Monday, August 29, 2016


I find the headline of this Politico story unconvincing:
Trump’s new aim: Poison a Clinton presidency
It suggests that, politically, Trump is playing a long game. Do you believe that? Do you believe Donald Trump is capable of playing a long game?

From the story:
The trick out of Brooklyn isn't just to make Hillary Clinton win but to make her win as something other than a brain-damaged crook who stole the election and will spend the next four years selling out the government from her deathbed.

The Clinton de-legitimization project is now central to Donald Trump’s campaign and such a prime component of right-wing media that it’s already seeped beyond extremist chatrooms into “lock her up” chants on the convention floor, national news stories debating whether polls actually can be rigged, and voters puzzling over that photo they think they saw of her needing to be carried up the stairs....

“We are already seeing an effort by the Trumpsters to undermine Hillary's presidency before it has even begun,” said longtime Clinton confidant Paul Begala.
I don't buy the notion that Trump has given up on winning the race and is now concentrating on destroying Clinton's presidency before it starts. I may be alone in this, but I think he still believes he has a good shot at victory. I believe he's grasped the possibility that he might lose, but he's talking about rigged elections not as a post-November power play, but in order to maintain the illusion that he never really loses. The rest of the "de-legitimization" talk? I think Trump believes it will win him the general election, the way similar trash talk seemed to win him the primaries.

I don't think Trump is playing the long game the way the Republican Party plays it, or the way Fox News and the rest of the right-wing media play it. I think if he loses he'll have gotten electoral politics out of his system -- he's done.

Allies such as Roger Stone, Steve Bannon, and Roger Ailes might be playing a long game -- character assassination is what they do for a living, and they'll certainly use these memes over the next four years. Trump? I doubt it. Even if he's thinking ahead to the development of Trump TV, I don't believe he's carefully plotting future story lines. Carefully plotting for the future is not his style.

If the rest of the GOP has picked up on these memes, well, that's just the way it always works. Think back to the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama -- the "respectable" right has always puke-funneled fringe ideas and retransmitted them to the mainstream. The only difference now is that the puke is coming from the Republican presidential nominee.

The Clinton campaign thinks it's done an effective job of pouncing on these ideas early and tying them to Trump:
The Clinton campaign has deliberately positioned its response as an offensive boomerang rather than a rebuttal: don’t defend against the attacks, just redirect fire at the messenger. “It holds up a mirror to Donald Trump and what his campaign is about, and says everything you need to know about Donald Trump and where these kinds of crazy conspiracy theories are coming from,” as one campaign aide put it....

Unlike birtherism or even switftboating in 2004, the Clinton campaign anticipated much earlier that right-wing chatter would eventually break through into the mainstream, and they could more easily attack it because they were taking on her opponent himself, rather than fake-name trolls.
But this won't help Clinton after the election -- Trump will go away, or maybe do a weekly segment on Fox & Friends again, or have a flare-up of his usual ADHD while Bannon and Jared Kushner fight over the direction of Trump TV, but the rest of the right will just advance these memes the way birtherism was advanced. Trump will fade into irrelevance, yet Fox will keep running alerts about Clinton's health and financial dealings. So, yes, there's a long game being played, but it's by the usual suspects, not Trump.


Victor said...

No, not long game from t-RUMP.

He's the worst sort of "impulse-buyer." He sees something he wants, he takes it!
Luckily for him, his daddy left him a lot of money - to lose.

His gang of ratfuckers has a long game.
And that's to keep fucking rats until either they win, or die. That's what ratfuckers do. They fuck rats.
And the gang around t-RUMP, is an All Star team of ratfuckers!

Tengrain said...


I think Trump is so short sighted it is why he seemingly is always eating fast food: he doesn't even plan ahead enough to make reservations, let alone commit to a time.



Frazier said...

When you defend the attacks, you legitimize the attacks. This is why Rubio, Cruz, Bush, and the other jokers failed. Trump overplayed his hand too early in the campaign. The Clinton team had a chance to study and create a strategy to defend his tactics. Trump failed to change his strategy.
We know that Chelsea Clinton and Trump daughters are best friends. We know that Bill Clinton had a private talk with Trump and some say he convinced Trump to run as a republican. We also know that Trumps's daughter is engaged to the son of a strong democratic family. It is very possible that Trump and Clinton are in cahoots.
Trumps biggest enemy is himself and with him now flip flopping, it stands to lose his core group in an effort to get the brown and black vote.

Steve M. said...

Oh, right -- Hillary Clinton said, "Sure, Donald, attack me as a crook with brain damage -- I'm cool with that." Sorry, that's just nuts.

Feud Turgidson said...

Putting "we know", "some say", and "possible" in the same comment - repeatedly - is bad enough. Constructing and then posting a compound sentence with "we know" and "some say" in the same scale - again: in the SAME FREAKING SENTENCE - shows thinking that is faulty or deliberately deceptive or both.

I had a dentist/client for some years who belonged to a fundamentalist evangelical church and stocked his patient waiting area with right wing Jesus Wants You 2 B Wealthy and Wing Nut Daily mags.You know how some dentists can't help chatting you up while working inside your mouth? He did that. So one visit between spits I asked about those magazines. I realized then and still do that INTELLECTUALLY there can be and often is a wall in the brain between a work-relevant science-knowledge based skill set like dentistry and the repulsive conspiratorial hoo-hah in those mags, but once he started talking up his political beliefs, I just couldn't see going back to him again even 'just' as a dentist. IMO it goes to judgment: maybe 99% of what a dentist or any professional does for a patient is standard or rote (I'm pretty sure it's not that high, but assistants and professional association enforced standards makes it approach that.), but it's not just that there's a chance of flawed, whacko judgment showing up in treatment decisions, it's both inevitable that it will and largely unpredictable as to when it does.

Politics isn't dentistry, it's way fuzzier and laden with values; but that's not an argument for LESS rigor in working out choices, it actually argues for the opposite. So EVEN MORE we have to rely on evidence that merits trust: experience, life choices, record, policy commitments, and consistent among all those.

It's incredible to me that even something approaching 25% of those eligible by age to vote in this country will actually be comforted by those sorts of magazines in the waiting area of a professional they seek out for help, and that the same people will enthusiastically commit to a proven grifter, narcissist, anti-policy, ignorance-pandering distractable squirrel. But even here at NoMore, we get to see examples of the kind of brain and quality of thinking that is exactly those.

Ten Bears said...

I have long wondered just where the notion that doctors, and dentists, are paradigms of wisdom comes from.

Bruce Webb said...

"I have long wondered just where the notion that doctors, and dentists, are paradigms of wisdom comes from."

From Doctors and Dentists. Just remember the old joke about the difference between Doctors and God. God doesn't believe he is a Doctor.