Back in 2016 as I recovered from the shock of Trump becoming the 45th President, it occurred to me that his electoral victory was all the more traumatic because his campaign used strategies never seen before. There were those huge, raucous rallies, often held in multiple states on the same day. There was the speaking style of the candidate himself – loud, profane, insulting and completely devoid of any concern about the facts. Finally, there was social media and the banging out of daily, mostly illiterate tweets.
The campaign didn’t end the day his Administration began. If anything, Trump increased the intensity and tempo of his media and verbal assaults, going after anyone and everyone who disagreed with anything he said or did.
The one group, however, who were largely spared being the victims of his anger were his various friends, associates and staffers who were indicted and convicted of crimes. I’m thinking of Flynn, Manafort, Gates, Representatives Collins, and Hunter, and now Bannon, the biggest fish of them all. And let’s not forget Trump’s good buddy Jerry Falwell, Jr., who hasn’t been indicted yet but who knows?
I watched the first 90 minutes of the GOP convention last night, which when the show first started up there was a banner running on the bottom of the screen announcing that the evening’s program was going to contain some big ‘surprise.’ The big surprise was that I didn’t fall asleep twenty minutes or so into the program – the whole thing was really that boring and slow.
Most of the program took place in the rotunda of the Mellon Gallery, which is a large space that can easily contain hundreds of people at the same time. How many people were in the room besides the speakers? Not one. Of course the camera stayed right on the speaker, you were never shown the empty room. But it was empty, and for all the talk about how the GOP convention was going to be a ‘live’ event that would contrast favorably with the made-for-TV video event held by the Democrats, there was almost a ghoulish quality about the whole affair.
What the GOP convention underscored more than anything else, however, was the fact that with all the criminality that has been associated with the Trump Administration, the biggest crime is being committed by Trump himself every day. What’s his crime? To paraphrase my dear, late friend Jimmy Breslin, Trump has become a bore. He’s lost the shock value of Twitter, nobody really cares when he refers to his opponent as ‘sleepy Joe,’ and his brief appearance last night in the East Room of the White House when he re-told the same, endless lies about his response to Covid-19 really did put me to sleep.
As of this morning, Joe now holds a 9.3 lead over Trump in Nate Silver’s aggregate, national poll. This is the widest gap between the two campaigns since July 12th. In all three states that Joe needs to get to 270 electoral votes – Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania – he has hit the 50% mark and is ahead of Trump by 7-8 points. Joe is also 6 points up on Trump in Florida, in mid-June they were basically tied.
Know why Biden is beating the pants off of Trump right now? Precisely because everyone’s sick and tired of Trump’s lying, whining, and insulting while, meanwhile, the virus keeps killing 1,000 Americans every day. More than 80 guys and gals in four different states who went to the Harley rally in Sturgis have now been infected with the virus, by the way.
Joe’s the perfect candidate for a time of national anxiety precisely because he’s always been boring, that’s his shtick. But Trump is now guilty of committing the same crime and with him it just doesn’t fit.
Incidentally, the latest African-American athlete to go alt-right and appear on the GOP cavalcade last night is the former running back, Herschel Walker, who turned pro in 1983 and first played for a team called the New Jersey Generals in the United States Football League. The league went defunct and Walker ended up having a good career with four teams in the NFL.
Know who owned and then took the Generals into bankruptcy? A guy named Donald Trump.