Is Trump In A Summer Slump Or A Death Spiral?

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By Mark Green

Shrum and Christie largely agree on Trump's trajectory -- almost no chance to win POTUS because "gaffes" that didn't sink him among only GOP voters are now revealing him as temperamentally unfit to be president. Will Fox consider him as a post-election Host? Will his name be mentioned at 2020 convention? (Yes and no).

Trump's Self-Inflicted Torpedos: We discuss his comment about "Second Amendment people" harming Hillary in the context of his earlier remarks about carrying protesters "out in a stretcher" and assuring audiences that, unlike Putin, "I hate the media but I would never kill them. I wouldn't do that, ok?"

Shrum recalls his experience with Secret Service during Kennedy's presidential campaign and their anxiety about not "losing the third Kennedy." He repeats Lawrence O'Donnell's trenchant commentary that in a country with 300 million guns and many mentally unstable people, "it only takes one."

He and Ron lament how far over the line Trump's crossed and how apologists like Giuilani ("it was a joke!"; "if he had really meant that, the crowd would've gone wild!") were embarrassing themselves. Yes Trump's strategy of an outrage de jour was winning headlines, "but it's also building a mountain he cannot climb over -- we'll probably look back on August as when he lost the presidential campaign."

Host: Giuliani, trading on his cred as a former prosecutor, continued his screeds from the RNC Convention by asserting he could indict her "in minutes" both because of emails in general and the links between her Foundation and Office. Combined with his racially intolerant remarks about Obama not loving America and citing "black-on-black" crime to excuse recorded police violence, future dictionaries may use the phrase "pulling a Giuliani" to describe someone self-immolating after his peak of fame.

Again -- odds of him winning after the three weeks of conventions and Khan-troversies? Ron is sticking with 30%, Bob with no more than 10%, and your Host with the "not more than 5% I've been saying for months. Write it down: 52%-42%-6% (for Johnson + Stein)."

Last: how can the media honestly cover a contest between a serial liar (whose idea of walking back an insane comment is to blithely say "it was sarcasm") versus one who engages in normal puffery? What about CNN running a chyron saying that "Obama 'founded ISIS" with "("No He Didn't.)" Or Arianna Huffington's insistence that every article on Trump end with a box saying "he's a serial liar, misogynist, xenaphobe and birther who incites violence."

Both panelists agree that Trump is a true challenge to the traditional journalistic model of separately reporting from opinion. "I can understand Arianna's box because the HuffPo is a progressive blog site of note," concludes Bob, "while CNN's correction is fair since they have to cover candidates but not misleading their viewers."

Host: all candidates know, whether they're ahead or behind by alot, that you run through the tape. So Trump may be catching onto his chances, telling CNBC: 'if after all this I fall short, even though I'm supposed to be the smart one [!], well, I can go back to my very good life and a long vacation.'

Not exactly. First, he would have traded his middle-brow brand of gold lame' for one embraced by the kind of racist/nativist blue collar guys he'd never socialize with. His ego boosts will come from waving at NSCAR races though not appearing on any Sunday show. Second, emerging as the most unpopular politician in the history of presidential elections, his name won't be mentioned at the 2020 GOP convention and there's a fair chance that some of his grandchildren will ask to change their surnames.

Oh, and Hillary. Again, Trump dominated the news yet at the same time expressed anger that her mistakes didn't attract more coverage.

Bob expresses amazement that, after she admitted giving a 'short-circuited" answer on emails (presumably she meant "short-handed"), Clinton hasn't responded better to her email problem. "She could have said right off, 'I never received intelligence that I thought was classified...including those two times the email left off the classified heading at the top and had a buried "c" in the text).'"

Charles Krauthammer, however, is less forgiving of the emails between staffs of the Clinton Foundation and Secretary of State's office, saying such links could grow into something "devastating" to her candidacy, Christie agrees and hits her on the Foundation-SoS ties. The Host, however, asks him: "Do you really think that this couple who earned $100 million from celebrity speeches would create this entire apparatus to help under-developed countries in order to pocket a bit more money?" He says: "I don't know, I really don't know."

Dueling Economic Speeches: Lest Both Sides Now, like the presidential contest, devolve into a chronicle of competing gaffes, we discuss the nominees' speeches the same week on the economy. Who had the better argument: Trump's updated "trickle down approach" or Clinton's "middle-out" one that tags Trump as being only for richies like himself.

Ron correctly points out that the Clintons are rich, Reaganomics worked, and Carter left a worse economy than Bush43 -- to which Bob took strong exception.

Trump seemed to get the worst of it on elimination of the estate tax [which Rs falsely call the "Death Tax" since it's not imposed on everyone at death) by noting that it's abolition doesn't affect 99.8 percent of all beneficiaries, i.e. estates worth under $10 descedents

The Host notes that all three of them had sometimes given into cherry-picking facts. "But is there any real rebuttal to two big realities: while Bush43 gained a total of minus 400,000 jobs over eight years, Bill Clinton's economy produced 22 million and Obama's on track to generate 16 million; and based on the Host's analysis of GDP quarterly growth from 1960 to 2016, half under Demorcatic administrations and half GOP [not including the first six months of a new president's term], Democrats produced 40% more growth over these decades. QED?" Lots of cross-talk ensued, convincing no one.

Next for GOP? With everyone focused on November 8, what about November 9th. How does the Republican Party escape it's demographic cul-de sac? Ron answer is candid and newsworthy: "The RNC doesn't get it. It can't succeed as a major party with zero percent of the Black vote. So I'll be helping make sure that Reince Priebus is out after November, perhaps running for the position myself."

Host: the post-election fight for the soul of the GOP will between those who embraced or rejected Trump, and those who cater to the white-right-nationalist block or the 'Reformocons.' But who can modernize a party with 72% of its members in a poll this month said that Barack Obama either wasn't born in America or they weren't sure?

What Ailes Roger? While our radio show rarely discusses alleged private misconduct, Ailes is an exception since he's clearly been among the most Important five conservatives in America. Will his fall at Fox change that bellwether cable network. Neither think so -- Fox throws off a billion dollars annually to Murdoch -- but both expect it to adjust in tone since, it's been said, its demographic is essentially older white guys enroute to the cemetery or watching re-runs of Gunsmoke. Conclusion: he's a political and media genius who fell from grace because of personal arrogance and immorality.