Thursday, September 01, 2016

The Donald Chronicles: Return of the Homegrown Hitler

Apart from exciting Ann Coulter and David Duke, Trump's so-called immigration speech (it was not about actual immigration) seems to have galvanized Latino opposition, including erstwhile allies--like his own "Hispanic advisory council" and Latino surrogates--and a major R donor in Mike Fernandez, who announced that he'll be voting for Hillary Clinton.

Trump backer and director of American Principles Project’s Latino Partnership Alfonso Aguilar, withdrew his support, saying "I think we were generally misled."  Another Latino Trump surrogate concluded, "he used us as props."

One of the first Trump advisory group members to resign was Jacob Monty, a Republican and Mexican American who published a column in the Houston Chronicle in June called "A Latino's case for Donald Trump." His feeling of betrayal is probably shared.  Other Hispanic advisory council resignations are expected.

Javier Palomarez, head of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce who has already endorsed Clinton, condemned Trump's speech and called him "payaso," which we on the North Coast know is Spanish for "clown."  But Palomarez evidently did not mean it in a good way.

On Thursday the coverage of Trump's Wednesday speech turned away from any suggestion he had moderated.  The WPost's 202 was most direct in the roundup headlined "Trump triples down on a losing immigration position in Phoenix:

Republicans facing four more years in the wilderness will long recall the raucous rally in Phoenix as a low point of the Trump campaign, perhaps even as the moment that he definitively extinguished his hopes of becoming president.

As for the speech itself, Josh Marshall describes Trump in full Homegrown Hitler mode:

"This was as wild and as unbridled a speech as I've seen from Trump. Even if you couldn't understand English, it would be stunning to watch the slashing hand gestures, the red face, the yelling. It's hard to imagine any presidential candidate in living memory giving such a speech. And again, this is if you didn't know what the words even meant...

But watching this speech, compared to the press conference today in Mexico City, what kept coming to my mind was the contrast between Hitler's uniformed rally speeches from the hustings and the suited, statesman Hitler we see in the old news reels in Munich and at other iconic moments in the late 1930s. Hitler is sui generis, of course. His crimes are incomparable. But the demagogic style, the frenzied invocation familial blood sacrificed to barbaric outsiders - these are not unique to him. When we see this lurid, stab-in-the-back incitement, the wild hyperbole, the febrile railing against outsiders who will make us no longer a country - the similarities are real. More than anything, perhaps the most chilling part of this day is the contrast between the two men - a measured, calm statesman figure we saw this afternoon and this railing, angry demagogue figure who captured the emotional tenor of Klan rally. As I said, the ability to shift from one persona to the other is a sign of danger in itself."

Marshall later upped his analysis by calling out other news media for not characterizing Trump's address for what it was: hate speech.
The Clinton campaign announced that it had raised a whopping $143 million in August, its biggest haul of the year.

Meanwhile, the trend toward tightening national polls was at least temporarily broken by the Suffolk/USA Today that gave Clinton a 7 point lead nationally, both head to head and in the four way.  She leads with women by 16 points and is drawing even with men.  The 7 point lead is consistent with the recent Monmouth poll.

New state polls also counter the theme of tightening. Clinton maintains leads in PA, Ohio, Wisconsin and New Hampshire with a slight lead in North Carolina.  She is 3 points behind in Arizona, so it will be interesting to see if Trump's speech there moved the dial either way.  The Clinton campaign just made a major ad buy in Arizona.

Florida is shaping up to be a disaster for Trump.  New voter registration figures favor Democrats, with only 4% of African Americans and 16% of Latinos registering as GOPers.  Trump has exactly one campaign office in the entire state.

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