In a normal political week, that a Federal District Appellate Court ruled Donald Trump to be immunocompromised would be the news, but instead the lead is that Joe Biden is losing the Super Bowl primary, which is about the only contest remaining on the presidential calendar.
Before moving on to Super Bowl politics (I will leave it to the ever-vigilant Clydesdales to repatriate that Budweiser puppy who goes missing for 60 seconds every February), let’s have a look at Trump’s never-ending defeats in his civil and criminal cases.
In deciding that American presidents are not covered with an immunity cloak, the D.C. federal appeals court gave Trump the choice of either appealing its decision to the Supreme Court (1-800-SAV-TRMP) or standing trial on charges of conspiracy against the American electoral process that prosecutor Jack Smith has brought before Judge Tanya Chutkan.
No doubt Trump will throw another few million dollars of Other People’s Money into a Supreme Court appeal, in the hope that an honest justice (“Hey, Brett Kavanaugh, this Bud’s for you….”) is one who when bought stays bought.
The Supremes can decide not to hear the case, and then Judge Chutkan will set a trial date for this summer—a surefire formula to send Trump up the Club Fed river. (Trump will not prevail at trial in the District of Columbia, where a jury of his peers will all know a member of the United States Capitol Police who was beaten during the January 6 riots.)
Mindful that they owe their conservative majority to Trump’s slot-machine fascism, the Supreme Court could also decide to hear the appeal, but do so in the most dilatory fashion so that the ruling is handed down next year, when Trump might well be president and in a position to dismiss the charges brought against him.
Or the all-expenses-paid Roberts’ majority on the Court could hear the case on an expedited basis and conclude that, while the presidency doesn’t come with a get-out-of-jail-free card, it’s up to Congress to establish the legal parameters of presidential prosecutions, so that in the meantime Donald Trump can enjoy First Amendment protection to re-attack the Capitol, suit up fraudulent electors, and hang Mike Pence.
In other words, the Supreme Court could let a gerrymandered Republican majority in the House do the work for which each justice is paid $277,700 a year. If they were to stick to their original intent mantras, they would come across this section (3) of the 14th Amendment:
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
You don’t need to be in a deck chair next to Justice Clarence Thomas in the Komodo islands to know that Trump gave “aid or comfort” to those (some dressed as Vikings) who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” with their hockey sticks.
On the assumption that Justice Roberts can manufacture a non-decision, Trump can continue his resurgimiento toward the White House, provided he does well in the Super Bowl primary, which is being held this Sunday in Las Vegas.
In Trump’s favor is President Joe Biden Jr.’s decision to skip the primetime network interview that usually airs during a lull in the football extravaganza.
Last year, Biden declined the traditional question-and-answer because Fox was broadcasting the Super Bowl, and he feared a Sean Hannity ambush or maybe 100 Tucker Carlson impersonators rising out of the halftime smoke.
This year, Biden’s handlers are clearly fearful that even if CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson were to lob a few screen passes in Joe’s directions (“Mr. President, what has to happen in the second half of the election for you to win?”), Biden could well commit a few “unforced errors” that could doom his re-election chances (along the lines of “Israel is doing God’s work in Gaza…”).
Trump offered to step in for the AWOL presidential interview (preening, “I WOULD BE HAPPY TO REPLACE HIM – would be “RATINGS GOLD!”), but CBS decided that might constitute “encroachment” or perhaps “ineligible candidate downfield” and passed on the suggestion.
At the same time, nothing is to prevent Trump from staging his own Super Bowl selfie interview party on another network, perhaps one at which a Biden clone is shown sleeping through Usher’s halftime show (although he would not be the only one).
Trump has nothing to fear from Biden in the Super Bowl primary, but he might well find himself on the blindside of a Taylor Swift crackback block.
In case you’ve been living under a rock or in a Mar-a-Lago pool room with all those boxes, the biggest speculation surrounding Super Bowl week isn’t over the status of Deebo Samuel’s shoulder injury, but whether Tay Tay (aka Taylor Swift) can complete her last Eras Tour concert in Tokyo and fly to Las Vegas in time to watch the Super Bowl from a skybox that has an unobstructed view to network TV cameras (and her Kansas City Chiefs boyfriend, all-Swiftie tight end Travis Kelce).
Knowing that this is a grave matter of foreign policy, Japan’s embassy in the USA weighed in with a white paper to announce that T. Swizzle’s private jet should be able to clear Japanese concert and air space in plenty of time for her to attend Super Bowl LVIII.
For his part, boyfriend Trav has wondered out loud if Blondie will make it to the game, and there is social media speculation that she’s shaking down the NFL to pay for her flight and skybox, given her presence at the game is high-end NFL product placement. If the NFL stiffs her, maybe in Tokyo she will sing, “Look What You Made Me Do”?
In the context of the presidential election, Super Bowl body language matters because Swift endorsed Biden in 2020, and in 2024 another T-Swift endorsement could lift Biden among younger voters who are turned off by the president’s indifference to climate change and genocide in Gaza.
Keep in mind that Swift has some 280 million followers on Instagram, and some 534 million followers on combined social media accounts, which may explain why the Biden people decided not to pull together a competing Allegiant Stadium skybox guest list (perhaps one with Hunter and a few jade salesmen lurking in the background).
At the root issue of the 2024 election will be voter turnout in key swing states, and simply having Taylor tell her faithful “how important it is to vote” could well help Biden with constituencies currently indifferent to his country of old men.
That said, the Beyoncé – Jay Z endorsement of Hillary Clinton in the waning days of the 2016 campaign didn’t exactly cuff it for HRC.
In the national polling for the 2024 election, Trump is ahead, roughly, 47 – 44 percent, although his margins are larger in some of the battleground states such as Georgia (7 percent), Arizona (4.5 percent), Nevada (7 percent), and Michigan (5 percent).
Biden falls behind Trump over his “handling of the economy”—despite a strong stock market and low unemployment figures—and on the “direction of the country” (some 65 percent of voters think it’s on the “wrong track”). But keep in mind that four years ago during Super Bowl week, the word “pandemic” was unknown and incumbent Trump was a shoe-in for re-election.
Perhaps more accurate presidential barometers, especially in Vegas, are the various online betting websites, which have the San Francisco 49ers favored to win the Super Bowl (narrowly, by about 2 points) and Trump winning the general election in November 2024.
For example, DraftKings has the moneyline on Trump at -120 (meaning, if you bet $120 you will get $100 if he wins, plus your stake back), while the odds against Joe Biden winning are +175, which means that if you pony up $100 and Biden wins, DraftKings pays you $175, less the vig (or vigorish, i.e., the house cut).
Clearly, Vegas is unconcerned by Trump’s looming $83 million payout to sexual abuse victim E. Jean Carroll or his defeat in the appellate court over his claims of presidential immunity. Nor do I think the Strip would care if Trump had to govern the country from Federal Prison Camp, Pensacola (it takes in perps from Palm Beach), so long as he had beat the spread.
What the Desert sees in Biden is some out-of-touch coach still running the single-wing or talking about “the wedge” on kickoffs. Which isn’t to say that Trump comes out of the Kyle Shanahan “tree” or can create “separation” on his routes. It just says that in the only Super Bowl that counts—the all-American, Über alles money election of 30-second spots, corporate swagger, sweetheart deals, and FanDuel online betting—Trump has his thumb on the wheels of fortune, unless he finds himself running against a serious candidate, Director Taylor Swift.