Dark Pre-Dawn Open Thread: Trump Rallies His (Extremely) Base

I’ll put most of this below the fold, but my Irish sense of grievance convinces me that you shouldn’t take your eyes off these people, not for one bloody-minded minute.

It was Dan Dale’s first live-tweeting of a Trump rally for CNN — flatter than Dale’s usual, but that’s probably not his fault.

Per the Washington Post:

… [A]t around 1:30 p.m., clouds charged in, and with them a heavy breeze that left vendors trying to hold their tents to the ground. Just as the man at the gate announced that he could not let anyone else into the arena, thunder boomed. Shortly after, a voice on the loudspeaker declared that anyone not in line at that moment would not be making it into the building right away.

Moments later, a drenching rain fell.

The abrupt closing of the gates left supporters in ponchos debating whether to run for cover or lose their place in line. Thunderstorms were in the forecast all evening, threatening to dampen the excitement of what the Trump campaign predicted would be a gathering of thousands outside the arena…

By the time Trump took the stage, less than 200 people were gathered outside, many of them choosing against entering the arena, which was still allowing entrants until just before the speech….

After about an hour, a stream of people began to head out of the arena. A few meandered back to the field, hunting for their folding chairs and coolers by the light of the big screen. President Trump had not finished yet.

The NYTimes is beginning to doubt the glamour:

President Trump delivered a fierce denunciation of the news media, the political establishment and what he called his radical opponents on Tuesday as he opened his re-election campaign in front of a huge crowd of raucous supporters by evoking the dark messaging and personal grievances that animated his 2016 victory…

He extolled his record as president — the growing economy, the tax cuts and deregulation — but did not offer any new policies or a cohesive agenda for a second term that might expand his political appeal. As he formally declared his intention to run again, he told the audience that his new slogan would be “Keep America Great,” pledging to wage a relentless battle on behalf of his supporters…

Mr. Trump had relentlessly hyped Tuesday’s event as a dramatic moment in his journey to a second term. But in the end, it was not so different from the dozens of rallies he has held during the past two years.

Standing in front of a sea of people wearing his signature red “Make America Great Again” hats, Mr. Trump unleashed a torrent of attacks, falsehoods, exaggerations and resentments that were the trademark of his first campaign and have been on almost daily display during his time in the White House. His warning for his voters: The establishment will stop at nothing to rob you of another four years…

For Mr. Trump, the rally was the beginning of what polls suggest will be a difficult 18 months as he seeks another four years in the White House. Already trailing Democrats in many voter surveys and having never cracked 50 percent in approval ratings since taking office, Mr. Trump has turned himself into one of the most polarizing presidents in American history…

To win re-election, Mr. Trump must convince those supporters that he has not forgotten them despite having failed to make good on some of his most important campaign promises: The wall he promised along the border with Mexico is still not built. Obamacare has not been fully repealed. The nation’s infrastructure is still aging and crumbling. The economy is booming, but many people still feel the sting of financial uncertainty…

Without a new message or a clear agenda for a second term, Mr. Trump’s advisers are banking on the belief that the same basic playbook — Mr. Trump’s preternatural ability to shock and entertain — will again animate his core voters and retain the swing voters who gambled on him in 2016…

High Priest in the Church of the Savvy Jack Schafer, in Politico:

This evening’s announcement is designed to make the public and the news media forget, if only for a few days, the two dozen Democrats running against him who have been robbing him of mindshare, or as he calls it, his “ratings.” Next week’s Democratic debates sufficiently threaten his status as the top newsmaker that he has made tentative plans to live-tweet the event, reports the Wall Street Journal, to make sure the debates end up being about Trump.

The president’s advisers have warned Trump that he should lay off Twitter lest his running commentaries on the Democrats turn some also-ran contestants into real contenders. But he cares not so long as he grabs a major share of the headlines that editors had reserved for Joe Biden and friends. Like the gulls in Finding Nemo chanting, “Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!” when they see a scrap of edible garbage floating in the sea, Trump’s ego shouts “Me! Me! Me! Me! Me! Me!” whenever he spies some other politician flapping his wings for the press…

From the debates to the caucuses to the primaries to the Democratic National Convention, Trump will be there, posturing as the unofficial 25th Democratic candidate. He will not go away. He will not be silent. He will not stop tweeting. Unless you pay him attention he does not exist.






36 replies
  1. 1
    tobie says:

    I have to confess that when I heard about the thunderstorms that broke up Trump’s outdoor rally, I couldn’t help but think of that quote from Ezekiel that Jules recites in Pulp Fiction:

    And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.

    This is magical thinking on my part but it’s hard not to want some biblical justice when it comes to Trump.

  2. 2
    Betty Cracker says:

    @tobie: As soon as I read about the cultists camped out in line at the arena (starting Monday!), I hoped our famously dramatic summer storms would soak the MAGA merch and force the morons to abandon their coolers and lawn chairs to escape the lightning. I am pleased that it came to pass. :)

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    @tobie:

    I think Baud! 2020! has found its slogan.

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Next week’s Democratic debates sufficiently threaten his status as the top newsmaker that he has made tentative plans to live-tweet the event, reports the Wall Street Journal, to make sure the debates end up being about Trump.

    God does not love me that much.

  5. 5
    Betty Cracker says:

    Reporting from last night’s hate fest says Trump let the cult choose between two reelection slogans via cheer-o-meter: 1) MAGA, and 2) KAG (Keep America Great). KAG won. Both slogans are losers. Sticking with MAGA suggests Trump failed to make America great during the first term, and KAG has “mission accomplished” connotations.

  6. 6
    tobie says:

    @Betty Cracker: Ha! See the power of prayer! FSM heard us.

  7. 7
    tobie says:

    @Baud: please, please, please, get Samuel Jackson to do your commercials.

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    @tobie:

    And I will strike down upon thee with great fucking vengeance motherfucker and furious fucking anger those who fucking attempt to poison and destroy my brothers, motherfucker.

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah:

    Good morning.

  11. 11
    Chyron HR says:

    “A demonic network that has been united against President Trump needs to be broken in the name of Jesus” – prayer from Paula White

    “They only voted for Trump because I wasn’t the Democratic nominee! Those should have been MY insane cultists!” – Bernie Sanders, probably

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Wait until she finds out Jesus is on our side.

  13. 13
    Sherparick says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: God obviously has a sick sense of humor.

  14. 14
    Chyron HR says:

    @Baud:

    I don’t think it matters, Trump will just steal his kids and deport him to Mexico.

  15. 15
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sherparick: My continued existence is proof of that.

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    I am woman, hear me score.

    Women have outperformed their male counterparts in entrance examinations for a medical school in Japan that last year admitted rigging admission procedures to give men an unfair advantage.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/19/women-outperform-men-after-japan-medical-school-stops-rigging-exam-scores

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Baud says:

    This could be an interesting story, but it’s the NYT, so there is a high risk of journalistic failure.

    Trump Is Changing the Shape of the Democratic Party, Too

    NYT > Top Stories / by Thomas B. Edsall / 12min

    In reaction to his provocations, many white Democrats are seeing race relations in a new light

  19. 19
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Indeed.

  20. 20
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Here’s hoping the reaction is not equal but overwhelming.

  21. 21
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Betty Cracker: Did “four legs good, two legs bad” make it to the list?

  22. 22
    MattF says:

    It’s not the first time that Trump has hyped some event that turned out to be more of the same. ‘Crooked Hillary’? Give me a break.

    I guess Trump got the headlines and the coverage he wanted, and the media did their little ‘Ooopsie, not such a big deal after all’ dance. But I can’t help thinking that there should be a better way.

  23. 23
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    And those motherfucking snakes, too!

  24. 24
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: reminds me of the scene in “Network” when William Holden says he’s going to raise a big stink about UBS with the NY Times and Robert Duvall responds, “great! we need all the publicity we can get.”

  25. 25
    Kathleen says:

    @tobie: I was thinking Divine Retribution as well. (Giggles).

  26. 26

    His followers are still chanting Lock Her Up!

  27. 27
    low-tech cyclist says:

    “A demonic network that has been united against President Trump needs to be broken in the name of Jesus” – prayer from Paula White

    Always good to know who the court prophets are.

  28. 28
    low-tech cyclist says:

    I can’t believe Fox News and Trump and all of his followers are still all going on about Hillary.

    It’s been two years and seven months since they sent her into retirement, and they still can’t let go of her.

    She’s like that ex-girlfriend that they still can’t get over, after all these years.

  29. 29
    Ken says:

    @Betty Cracker: KAG is the best result from Trump’s point of view, because he gets to sell more merchandise. When we see the swag show up, we’ll now how long it’s been planned – and remember to add a few months to allow for the container ship transport from China.

  30. 30
    Ken says:

    @low-tech cyclist: In 1984 they were still raging against Goldstein decades after the Ingsoc revolution, so why the surprise?

  31. 31
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Someone should have suggested “Gosh! America’s Great!”

  32. 32
    bjacques says:

    Keep America Great Again

  33. 33
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Ken: KAG merch is exempt from tariffs, right?

  34. 34
    judyinsd says:

    Is there some way to pronounce the K in KAG so that it sounds like the G in the word GAG? Anything close would be good as long as it calls to mind a gagging sound, an appropriate reaction to the campaign.

  35. 35
    The Moar You Know says:

    In reaction to his provocations, many white Democrats are seeing race relations in a new light

    @Baud: A few. Most of those who were capable of getting on the clue train got onboard when Obama was elected and their friends, neighbors and co-workers went completely barking mad. People who insisted they “weren’t racist” – and still do – but somehow found every action and word of Obama’s from inauguration day onward totally unacceptable.

    It was the women who took this attitude – and in 2016 every last one of them voted for Trump – who surprised me most. Don’t know why. They’d all been Dems. A black president somehow was a bridge too far. They sat out 2012, but they sure as shit didn’t sit out 2016.

  36. 36
    The Moar You Know says:

    I can’t believe Fox News and Trump and all of his followers are still all going on about Hillary.

    It’s been two years and seven months since they sent her into retirement, and they still can’t let go of her.

    She’s like that ex-girlfriend that they still can’t get over, after all these years.

    @low-tech cyclist: The NRA is STILL using Ted Kennedy in their fundraising letters, and he’s been dead over a decade.

    Given their current financial straits, they might want to rethink their approach…but they won’t. Thankfully.

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