Convention to be One-Man Spectacle
August 16th, 2020
The GOP convention was already going to be the biggest shit show since the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. Some of you remember that: one major candidate was assassinated going in, and the survivor was tied to the most unpopular policy the failed incumbent president had—an endless war in Vietnam. And of course there were huge riots. Everyone remembers the riots, but the Dems that year had dread and despair going in before the riots even started.
The GOP convention this year had already descended into farce. Originally scheduled to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, the state government insisted that social distancing rules needed to be in place for the gathering. Trump, madly insisting that the party show no sign of the pandemic he so badly mismanaged, rescheduled the convention for Jacksonville, Florida, where the whorish little governor of the state, Ron DeSantis, was willing to do anything Trump ordered. They were even planning to put the conventioneers on board a cruise ship, a scheme that would have had the same jolly results as releasing norovirus in a nursing home.
To the surprise of absolutely nobody other than the mad cultists of the GOP, the pandemic erupted in Florida, turning the state into a third world shit-hole, and in Donald’s eyes, a bunch of losers.
So they turned back to Charlotte, and accepted a greatly reduced convention Friday, August 21 — Monday, August 24, in which most of the participants were “there” online. It was the same as what the Democrats were planning for the week before (August 17-20, 2020 at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee), only it was what the Dems had planned to be done clear back in March, so they looked careful and sensible whereas the Republicans look like a pack of damned fools.
The Republicans then announced that reporters wouldn’t be allowed at the convention itself, and TV coverage would be severely limited. This confirmed that at least some Republicans had realized that this convention was going to be a clusterfuck of truly heroic proportions.
It was announced today that Trump would address the convention on all four nights. Normally in these carefully choreographed events, the first night is given to a variety of party wheel horses, former presidents and the like (won’t happen here—Trump hates Bush) and various congressional candidates, the second to a keynote speaker (usually a party up-and-comer, like Obama in 2004) and more party candidates, including endorsements from primary rivals) the third night to the presidential nominee, and the fourth to his choice for VP.
Trump speaking all four nights sucks all the oxygen out of the event, stealing attention from everyone else in the party. That would be bad enough from the perspective of the party, but there’s also the fact that, now deep in mental and cognitive decline, Trump couldn’t give an inspiring speech to save his life, let alone ones four nights in a row. By night three, even Mike Pence will be yawning.
He can still read from a teleprompter, but what comes out is leaden, much like a recitation from a text book by a dull-witted seven year old. He can’t even fake enthusiasm, and it’s not even entirely clear that he even understands what he’s saying. If he wasn’t such an evil bastard, I might pity him.
When he wings it, he’s liable to say anything, and he does himself and his party immense damage when he does so. One reason his plot to sabotage the Post Office and prevent mail-in voting blew up in his face so spectacularly was that he came right out and said that was what he was trying to do. Turns out Americans like their post office, and they like being able to vote without having to risk their lives. Further, the appointee that Trump made to run the Post Office, one Louis DeJoy, not only had absolutely no experience with the mail, but held some $30 million in stock in interests that would profit handsomely from the collapse of the PO. In other words, like many of Trump’s appointees, DeJoy is an utterly corrupt swine putting profit well ahead of country. DeJoy authorized the destruction of hundreds of sorting machines, effectively crippling the organization, and tore out hundreds of mail boxes around the country. Word got out, and Americans erupted.
When Trump gives his speeches, it’s likely he won’t even mention the Post Office debacle. He won’t mention his brother Robert, who died the other day. (Biden gave a much more sympathetic and genuine response to the death than Donald managed, but in fairness, Donald probably had a bad day on the golf course as his brother lay dying). He’ll give scant mention to the pandemic, other than to boast about how well he’s handled it (At least 150,000 of the by-then 180,000 deaths will be the direct result of his incompetence and malice).
Trump made it clear that when the Dems have their convention, he’s going to stage something to steal attention from the convention. That could be anything from more misogynistic and bigoted lies about Kamala Harris to notice of intending to start a major war, but there’s one thing he couldn’t think of: the Democratic Convention goes first. If he deliberately messes with them, they’ll be ready to respond the following week, and are smart enough to do or say things that will bait Trump into saying stupid things in reaction in his speeches. The Republicans won’t even get a dead cat bounce out of this.
Having Trump monopolize the Convention is the biggest gift he could have possibly have given the Democrats.
And he should do a great job of depressing and infuriating his own base even further.