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Turkey Day applies to many days
Bob Franken
Bob Franken is an Emmy-winning journalist. - photo by File photo

Mark the day. Nov. 26 is Thanksgiving 2020. It’s a Turkey Day unlike any other. If Tony Fauci gets his way, it will be a “Zoom holiday,” not the family gathering it usually is. In his words, “You may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering, unless you’re pretty certain that the people that you’re dealing with are not infected.”

More importantly, it is 22 days after Election Day. They might be through counting the votes by then. And Donald Trump and his Republican axis of evil might be done with all the post-campaign chicanery they might dream up if their voter suppression and intimidation have not worked and Joe Biden has won the race.

The only way that Biden and his Democratic forces can avoid all the legal contrivances aimed at getting the case before an even more pliant Supreme Court is a landslide victory so massive that the GOP is rubble. That would possibly mean that the Democrats control two of the three branches of our national government -- the presidency and Congress -- while that other political branch, the judiciary, at least the Supreme Court, is firmly in control of the Republicans and ultra conservatives. And after presumed new Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s evasive pretense before the Senate, don’t believe for a minute that justices are not partisans. They are, and a desperate President Trump is counting on that to put him over the top, if he isn’t crushed by the avalanche of votes against him.

Right now it looks like that is plausible, that the American people, by wide margins, are flat-out tired of his antics. They’re onto all his tricks -- the lying, hateful, racist demagoguery. How pathetic it is that the suburban women he was trying to attract with his blatant appeal to their white-flight bigotry is no longer effective, that his warning of hordes of poor black and brown people ruining their neighborhoods doesn’t work anymore. Suburban women are no longer a monolith, certainly not a prejudiced monolith. The Jim Crow redlining segregation and anti-busing demagoguery falls on deaf ears.

It leaves the Trumpster no recourse but to grovel:

“Suburban women, will you please like me,” he begged at one of his rallies. “Please, please. I saved your damned neighborhood. OK?”

Apparently, it’s not OK with the female voters, suburban and urban, young and old, particularly the elderly, who supported him the last time around. They’ve grown weary of his insulting misogyny and his dismal record that puts us all in danger from the coronavirus. Even when he caught COVID, he blew the chance to appear humbled by the experience, maybe even empathetic. Humbled and empathetic are not in his repertoire.

Donald Trump prefers to portray himself as a Superman. If so, he is a superspreader Superman. He claims that he is now immune from COVID, telling those at one of his unmasked rallies that “I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women and everybody.”

Perhaps that is not as bad as the tape of his boasting that he’d grabbed women’s privates, but it’s still pretty disgusting. 

So we’ll either have an amazing Thanksgiving this year or a national day of mourning. It all depends on whether the election story has ended or is just heating up, and it will depend on whether we have gotten rid of this stuffed turkey or not.

Bob Franken is an Emmy Award-winning reporter who covered Washington for more than 20 years with CNN.

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