Trump Marches to Waterloo … er, Michigan

I’m thinking that Trump’s “I [heart] auto workers” stunt, planned for this evening, could end up being a big miscalculation on his part. Here’s how the Biden/Trump visit to auto workers is being covered in Detroit local television news:

This is a good look for Biden, and Shawn Fain is all over Michigan media being quoted that Trump “serves the billionaire class” and that UAW officials will not be meeting with him. That Trump’s “rally” will be at a non-union facility also speaks volumes. I fully expect Trump to blast the unions and blame the UAW for the workers’ grievances. And that’s not a message that’s going to win him any new voters. It may be that the old ones are still so besotted with him that there’s nothing he could do to lose them, but if he doesn’t expand his base he can’t win in the rust belt the way he did in 2016.

It isn’t clear to me who Trump’s audience will be tonight. It’s a non-union plant. I am reading that there will be UAW members or former UAW members in the audience, but we’ll see.

And now I see the Biden campaign is following up with a television ad that I believe already is running in Michigan:

Meanwhile, Trump’s visit to Michigan is giving a lot of news outlets an excuse to review Trump’s 2016 promises versus what he actually did in his one term, but how much of that will reach the standard low-information voter is hard to know.

Even so, Trump should be nicely wound up after yesterday’s judgment against him in New York. In today’s New York Times, by Maggie Haberman and Alan Feuer:

But a ruling on Tuesday by a New York State judge that Mr. Trump had committed fraud by inflating the value of his real estate holdings went to the heart of the identity that made him a national figure and launched his political career.

By effectively branding him a cheat, the decision in the civil proceeding by Justice Arthur F. Engoron undermined Mr. Trump’s relentlessly promoted narrative of himself as a master of the business world, the persona that he used to enmesh himself in the fabric of popular culture and that eventually gave him the stature and resources to reach the White House.

Then the story reviews Trump’s current other criminal and civil cases and notes that his poll numbers and donations continue to go up.

Whether the effect of Justice Engoron’s ruling is any different remains to be seen. But his finding imperils both Mr. Trump’s public image and his business empire. The former president now faces not only the prospect of having to pay $250 million in damages, but he could also lose properties like Trump Tower that are inextricably linked to his brand.

Of course, he and his lawyers will just bluster and say the judge is crooked. And the true believers will accept this. But he’s going to Michigan today with this on his mind, and he’s not famous for being chill in the face of adversity. If he ever totally blows a campaign event, it’s likely going to be this evening.

See also Amanda Marcotte in Salon, President Drink Bleach says what? Trump now claims he beat George W. Bush and Barack Obama. There may be signs that Trump’s limited cognitive abilities are imploding. She points to this episode —

— in which Trump clearly is confusing Jeb Bush with George W. Bush. He also recently claimed to have “beaten” Barack Obama in some election, somewhere. Of course, if Joe Biden had made a gaffe on that scale the right-wing media would be screaming about it from the rooftops, and soon the mainstream press would be writing more headlines about how everyone is concerned about Biden’s age. With Trump, everyone politely looks the other way. The mainstream press isn’t even covering many of his speeches and rallies.

But tonight’s speech will get some attention.

In other news: Same old same old. We’re still hurtling toward a shutdown, and I don’t see any way out of it.

8 thoughts on “Trump Marches to Waterloo … er, Michigan

  1. How long before "The Cra-Cra Cowardly Liar" is telling the lemmings in his crowds that to become POTUS, he had to defeat Reagan – and also Lincoln?

    tRUMP is starting to morph into Professor Irwin Corey.  Only with MORE whales! 

    And minus any sense of humor – which should go without saying.

  2. “It isn’t clear to me who Trump’s audience will be tonight. It’s a non-union plant. I am reading that there will be UAW members or former UAW members”

    My first job after college was as a union electronics tech at a major Steel Mill (USW 1014), many if not most of my co-workers where pretty anti-union, they saw the union as only protecting the bad workers, though they were happy to cash that union scale paycheck! It’s a view shared by many blue collar union folks, at least here in Northwest Indiana, so many are a natural fit in the grievance culture magat movement?

    “By effectively branding him a cheat, the decision in the civil proceeding by Justice Arthur F. Engoron undermined Mr. Trump’s relentlessly promoted narrative of himself as a master of the business world, the persona that he used to enmesh himself in the fabric of popular culture and that eventually gave him the stature and resources to reach the White House.”

    I’m not sure it really undermines much, I mean if you been paying attention you should have known that Stump was a phony game show grifter from the jump. In an honest information culture the conviction would steer our corporate media in that direction, unfortunately they always seem to get distracted by one shiny object or another and move on from bad news for Stump. Or maybe there is so much of it it actually works for him? I’ve lost count of the revelations that should have buried this lying sack of shit years ago? I watched about 45 minutes of daytime cable today (cnn, msnbc), they spent far more time on the corrupt senator from NJ and Hunter Biden than they did on the Judge's official ruling (not indictment or allegation) that Stump and his boys committed systemic fraud? Maybe Stump smells so bad know one wants to get near him?

    • "If it holds up and it looks like it will, Trump will be virtually on the street with a tin cup and a pencil."

      That's music to my ears!

  3. I was union with the USPS. Served as steward for a time – won some – lost some. The union can be frustrating to work with. It's VERY easy to find fault but in my experience, the workers who resented the failures of the union (many) knew that management would cheat us left and right the minute the union wasn't there.

    Of course,, I have no hard numbers, There's no polling of workers but my gut says in the Rust Belt, the workers trust the guy who will stand with workers more than the fat cat who presents the argument that if labor and management sit down with me (Trump) we'll work out a deal that makes everyone happy without the union. IMO, "without the union" is pretty explicit by going to a non-union shop.

    The guy who works for the automakers, the coal mines, the railroad, and any big unionized employer… that working guy knows that management will cheat on paroll, on safety, on benefits (medical and retirement) in a heartbeat. Only the penalties that the courts or OSHA can hand out keep the employer in check. 

    So will Trump's guff sell? For some, yes. But the swing vote in the Rust Belt is the low-info occasional voter who feels the bite of inflation and knows his employer could care less. So it's up to Biden to show that guy that Biden is on his side for real. I don't think Trump moved the needle. Maybe Joe did.

    The scope of the ruling in NY isn't clear to me though I have been reading. I don't think it will bankrupt Trump but my sense is that it will tie up a lot of Trump's sources of cash for a year. And it's the moment Trump will most need cash to pay for lawyers. Trump has real estate assets that he owns outright – he can borrow against them but they don't generate much income by themselves. If you believe what some have written, they are not breaking even. So Trump has to pay on a big loan which Trump got crappy terms on because he just got convicted for being a business fraud. 

    The German battleship Bismark was doomed by a relatively small injury to the rudder. The ship could not maneuver and was delayed and kept at sea until the British Navy pummelled the invincible ship. My best guess is that the decision will cost Trump 20% of his real net worth. But it's gonna limit Trump's cash to campaign, it will suck up Trump's time and energy (He's micromanaging everything legal.) And it hits Trump's reputation as a business giant which is the basis of the expectation that he's a political giant. Granted, it won't affect the MAGA believer but Trump went to Detroit because he has to connect in swing states. 

    Focus groups of Republicans after Trump events have spoken against the focus Trump has on 2020. They want to know what Trump will do if he's elected for THEM. Trump is going to run on his victimhood over being caught as a business fraud AND over the 2020 election (because of the J6 trial.) SO Trump is gonna be singing the wrong tune to attract voters.

  4. We have more to fear than fear itself, we have the threat of the second coming of the Don.  

    Bob from Albany NY had a sobering comment to an opinion piece about Trump in the NYT today.  

    Ultimately, it won't matter what Trump's supporters think. What will matter is how the banks and other financial institutions react. Since Trump is averse to using his own money for capital acquisitions, his company's funding will eventually dry up forcing him to seek loans from dubious overseas sources. I can think of several adversarial foreign governments who would just love to have him on the hook for millions of dollars should he regain the presidency.

    They won't just have him on the hook, they will have our whole country on the hook.  America will cease to be the shining light on the hill and become the stinking cesspool of corruption.  Just look at what Egypt paid for Menendez and his wife it seems. You can just imagine the bait some nefarious countries will throw at this one.  

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