Thursday, June 18, 2020


According to Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni of The New York Times, advisers to President Trump have looked at his inflammatory response to the George Floyd protests and drawn what they believe is the obvious conclusion. Is it that Trump is an angry racist who's completely unqualified to be president of the United States during multiple national emergencies? No, it's this:
They say his repeated acts of political self-sabotage — a widely denounced photo-op at a church for which peaceful protesters were forcibly removed, a threat to use the American military to quell protests — have significantly damaged his re-election prospects, and yet he appears mostly unable, or unwilling, to curtail them.

Mr. Trump doesn’t want to be seen as a “loser,” a label he detests, in the campaign against former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. And some advisers believe Mr. Trump’s taste for battle will return in the fall, when the general election fight is more engaged.

But for now, they said, the president is acting trapped and defensive, and his self-destructive behavior has been so out of step for an incumbent in an election year that many advisers wonder if he is truly interested in serving a second term.
Yeah, that's it: The Bible-brandishing photo op wasn't an attempt by Trump to try to curry favor with a major segment of his voter base a few months before the election, and the calls for brute force and a "law and order" approach to the protests haven't been an effort to appeal to the vast majority of his base. Trump just isn't trying very hard to win. That's the explanation!

I suspect that Haberman and Karni were fed this line by members of the campaign, who suspect they're about to lose badly and want it known that it wasn't their fault.

I also suspect that this narrative will fit in nicely with the mainstream media's inevitable downplaying of Joe Biden's victory, assuing Biden wins. We'll be told Biden didn't deserve much credit. We'll be told that the country wasn't rejecting decades of Republican meanness and cruelty embodied in one man -- nahhh, Trump lost because he didn't feel like winning.
Representative Peter King, a New York Republican, said the serious challenges facing the country had thrust Mr. Trump into uncharted territory. “This is not something he’s used to,” Mr. King said in an interview....

“He is the modern L.B.J., where everything has gone wrong and none of his skill sets are effective at what’s gone wrong,” said Anthony Scaramucci, who served as the White House communications director....

Nothing Mr. Trump has tried so far, Mr. Scaramucci said, has changed the narrative about his presidency, or shoved broader concerns about racism and the spread of the virus aside in news coverage.

“That’s why I know he doesn’t like the job,” Mr. Scaramucci said.

... the president has made public statements suggesting his mind is on life outside the White House.

Speaking at a recent Rose Garden event about an improvement in hiring, Mr. Trump mentioned a boom in the construction of recreational vehicles, then paused before sounding a wistful note, saying: “I may have to buy one of those things, drive around town. Maybe I’ll drive back to New York with our first lady in a trailer.”

It was only in April that the seriousness of the twin health and economic crises caused by the coronavirus fully set in with Mr. Trump, several current and former aides said, adding that they were no longer confident he was enthused about presiding over the difficult task of pulling the country out of a recession, with few moments of glory.
Yes, he's unconsciously trying to lose -- so if Biden wins, even in a landslide, don't think for a minute that it means he has a mandate for change.

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