Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hell in a Handbasket

The Conservative talking head listed the NSA hack, Aetna pulling out of health care exchanges, and something else monumental and potentially lethal to Hillary Clinton, all of which have been lost in the uproar over Donald Trump's new campaign staff.  A pollster and a media mogul with a Goldman Sachs heritage folded over his naval career will be running things from now on, if anyone can be said to be running things on the Trump side of the campaign.

All this because The Donald has "been very unhappy over the past few weeks," according to MSNBC.  Everyone wants him to change.  Everyone wants him to be someone he is not.  Everyone wants to find depths in the shallows, sincerity in the sophistry, calm amidst the storm.  Everyone keeps trying, but The Donald knows in his heart what they do not - that he is who he is.

Looking for that which does not exist is quixotic, by definition.  In that sense, Trump is saner than the Republicans who want him to represent them and their Party in a manner that is somewhat more respectable than the behavior their chosen candidate has displayed thus far.  They want him to be someone he is not.

The man can read from a teleprompter.  He doesn't do it with much enthusiasm, but he can accomplish the task.  That made Republican fundraisers happy; two weeks ago they asked for donations based on the fact that their candidate didn't make a single faux pas while reading aloud.  I watched that speech; he seemed to be seeing the words for the first time.  There was no bombast, no declarative cadence, no head shaking or finger pointing.  It was boring.  The audience was as numbed as I was.

Boring is not something that Mr. Trump does well.  He has a finely tuned sense of the audience, and knows when dropping a Crooked Hillary bomb will fire them up.  But speechwriters don't put those kinds of incendiary devices in carefully crafted public policy tracts.  Those are filled with facts and nuance and compare-and-contrast statements that don't involve name calling.  Those are not areas of comfort for The Donald.

And so, as his daughter vacations with Vladimir Putin's girlfriend, as his son is on a (big game hunting?) vacation, Trump shoved the RNC's Paul Manafort aside.  Manafort's problems have been all over the news.... overshadowing The Donald.... and that, I fear, more than the substance of the accusations being hurled at Manafort, is why he made the move.

He wants to be who he is.  "I don't want to change" might be acceptable from a 4 year old, but "I don't want to pivot," isn't designed to bring comfort to the hearts of those who would like to see a Republican in the White House next January.

The world is going to hell in a hand basket, and the news is filled with the rantings of a man who's in over his head and can't figure out an exit strategy.  If it weren't so sad, it would be funny.

Somehow, though, I'm not laughing.

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