Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Trump Steaks and Circuses on the Campaign Trail

(By American Zen's @mikeflannigan59, on loan from Ari)
Quicken Loan Center, Cleveland--- 
Last night with about 500 delegates to spare, Donald Trump won the GOP nomination. In other unrelated news, bullshit still stinks.
     As proof that Trump doesn't respect the nominating process and just accepted the nomination as his due, he wasn't even at the convention. Or in Cleveland. Or even in the Midwest. Instead, Trump flew back to New York, offering instead to a deeply divided and fractious crowd a bloated satellite image of his umber super nova of a puss. Inspired by his wife's recent example, I think Trump said something like, "I will return."
     As stated in this byline several times by myself and JP, if Trump used the time-honored dog whistle approach as mainstream Republicans have since Strom Thurmond's heyday, they'd be more inclined to support him, perhaps even embrace the New York outsider as one of their own. But Trump's appeal to red meat-voters, and repellent to mainstream Republicans, is he supports almost all of their long-standing policy positions only without the revered filter.

     Frustrated teabaggers who've been waiting as long as decades to hear a right winger perfectly articulate their prejudices, biases and fears have found their man in Trump  and sixteen other Republicans were pushed back to the gym wall like so many also-rans at a high school prom. Essentially, by throwing out this red meat to the very worst, most hateful and paranoid elements of American society, he's less of a Presidential nominee and more of a zookeeper.
     What these angry old white racists at the fail to understand is that Trump won't wave a magic wand and make all the darkies disappear. He's not going to make America greater (the newest dog whistle word for "whiter", Trump's only concession to dog whistling in his itinerant flea-bitten roadside attraction of a campaign) simply by adding a wall to one that already partially exists.
     The only thing that's more surprising than a draft- and tax-dodging, thrice married megalomaniac getting the presidential nomination of a major party is that, like a good exterminator doing a termite fumigation, he's brought out a surprising number of racists who wear their racism like a badge of honor.

     And you might be a Republican and a racist if you rant about Michelle Obama wanting our children to eat more healthily but cheer into the White House someone who looks like a CGI-generated character from a Guatemalan 70's soft porn action movie.

The Flipped Sides
     With Melania-gate still reverberating throughout the convention center like Michelle Obama's eight year-old words, some of the Usual Suspects took their turn behind the podium. Rudy Giuliani blathered on without, somehow, mentioning 9/11. He might as well have. He essentially took the first two words of Larry David's SNL impersonation of Bernie Sanders ("We're doomed!") and extrapolated from it an entire speech informing us like a senile Oracle of Delphi how we're all fucked if we don't vote for Trump without explaining why. At this point, Mayor Rudy is just a well-dressed version of a man on a street corner holding up a cardboard placard with, "The End Is Near!" scrawled in his own fecal matter.
     Ben Carson then took the stage and proved what a truly great physician he is by not only putting all the delegates to sleep with his rich, somnolent voice but even the norovirus sweeping through the California delegation.
     The Trump spawn then got up, including Donald Jr and Tiffany, who somehow wandered out of a Ferragamo's to remind us we needed Daddy Warbucks in the White House, otherwise who else will think of the other poor billionaires currently under siege?

     Yet, in spite of all this DSM V playacting, the strangest was yet to come, namely when Chris Christie outdid Clint Eastwood's empty chair comedy routine from four years ago and prosecuted Hillary Clinton in absentia for, of course, the wrong scandals. Every time Governor Kramden listed an alleged crime, the crowd would roar chants of "Guilty!" and "Lock her up!" like an economy-sized version of the Salem Witch Trials.
     All in all, with the convention's four day-long ordeal merely half over, it's become obvious it's a fractious, disorganized mess in which, on the night of his nomination that took him over 13 months to secure, the Man of the Hour couldn't even be bothered to be within 620 miles of the convention.

Coda
     As sort of a palate cleanser, Billy (who didn't have a pass and, surrounded by a pile of cigarette butts, loitered outside the convention center like the world's oldest juvenile delinquent, which of course he is) and I went to the Rock & Roll Hall of fame before it closed. Queen, of course, had long since made the grade. And we approached the now-iconic Louvre-style pyramids and the garishly painted guitars before them and thought what an odd choice it was for the RNC to choose Cleveland, home of this selfsame Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
     The GOP had lost any shred of a possibility for relevance and coolness by essentially stealing a Queen song and, in doing so, arrogantly proclaiming themselves "the Champions." They did so without any sense of self-awareness, legality, context or anything else. And when I saw up close and personal how badly they were mismanaging this convention, it no longer struck me as so amazing how effortlessly the Republicans on the Hill could so thoroughly mismanage our government.

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