his genocidally negligent response exacerbated the pandemic, at a cost of almost 300,000 American lives, but his unnecessary campaign rallies actively contributed to the spread of the virus. The guy went on a superspreader tour! After contracting the virus himself! If the president wants to “brandish obituaries,” there are many thousands that he is personally responsible for generating. I suggest starting with Herman Cain’s.

What makes this charade even more pathetic is that, while recounts will be demanded ad nauseum and ad infinitum, as Bill Barr and Mitch McConnell signaled yesterday, none will actually materialize. Because recounts cost money. Real money. And Trump and his cronies are not investing a single kopek in an exercise they know damn well is futile. Over the weekend, I spoke with a friend who is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania. He told me that a recount there has to be undertaken county by county. There are 67 counties in the Commonwealth. The expense would require a fresh infusion of capital from Deutsche Bank. It ain’t happening.

Rather, Trump is using the recount as a means to fundraise. It’s one last grift before he vacates the premises. As the historian Heather Cox Richardson wrote last night: “When you remember that Trump’s strong suit has always been distraction, and that he has always used the presidency as a money-making venture, I wonder if we need to factor those characteristics in when we think about his unprecedented and dangerous refusal to admit he has lost this election.”

Like the cult leader he is, Trump wants his disciples to cough up still more of their hard-earned cash—not to underwrite a recount, but to service a debt. His campaign is, somehow, massively in the red (cut to the Ferrari and the Range Rover in Brad Parscale’s garage). As the Wall Street Journal reports:

Starting early Wednesday, the campaign and the Republican National Committee have been sending dozens of daily text messages and emails saying they need financial support to challenge voting procedures.

“We must PROTECT the Election!” says one campaign text Friday signed by Mr. Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. “My father’s calling on YOU to help bolster our critical Election Defense Fund.”

Clicking through to the donation page, potential givers can review a disclaimer that 50% of any contribution will be used for general election campaign debt retirement and 50% for the campaign’s recount account.

Other Trump fundraising pitches in recent days ask for help to “protect the integrity of this election” but lead to a donation page for Mr. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” committee. The fine print on those solicitations says 60% of a contribution helps the campaign retire debt and 40% goes to the Republican National Committee.

This particular grift is easy to spot. The investigative journalism here was not all that. As the Wall Street Journal article notes, the truth is right there on Trump’s own website. This should be pointed out to any riled-up MAGA before he and his money are parted. It would be much more effective messaging than insisting they are all racists, or teaching them math.

This is also why Trump won’t concede, as my lawyer friend also told me. Once the president formally throws in the towel, he has to stop demanding a recount, and once he lets that I’m-the-victim narrative go, how can he solicit donations? “Help a supposed billionaire pay off the debt of his losing campaign” is probably not an effective fundraising pitch.

In short, Trump is going on the road for the same reason any over-the-hill rock band reunites for one last “farewell” tour: he’s broke. The aforementioned Deutsche Bank is considering foreclosing on his properties if he doesn’t service his massive debt. Already the rally crowds are much smaller than they were four years ago—and it isn’t all because of covid.

We have entered the “Puppet Show & Spinal Tap” phase of the Donald John Trump experience, when the eponymous band is so out of fashion that they are not even the headliners at a lousy state fair, but rather play second fiddle to marionettes. In that classic comedy, Spinal Tap rebounds from this humiliation by finding success overseas. Perhaps Trump will follow suit. In the waning days of his Administration, he’s given the United Arab Emirates, home of his key ally Erik Prince, quite the parting gift:

As I’ve written previously, it would not surprise me if Trump wound up fleeing to Dubai, where there’s golf and tacky architecture and sex trafficking and no extradition. Certainly there’s a greater likelihood of that outcome than an outright Trumpist coup, in which flaccid Bill Barr, purple Mitch McConnell, stinky Rudy Giuliani, the Proud Boys, Don Junior’s coke dealer, and whichever of Trump’s covid-wracked inner circle aren’t on ventilators thwart the will of the American people, our NATO allies, our military, our intelligence community, our judicial system, Wall Street, Hollywood, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and every living ex-president, to reinstate a grifting buffoon who doesn’t know the difference between polls and people from Poland.

Winning the election was vitally important for the survival of the republic. We won. But we knew that the lame duck period was going to be crazy and fraught with danger, just as we knew Trump would not go quietly, or willingly, or gracefully.

This is a show. That’s all it is. But that show has been canceled, and there are very few episodes left. For Donald John Trump, the finale is near.


Programming note: I am taking a much-needed vacation, planned months ago, for the remainder of this week. I will not update the site, and I will also try and stay off Twitter. PREVAIL will be back on Tuesday. In the meantime, please remain calm and don’t panic. We shall prevail!