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After those midterms… November 27, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Interesting point on a Slate.com podcast where Trump was described by LA Times White House reporter Eli Stokals as being shattered by the losses in Congress and the fact that the Republican victories in the Senate were less than those flagged in advance of the contest. And it was suggested that ‘in his head this was a President who felt impervious to political gravity and felt like I have this unique ability to drive a message, control the media and stir people up and it works for me.’ And therefore expected to win. Again this dovetails with a point made on a Politico podcast that Trump has precisely one experience of running for election and therefore his political understanding is limited and indeed constrained by that experience. The problem with a worldview based on that alone is obvious. But then Trump has and has had those around him all too willing to buy into this with remarkably little caution. For example that political genius Steve Bannon had referred to the 2018 middtems as the first re-elect.

And the point was also made that as he took stock of the election and that it was ‘across the board a huge defeat’ particularly in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania even for someone who is ‘pretty good at selecting their own alt-reality’ it wasn’t great. And it was noted he didn’t attend the usual ceremonies at VA day, etc and that this is function of his defeat.

Interestingly Stokals notes an insider is quoted that ‘losing is not good for his brand’, and Stokals made an excellent point that Trumpism is entirely self-contradictory. But this is no contradiction with the idea of him as performative. One final observation was that his rhetorical style is one where he keys in disclaimers – never emphasised but sufficient to allow him an out. Except this is working quite as well as it has.


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