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Whence The Anger?

If there's one thing Tierney Sneed and Lauren Fox found while reporting for us in Cleveland that I probably don't factor in enough in assessing the Trump phenomenon it's the deep resentment and bitterness Republican Party rank-and-file feel toward their own leaders for not fulfilling the extravagant promises made to them since the 2010 Tea Party revolt. I tend to focus more on the white resentment, race-baiting, and xenophobia that arise from the tectonic social shifts way below the surface. They're not decoupled from each other, but the promise that Obama would be put in his place (with all the accompanying racial overtones to that notion) and his political and policy agenda expunged from the public record were powerful GOP draws for three election cycles, as detached from political reality as those promises may have been.

You get a strong flavor of that intra-party resentment in Lauren and Tierney's dispatch from last night. We've written before about how the grievances nursed against Obama ultimately came to be redirected at Republican leaders on the Hill, and you certainly saw that with the booing of Mitch McConnell this week when he was on the stage. But their story is a good reminder on that point and captures it well.

Who Was This Angry Man Yelling At Me?

I spent the day wrestling with Trump's Razor. It suggested something cataclysmically dumb for the final night of the convention. Yet it was hard to imagine just what that could be. No controversial speakers. Presumably no more plagiarism. Just go through the motions and don't do anything stupid. It shouldn't be that hard and the bar had been set unimaginably low.

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Gettin' Into the Scream Groove

11:05 PM: Tonally, this matches up pretty well with the Ivanka stuff, yes?

11:05 PM: Trump: We refused to be killed like helpless cattle by the hordes from the South!!!!

11:07 PM: This sounds totally like the man Ivanka described.

11:17 PM: Where was he radicalized?

11:24 PM: What I find kind of intriguing here is that Hillary seems much less present than I would have imagined. We keep hearing about some opponent. But she's barely there, barely present. It's overpowered by his ranting.

And There's More

10:38 PM: So far I'd say it's a good (in an optics sense) version of Trump's message, which is hideous and built on lies. But as he goes forward the tone is getting more intense.

10:40 PM: Things will never change?

10:42 PM: I'm curious who these mothers are who he comforted because they were sold out by politicians.

10:42: How does she always manage to get into every convention? Believe me, they are not easy to get into. I was once sitting in a press box I think back in 2004 I think and suddenly the woman sitting next to me stood up and started protesters. And I think it was Medea Benjamin, the one who just stood up there.

10:44 PM: I think he just accused the FBI of being corrupt.

10:45 PM: Yep, he's accusing the FBI of covering up for Hillary. I guess including James Comey.

10:52 PM: The Law and Order candidate always launches racist attacks on judges.

10:53 PM: He's leveling with us and letting us know our country sucks. And we're apparently all going to die.

11:03 PM: Okay, he's really in the crazy Trump groove now. Please proceed, huckster.

And Here We Go

10: 20 PM: Trump seems like he has his demeanor in check. But if he gives the speech that was released in advance it's going to be a jarring contrast with the one Ivanka just gave.

10:21 PM: He's already departing from the prepared speech. Now he's back.

10:26 PM: Here's the transcript so you can follow along.

10:29 PM: Coming off Ivanka's speech, which was basically a Democratic speech, I kind of thought it this would have a different feeling. But we're back to a pretty dark vision.

10:31 PM: "One international humiliation after another." ... this is a Trump speech.

10:32 PM: Humiliation is the thoroughgoing theme.

10:33 PM: Resisted the "lock her up" chant!

10:37 PM "The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponents, is that our plan will put America First. Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo. As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America First, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect. This will all change in 2017."


I don't know if you're having the same feeling. But listening to Ivanka Trump, I'd genuinely like to hear more about this man she's talking about. Seriously. Unfortunately, I've already seen a lot about the malignant narcissist Donald Trump actually is.

10:15 PM: I'm thinking a lot conventioneers are saying, "Wait, what?" when they hear about the pay equality and subsidized childcare agenda.

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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