So we have two days of the Republican National Convention (RNC) under our belt, and some things haven’t changed. Republicans love Trump and hate you, and that’s all they’ve got (to the point of not having a formal platform). And pundits think voters are so stupid they’ll forget a pandemic and three and a half years of chaos and incompetence. The pandemic is a driving force.
But the party of Lincoln should remember his (often cited but never confirmed) words: You can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Laura hits Texas on Thursday as the RNC wraps up. The storms bookending the RNC are matched by the storm within. Riots, crime, and China. And precious bodily fluids. Why won't the Democrats talk about it?
Night One was persuasion night. A wasted effort with Don Jr. on the menu.
And then Night Two:
Overall, your twitter heavy punditry:
Axios with your How Trump Can Still Win:
How Trump could pull off another upset
Trump’s big bet is that there are a lot of working class voters, especially in rural areas, who did not vote in 2016 but will this time.
- His other bet is that months of dumping on Joe Biden, often with lies or wild hyperbole, will do what he did to Hillary Clinton: Make the Democratic nominee seem slightly more unpalatable than himself.
Stuart Rothenberg/Roll Call:
Watch the key 2016 numbers as you watch the 2020 polls
Key factors include size of white electorate, college education and geography
White voters went for Donald Trump by 20 points four years ago, 57 percent to 37 percent. They also accounted for 71 percent of exit poll respondents.
So if the electorate is less white than it was four years ago, or if Trump falls well below his 20-point margin among whites, the president is in deep trouble.
Sure, he could improve his showing among Blacks (8 percent of whom backed him in 2016, according to the exit poll), Latinos (28 percent) or Asian Americans (27 percent). But that is unlikely. Whites remain his base, and he cannot afford significant defections from that group.
Now that President Trump has rolled out a new therapeutic treatment for the coronavirus, you may be experiencing a resurgence of PTSD. I’m talking about Post-2016 Stress Disorder, in which lingering trauma from Trump’s 2016 win still leads liberals to worry that Trump will pull off a magical last-minute surprise to win reelection.
This affair also shows why the GOP convention will likely fail at one of its most urgent goals — erasing and rewriting the history of Trump’s towering failures on the pandemic — perhaps in spectacularly buffoonish fashion.
The starting point when considering any new Trump announcement on the coronavirus between now and Election Day is this: Nobody believes a single word Trump says on this topic anymore, and everybody knows Trump has so thoroughly corrupted the government that any new initiatives will only be a nakedly deceitful effort to serve his personal and political interests, and nothing more.
Trump’s Handpicked Postal Service Chair Has A Long History Of Voter Suppression
Robert Duncan chaired the RNC during the party’s unprecedented escalation of voter disenfranchisement efforts in swing states.
President Donald Trump’s selection for a key Postal Service position, Robert M. Duncan, once had a very different job: steering the Republican Party while it undertook some of its most brazen voter suppression schemes.
From 2004 to 2006, when Duncan was the committee’s general counsel, party officials challenged the eligibility of at least 77,000 voters, a 2007 report by the nonpartisan group Project Vote found.
The Trump gambit of “miracle cure” isn’t going to work because people have seen this move a dozen times already.
Florida is the ballgame.
Tim Alberta/Politico with a piece so good, you’ll read it again.
The Grand Old Meltdown
What happens when a party gives up on ideas?
It can now safely be said, as his first term in the White House draws toward closure, that Donald Trump’s party is the very definition of a cult of personality. It stands for no special ideal. It possesses no organizing principle. It represents no detailed vision for governing. Filling the vacuum is a lazy, identity-based populism that draws from that lowest common denominator Sanford alluded to. If it agitates the base, if it lights up a Fox News chyron, if it serves to alienate sturdy real Americans from delicate coastal elites, then it’s got a place in the Grand Old Party.
“Owning the libs and pissing off the media,” shrugs Brendan Buck, a longtime senior congressional aide and imperturbable party veteran if ever there was one. “That’s what we believe in now. There’s really not much more to it.”
David Frum analyzes the actual GOP platform (soak the poor, ignore the pandemic):
The Platform the GOP Is Too Scared to Publish
What the Republican Party actually stands for, in 13 point
2) Coronavirus is a much-overhyped problem. It’s not that dangerous and will soon burn itself out. States should reopen their economies as rapidly as possible, and accept the ensuing casualties as a cost worth paying—and certainly a better trade-off than saving every last life by shutting down state economies. Masking is useless and theatrical, if not outright counterproductive.
3) Climate change is a much-overhyped problem. It’s probably not happening. If it is happening, it’s not worth worrying about. If it’s worth worrying about, it’s certainly not worth paying trillions of dollars to amend. To the extent it is real, it will be dealt with in the fullness of time by the technologies of tomorrow. Regulations to protect the environment unnecessarily impede economic growth.
4) China has become an economic and geopolitical adversary of the United States. Military spending should be invested with an eye to defeating China on the seas, in space, and in the cyber-realm. US economic policy should recognize that relations with China are increasingly zero-sum: when China wins, the US loses and vice-versa.
The Battle for the Future of the GOP Is No Contest
How can Tim Scott and Nikki Haley be what’s next for a party that has so completely embraced Trumpism?
Many Republicans like Scott and Haley, traditional politicians who focused on expanding opportunity, lowering taxes, and bringing the country together, ran against Trump in 2016. They all lost. And the Republican base doesn’t even prefer their less combative political style within the Trump family. In public appearances and carefully managed relationships with the media, Ivanka Trump has long tried to soften the president’s most inflammatory rhetoric; to distance herself from his most unpopular policies. But as my colleague McKay Coppins has written, Don Jr., who imitates the president’s language and manner, has become his father’s “most skilled warm-up act” and most natural political successor. Way-too-early polls of the 2024 Republican primary tend to show Don Jr. well ahead of Ivanka in the race for the nomination.
Last night, Don Jr. pinched his index finger and his thumb together as he steered into fear. “Anarchists have been flooding our streets and Democrat mayors are ordering the police to stand down. Small businesses across America, many of them minority-owned, are being torched by mobs,” he warned. But, he told viewers, it didn’t have to be that way. “It starts by rejecting radicals who want to drag us into the dark and embracing the man who represents a bright and beautiful future for all.” The embrace of Trump is a complete and lasting one—and no one gives tighter hugs than family.
Ashley Pratte/USA Today:
I never thought I would leave the Republican Party, but I'm voting Biden-Harris this fall
I watched the Democratic convention without a Republican lens and found an embrace of justice and diversity. Trump's convention will be a contrast.
Trump conned his supporters into believing he would “Make America Great Again,” but all he did was make America the worst and weakest it has ever been and expose a dark and dangerous underbelly of our country, full of hate for those of different colors, creeds and genders. His main mission was to paint a dark picture of “us vs. them” and, unfortunately, he has succeeded.
But, after a week of watching virtual convention speeches, I couldn’t be more hopeful that on Election Day, America will do the right thing and vote like our lives depend on it. I recognized just how many of my views of the Democratic Party were shaped by the talking points of the GOP and just how wrong that was. Over the past four years, my eyes have been opened and my views forever changed. I have come to realize that all along, I aligned more with the moderate wing of the Democratic Party.
Republican Convention Offers a Mix of Normal and Ugly
On day one, the party mostly avoided serious mistakes. The same can’t be said for the president’s speech.
This is a party that has won a plurality of voters in only one of the last six presidential elections, and there’s still not even a hint that they consider that a problem. With only a few exceptions, almost every moment of the convention was aimed at their strongest supporters. As political scientist Dave Karpf pointed out, there was an awful lot of “fan service” — that is, treats for the people who regularly tune in to the Republican show and know all the ins and outs of the franchise, even if the themes and sentiments are incomprehensible to those who don’t pay close attention to politics. And yes: A lot of the claims Republicans make are just plain false no matter how often they repeat them.
Commentary: Night 1 of the Republican National Convention was a branding disaster
Unlike the Democrats’ event last week to nominate former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, the first night of the Republican convention was rudimentary, mostly pre-taped and largely white. In their hands, the roll call vote, which was one of the DNC’s most entertaining interludes, was a fairly static event, and over long before prime time. It came closer to a homeroom chore than a celebration: One by one they joylessly read the numbers.
The flat, predictable nature of the Republicans’ stage show was surprising given that it was dedicated to a reelecting a president who prides himself on bucking expectations, not to mention protocol and facts.
Featured speaker Nikki Haley, the former United Nations ambassador, appeared stiffer and less convincing than Julia Louis-Dreyfus during the actress’ stint as host during at the DNC’s event last week. (Perhaps that was because Haley was one of the few tasked with speaking to Trump’s character.)