Footnotes by blogpost [UPDATED below]. These are for my America Watch column the week of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Regarding Trump and the GOP’s unauthorized use of “We are the Champions” for Trump’s entrance 1) yes, they need a license, 2) in other contexts, I’ve researched licensing Queen songs and they are much more reserved about granting licenses than other artists, and 3) representatives for Queen are looking into legal recourse, but perhaps the song will be too popular to protect, something George Lucas discovered when a journalist dubbed Ronald Reagan’s strategic defense initiative “Star Wars”. Regardless, this is a headache that is easy to avoid and that a campaign this far behind in funding and staffing does not need.
Satire, however, is a fair use defense to copyright infringement, so here are some choice re-dubs of Trump’s entrance, Hitchcock, Imperial March…Shrek is my favorite.
Regarding Victor Davis Hanson and Trump’s chances of winning: VDH underestimates how many and how much some want to believe Obama and Hillary. In a year when everything is negative, people will look for the one thing that can make them feel good about voting. Eight years ago, that was the power of voting for the first black president. This year, it is the first woman.
His arguments that Obama’s statements are divisive and her sins so significant might play against someone other than Donald Trump. Outside of those already opposed to Clinton, Trump negates their negatives, Clinton’s in particular. I could write article after article about how terrible Hillary Clinton is for women—I planned just that actually—but the arguments will fall on deaf ears when compared to the alternative, a man facing an active suit that he raped a 13 year old girl. It does not matter if the allegations are true. He has an R next to his name now. He will get no benefit of the doubt or complicit media failing to cover the story. (And while writing this post after submitting my article, I find another sexual harassment allegation high up at the Daily Mail. It is Bill Clinton all over again, but this time post Bill Cosby and when the accused is running as a Republican.)
There is one set of events that might work in Trump’s favor: a continued wave of terrorist attacks here at home. To our horror, that is possible. Regardless, I don’t think Trump enjoys the old Republican assumption of more trustworthiness in national security as much as previous Republican’s did. And I do not think that the FBI report on Hillary Clinton hurts her as much as we think it does when compared to Trump. Most independents/lean right folks I know have focused more on the recommendation not to indict and find her Secretary of State experience more reassuring in this world in meltdown than his blustery proclamations. I find this absurd given how her experience is in forging the meltdown, but that doesn’t change that it is a common view.
As Nate Silver counsels, we will know more in a month, but Trump’s chances of winning are low. Republicans, you chose poorly.
And an additional related note because in this blog to footnote idea, I can. Regarding another display of Trump campaign incompetence, Ted Cruz’s speech in Cleveland last night:
Another piece of BS that has been circulated by the RNC to throw dirt on Ted Cruz is that he gave different remarks on stage than the prepared ones he submitted to the RNC for review. Unfortunately, the RNC screwed themselves on this score by sending to media organization prepared copies of Ted Cruz remarks which show that Cruz said exactly what his prepared remarks indicated.
In fact, in response to the news that Cruz was going to make a speech that did not explicitly endorse him, Trump intentionally chose to escalate the situation by leaking the news to friendly delegations and instructing them to boo Cruz to make this a bigger deal that it otherwise would have been. If Trump’s delegates had not booed and caused a ruckus, but instead had remained silent or applauded at Cruz’s exhortation to vote for down ticket races, everyone today would be talking about Pence and his speech, and the discussion would be about positive things associated with Trump and Pence and how they are going to move forward after the convention to at least possible victory.