Texas Is Threatening To Turn Blue And Trumptards Hate It

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign canceled a Friday event in Austin, Texas, after harassment from a pro-Trump contingent.

Texas has emerged as a battleground state in Tuesday’s presidential election, with polls showing the typically Republican stronghold now only marginally favoring President Donald Trump. The Biden campaign scheduled a Friday event in the state, in a bid to drum up last-minute support.


But when the Biden campaign bus drove to Austin, it was greeted by a blockade of pro-Trump demonstrators, leading to what one Texas House representative described as an escalation “well beyond safe limits.”

The cancelation comes amid national anxiety about voter intimidation, a tactic the Trump campaign has implicitly endorsed.


Historian Dr. Eric Cervini was driving to help with the Biden campaign stop when he filmed a line of pickup trucks along the highway, many of them flying Trump flags. The drivers were “waiting to ambush the Biden/Harris campaign bus as it traveled from San Antonio to Austin,” Cervini tweeted.

“These Trump supporters, many of whom were armed, surrounded the bus on the interstate and attempted to drive it off the road,” he alleged. “They outnumbered police 50-1, and they ended up hitting a staffer’s car.”


Biden campaign
A Biden campaign staffer told The Daily Beast that Trump supporters surrounded the bus on the highway and slowed down in front of it, attempting to stop it or run it off the road. The official sent a picture taken on the bus, showing Trump trucks surrounding the front of the vehicle. Staffers on the bus called police, who helped the bus reach its destination.

Footage from a CBS affiliate in Austin shows Trump supporters with signs and bullhorns surrounding the bus when it parked, with one person screaming that Biden was a communist.

Rep. Sheryl Cole, a Democrat representing nearby Pflugerville in Texas’s House, announced that a Biden event in her city had been canceled due to the harassment.

“This is a 1st for me - but we just cancelled a joint event in Pflugerville w/ @JoeBiden campaign,

@AustinYoungDems, & more, due to security reasons,” she tweeted. “Unfortunately, Pro-Trump Protestors have escalated well beyond safe limits. Sorry to all who looked forward to this fun event.”

The Biden campaign’s Texas communications director, Tariq Thowfeek, said holding the event would have placed Biden staffers and supporters at risk.

“Rather than engage in productive conversation about the drastically different visions that Joe Biden and Donald Trump have for our country, Trump supporters in Texas today instead decided to put our staff, surrogates, supporters, and others in harm’s way,” Thowfeek told The Daily Beat.

“Our supporters will continue to organize their communities for Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Democrats up and down the ballot, and to the Texans who disrupted our events today: We’ll see you on November 3rd.”

The Trump campaign—and often Trump himself—has encouraged in-person conflict around the polls. Trump used the first presidential debate to urge supporters to act as “poll watchers,” a call that sparked concerns of voter intimidation. His son, Donald Trump Jr., made an explicit call-out regarding the Biden campaign’s Texas outreach efforts.

In a video ahead of a Friday event by Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, Trump Jr. encouraged his father’s supporters to show up at Harris’s event.

“Hey Laredo, Don Jr. here,” he said. “I heard you had an awesome turnout for the Trump Train. It’d be great if you guys would all get together, head down to McAllen and give Kamala Harris a nice Trump Train welcome. Get out there, have some fun, enjoy it. Don’t forget to vote and bring all of your friends. Let’s show them how strong Texas still is as Trump country. Get out there, guys.”

Some Trump supporters appeared to heed the call. At least one Facebook event with more than 700 responses, viewed by The Daily Beast, encouraged Trump fans to attend a Harris event in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday and “give Kamala Harris a big Texas welcome… TRUMP STYLE!” The event was listed as canceled ahead of time, although its organizers acknowledged that some people might still try to attend, “and that’s your right.”

Trump supporters have previously been accused of intimidation this election. In Beverly Hills, California this week, an Australian television personality filmed participants at a pro-Trump rally shouting at her and threatening her in her car. A man brandishing a Trump flag at her appeared to photograph her and take down her license plate number.

“We’ve got you now,” the man shouted. “You’re going to vote for Trump whether you like it or not, you’ve got no choice.”


When Biden spoke at a Minnesota event on Friday, the same day as his campaign was ambushed in Austin, Trump supporters in a caravan of vehicles reportedly surrounded the venue honking their horns and chanting.

During early voting in the swing state of Virginia late last month, a caravan of Trump supporters drove to the Democratic-leaning Fairfax County and surrounded people in an early voting line, shouting at them on loudspeakers

“We had a couple of poll observers there that had to actually escort voters in because we saw people that would get to the edge of the parking lot, and see this giant group of Trumpers yelling and screaming,” the executive director of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee told The Daily Beast at the time.



[SIZE=7]Trump’s ego is defeating him… he’s sabotaging himself and vindicating the Biden strategy of letting him win.[/SIZE]


For the past several months President Trump has pursued a two-part strategy. Part 1: Win re-election. Part 2: Build up a store of excuses for losing. As much as Trump wants to win, the possibility that he might be thought of as a loser is intolerable. Trump’s complaints about mail voting and his temporizing on whether to accept losing the election consumes time and attention he could be using to focus on reasons to re-elect him. Compound all that with his need to indulge in his personal vendettas and obsession with issues nobody else cares about, and Trump wastes time and voter attention he needs for persuasion.


In spite of the conventional wisdom, the events of 2020 presented Trump with opportunities. The coronavirus could have been a winning issue for Trump. Americans like a take-charge leader in a crisis. In the wake of 9/11, George W. Bush’s approval rating soared and stayed high — even as the economy took a tumble. The secret is addressing the nation as a unifier and taking bold action.

Trump did none of that.

Outside of the China travel ban on Covid-9, his administration was a cacophony of mixed messages and infighting. There was no national coordinated effort on supplying equipment and gear. At the daily briefings, Trump looked like the emcee for open mic night at The Improv. The administration did move forward with an ambitious vaccine development effort, but that is a long, behind-the-scenes process.


And the public has taken note.

The protests and violence in the wake of George Floyd’s killing were another botched opportunity. While Americans are sympathetic to concerns about racism and favor police reform, they are very much opposed to violence, rioting, and defunding the police.

Trump had an opportunity to provide leadership, best done with a direct appeal to the nation. A strong condemnation of violence, plans to reduce it and a unifying message would have been in order. In November 1969, Nixon used this formula to great effect with his Silent Majority speech — after which Nixon achieved a 67 percent approval rating, his highest ever. But Trump has never made a national address. Instead, he offers rage tweets and extended extemporaneous rally speeches. Even worse, he does not offer any plans or real initiatives.

If Trump would have committed fully to winning, Biden might well be the one frantically scrambling for votes.


In the end, Trump does not have the courage to go for the win.
He is too afraid of being perceived as a loser. Ironic that Trump’s fear of losing is what may well make him a loser.

Texas was long projected to turn blue in 2024.
Seems it’s happening 4 years earlier.

[SIZE=7]My final election prediction: Reality wins[/SIZE]

Damon Linker
The WeekNovember 3, 2020


The Trump era has been a deranging time — and not least because the president practices a perspectival form of politics. He talks and acts as if there is no objective truth, no common world of reality and facts out there setting the boundaries of the possible. Instead, there are only “takes” — different partisan perspectives, none of which has more or less purchase on what’s happening in the world.

So, for Trump and his supporters it doesn’t matter that his approval rating has been about 10 points under water for the entirety of his presidency, or that he’s never once taken the lead in head-to-head national polls, or even once been within 3 points of Joe Biden, or that Biden has led in nearly every swing state, week after week, month after month. For Trump and his supporters, this is all irrelevant. It’s just a mirage concocted by the president’s opponents — a competing narrative that isn’t truer than the account put forth by the Trump campaign.

According to the Trump campaign’s alternative narrative, the proof is in the pictures. Just look at how many thousands of people are showing up for the president’s rallies in swing state after swing state! Look at how many Trump supporters stopped traffic in solidly blue New York and New Jersey on Sunday afternoon with their imposing-looking trucks! Biden should be terrified! A red wave is forming!


Don’t believe the gaslighting.

We’ve been bombarded by it day-in and day-out for four interminable years, with the president and his media echo chamber amplifying and repeating it endlessly. That, combined with PTSD from the outcome of the 2016 race, has left us prone to self-doubt. “Maybe it’s true,” we worry. “Maybe we just tell ourselves our own made-up stories. Sure, our narratives make use of reporting and polling data and math and probability theory. But why should those be more trustworthy than what we see with our own two eyes? Just look at those crowds in Pennsylvania! How could Biden possibly prevail there? It’s hopeless! We’re doomed!”

Yes, it’s possible that Trump could win. But it isn’t likely. At all. One necessary condition of him eking out a victory was the polls narrowing in the final two weeks of the race. It hasn’t happened by nearly enough. Two weeks ago, Biden was up by 10.5 points in [I]FiveThirtyEight[/I]'s polling average. And now? He’s up by 8.4. For comparison, on Election Day four years ago, Hillary Clinton led by 3.9 points in the final polls, less than half of Biden’s lead today. (Clinton ended up beating Trump by 2.1 points in the popular vote.)

So we’re expected to believe that a guy who won last time by a grand total of 80,000 votes scattered across three states when he was almost 4 points behind in national polls is now going to win when he’s more than 8 points behind in national polls? Sure, that could happen. But only if Trump benefits from the most drastic, consistent, systematic error in the history of modern polling.

That’s it. That’s Trump’s path to victory.

The reality of American life for the past four years is that Trump barely won the White House, it took less than a month for a majority of the country to disapprove of his presidency, and that has hardly ever changed. (For a brief period in late March and early April 2020, during a fleeting moment when it seemed like Trump was attempting to exercise leadership against the COVID-19 pandemic, his disapproval rating fell slightly below 50 percent. It took about two weeks for the numbers to revert to the norm.) The pattern is clear and incredibly consistent: A little more than two-fifths of the country laps up Trump’s B.S. like it’s a gourmet meal. But a solid, consistent majority opposes him and wants to kick him out of the people’s house.

That isn’t a “take.” That isn’t a “narrative.” That isn’t a “story.” It’s a fact.

Yes, Trump can get several thousand people to show up for a rally, just as if you live in a very pro-Trump area you may see nothing but Trump yard signs and encounter people who think Biden’s a senile socialist who smiles every time a riot breaks out in an American city. In my neighborhood in suburban Philadelphia, I see Biden signs in every direction. That doesn’t mean he’s going to win 98 percent of the popular vote. It’s a big country! My perspective is severely limited, as is that of any particular voter in any particular place. I live in a pro-Biden area. But if I drive ten minutes further out from the city, I’ll see a mixture of Biden and Trump signs. If I go a half-hour further, the Trump signs will dominate. None of this can be taken as determinative about the overall results in Pennsylvania or in the country as a whole.

That doesn’t mean we’re epistemologically at sea, or blindly groping around in the dark. We can know things about the world. The sun appears to circle the Earth, but by combining observation with mathematical calculations, we can know that in fact that Earth circles the sun. Likewise, by polling the American electorate, we can know more than we would if we simply relied on our senses, hopes, wishes, and fears. And on that basis, we have every reason to think — based on a mountain of redundant evidence — that significantly more Americans want Trump to lose than want him to win re-election.

That’s real. As real as the knowledge that the United States has not “turned the corner” on the COVID-19 pandemic, no matter how many times the president repeats the lie, and no matter how loudly crowds applaud it. We know this because more and more Americans are testing positive for the virus every day, because hospitalizations are rising, and because daily deaths from the virus (a lagging indicator) have begun to rise as well. Our senses don’t tell us this, and neither does our individual experience. We know it because we live in a civilization that keeps track of things, that aspires to understand the truth about what’s really happening in the world, and we get slowly better at both over time, even if we make plenty of mistakes and often judge badly when our own interests are at stake.

Whatever the final outcome of the election, we need to remember one thing above all others: Reality is what it is, and it doesn’t care one bit about what you want to be true. We either devote our lives to living in the world as it is or we flee into fantasy.

Those are the options, and that is the ultimate choice before us.