— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2016
Allahpundit notes that on a day when the GOP nominee for President could have railed against Hillary Clinton and a corrupt system, Donald Trump was ranting and raving about…this:
“A striking display of self-sabotage,” the Times writes of Trump’s rally in Cincinnati last night, at which he ranted about the Star of David kerfuffle from this weekend and his views on Saddam the Terrorist-Killer. Here’s a reality check: Hardly anyone besides political junkies has spent more than 20 seconds thinking about the imagery in Trump’s tweet, assuming they’ve heard about it at all, and lots of Americans doubtless agree that the Middle East would be better off with strongmen in charge in the name of suppressing Islamists. (That’s the story of the Egyptian revolution and counterrevolution, right?) Besides, Trump seems to have already reached his likely floor in national polling of 37-40 percent of the vote, the occasional freaky outlier from Reuters aside. There’s nowhere to go but up.
What was amazing to me about last night’s rally was how devoted to “fan service” this guy still seems to be despite the fact that we’re two months into the general election campaign and he’s trailing consistently. If ever there was a candidate who could afford to stop titillating his hardcore supporters by ranting about how unfair the media is and how cool it was that Saddam got to kill bad guys without trials and due process, it’s Trump. His cult of personality is locked in. Now’s the time to pander to swing voters by leaving his “politically incorrect” material aside and hammering Clinton steadily on her comprehensive rigging of “the system,” from free trade to her above-the-law status courtesy of her cronies in the DOJ. Instead he’s screwing around with this nonsense at his rallies, knowing full well that the media will pick it up and run with it as an excuse to change the subject from the FBI’s shady decision not to charge Clinton. It’s inexplicable that he’d forfeit an easy opportunity to keep the heat on her and win over some undecideds. Some anti-Trumpers on social media retreated into their favorite conspiracy theory, that Trump’s actively trying to lose, to explain why he’d do it but I think it’s more a product of his supreme hubristic confidence in his rhetorical abilities. He’s gotten this far ranting about whatever comes into his head at rallies. Why change now?
(Emphasis added) I dunno. I can’t shake the feeling that Trump never intended to make it this far, that he knows he can’t win, and he’s trying to get himself fired.
When you think about it, it would be the best thing that could possibly happen to him at this point. He is not going to the win the election. The polls have him consistently behind Hillary Clinton, and his increasingly erratic performance on the campaign trail isn’t endearing himself to many undecided voters.
His bankruptcies notwithstanding, Trump sees himself as a “winner,” and what would destroy that image more than losing a Presidential election to a deeply unpopular, flawed candidate like Hillary? He’d never live it down. Trump may not be an easily embarrassed man, but losing this very winnable election would be too much.
But what if he is forced off the Republican ticket before the election? Then he’s not a loser but a martyr who tried to take on a rigged, corrupt political system, gave the insiders and money men a scare, but had victory cruelly stolen from him. For the 30-35% of Americans who love him, his legacy would be secure. He wouldn’t be President of the United States, but he’d get one heck of an ego boost.
And why else does Donald Trump do anything?