Day 2 Was More Boring Than Day 1.

When I was a kid (this was the 1950’s) the biggest revenue sport for television wasn’t baseball, wasn’t football, it was – bowling!  Why? Because all you needed to televise bowling was one camera located behind the lane being used for that match. You didn’t need producers, you didn’t need a big trailer sitting outside the bowling alley, you didn’t even need an announcer. So the whole thing, financially peaking, was net-net.

I was reminded of how the networks used to show bowling when I watched the RNC shindig the last two nights. Virtually the entire program consisted of one camera facing one speaker who stood in front of a completely empty room and talked for a couple of minutes about whatever they wanted to talk about. Which means that if you need 20 speakers every night for 4 nights, you’re going to hit the bottom of the barrel, speaker-wise, pretty fast.

The bottom of the barrel was almost scraped last night in spades when the program listed a speaker named Mary Anne Mendoza whose appearance was cancelled at the last minute after her role as a promoter of QAnon conspiracy theories started getting around. The particulars involved the pushing of the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ about how a Jewish cabal controls the world banking system and is currently following orders from George Soros and God knows who else.

This QAnon nonsense has been floating around for a couple of years and is used by the alt-left in the same way that the so-called Antifa conspiracy is used by the alt-right; namely, to create the impression of a really dangerous group whose existence threatens the very foundations of our country if not the whole of Western civilization itself.

In fact (note the word ‘fact’) the Antifa thing started in a coffee shop adjacent to the Berkeley campus and has never been anything more than a few college-age kids who dress up in silly costumes and go wandering around. As for QAnon, this is nothing more than some internet tweets which would have never been noticed had Trump not sent a positive comment to a QAnon follower in Georgia who won a Congressional primary contest last week. The QAnon ‘movement’ has more than a million followers on various Facebook groups. Good for them.

Sooner or later groups like Antifa and QAnon end up on some FBI terrorist list because this gives the FBI something to do besides wandering around airport long-term parking lots looking for stolen cars. The so-called ‘threat’ represented by these websites also gives groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League an opportunity to raise some cash. The bottom line is that these ‘movements’ are websites and if I wanted to, I could promote my website as a ‘movement’ too.

Know who has spent the last four years promoting another phony ‘movement?’  The President of the United States. His so-called ‘movement’ was invented by Steve Bannon, who first began filling Trump’s head with a whole lot of racist nonsense combining alt-right conspiracy theories about Muslim threats with populist anger towards the Deep State.

You would think that with all the internet messaging done by these groups that they would spend some time huckstering various products like extra-strength vitamins, freeze-dried foods, portable air-raid shelters, and other necessities to prepare for the coming collapse. The best they seem able to come up with are those ugly, MAGA hats, which are now selling on Amazon for ten bucks or less.

I can’t believe that Trump is getting free television coverage from every network four nights in a row and isn’t trying at least one time to sell his hats, his neckties, his daughter’s jewelry line or something else. You show me any kind of political ‘movement’ that doesn’t peddle some kind of consumer crap, and I’ll show you a ‘movement’ that either doesn’t really exist or still hasn’t figured itself out.

Meanwhile, TV viewership for this year’s GOP convention is down 30% from 2016.

Donald Trump Commits The Biggest Crime Of All.

              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.