Tuesday, August 16, 2016

No need to force anyone out

Michael Moore thinks.. as so much of America has sort of suspected all along... that Donald Trump doesn't actually want to be President.
Trump was unhappy with his deal as host and star of his hit NBC show, “The Apprentice” (and “The Celebrity Apprentice”). Simply put, he wanted more money. He had floated the idea before of possibly running for president in the hopes that the attention from that would make his negotiating position stronger. But he knew, as the self-proclaimed king of the dealmakers, that saying you’re going to do something is bupkis—DOING it is what makes the bastards sit up and pay attention.

Trump had begun talking to other networks about moving his show. This was another way to get leverage—the fear of losing him to someone else—and when he “quietly” met with the head of one of those networks, and word got around, his hand was strengthened. He knew then that it was time to play his Big Card.

He decided to run for president.
And thus was born the post-post-post-modern performance art piece that has been the Trump campaign.

This would explain so much. If you weren't actually trying to become President, for example, you wouldn't create an experienced or robust national campaign staff, you would be totally fine with fact-free bullet necklace lady speaking for you on TV all the time, and you would definitely stage the bizarre RickRoll that was the entire GOP convention this year. After having sat through the entirety of that production, I described it as "a normal convention if it were put on by hipsters being ironic." The convention, like the entire campaign, can't possibly the product of people taking the work of getting elected President seriously.  Can it?

Maybe it can. But Moore doesn't seem to think so.  Of course, back in July, Moore also thought Trump was definitely going to win so make what you will of that.  But that doesn't necessarily mean he's off base here. It may very well be that Trump is looking for a um... ok well.. graceful isn't the word.. alternative means of exiting the race before his crushing loss in November. 
But, let me throw out another theory, one that assumes Trump isn’t as dumb or crazy as he looks. Maybe the meltdown of the past three weeks was no accident. Maybe it’s all part of his new strategy to get the hell out of a race he never intended to see through to its end anyway. Because, unless he is just “crazy,” the only explanation for the unusual ramping up, day after day, of one disgustingly reckless statement after another is that he’s doing it consciously (or subconsciously) so that he’ll have to bow out or blame “others” for forcing him out. Many now are sensing the end game here because they know Trump seriously doesn’t want to do the actual job—and most importantly, he cannot and WILL NOT suffer through being officially and legally declared a loser—LOSER!—on the night of November 8.
Is anyone really interested in "forcing him out" at this point, though?  For all intents and purposes, the 2016 Presidential Election is over. Dumping Trump now won't save it. One could argue that it might save a down ballot race somewhere but I really don't see that mattering much. Certainly the Republicans will hold the house. They aren't likely to lose much if anything at the state level. Maybe they're in trouble in the Senate but that was always going to be close.

Trump is sui generis. That works to the GOP's advantage going forward. They get to spend the next few years deligitimizing Hillary's win claiming it was the result of a black swan event or (probably some will also say) a grand conspiracy.  Then come the 2018 midterms where they win in waves.  But this year is done. They might as well punish Trump by making him suffer through the rest of it. Especially if he really does want out.

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