Procrastinating on June 23, 2016

Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Josh Marshall: For Trump, Almost Normal: "I don't know if you heard Donald Trump's anti-Hillary speech...

...a slew of demonstrable falsehoods... overheated argument about Hillary being responsible for the deaths of thousands and using the State Department as her own 'private hedge fund.' A reader wrote in this afternoon to ask for help understanding what Trump was even trying to say.... There's no there there to understand. The point is that Hillary's a crook, uses any position in government as a way to enrich herself and is just generally awful. Tossing in 'hedge fund' is nothing more than Trump's permanent need to act out dominance politics via hyperbole, even when it's devoid of any actual meaning.

And yet... the most notable thing about the speech was how relatively normal it was.... Now is this an incredibly low bar? Yes, of course it is. I'm setting aside numerous lies, totally unsubstantiated claims, many of which might well amount to slander, even by the almost impossible standards which apply to public officials. Trump's ability to lie without even the slightest pretense of covering his tracks or caring is unprecedented.... So what is it about this speech?... Trump was using a TelePrompTer, which is to say it wasn't him talking... kind of plodding... clearly not him... also not crazy, which given who we're talking about is not nothing....

There are whole classes of citizens who think they're at best second class citizens in his eyes - women, Hispanics, blacks, basically anybody who's not a white man.... These impressions... are entirely accurate impressions. Trump is a mercurial and emotional unstable racist and misogynist who is also a pathological liar....

Nicole Wallace, a former Bush White House Communications official said that the speech seemed pretty normal.... But that wasn't the point.... Because once Trump is cut loose from the TelePrompTer ball and chain, he'll inevitably go on Hannity or O'Reilly and say something totally insane.

For me there are basic rules of thumb: Trump has very little money and Trump will always be Trump.... But there's a family around him who may not care terribly about the presidency but cares a lot about their inheritance. There's a massive GOP party infrastructure that at least wants to make this a competitive race. What I'll be watching is how successful both those groups are in keeping Trump from being Trump in public.... I doubt they'll be able to do it.... But that's what I'm going to be watching.

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