The Republicans 2020 RNC and aftermath

Written by  //  September 10, 2020  //  Politics, U.S.  //  No comments

The Republicans 2020
The Lincoln Project
What Is QAnon: Explaining the Internet Conspiracy Theory
The 45th President of the U.S.

Republican worries rise as Trump campaign pulls back from television advertising
Republican officials have been inundated with calls from worried activists and donors who complain about constant Biden ads in their local media markets, with very few paid Trump responses, according to people familiar with the conversations. Some Republicans close to Trump have been baffled at the decision to sharply curb advertising and have told the president he should change course.

7 September
The 2020 Trump Campaign Is Reportedly a Financial Mess
By Matt Stieb
It comes as no surprise that a campaign which held a rally that was most likely the source of a large uptick of COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma and lost millions due to a failed Republican National Convention venue change would be tumultuous behind the scenes. But a report from the New York Times details just how chaotic the Trump campaign’s finances have been, particularly for a reelection effort which began the day after the inauguration.
Though the campaign raised a total of $1.1 billion since the beginning of 2019 and did not have to spend money in a primary, over $800 million, or close to 73 percent, of their funds have been exhausted. Similar to the trajectory of the president’s business career, an early excess of cash appears to have been wasted due to questionable spending.

30 August
The Republicans’ Conspiratorial Convention
Trump and his supporters claimed that his opponents are seeking to deceive and subdue Americans. It’s a dangerous path.
By Amy Davidson Sorkin
(The New Yorker) Tiffany Trump is not the most prominent or politically adept of the President’s children, but her speech at the Republican National Convention last week served as a succinct summation of the event’s key messages. Donald Trump is a giant among Presidents, protecting the country and keeping his promises. His reëlection is a contest between freedom and oppression. Yet he’s subject to hatred, Tiffany said, because so many people have been “manipulated and visibly coerced” by the media and tech companies that present a “biased and fabricated” version of reality. “Ask yourselves, why are we prevented from seeing certain information?” she urged viewers. The answer is “control.”

23-27 August
Fact-Checking Night 3 of the Republican National Convention
(NYT) Republicans used the third night of their national convention to craft a portrait of President Trump as a fierce supporter of social conservatives, the military and women, often using exaggeration and hype that papered over Mr. Trump’s personal history and policy record during the last four years.
John Cassidy: Mike Pence’s Big Lie About Trump and the Coronavirus at the Republican National Convention
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Mike Pence’s bowing and scraping to Donald Trump is that he seems to revel in it.
The great irony, and outrage, of Pence’s speech is that, as the head of the White House’s coronavirus task force since February, he’s had a unique and closeup view of Trump’s actual response to the pandemic: the constant belittling of the virus’s threat; the claims that it would go away of its own accord; the quack remedies, including injecting disinfectant into stricken patients; the squabbling with governors, even Republican ones, who called out the inadequacy of his actions; the urging of states to reopen their economies even as they failed to meet the guidelines that Pence’s task force had laid down; the months of defiant refusal to wear a mask; and, in the end, the decision to effectively give up on the whole thing and move on. … throughout his speech, Pence presented Trump as everything he isn’t: engaged, diligent, and dedicated solely to acting in the interests of the American people.
At R.N.C., Trump Uses Tools of Presidency in Aim to Broaden Appeal
(NYT) The convention swerved from the first night’s dire tone with a grab-bag of events and personal testimonials targeted especially at female and minority voters.
By appropriating the resources of his office, President Trump breached the traditional boundaries between campaigning and governing.
Melania Trump steps into the spotlight, White House doubles as convention stage on RNC Night 2
(PBS) The theme of the night was “American Opportunity.” Speakers praised Trump’s record on criminal justice reform, foreign policy, government deregulation and the coronavirus pandemic. Perhaps the most consequential moments came from Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo using their positions as public servants to promote the campaign’s interests.
Trump frequently blurs the line between his role as president and role as candidate. That trend continued into Tuesday as Trump showcased himself performing presidential duties in the White House clearly executed for the convention broadcast to promote his candidacy.
… One of the most controversial appearances Tuesday was Mike Pompeo, whose participation in the convention bucks a long-running expectation that U.S. diplomats avoid political activity.
Last year, his department issued a directive barring presidential appointees from engaging in “political activity in concert with a partisan candidate, political party, or partisan political group,” citing the Hatch Act.
“Senate confirmed Presidential appointees may not even attend a political party convention or convention-related event,” the memo stated in bold.
Adding more fuel to the criticism, Pompeo’s remarks Tuesday were pre-recorded while he was conducting official State Department business in Israel.
Heather Cox Richardson:
The Republican National Convention is designed to fire up the base to make sure its members vote, and to reassure wavering Republicans that they can vote for Trump without being racists but rather staunch Americans. And on both fronts, the first two days of this convention have delivered.
The Trump team is not using half-measures; they are meeting head-on the criticisms of Trump and exacerbating them. They are campaigning by audacity. That is, after all, one of the characteristics Trump’s base likes most about him.
Tonight that audacity dovetailed with what appears to be the Trump family’s growing authoritarianism to make them broadcast that they are above the law. Tonight’s proceedings smashed all U.S. laws and traditions against using public property for partisan purposes. The power of the presidency, the physical space of the White House—the people’s house– and the nation’s international standing are all enlisted to get this president, this one man, reelected.
The Special Hypocrisy of Melania Trump’s Speech at the Republican National Convention
In the Rose Garden, what looked like dozens of audience members, including Melania’s husband, as she would refer to the President, looked on from chairs. (According to reports, only the guests who sat near the President and Vice-President were tested for COVID-19.) Her olive-green skirt suit, by Alexander McQueen, looked rather like fatigues, and recalled the palette of her other famous jacket, with its quick message of fast-fashion fascism: “I REALLY DON’T CARE DO U?”

Best and Worst Moments From Night 1
NYT columnists and contributors give their rankings.
Peter Wehner: There are three notable themes that emerged. One is that on the first day of the R.N.C. we witnessed a cult of personality that at times rivaled Jonestown, minus (thankfully) the mass suicide. The second was how fully the R.N.C. has embraced Trump’s inversion of reality. The bolder the deception, the better. Third, a relentless effort to portray Democrats not just as radical but malevolent, committed to destroying America and to relish doing so.
Bret Stephens: Like it or not, the first night of the Republican convention made an effective case that Donald Trump was an energetic and surprisingly empathetic president; that Joe Biden was a career politician who accomplished nothing over 47 years; and that Democrats have more sympathy for rioters and cancel-culture warriors than they do for law-abiding citizens and freethinkers. Liberals may think this is all lies and slander, but they dismiss it at their political peril.

The Republicans who won’t be speaking at the convention, and what that says about the GOP
(WaPo) Not speaking for the second time at a convention nominating Trump is the only living past Republican president, George W. Bush — a break from tradition. (All three past Democratic presidents offered remarks at that party’s convention last week.)
We also won’t see a ton of Republican senators and House lawmakers who are running for reelection in potentially competitive races. Republican senators running for reelection from swing states for both the White House and the Senate — such as Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia and Maine — won’t be making an appearance to speak on behalf of Trump. A number of them have started running ads that don’t mention Trump.
… Republicans are now seriously contemplating a future without Trump, so it’s also instructive to see how many might be thinking about a 2024 run and decided to appear at the convention.
Potential future presidential candidates speaking this week for Trump include Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump’s sons, and, of course, Vice President Pence.
… There is a real rift in the party about whether and how much to support the president, especially as polls show he could lose in November.
Oh, and on the first day of the Republicans’ convention, Fox News reported that Flake and more than two dozen former Republican members of Congress will be part of a “Republicans for Biden” campaign.
Former RNC chairman Michael Steele joins The Lincoln Project

Kellyanne Conway to leave Trump White House at end of month
President’s adviser cites the need to focus on her family as her husband George also steps back from his role at the Lincoln Project

The Grand Old Meltdown
What happens when a party gives up on ideas?
By Tim Alberta
(Politico Magazine) It can now safely be said, as his first term in the White House draws toward closure, that Donald Trump’s party is the very definition of a cult of personality. It stands for no special ideal. It possesses no organizing principle. It represents no detailed vision for governing. Filling the vacuum is a lazy, identity-based populism that draws from that lowest common denominator [Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina governor and congressman] alluded to. If it agitates the base, if it lights up a Fox News chyron, if it serves to alienate sturdy real Americans from delicate coastal elites, then it’s got a place in the Grand Old Party.
GOP Will Not Write a 2020 Platform, Pledges Undying Trump Support Instead
By Jonathan Chait
In lieu of a document attempting to define the party’s beliefs and priorities, the RNC simply states that it agrees with everything Trump has done and will do:
The official excuse is that the coronavirus has made it impossible for the party to get together and write a platform: “The Republican National Committee (RNC) has significantly scaled back the size and scope of the 2020 Republican National Convention in Charlotte due to strict restrictions on gatherings and meetings, and out of concern for the safety of convention attendees and our hosts.” Yet somehow the Democrats managed to come up with a platform without killing anybody.

Trump announces emergency authorization for new COVID-19 treatment after accusing FDA of purposefully delaying research
(NBC) One day prior to the start of the Republican National Convention, Trump made the announcement in an evening news conference.

Trump, the G.O.P.’s ‘talent in chief,’ will take the spotlight every night of the convention.
(NYT) President Trump is set to speak every night of the Republican National Convention — an unusually active role for an incumbent president.
… The Republicans’ celebration is being led by longtime Trump loyalists such as the White House advisers Ms. Conway and Hope Hicks; Justin Clark, the president’s deputy campaign manager; and Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law.
Mike Pence hopes four years of subservience to Trump will lift his political future
On Wednesday night, Pence will formally accept his party’s nomination for a second term as vice president in an address to the Republican National Convention from Fort McHenry in Baltimore, where he will praise Trump’s leadership. The keynote serves as a bookend of sorts for one of the few high-ranking officials to survive Trump’s first term. He is being repaid for his loyalty with a reward — remaining in the No. 2 slot — that in most other administrations would never have been in doubt.
What TV networks should do if lies are told at the Republican convention
(CNN Business)The Republican National Convention is kicking off Monday, and newsrooms will have a crucial decision to make: Should TV networks intervene if President Donald Trump or other speakers lie?
“All the networks need to cover this as a major medical disinformation campaign,” said Amanda Carpenter, author of “Gaslighting America,” on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” show Sunday. “There’s a lot of low-information voters tuning in for the first time…. The networks have a higher responsibility to keep people safe.”
Carpenter said networks should be unafraid to “break in” and put experts on air alongside the convention to correct the record if speakers lie.

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