Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}


Jonn Dingell Is The Trump-Twitter Destroyer America Needs

This article originally appeared in USA Today.

Since 1966, the news media have granted the opposition party a national platform to deliver a response to the president’s annual State of the Union Address. This attempt to balance our debate must be upgraded for the 21st century, now that we have a new president who tweets like a moody teenager who was just denied a participation award. Democrats should name a Twitter account to issue official responses to President Trump’s tweets, and those rebuttals should be noted in any relevant reporting.

There’s one tweeter who has best demonstrated the character and the 140 characters necessary to perform this role. The best way to stop an unstable 70-year-old with an itchy Twitter finger is the world’s greatest 90-year-old Twitter user — @JohnDingell, a former Democratic representative from Michigan.

While still serving in Congress as a spry 88-year-old in 2014, John Dingell was recognized by BuzzFeed as “probably the best person on Twitter” after an errant tweet from an Environmental Protection Agency account led him to tweeting about the shock of learning what a “Kardashian” is. Since then, he has retired from the House as the longest serving member of Congress in U.S. history and gone on to successfully defend his title of “tweet king” — as Politico Playbook recently called him — with reliable barbs focused on politics, Michigan sports, and Donald Trump.

“Forget the basket,” Dingell  tweeted during Trump’s transition. “The truly deplorable ones end up in the Cabinet.”

When The New York Times reported that Trump aides couldn’t operate the light switches at the White House, Dingell tweeted, “Luckly for them, setting the Constitution on fire provides at least a bit of working light.” As for the fake-news inaugural furor, Dingell tweeted: “If you think lying about a crowd size is bad, wait until you hear about their plan to kick 30,000,000 people off their health care coverage.”

America might have faced periods of greater discord, strife and division, but our public debate has never been so abrasive, typo-ridden, and pissy. And much, if not most, of the thanks for our degenerating discourse belongs to the more than 34,000 tweets of the new president of the United States.

A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 64 percent of Americans — including 45 percent of Republicans — believe that Trump should give up his personal Twitter account. But given the president’s unwillingness to release his taxes, divest from his businesses or even read a Dummiesguide to the Constitution, Democrats can’t wait around and expect Trump to moderate his behavior on his own.

You could argue that the left would be better served if its official digital response came from a somewhat younger voice from one of the communities most likely to bear the brunt of Trump’s attacks on reproductive health care, immigration, and voting rights. But institutions are all that Americans can rely on now to protect us from Trump’s sleep-starved, anti-democratic impulses.

And John Dingell is an institution.

On the day Pearl Harbor was bombed, he was working as a page on the floor of the House of Representatives. First elected in 1955, he presided over the House in 1965 when Medicare passed and was there in 2010 when President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. Dingell was one of the last two World War II veterans left in Congress when he retired after his 30th term in 2014.

Most important, Dingell doesn’t ever have to worry about getting a job again. This gives him a freedom to swing back at Trump’s wild accusations, proclamations and ejaculations.

Plus, he — like the president — seems to have a fair amount of spare time.

I visited Dingell’s home in Dearborn and found him still filled with reverence for the presidential office that he says “our Founding Fathers and members of Congress regarded as almost mystical in its qualities.” But that reverence is not extended to the man who now holds it, whom he finds to be “a bully and a blowhard and a liar.”

Dingell doesn’t want Trump to fail because “if he’s not a success, everything goes to hell. I want to see him succeed in a proper way.”

What would a proper success look like?

“He is the president of all Americans. It is his duty to look to the well-being of all parts of the county. We’ve not yet seen whether he is doing that, whether he intends to do that, or whether he will do that.”

In fact, Dingell’s seeing the opposite.

“Whether you’re talking about Roosevelt, Hoover, or Trump, they have a responsibility to preserve the dignity of the office. I don’t see him doing that so far.”

His advice to the new tweeter in chief?

“Be careful. He has a responsibility for the economy, the jobs, the futures, the hopes, the dreams of 330 million Americans.”

As a man born between the two world wars and a student of history, Dingell has a staggering sense of the perils of Trump’s bombast.

“If you look, a bunch of big-mouthed European potentates got us into World War I. Do you remember what happened in August of 1914? Read that history. It’s terrifying.”

Many on the right have attempted to reframe Trump’s Twitter usage as a modern update of Franklin Roosevelt’s fireside chats that soothed a nation transitioning from the worst Depression in American economic history to the deadliest war ever. Dingell’s not buying it.

“I listened to the fireside chats as a boy, and they were received reverentially by the American people. You can’t say his tweets are received reverentially. You can’t say mine are, either. You sure as hell shouldn’t,” Dingell said, displaying a self-awareness that is now not allowed within several hundred feet of the White House.

Are there any checks and balances on the Twitter use of a former U.S. congressman?

“John Dingell unfiltered is a little dangerous,” Rep. Debbie Dingell, 63, who succeeded her husband and must still run for re-election, told me. “We encourage him to run (his thoughts) by us before they get posted.”

“And I usually do,” Mr. Dingell assured me.

He recognizes that Twitter offers everyone “a chance to make an ass of himself publicly.” He compares putting that power in the undersized hands of the president to giving “a gun to a kid” without any safety training. But his worries extend far beyond Trump’s Twitter use.

“He is a man who has two problems that work against each other. One is ego. He has a gigantic ego. And he has a gigantic inferiority complex,” Dingell told me. “And he’s playing into the hands of his enemies. But he’s also playing into the hands of our enemies in the nation, which is why people in that kind of office are so careful about what they say. And he’s not. And all of these things are going to come back.”

Seven decades in public service have left John Dingell with some optimism that even Trump could rise to the stature of his office.

“He still has time. And you should watch this to see that he doesn’t jeopardize our leadership position in the world.”

But that hope is only discouraged by the new president’s conduct.

After Trump fired his acting attorney general for refusing to defend his immigration ban, Dingell tweeted, “Comparisons to President Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre are a bit misguided, in that Nixon at least had a general idea of what the hell he was doing.”

That’s the kind of context every American needs.

5 Ways You Can Fight Back Against Donald Trump

Imagine my narcissism. I’m pretty sure that I helped the singularly most unqualified candidate for the presidency win the office, defeating — by a very slim margin in crucial states, and with a losing share of the popular vote — one of the most qualified, a woman whose election alone would have been one of the great moments in American history. And I’m sorry.

Let me explain how I know I helped Donald Trump get elected.

This spring, an Irish friend invited me to a bar in Helsinki, Finland to have a beer with his friends, an American expatriate who’d married a Finnish woman — a leading cause of immigration to the Nordic nation. Like almost everyone we knew, we laughed about Donald Trump. Then like people from liberal nations all over the world, they sought assurance from any actual American resident they could find we wouldn’t elect this maniac to replace Barack Obama. I felt it was my job to assure them, and they seemed thankful for the slight relief.

After a couple more beers, I did something ridiculous. I revealed my secret identity: I’m @LOLGOP, I explained, a nobody who makes dumb jokes about conservatives on Twitter.

The American expatriate pal seemed a bit amused but shifted to get comfortable in his seat again.

“You know,” he said. “They laughed at Hitler.”

“Yeah, I know.”

I let him know that the way the intelligentsia and artists had laughed at Hitler and perhaps had enabled him had become, briefly, a popular subject of conversation among liberals online. Then I recalled the chilling moment in the musical Cabaret when the facade of hedonism and decadence is shattered by the crowd rising in near unison with the Hitler Youth to sing “Tomorrow Belongs To Me” — revealing both the chauvinistic allure and implacability of the movement that transformed one of the most advanced civilizations into one of the most savage.

“Good,” the expatriate. “I’m glad you know that.”

But I forgot it.

I spent the next half a year mocking Trump’s hypocrisy, inconsistency and comic unfitness for office and the delusion of anyone who imagined otherwise. And — worst of all — I invested tens of thousands of words in the cause of explaining that Donald Trump just could not win.

We were too smart to be conned by him, at least compared to GOP primary voters. Our immune system would seize upon him, I promised anyone who’d listen, with great vengeance and render him into his proper place among history’s great punchlines.

I was wrong and did the exact opposite of what my duty was: I should have been warning you that he could win and what would happen to this country if we were unable to stop him. I should have been knocking on doors every chance I got and encouraging others to do the same. I doubt my trickle of influence would have meant a damn thing, but at least I wouldn’t have been Donald Trump’s accomplice.

I doubt I’ll ever forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made, but — like you — now all I can do is fight back.

Here is what I think we need to do next.

1. Admit to yourself that Trump and the GOP are much more powerful than we imagined.
Just about every candidate who got in a fight with Donald Trump over the last 16 months lost. He tore down their careers, their personalities, their families. And he helped destroy their approval ratings. You can say that Bernie Sanders is still the most popular politician in America who isn’t Michelle Obama and he could have beaten Trump. Maybe. Trump wouldn’t have had FBI Director James Comey, Wikileaks, and Vladimir Putin on his side in the war to destroy Bernie. But he had a plan and it involved name-calling, of course. There’s a unique power in a man fueled by a monstrous lust for power who has none of the worries most of us possess when it comes to money or conscience. We’ve never experienced anything like this before in American history. Trump cloaked his financial obligations and is promising to continue as president with his business interests still directly controlled by his family. He not only embraced Putin’s foreign policy goals, he justified Putin’s authoritarianism as a model of governance. And he figured out how to get the Republican Party and its vast network of power and influence on the side of Putinism with the simple promise of their choices of Supreme Court Justices and generous tax cuts for the rich. The Koch brothers’ Kochtopus allegedly “sat out” this election, except for the tens of millions of dollars they helped pour into the Senate elections, including decisive wins in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. You’d think their “libertarianism” would be offended by a president who rages against the rights of anyone but himself, but their family’s history of abetting despots seems more relevant than ever. Even the Comey letter, a disgraceful intervention into a free election, appears to be the result of right-wing influence within our own government trying to destroy a candidate for president. And the assault on voting rights — which was almost completely ignored by the media — may have provided just enough help in the margins to keep a significant number of minority voters home. We assumed demographics would destroy a party that relies almost entirely on white voters. But we have to face the reality that we “may be in a reinforcing feedback loop of growing inequality and Republican rule.”

2. Realize that you can’t sit this out. There are risks for you and your family.
The newly elected president of the United States is already attacking the New York Times, again. Ask the few Republicans who remained steadfastly against Trump what sort of abuse and threats they’ve faced. Trump fans have been directed to take on the press and they’ve done so joyously, targeting minorities, women, and Jewish journalists with particular viciousness. And among the hundreds of people Trump has attacked via Twitter, he’s never once taken on the white supremacist forces that back him. Instead, he’s graciously retweeted them dozens of times. Soon, he will have the power of the greatest military and law enforcement machine ever assembled by humanity. First, it seems, he’ll go after the DREAMers — young undocumented Americans brought here as kids. Next, the Muslims? National stop-and-frisk? A new drug war? A 21st century “Alien and Sedition” Act? We are facing something entirely unprecedented here. Trump has campaigned on abridging our rights and as a writer who studied actual Putinism reminds us, the first rule of surviving in an autocracy is “Believe the autocrat.” He’s going to do what he says. Life is hard enough. You may not want to get on his or his lackeys’ radar. But you have to recognize that not everyone has that choice. And you may not have it forever.

3. Realize that millions of your neighbors cannot sit this out.
Millions are threatened with deportation. Millions will lose their health insurance. Millions of poor people will find that their few reproductive rights will begin evaporating. Most of the advances of the LGBTQ community are now at risk. The rights of free worship, free speech, and free assembly have all been questioned and threatened. We know Trump will lie to justify anything he needs to do to maintain his self-esteem. And he’s making allegiance with nationalist, ethnocentric right-wing movements across the globe. We know he will accept no defeat and may begin to attack the foundations of our government that do not bend to his whims. In 2004, after George W. Bush was re-elected, the left was distraught. But we never imagined that there might not be a chance to elect a new president in four years. Now we have to accept that the prospect of American democracy being quickly eroded is very real.

4. We need to fight, everything.
For now, our institutions exist. There is still another Senate election that will be held this year. Every vote that Trump cannot count on in the Senate is a hedge against his power, until he abandons the normal bounds of our Constitution. Republicans can do many horrible things with 51 votes in our upper house. But a number of Republican Senators have proven resistant to Trump in the past and would likely not want to surrender the filibuster to him or give him a free hand to appoint anyone he choses. So let’s make him pay for every unpopular policy choice he embraces and build a fortress of resistance around the cornerstones of the middle class. We need to scream about the trillions in tax breaks he’s about to give to the richest, who have never been richer. We have to defend Medicare and Social Security from any cut proposed. Defunding Planned Parenthood is coming. The pain and dismay will be real. And then never let voters forget what’s been taken away from them. And we need to make sure Democrats know they should not vote for any repeal or replacement of Obamacare that takes health insurance away from one American. The way to do that is with phone calls. The way to do the rest is more complicated.

5. You can’t rebuild liberalism yourself but you can get out and be a part of what does.
Tweeting and Facebook aren’t enough. I’m speaking to myself mostly here. Getting off my ass is paramount. Volunteering at Planned Parenthood or the ACLU is a start. Getting involved in politics directly, in your precinct committee or county party is essential — as is traveling out of the circles you normally travel in to understand how many millions of people who were smart enough to vote for Barack Obama cast a ballot for Donald Trump. The right wing has professionalized politics with think tanks, non-profits and publications that are supported by hundreds of millions of dollars. (You can’t counter that alone. Unless you’re a rich bigwig with influence in the national Democratic movement. In that case, get to work.) We have to find a way to replace the crucial ballasts of unions and strong public education to make it clear to working people of all races that only one party has their interests in mind. Peaceful protests are fantastic if they are the beginning of a grind. A daily grind. A weekly grind. A monthly grind. Whatever you can grind. Get out. Being with people matters. (Again, mostly speaking to myself here.) We cannot forget that the Congressional maps will be redrawn in the next 5 years. We can’t let this opportunity, if our system, exists slip by. We need to elect Democratic governors in states like Michigan, Florida, and Pennsylvania to have any hope of winning Congress again and fixing what Trump and the GOP are about to do.

I’m sorry for the horrors I did too little to prevent from being unleashed. Now I have to do better — and I hope we can do it together.

IMAGE: A boy holds a sign during a protest against President-elect Donald Trump at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California, U.S. November 13, 2016. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

Hillary Clinton Is Going To Have To Save America

This week was a wake-up call, but the kind of wake-up call that sits you right up because you weren’t expecting it.

It wasn’t just the polls tightening a bit, as you knew they would when Republicans consolidated around their nominee. It wasn’t just a “Commander-in-Chief Forum” that established just how low the media is setting the bar for Donald Trump. It wasn’t just the GOP nominee for president continuing his cuddly embrace of Vladimir Putin, going as far as arguing that Putin’s journalist-killing, neighbor-annexing, anti-LGBTQ authoritarian ways are comparable to President Obama’s governance.

And it wasn’t just the press going into a full outrage conniption over Hillary Clinton’s truthful comments about Trump’s extremist support, while ignoring Trump’s promise to go to war if an Iranian solider gives us the finger. Or the press caring more about Clinton’s reaction to humidity than her mental health plan.

All of this should jar us, a bit.

But the normalizing of the obscene isn’t too surprising anymore, given that we’ve now come to casually accept that we have a Republican Congress that will politicize the fight against Zika and refuse to even consider the president’s constitutionally-obligated appointment to the Supreme Court.

What should rock us from our sleep and leave us with that groggy feeling that makes you wonder where the hell you are is a chilling realization that comes from the combined weight of all these realizations: All that stands between America and Donald Trump is one human being.

The debate moderators won’t save us. The press won’t save us. Even the repulsion of a society watching a man who wants to be America’s Putin avoid the most basic disclosure we require of a serious presidential candidate won’t be good enough.

So much depends on one person — and then the tens of millions of Americans who will vote for her.

Though the Democratic nominee holds a bigger lead over Donald Trump than President Obama held over Mitt Romney at this point in 2012, there are far more undecided voters. And for the first time in our history, we face a foreign adversary that seems intent at least injecting doubt into our electoral process and at worst committed to actually hacking our election.

We head into the last few weeks of this election with our societal immune system largely failing and the fate of the nation dependent on one person. Luckily for us, that person is Hillary Clinton.

Only one human being has ever defeated Clinton in an election. He’s now in the White House and many of his best operatives are working on Clinton’s campaign.

If you want to get a sense of the kind of president Clinton would be, look at the organization she’s built.

“In Iowa alone, 25,000 volunteers are helping send real-time data on voters back to the campaign’s New York City headquarters, where dozens of analysts model the electorate,” the AP reports. “The campaign says it has about a half-million volunteers in swing states, including 40,000 in North Carolina. In Florida, the largest of those pivotal states, it claims 90,000.”

If you want to get a sense of the kind of president Trump would be, look at the kind of campaign he’s run: nearly substance-less and built almost entirely off of stoking racial anxieties while ignoring actual problems and grifting money into the hands of his business and kids.

It’s a never-ending PR stunt that has elevated the worst instincts of the right.

Conservative instincts have always tended toward oligarchy in order to preserve consolidated power, but Trump is the first true example of the Republican base’s full-blown desire for a strongman, unwilling to cede power should he even be soundly defeated at the polls.

As feminist in the role of a political wife in an era where women’s roles have radically expanded, Hillary Clinton has been badgered, condemned and questioned like she’s a lab experiment run wild.

Now she faces the most ridiculous and contemptible nominee for president in our lifetimes.

Donald Trump’s campaign CEO is the he man who publishes the leading voice of America’s white nationalists. His key debate coach is the political operative who as much as anyone brought us Richard Nixon, the “Willie Horton” ad and Iraq War, only to lose his job running Fox News after documented accusations of serial sexual harassment.

So don’t be surprised when Trump does well in the debates — or, at least, don’t be surprised when the press tells you how well Trump did in the debates.

If he doesn’t hump the podium into submission, Trump will exceed expectations. And you can be sure there are millions and millions of Americans who just feel more assured by the confident bluster of a man than the nuanced considerations of a woman. Plus, he has no allegiance to truth, logic and sense — all impediments to cable-news style battle.

But don’t lose hope. Keep in mind that Clinton’s lifetime of serious consideration of the issues should eventually shine through and remind the America that voted for Barack Obama of the advantages of reimagining and expanding who we see as president of the United States.

Is it fitting that the first woman to be a major party candidate for president is facing a thrice-married man backed by a cadre of thrice-married men who have built their careers exploiting every privilege our society offers to men? Is it fitting that the first candidate “whose signature issue is early childhood” could crush a man who refused to change diapers? Should we take great solace in knowing that the world’s greatest birther will be stopped by the woman who introduced much of America to “the vast-right conspiracy?”

No, this is all terrible. We deserve better.

And if we get it, it will be because of a candidate who has been preparing her whole life to face a man who personifies why we are desperate need of more women leaders.

Photo: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton arrives at the airport following a campaign Voter Registration Rally at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, United States, September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

5 Ways You Know Trump Knows Trump Is Losing

This is the video that should never stop terrifying America.

Just a little over a year ago, the idea of Donald Trump becoming the Republican nominee for president was a joke — especially to many of the people who get paid the most to inform the public about politics. The press largely saw his candidacy as a harmless ratings boost. So they fed off his nativist bleating for the sweet sugar of a high ratings and access to a famous-for-being-famous guy who wore makeup than they did.

Democrats nervously watched as Trump stampeded the GOP, surfing on waves of agony and ecstasy.

Liberals couldn’t help but be a bit giddy at watching a party on the verge of nearly unprecedented political domination seemingly stick a fork into its own prospects. But they had to be horrified seeing how eager the press is in feeding interest in the election by boosting the prospects of a man who makes mockery of their questions, the truth and the most basic requirements to be president.

Republicans and the press refused to take Trump seriously. Maybe it wouldn’t have mattered.

But Democrats don’t seem to be making that mistake.

President Obama is set to take his 50+ percent approval rating on the road for a dozen appearances on behalf of Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders will begin stumping for Clinton and Senate Democrats on Labor Day in New Hampshire. You can expect to see Vice President Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Michelle Obama on the campaign trail along with aspiring First Dude Bill Clinton, who will likely outdo his 2012 marathon that saw dozens of appearances on behalf of President Obama.

Meanwhile the Clinton campaign will exploit its significant cash and field advantage, which already seems to be delivering with polls that show Democrats performing nearly as well with likely voters as they do with registered voters, a rare phenomenon in recent elections.

While the national numbers are tightening, as they almost certainly will continue to do before Election Day, all signs are pointing to a Republican Party in actual disarray.

“The plan to get to 270 electoral votes remains unclear,” Politico reported last week. “The battleground state deployment plan is a work in progress. Money from big donors is slowing to a trickle. And aides are confused about who’s calling the shots.”

Trump can still win, of course. But his prospects are bleak if you believe, as the latest YouGov/CBS News poll tells us, that Clinton is leading in both Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Romney won North Carolina and Trump is this far outperforming the GOP nominee only in Iowa. Trade the Tar Heel State for the Buckeye state and Clinton outperforms Obama’s 2012 electoral college landslide by 9 electoral votes.

But the best sign that Democrats are successfully taking the threat of Trump presidency no matter how often they mock him is that Trump finally seems to get that he’s losing.

Here’s how we know that realization that he’s losing is finally sinking through Trump’s toner:

  1. Affirmations replacing confirmation.
    Trump’s tweets increasingly seem like a man who is trying to convince himself of something. “People will be very surprised by our ground game on Nov. 8,” he tweeted last week. “We have an army of volunteers and people with GREAT SPIRIT! They want to !” He’s right that people will be surprised if he has any ground game at all. The problem is Clinton probably will have the most advanced ground game in American history. Trump needs to outperform Mitt with either minority voters or white voters. He’s doing worse with both. That’s because Trump’s gains with working class white voters are being drowned out by his losses with college-educated white voters, especially women. No wonder you don’t see him tweeting or ranting about many polls that show him winning anymore. And when he does, the tweets brag about him barely leading in Utah, a state Romney nearly won by triple digits.
  2. “Hardening” and “softening.”
    With all this talk of “softening” and hardening”, you’d think Trump’s campaign was being managed by Cialis. A few weeks ago Trump suggested that he was “softening” on immigration. A few days later, he suggested that some people were calling it a “hardening.” This has become a constant pattern in his general election campaign. He makes a desperate attempt to seem calm and presidential, by say visiting with the president of Mexico, and then immediately negates his own effort by giving an anti-immigrant speech that turns off the exact voters he just aimed to win over.
  3. Still working on securing his base.
    Trump obviously feels most comfortable appealing to the working class Republicans who gave him the Republican nomination. He can’t help appealing to them at the cost of a strategy that could win over the college-educated Republicans he needs. His immigration speech promised millions of deportations at worst and a version of self-deportation scheme that cost Mitt the Latino vote. But the tone was right out of the Alt-Right/white nationalist playbook, speaking to voters who fear the future — voters who already voting Trump. Even if this is his path to victory, it’s a recipe for destroying the Republican Party.
  4. Blame game has begun.
    Without polls to beat his chest about, Trump has begun casting blame for his lost on the chimera of voter fraud, an especially disgusting tact given how the North Carolina GOP’s attempt to disenfranchise black voters by focusing on this fraud of a anti-fraud effort has been finally exposed and hindered by the courts. This attempt to delegitimize any Clinton victory is dangerous and probably unprecedented — and it’s speaks to a narcissist preparing himself for the shaming of a lifetime. But if Trump goes down in November, it will likely by difficult for him to focus his anger on just a fantasy of another conspiracy. Instead you’ll likely see Team Trump turn fire on the Republican National Committee and an RNC no longer beholden on the candidate for fundraising return fire. Trump’s de factor campaign manager and son-in-law Jared Kushner has already suggested that “the national committee might not be giving Mr. Trump all the support he was due.”
  5. Focusing on an exit strategy.
    It’s difficult to believe that Trump would turn his millions of backers on the GOP, unless you recognize that he’s following the exact business model conservatives have indulged in for years to move the party in its direction: painting the establishment as the source of all evil. Speculation about Trump using his candidacy to launch his own media empire suggests a profit motive for fracturing the audience of GOP and its main press outlet — Fox News. And Trump’s unwillingness to engage in any minority outreach that doesn’t stink of a blatant swindle to win over anxious white voters suggests that he’s more interested in keeping his base loyal than winning an election. This is probably because he realizes that by actually softening his image to win over new voters at this point would be far too little, way too late. At this point, his best hope is to stick to “his brand” and pray for the press that financed his primary campaign to find some way to put him in the White House.

Photo: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Omarosa Manigault attend a church service, in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., September 3, 2016.   REUTERS/Carlo Allegri