Here are the main events that occurred in Politics this week:
1. Former President Barack Obama Assails President Donald Trump in Democratic National Convention Speech
Former President Barack Obama delivered an unsparing attack on President Donald Trump at the virtual Democratic National Convention on August 19, accusing his successor of using the nation’s highest office to help himself and his friends, and treating the presidency like a “reality show” to get “the attention he craves.” Speaking from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia under the convention night’s theme of “A more perfect union,” Obama accused Trump of failing to take the job seriously, resulting in a massive death toll due to the pandemic, job, and economic losses, and the diminished US standing around the world. “He’s shown no interest in putting in the work; no interest in finding common ground; no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves,” Obama told a national prime-time audience. “Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t. And the consequences of that failure are severe: 170,000 Americans dead. Millions of jobs gone while those at the top take in more than ever. Our worst impulses unleashed. Our proud reputation around the world badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before,” Obama said.
2. Former Vice President Joe Biden Accepts Democratic Nomination
Former Vice President Joe Biden accepted the Democratic presidential nomination on August 20, beginning a general-election challenge to President Donald Trump that Democrats cast this week as a rescue mission for a country equally besieged by a crippling pandemic and a White House defined by incompetence, racism, and abuse of power. Speaking before a row of flags in his home state of Delaware, Biden urged Americans to have faith that they could “overcome this season of darkness,” and pledged that he would seek to bridge the country’s political divisions in ways President Trump had not. “The current president has cloaked America in darkness for much too long — too much anger, too much fear, too much division,” Biden said. “Here and now, I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. I will be an ally of the light, not the darkness.” Biden’s appearance was an emphatic closing argument in a four-day virtual convention in which Democrats presented a broad coalition of women, young people, and racial minorities while going to unusual lengths to welcome Republicans and independent voters seeking relief from the tumult of the Trump era. The former Vice President alluded to that outreach, saying that while he is a Democratic candidate, he will be “an American president.” And in implicit contrast with Trump, Biden said he would “work hard for those who didn’t support me.” “This is not a partisan moment,” he said. “This must be an American moment.”
3. House of Representatives Introduces Bipartisan Measure Condemning QAnon Conspiracy Theorist Organization
Two lawmakers introduced a bipartisan measure on August 25 condemning the ring-wing conspiracy theory QAnon a week after President Donald Trump said the theory’s followers “like me very much” and QAnon-linked candidates won Republican congressional primary races across the country. Congressmen Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), and Denver Riggelman (R-VA), said their bill would make it clear the debunked conspiracy theory had no place in the American political mainstream. “Conspiracy theories that falsely blame secret cabals and marginalized groups for the problems of society have long fueled prejudice, violence and terrorism,” Malinowski said. “QAnon and the conspiracy theories it promotes are a danger and a threat that has no place in our country’s politics,” said Riggelman, who lost a Republican primary this year. The measure would condemn QAnon; ask federal law enforcement agencies to remain vigilant against violence provoked by conspiracy theories; and urge Americans to get information from trustworthy sources. The measure must first pass the House Judiciary Committee before it can be considered by the full House of Representatives.
4. US Officials See No Evidence Of Foreign Meddling With Mail-In Ballots
US officials charged with protecting the 2020 election said on August 26 they have “no information or intelligence” that foreign countries, including Russia, Iran, and China, are attempting to undermine any part of the mail-in voting process, contradicting President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly pushed false claims that foreign adversaries are targeting mail ballots as part of a “rigged” presidential race. Specifically, a senior intelligence official discounted the possibility of foreign actors mass producing fake ballots to interfere in the November elections, again breaking with Trump who has continued to insist that mail-in voting poses a significant threat to election security. “We have no information or intelligence that any nation-state threat actor is engaging in activity … to undermine any part of the mail-in vote or ballots,” the official told reporters. However, senior officials declined to discuss Russia’s efforts to seize upon the President’s attempts to sow mistrust and doubt about the mail in voting process.
5. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Republican National Convention Speech From Jerusalem Sparks Criticism, Investigation
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised President Donald Trump’s foreign policy record in a Republican National Convention speech on August 25 that Democrats criticized as a breach of protocol and perhaps the law. Speaking in a recorded video from a Jerusalem rooftop during an official trip, Pompeo, a Trump appointee widely believed to harbor presidential aspirations, said the president had exposed the “predatory aggression” of the Chinese Communist Party while defeating Islamic State militants and lowering the threat from North Korea.
6. In Republican National Convention Speech, Vice President Mike Pence Slams Joe Biden As “Irresponsible Leftist,” Praises President Donald Trump’s Record
US Vice President Mike Pence on August 26 cast the re-election of President Donald Trump as critical to preserving America’s safety and economic viability while cautioning Democrat Joe Biden would set the country on a path to socialism and decline. Amid widening protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, an African-American man, in Wisconsin, Pence and other Republicans at their national convention described the November 3 contest between Trump and Biden as a choice between “law and order” and lawlessness. “The hard truth is you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” Pence told the crowd seated on a lawn at historic Fort McHenry in Baltimore. Accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, Trump joined Pence on stage after the speech as the crowd chanted: “Four more years.”