Thursday, August 18, 2016

Daily Trumpeter: Trump's new mean machine and his secret desire to lose

His campaign looks to be getting meaner (in the nasty sense) and some folks think Trump seems to want to lose the election. Read on.

Loser #1: Meaner but not leaner Team Trump. Steve Benen warns us about what to expect from the newly reorganized campaign, What to expect from the new Team Trump. Here's two of the new team: "Kellyanne Conway is now the Republican candidate’s campaign manager – a post that was apparently vacant since June – and Stephen Bannon, of Breitbart News notoriety, is Trump’s campaign CEO." Manafort, our man with Ru$$ia connections, gets to hang around for a while longer.

... with his new team in place, Trump intends to stop pulling his punches and start being even more outlandish in the presidential campaign’s final 12 weeks.

It’s not quite an acceptance of defeat, but it’s something similar: a decision to stop caring what might appeal to a broad national audience and start doing what makes the candidate feel good.

And to that end, Trump has chosen a CEO who will encourage him to do precisely what he wants to do anyway. The New York Times’ report added:

Mr. Bannon has no experience with political campaigns, but he represents the type of bare-knuckled fighter that the candidate had in Corey Lewandowski, his combative former campaign manager, who was fired on June 20.

Mr. Bannon has been a supporter of Mr. Trump’s pugilistic instincts, which the candidate has made clear in interviews he is uncertain about suppressing. He is also deeply mistrustful of the political establishment, and his website has often been critical of Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader.

If Republican officials were already debating whether or not to give up on Trump, and divert limited resources to congressional campaigns, the fact that Breitbart News has effectively taken control of the GOP presidential nominee’s operation is likely to tip the scales.

GOP consultant Rick Wilson told the Washington Post, “If you were looking for a tone or pivot, Bannon will pivot you in a dark, racist and divisive direction. It’ll be a nationalist, hateful campaign. Republicans should run away.”

Loser #2: Michael Moore muses about Trump's motives. Check out Moore's essay at

... 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.

Trust me, I’ve met the guy. Spent an afternoon with him. He would rather invite the Clintons and the Obamas to his next wedding than have that scarlet letter L branded on his forehead seconds after the last polls have closed on that night, the evening of the final episode of the permanently canceled Donald Trump Shit-Show.

Loser #3: GOTV? What GOTV? The NY Times reports on the differences in attitudes between the two campaigns about voter registration.

Mr. Trump has pointed to the usually large numbers of people at his rallies, and their evident enthusiasm, as signs of strong support that will translate into energetic early voters. But during the Republican primaries, some Trump admirers at his rallies admitted they were not registered and had no plans to vote, and Trump advisers say that their voter registration efforts have been relatively modest.

It would have been nice to get a number on those Trump supporters who are not registered. Oh, well. In contrast:

Mrs. Clinton, by contrast, urges people at her rallies to register to vote, pointing them to clipboard-carrying volunteers who have forms to dispense and details about when, where and how to cast ballots.

“Hillary’s getting into early voting details while Trump can’t get past making awful sound bites,” said Bill Carrick, a Democratic strategist and media consultant. “The idea that he can fix things and win over swing voters in the final week or two — that’s not how elections are won anymore. It’s wishful thinking.”

Deadbeat Donald's tax abatement deal reports the New York Times: Trump Casinos’ Tax Debt Was $30 Million. Then Christie Took Office. "By the time Chris Christie became governor of New Jersey, the state’s auditors and lawyers had been battling for several years to collect long-overdue taxes owed by the casinos founded by his friend Donald J. Trump. The total, with interest, had grown to almost $30 million. The state had doggedly pursued the matter through two of the casinos’ bankruptcy cases and even accused the company led by Mr. Trump of filing false reports with state casino regulators about the amount of taxes it had paid. But the year after Governor Christie, a Republican, took office, the tone of the litigation shifted. The state entertained settlement offers. And in December 2011, after six years in court, the state agreed to accept just $5 million, roughly 17 cents on the dollar of what auditors said the casinos owed. ... The following month, Page Six reported that the Christies and the Trumps were again double dating at Jean-Georges."

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