Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Reaching a Tipping Point?

Are we reaching a tipping point in the 2016 Presidential election (with the implosion of the Trump campaign) or is tbis just a combination of a Clinton post-convention bounce and 24/7 media meme of the day?

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has had as good a finger on the pulse of this cycle as anyone. Here is a sampling from today:

We've had Judge Curiel, Megyn Kelly, the banning of an entire religion from America's shores, the demand to deport 3% of the US population, the Khan family, protester beatings. Tell me when to stop, okay? There's a lot more. And yet what seems to have been the red line was Trump refusing to endorse Paul Ryan and John McCain in their Republican primaries. Yes, the Khan debacle was big. But little more than a week ago we had Republicans coming out of Cleveland saying that Trump was killing it.


Do we know anything more about Trump today than we knew two weeks ago? I think the answer is obviously "no". It's probably fair to say that if you had Trump at a 71 on the scale of absolute craziness, he's now maybe a 74 or maybe 76.
It's just not that different.
But now it looks like gravity does work. Acting like a maniac on the public stage is making some people less likely to vote for Trump. Scott Baio wasn't as persuasive a messenger as Barack Obama or Bill Clinton. Trump is starting to look like as big a political loser as you'd expect - or at least hope. Of course, they call convention bounces "bounces" for a reason. They tend to fade. But this is a big bounce. And you should be confident that endangered Republican senators are getting very bleak reports from pollsters working for their campaigns or the NRSC.

I get that the Khan debacle seems particularly extreme, not only for the callousness, the violation of one of contemporary America's gravest public taboos and more than anything else the lack of self-control and overabundance of self-destructiveness. But if Trump were polling better I'm confident we'd just be seeing more handwringing. The belief that he might actually be able to win is the glue which has bound together the bad faith, hypocrisy, fear and general derp congealing the Republican party around Trump. Absent that, everybody will start to run for the hills.

So, what do you think? Has Trump finally gone too far? Or is the media just hyper-ventilating?

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