Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Trump Puts Charlottesville Behind Him: Phoenix was an Enormous Wasted Opportunity

Phoenix has to be chalked up as a win for Trump. Looking at stories in The New York Times and RT, both filled with video, the crowds outside the convention center looked thin. Simon Romero of The Times said thousands; RT, hundreds. Did the police fire away with tear gas? No doubt. But there is also no doubt that a serious #resist organizing campaign was absent.

This is troubling because it means that actual resistance to Trump is local, like Charlottesville, and not national. What is national, like MoveOn's "Resistance Recess" and "Resistance Summer," is aimed at pressuring Congress. Would the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed with such a campaign? No, you needed the "Bloody Sunday" of the Selma to Montgomery march.

Phoenix was an enormous opportunity wasted. Trump was able to put Charlottesville behind him. He cleaned up his "both sides" rhetoric and gave his fans what they wanted, attacks on the mainstream media. According to Mark Landler and Maggie Haberman in "At Rally, Trump Blames Media for Country’s Deepening Divisions":
Mr. Trump accused the news media of “trying to take away our history and our heritage,” an apparent reference to the debate over removing statues to heroes of the Confederacy, which prompted the rally by neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville.
The president singled out a familiar list of malefactors — including the “failing New York Times,” which he erroneously said had apologized for its coverage of the 2016 election; CNN; and The Washington Post, which he described as a lobbying arm for Amazon, the company controlled by the newspaper’s owner, Jeff Bezos.
Trump's got a winning formula. If he fucks up in D.C. and loses control of the narrative, he just heads off to a sunbelt metropolis and puts on one of his cracker minstrel shows. Suddenly, he's back in charge, leading the news on his terms.

Phoenix was where all that could have ended and the battle that was won at Charlottesville reaffirmed. The fact that the "Resistance" either could not -- or chose not to -- shut down Trump in Phoenix is proof that the "Resistance" is merely a smokescreen for returning business-as-usual Democrats to power.

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