I’ve been a political junkie since the ’68 Democratic Convention in Chicago. We had been in Vietnam over four years at that point with KIA already over 25,000 with no end in sight. The solution (followed seven years later) was to declare victory and get out. Thousands of young protesters came to Chicago to make that point and to state their case on national television. Back then there were only three television channels and no cable. All three carried gavel-to-gavel convention coverage; there was no escaping it. We followed the CBS version and I still remember Walter Cronkite doing the play-by-play of the clashes between police and protesters. In one scene a young guy stepped out flinging rocks, screaming “death to the pigs”. He was cut off from help and quickly knocked down by several fellows wielding over-sized riot sticks. Once down the kid tried to cover up but one boy in blue whacked him hard across the head and shoulders again and again. The camera returned to Cronkite, watching the video with the nation. Walter frowned and noted “That cop certainly had his eye on the target.”
There’s never been a convention like that one, and never a Presidential campaign like this one.
I was amazed to read this in the electronic version of The New Yorker. “There are growing fears among supporters of the Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump that his new focus on Muslims is distracting him from his campaign against Mexicans.
After the billionaire said he would consider shutting down mosques if he were President, supporters expressed concern that such signature proposals as a wall with Mexico and mass deportations were being lost in the shuffle.”
That was satire from The Borowitz Report. Doesn’t it feel plausible?
Trump says so many things politically suicidal one must wonder whether he really wants the job. To wit: Once upon a time politicians, cigar breath and all, made a show of kissing babies. Two weeks ago at a Trump rally he had his security remove a crying baby and her mother. This week we heard him suggest “2nd Amendment people” might stop President Hillary from making any judicial nominations. Also this week – despite military efforts to the contrary, and zero knowledge of Arabic – she and Obama founded ISIS. Prominent Republicans are telling the RNC to spend all their money on the House and Senate races. We’re still three months out – is the best yet to come?
Kat says Trump’s going to quit the race when he realizes he can’t win. For fun, I checked the betting odds on that. There is an international online service that entertains such possibilities. It’s called PredictIt. There the odds of The Donald’s quitting before September 1 are between 7 and 8%. I can’t tell how long this proposition has been up for bids, but the probability of a dropout will decline proportionately with each passing day, all other things being the same. PredictIt posts a graph of betting probabilities by day, but from August 4 to 12, the graph is basically flat-lined. Trump’s unforced errors are keeping the September 1 Quit proposition interesting.
I think Kat is onto something!