Sunday, October 02, 2016

The Donald Chronicles: Hingeless Update

Nothing much new on Sunday--a lot of talk about the NYTimes tax story, the predictably laughable Trumpian responses, and maybe a little too many very similar declarations that this time, this time, Trump was really and truly destroyed.

However there was some more detailed reporting on Trump's rally rant in PA late on Saturday.  The parts of it initially reported proved his hingelessness, and the lengthier reports merely amplified the impression of a psychotic ramble.  At one point, after slandering Hillary, Bernie and President Obama, alternating with his counterfactual soundbite bragging, he suddenly complained that they don't make movies like they used to.

But there was one comment that needs to be emphasized.  Previously in PA, Trump called on supporters to monitor voters for improprieties, in a dog whistle way.  This time he used a bullhorn.

As Chas Danner reported: Furthermore, Trump revisited his baseless claims about voter fraud. Previously, he had said that the only way he could lose Pennsylvania would be if the election was rigged, and deputized his supporters to become poll watchers. On Saturday, Trump added what was almost certainly a racially framed warning that the majority white crowd should “watch” the voters in “certain areas,” because “you know what I’m talking about” and “we don’t want to lose for that reason.”

If I'm Hillary Clinton, I make it a priority to ask Trump in the next debate, just which "certain areas" did he mean?

As for Clinton abandoning Ohio, the campaign denied it, and as it turns out, that's where Hillary will be on Monday.  In advance of that appearance, Ohio hero LeBron James endorsed her in what was described as an emotional statement.

 There's also this story that indicates some of the fallout of the tax story in Ohio.  Perhaps most importantly I saw one of the Republicans quoted as being very upset by Trump's terrible week is an Ohio pol.  It's always been unlikely that Ohio R governor Kasich would push his party people to get out the vote for Trump.  I did see a story saying that Trump had won over on the ground R pols in Ohio anyway.  But that may have changed enough to alter things, even though R Senate candidate Rob Portman is apparently running away with his race and Rs would have to split tickets.

How about Florida?  Here's a Tampa paper's summary of how the tax story hurts Trump with voters.  A new Clinton ad (presented here in a This Week story) makes the main points in a few potent seconds.

It's way too early for postmortems, but Goldie Taylor at the Daily Beast gives us these sobering paragraphs in her piece:

"Never in the history of American politics has a major party nominee made such a mockery of the process. But the game changed the moment GOP voters cast their lot with a one-time reality show personality with no public policy experience, little in the way of intellectual curiously, and no guiding values. It changed the moment sitting GOP members of Congress refused to call foul on some of his most egregious remarks. If you believe in nothing, nothing is truly out of bounds and, for Trump, apologies are an admission of defeat.

To the extent that Trump (and an almost laissez-faire media class) has begun to normalize various brand of racism, bigotry, and misogyny, it is truly a reflection on all of us. He needed willing participants and, unfortunately, he found them. Not only among the alt-right and white supremacists; he also found them in the halls of cable news networks with people incapable or unwilling to challenge his nonsensical rants and stop booking surrogates who flat out lie.

Trump found co-conspirators among so-called reformists Democrats and independents who would prefer to see the “system” burned to the ground than elect another Clinton. They don’t see Trump as dangerous so much as they see him as a tool to their nihilistic fantasies.

To our own collective peril, we allowed Trump to tear up the scorecard and trample over the rules, but this won’t end with him. Ultimately, he may well lose in a landslide, picking up only the reddest of red states, but that won’t right the playing field. The game has been contorted, disfigured and maimed almost beyond recognition in this election cycle."

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