In his Republican Nationalist Confederation acceptance speech, Trump rattled off an array of objectives that were nothing but rehashes of what he’s been saying for nearly four years. Things like cutting taxes and regulations, defending the 2nd Amendment, and building the border wall. There was nothing new and nothing that he’s made any progress on. It was political boilerplate with no substance or commitment.
In the past few weeks, Trump has been asked a question that is commonly asked of presidential candidates: What is your agenda for the next four years should you win? Trump has been asked this question at least four times, including by friendly “interviewers” like Sean Hannity of Fox News and the “Curvy Couch” of Fox and Friends, but has failed to give a comprehensible answer. You might think that after flopping once or twice, Trump would have an aide write up a response for him. But not Trump. On Thursday Peter Baker of the New York Times published his account of Trump’s answer to that question. And it makes even less sense than all the others that preceded it:
Trump on a 2nd term: “So I think, I think it would be, I think it would be very, very, I think we’d have a very, very solid, we would continue what we’re doing, we’d solidify what we’ve done and we have other things on our plate that we want to get done." https://t.co/a1VSJLxd4E
— Leigh Ann Caldwell (@LACaldwellDC) August 28, 2020
Holy shih tzu! Trump is descending even further into an acute state of mental infirmity, and the American people are noticing. He is not only unable to articulate an agenda, he is unable to complete a coherent sentence. Which may explain his bizarre nomination acceptance speech Thursday night. It was mish-mosh of lies, boasts, and slanderous assaults of Joe Biden and Democrats generally. But not a single punch landed. That’s partially because it was all retreads of his past rants and so transparently false. CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale documented at least twenty lies Trump told during his marathon 70-minute speech. That’s an average of one lie every three and a half minutes.
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) August 28, 2020
Among the most loathsome untruths was Trump’s dismissal of the horror that America is suffering through due to his negligent and incompetent mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump has a perverse habit of downplaying human tragedies. For seven months he has pretended that the coronavirus was as trivial as the flu and completely under control. 180,000 deaths later it is still taking 1,000 lives every day.
So he is being true to form by beginning his speech with shameless bragging that “the casualties and damage [from Hurricane Laura] were far less than thought possible only 24 hours ago.” He doesn’t say what he considered possible, but there are six dead and estimates of total economic costs “in the neighborhood of $20 billion.” Hallelujah! What a success.
Trump’s speech was a meandering mess that checked off political boxes while ignoring the real world hardships Americans face. He demonstrated his priorities by mentioning COVID-19 only five times, but slandering Joe Biden 41 times. that included the ominous and hyperbolic assertion that Biden “will be the destroyer of American Greatness.” Trump also said that “For 47 years, Joe Biden took the donations of blue collar workers, gave them hugs and even kisses, and told them he felt their pain.” Trump emphasized “kisses” in an attempt to insinuate some sort of sexual aberration.
That’s an unbelievably brain dead attack considering that there have been no credible complaints of sexual misconduct by Biden in those 47 years. Conversely, there are dozens of credible allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Trump.
These are the kinds of vicious rhetorical bombs that Trump is going to be throwing for the remainder of this campaign. He has nothing positive to run on. He cannot defend his mangling of the pandemic response or the economic catastrophe that it produced. All of the obvious failures for which he is responsible will weigh heavily on his campaign. But in the midst of all of that, he still can’t tell voters what he would do if reelected. He can only mumble unintelligibly and whine about what a victim he is.