August 14, 2016


Trump in the dumps : The divisiveness of his campaign, and his own loutishness, are giving Donald Trump a ton of trouble (The Economist, Aug 6th 2016)

SO CLOSE to the stage that Donald Trump could almost have touched it, a notice on the school wall in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, carried this message: "Welcome to Cumberland Valley where sportsmanship is an expectation. So please ...let the spectators be positive." No chance of that. Even before the Republican nominee appeared, late on August 1st, on a pit-stop between Ohio and New York, the 3,000-odd people packing the gymnasium were spewing hate. 

"What should we do with Hillary Clinton?" hollered a local politician, as if this crowd, of young people wearing "Trump that bitch" T-shirts and older ones who apparently did not mind the slogan, needed warming up. "Kill her!" someone shouted. "Lock her up!" the chant began.

This is Mr Trump's achievement. The billionaire demagogue has not merely responded to the grievances of working-class whites--such as the folk in Mechanicsburg, mourning their lost steel mills and the pay rises and other benefits that once accrued to being hardworking and white in America. He has also sought to stoke their anger. Vengeance against "rapist" Mexicans, Muslim fifth-columnists, job-killing outsourcers and his "criminal" Democratic opponent, Mr Trump tells his supporters, is the solution to their gripes. Anyone who says otherwise, he added in his bleak convention speech last month, is conning them. "No longer can we rely on those elites in media and politics, who will say anything to keep a rigged system in place."

And yet, appearing onstage in Mechanicsburg, to the accompaniment of mock-heroic synthesiser chords, as if he were a game-show host, Mr Trump looked tired and unenthused. He did not thump the air and trumpet polling data as he likes to; how could he? After a disastrous fortnight for the Republican nominee, in which the chaos and thuggery he has brought to American politics appear to have united much of non-Trumpian America in disgust, the polls look bad for him.

Trump Is Losing, and Losing It (Kevin D. Williamson, 8/14/16, National Review)

Unless something radical and unexpected happens, Donald Trump is going to lose the 2016 presidential election -- he'll lose it more than Hillary Rodham Clinton will win it -- for more or less the reasons that his critics on the right have been explaining for more than a year now: In short, the sort of thing that makes hearts go pitter-patter out in derka-derka talk-radio land doesn't necessarily fly in the rest of the country and may in fact even come off as creepy and weird, which is why three times as many people watch The Middle -- a show I'd never heard of -- as watch Sean Hannity's nightly Trump-fest on Fox News. There's more to America than your Uncle Bob's right-wing Facebook circle, and Trump isn't very well prepared for that. 

Our friend Hugh Hewitt found this out the hard way. The talk-radio host was trying to help the Republican nominee explain away his absurd and surreal claim that Barack Obama is the founder of the Islamic State. "I know what you meant," Hewitt said. "You meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace." But Trump refused to take Hewitt's good counsel: "No, I meant he's the founder of ISIS," Trump insisted. "I do." Hewitt pointed out that President Obama does, from time to time, invest a fair amount of time and energy in killing Islamic State operatives. Trump: "I don't care."

...nearly everything the Right believes about America is wrong.

Posted by at August 14, 2016 7:00 PM