Friday, July 22, 2016

The Trump Republican Party

One of Trump’s strongest hands is to portray Clinton as an establishment figure, the secretary of the status quo: Washington, Wall Street and the mainstream media. He tries to plant an image in his audience’s mind of Clinton as a puppet on string. The message is that if she offers only more of the same, that is hard for anyone to get excited about. Trump, by contrast, is the change agent who will shake things up; the human Brexit.
-David Smith, Trump's Republican convention speech: what he said and what he meant Guardian 07/22/2016

Digby suggests, perhaps with a heavy dose of hope, that Trump's nomination and campaign represents and kind of historic dead-end for the Republican Party. (The beginning of the end: Trump’s nomination signals the collapse of an ideological movement and a political party Salon 7/22/2016)

For that to happen, of course, the Democrats will have to act to exploit this potential new advantage. Stepping up their get-out-the-vote operations in the non-Presidential election years is a major need. So is the need to contest every Congressional district, even the safely Republican ones.

Andrew O'Hehir warns that Trump potenital has significant appeal beyond habitual Republican voters (His dark materials: After that diabolical, masterful performance, Donald Trump could easily end up president Salon 07/22/2016):
In a few different ways, Trump’s acceptance speech hinted at the traditional pivot toward the center expected of a nominee moving into the fall election. He said the word “wall” just once — it will be a “great wall,” of course — and alluded only indirectly to his infamous proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States. He made headlines by uttering the appellation LGBTQ twice, very carefully, and then congratulating the crowd for not booing at his assertion that citizens in that category had rights. He said “Latino” twice, instead of the more Republican-friendly English word “Hispanic.”

Trump described himself as a Republican just once, during an acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. He never used the word “conservative” at all. Go ahead; pull up the transcript, hit control-F and type it in: 0 of 0. Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney would be spinning in their graves, if they were dead, and right now they wish they were.

Trump also signaled clearly that he knows where Hillary Clinton’s vulnerable spots are. He attacked “nation-building” and “regime change,” central elements of bipartisan foreign-policy dogma for the last 20 years that have been variously implemented by Bush-Cheney neoconservatives and Obama-Clinton liberals. He attacked free trade in general and Bill Clinton’s disastrous NAFTA deal in particular. Watching a Republican nominee vow to avoid overseas wars and shut down free-trade treaties is vivid proof that the membrane of history has been punctured and we’ve gone sloshing through it, covered in amniotic fluid, into some “Man in the High Castle” reality. As someone in my Twitter feed observed earlier in the day, we won’t hear those promises next week in Philadelphia.
But the speech was, nevertheless, as O'Hehir says, "a masterful display of demagoguery and manipulation."

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