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How Trump Created the Anti-Convention

There have been so many times through the on-going Trump spectacle where any observer could credibly say, 'This would never be credible in fiction.' Undoubtedly true and there will certainly be more of those times - probably more than we can imagine. But there is a particular way that is true about this convention that may not be entirely obvious. Good, credible storytelling is seldom so obviously, even woodenly didactic. Just as the paradigmatic American political convention devotes one night each to four of the candidate's essential campaign themes or personal traits, each night of Trump's debacle has been dedicated to graphically exploding one of his myths about himself.

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Gearing Up For The Next Battle Before This One Is Even Lost

One of the emerging themes of the 2016 campaign on the GOP side is flying below the radar right now but will be incredibly important down the road: Social conservatives are taking advantage of Donald Trump's relative indifference to their issues to drive the party farther right and lock it in there. This piece from Cleveland by Tierney Sneed and Lauren Fox provides a good window into that dynamic via the pro-life movement.

Unity, Day 4

So much fallout from Ted Cruz's non-endorsement speech last night. Some of the choice moments:

Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) calls Cruz a "wrecking ball" who is "the most self-centered, narcissistic, pathological liar I’ve ever seen."

Cruz's own Texas delegation ripped him a new one at a breakfast meeting appearance this morning.

GOP Convention: between a Crock and a Hard Face

I don't have the patience anymore to watch most convention speeches or to listen to the chatter on television. What struck me the most about this convention -- other than the sheer disorganization of the event and the parade of speakers, especially on Monday night, who looked like comic book villains from the '50s -- was the debased quality of the opposition within the convention to Trump's nomination. It was led by former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who headed Ted Cruz's presidential campaign, and led the "stop Trump" effort on the convention floor, and Cruz himself, who boldly refused to endorse Trump in his convention speech last night.

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Making Sense of the Conflagration

I tried, as events unfolded tonight, to piece together in the two posts below just what happened tonight and how. At first I was certain that Ted Cruz had executed an excruciating double cross of Donald Trump, a thoroughly disreputable and dangerous man, who had also humiliated Cruz, defamed his father and denigrated his wife. We now have two contending theories. The first: by whatever means, the Trump camp allowed Cruz, under their very noses, to blow up their convention through a feat of staggering, almost incomprehensible incompetence. Somehow, with so much at stake, they didn't even read the speech. The second: the Trump campaign knowingly allowed Cruz to light his bomb and then egged the conventioneers on to an outraged chorus of boos imagining that Cruz would be humiliated and that laying bare the GOP's protracted civil war before millions would in fact 'unify the party.'

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Okay, It Got Much Weirder

Since I wrote the post below things actually managed to get much, much weirder. I stand by the thrust of what I wrote about Cruz's speech. But there was one critical part of the equation I got wrong, though I think I deserve a pass because there was really no way to know - even despite Trump's Razor - that this level of stupidity was possible to contemplate. There's no reasonable way to blame me for this.

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