Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy
The party’s failure of judgment leaves the nation’s future where it belongs, in the hands of voters. Many Americans do not like either candidate this year . We have criticized the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, in the past and will do so again when warranted. But we do not believe that she (or the Libertarian and Green party candidates, for that matter) represents a threat to the Constitution. Mr. Trump is a unique and present danger.
Two on Tim Kaine:
If Tim Kaine Can Help Clinton in Virginia Even a Bit, It’s a Big Deal (Nate Cohn)
The Tragedy That Shaped Tim Kaine (Betsy Woodruff)
The dark portrait of America that Donald J. Trump sketched in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention is a compendium of doomsday stats that fall apart upon close scrutiny. Numbers are taken out of context, data is manipulated, and sometimes the facts are wrong.
When facts are inconveniently positive — such as rising incomes and an unemployment rate under 5 percent — Trump simply declines to mention them. He describes an exceedingly violent nation, flooded with murders, when in reality, the violent-crime rate has been cut in half since the crack cocaine epidemic hit its peak in 1991.
David Frum (my bold):
Donald Trump’s Bad Bet on Anger
In his speech to the Republican National Convention, the presidential nominee revealed a deeply flawed political strategy.
But as the anger torques up, the Republican coalition has cracked up. Trump’s message is flaring white-hot—and scaring all those who sense that they have more to lose from convulsive and divisive politics than anybody could possibly gain. The passion is on one side. The weight of numbers and wealth and civic commitment is on the other. Trump’s bold gamble tonight is a bet against the casino—and Donald Trump more than anyone should know how such bets usually turn out.
This picturesque village of nearly 5,000 with an 1831 covered bridge is the kind of blue-collar place that Donald Trump was thinking about when he promised in his brass-knuckles acceptance speech, "I'm going to bring our jobs back to Ohio ... and all of America."
Fifty-five miles southeast of the Quicken Loans Arena and less than 10 miles from the GM plant in Lordstown, Newton Falls should -- in theory -- be receptive to Trump's toxic brew of security, isolationism and medicine-show promises "to make our country rich again."
But at the moment of his greatest triumph, Trump cannot escape the vitriol that accompanied his march to the nomination. By doubling down on fear Thursday night rather than expressing regret and contrition, Trump squandered his last chance to win back swing voters appalled at his insults and his vulgarity.
Eight hours before Trump spoke, Patrick Nutter was sitting on a bench outside Ed's Barber Shop ("Gentleman's Cuts Since 1964") founded by his late father. The 51-year-old Nutter understands the economic uncertainty facing those without college degrees. "I'm one of the few barbers around here," he said. "And, fortunately, I can't be replaced by a machine."
Nutter, who doesn't talk politics with his customers, has only watched snippets of the GOP convention. But he remembers how Trump ridiculed John McCain as a loser for getting shot down over Vietnam. "Trump tears down everyone and everything," the barber said. "He thinks he knows more than the generals about ISIS. And he doesn't sound presidential."
My homage to Molly Ivins.
Donald Trump’s Caesar Moment
In this speech, we have finally seen the answer to the perplexing question of just what political philosophy Donald Trump embraces. It is Caesarism: belief in a leader of great strength who, by force of personality, imposes order on a land plagued by danger. If you want to know why Trump laid such emphasis on “law and order”—using Richard Nixon’s 1968 rhetoric in a country where violent crime is at a 40-year low—it is because nations fall under the sway of a Caesar only when they are engulfed by fear. And the subtext of this acceptance speech was: be afraid; be very afraid.
It is impossible to imagine anyone else giving an acceptance speech so disconnected from anything in the American political tradition. Whether voters see that departure as a cause for celebration or worry may help decide what happens in November.
Will Texas become another brick in the Democrats’ blue wall?
Munisteri’s politically formative years were the conservative movement’s salad days — the late 1970s and the 1980s, when many conservatives acquired a serene certainty that this is and always will be a center-right country. Munisteri, however, is “a numbers guy,” so serenity is illusive.
He notes that beginning with Franklin Roosevelt’s first victory in 1932, Democrats won seven of nine presidential elections, and if they had succeeded in their effort to enlist Dwight Eisenhower as a Democrat, they probably would have won nine in a row. Trends can be reversed, but until they are, Republicans risk protracted losing in a center-left country, which America now is, and in a purple Texas, which soon could be.
The GOP convention is over, but did wife Melania and children Tiffany, Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka accomplish anything other than set a record for family members speaking in prime time at a national political convention?
The purpose of this muster of Trumps, according to TV’s talking heads and Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was to show “another side” of the real estate mogul turned reality television star — Donald Trump the husband, father and family man.
But history and logic suggest that effort was bound to fail from the start.
And so, [Ivanka] Trump continued, her father would “change labor laws that were put in place when women were not a significant portion of the workforce, focus on making quality child-care affordable and accessible for all.”
Trump went on to argue, correctly, that “policies that allow women with children to thrive should not be novelties, they should be the norm” and then claimed that while “politicians talk about wage equality,” her father “has made it a practice his entire career” and promised that Donald “will fight for equal pay for equal work and I will fight for this too, right alongside of him.”
This portion of Ivanka’s speech was beautifully delivered, cogent, and mostly right on the money. It was also, with regard to her father, an enormous crock.
Michael A. Cohen:
Donald Trump doesn’t understand foreign affairs. He is unfamiliar with the traditions of American global leadership and the workings of international diplomacy. He views the entire word as one giant balance sheet — in which the value of US allies can be measured by not by how they further US interests and power, but by how much they’ve reimbursed America for providing them security.
These are words that I could have written anytime over the last 13 months of Trump’s campaign for president. But Wednesday night in an interview with the New York Times, Trump displayed a lack of foreign policy knowledge that went even further. It should disqualify him from the presidency. But it also undermines practically every foreign policy criticism Republicans have made of President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s acceptance speech is one of the most memorable and important ones ever delivered at a convention, because it reflects a conscious effort to alter the ideological orientation of its party. The speech bears the heavy imprint of its reported author,Stephen Miller, a very smart, renegade Republican staffer who advocates what he calls “nation-state populism.” Pat Buchanan, a sympathetic observer from a previous era, has described the ideology somewhat more bluntly and pithily as “ethnonationalism.” Ethnonationalism is a form of conservatism, and overlaps with standard-issue Republican conservatism in several ways, but the two philosophies diverge in ways that can leave their adherents bitterly at odds. (Buchanan worked for Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, but ran as a primary opponent of George Bush and Bob Dole, and left the party altogether to oppose George W. Bush.) Programmatically, ethnonationalists differ from standard issue Republicans like George W. Bush or Paul Ryan in that they oppose free trade and immigration. Their orientation is nostalgic, rather than glitter-eyed about the future. Like traditional conservatives, they distrust federal power, but extend their circle of rhetorical enemies to include the corporate elite. Most important, unlike standard conservatives, who tend to disregard race, ethnonationalists have a deeply, explicitly, racialized view of the world.
All those ideological markers appeared in Trump’s address.
Bloomberg View editorial board:
In short: It was the most disturbing, demagogic and deluded acceptance speech by any major party nominee in the modern political era. It’s no wonder so many Republicans -- includingSenator Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Governor John Kasich -- are refusing to endorse Trump. When the idea of “voting your conscience” becomes a source of division within a party, something is terribly wrong.
Trump's four dysfunctional days in Cleveland
Candidate, vowing to restore order, has the most mistake-marred convention in a generation.