Adventus

"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Turn out the lights, the party's over!


Trump's Twitter feed is becoming a guilty pleasure.  It's the tiniest of controversies, but really, this is what Trump wants to keep alive?  The fact that he behaved like a frat boy at one of his own rallies, and told a woman to get her baby out of the room?

No, he didn't leave the podium and escort her out forcibly, and no, he didn't direct his Praetorian Guard to remove her against her will.  But when you tell someone to get their baby out of the room, you've thrown out the baby and the bathwater.  There's really no other way to say it.  If they don't leave and you don't demand they leave, you're only making the situation worse by justifyhing it later.

Pertinent to this discussion are these comments from Democratic Underground:

All the damage done to him this week was self-inflicted. The arrows he’s taken are arrows he shot. We have in seven days witnessed his undignified and ungrateful reaction to a Gold Star family; the odd moment with the crying baby; the one-on-one interviews, which are starting to look like something he does in the grip of a compulsion, in which Mr. Trump expresses himself thoughtlessly, carelessly, on such issues as Russia, Ukraine* and sexual harassment; the relitigating of his vulgar Megyn Kelly comments from a year ago; and, as his fortunes fell, his statement that he “would not be surprised” if the November election were “rigged.” Subject to an unprecedented assault by a sitting president who called him intellectually and characterologically unfit for the presidency, Mr Trump fired back—at Paul Ryan and John McCain.

The mad scatterbrained-ness of it was captured in a Washington Post interview with Philip Rucker in which five times by my count—again, the compulsion—Mr. Trump departed the meat of the interview to turn his head and stare at the television. On seeing himself on the screen: “Lot of energy. We got a lot of energy.” Minutes later: “Look at this. It’s all Trump all day long. That’s why their ratings are through the roof.” He’s all about screens, like a toddler hooked on iPad.

Mr. Trump spent all his time doing these things instead of doing his job: making the case for his policies, expanding on his stands, and taking the battle to Hillary Clinton. . . .

Here is a truth of life. When you act as if you’re insane, people are liable to think you’re insane. That’s what happened this week. People started to become convinced he was nuts, a total flake. … This is what became obvious, probably fatally so: Mr. Trump is not going to get serious about running for president. He does not have a second act, there are no hidden depths, there will be no “pivot.” It is not that he is willful or stubborn, though he may be, it’s that he doesn’t have the skill set needed now—discretion, carefulness, generosity, judgment. 

There is a reason Clinton is within striking distance of Trump in Arizona and Georgia.  And that reason is only going to strengthen her campaign as the days proceed.  What Trump learned last week was to double down, and take the attack to the media (he's posted three tweets about how the media is against him in the last 24 hours).  That's a winning strategy in the GOP primaries; in the general election, it doesn't exactly attract more votes.

*Trump claims his remarks on Crimea have been distorted, also.  In what way is not entirely clear, especially since we have the videotape of the interview.

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