If this is how Trump wants to play it, by all means, please proceed


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There was a moment back in 2012 when Mitt Romney stupidly walked right into a trap of his own making. He claimed during the second debate that President Obama had refused to call Benghazi an act of terror (this was back when Republicans were still trying to falsely pin Benghazi on Obama, before trying to falsely pin it on Hillary). When the moderator offered to read Obama’s actual statement aloud, Obama simply said “please proceed.” He knew Romney had just hosed himself.

Romney was never a particularly savvy politician. But it was nonetheless a stunning mistake. It was never clear why Romney thought he was going to be able to get away with such a risky move. Chalk it up to hubris, perhaps. But at least Romney’s dumb mistake wasn’t the result of dementia or anything. Which brings us to Donald Trump.

Trump has a major problem right now, which is that he has to try to find a way to get the general public to forget that he’s a convicted felon. The smart move might be to disappear for a month, then come back with some kind of new strategy aimed at ensuring that the most important storyline of the 2024 election is something other than his own felon status.

Trump’s handlers have surely tried to steer him toward this kind of strategy. But this leads us to Trump’s other big problem: he’s showing symptoms consistent with severe and worsening dementia. He’s at a point of decline where he thinks Obama and Biden are the same person, Haley and Pelosi are the same person, and he needed a card to remember the names of his family members. He’s really going to understand political strategy at this point?

Obviously not, given that he’s responding to his felony conviction by holding a far higher than usual number of rallies, and spending his speech reminding everyone over and over again about his status as a convicted felon. That’s the trouble about pushing back against something like this, each time you do it you’re just reminding everyone that it happened.

Of course Trump is at a point of decline where he thinks he’s only talking to the people in front of him when he’s holding these rallies. He probably has no concept of the fact that his rally speeches are being broadcast on the internet, and that clips of it are being extracted for use by the mainstream media the next day. Nor does Trump appear to understand at this point that anyone outside his base and Biden’s base even exists.

And so Donald Trump keeps getting up there at rallies and going on and on about the fact that he’s a convicted felon. That’s great news for those of us who want him defeated. Trump is also spending his rallies reminding everyone that he’s deeper into dementia than ever. During his Las Vegas rally on Sunday, Trump began babbling about batteries and shark attacks, before suggesting that an audience member might vote for Biden, then changing his mind and suggesting that the same audience member would die by suicide instead of voting for Biden.

This kind of senile behavior is also great news for those of us who want Trump defeated. Remember, it’s not about his base. For all the media hype Trump’s base may get, they don’t matter. They’re already voting for him anyway, and they only get to vote once each. So he’s wasting his time talking to them. This comes down to the group of people out there who haven’t decided whether to vote for Trump or stay home, and the other group of people out there who haven’t decided whether to vote for Biden or stay home. President Biden is working on both those groups. Meanwhile Trump is out there making every mistake possible. If this is how Trump wants to play it, then by all means, please proceed.

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