President Barack Obama hugs Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton after addressing the delegates during the third day session of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama Discovers The Constitution

The Democrats felt they had to strike hard at Donald Trump Wednesday night, remain positive about America, and rush to fill the center void where dazed Republicans and independents hate both candidates. They more or less accomplished all three, but it’s unknown if the medicine will take (mostly, it won’t).

A parade of speakers, from previously-feared third-party threat Mike Bloomberg, who handles a teleprompter speech like a caged fox; to the vice presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine, who delivered a chunk of his speech in high school Spanish; to the keynote by President Obama; they all went after Trump on his lack of policy and his tax returns.

Kaine made a direct play for Republicans, telling us that those of the Party of Lincoln were welcome to join the Democrats–as if the abortion-loving, social justice warrior worshipping crowd offers some safe haven for constitutionalist liberty-minded conservatives. I’m flattered, but I’ll pass.

President Obama sounded positively Reaganesque, possibly because he quoted Reagan. The crowd didn’t know how to handle that–they started booing until they realized he was serious. “Ohhh!! You’re going after disaffected Republicans! I get it! I’ll go along,” they thought in unison. Obama’s speech was exactly what I predicted. It was 2012 (paraphrased almost word-for-word in places).

The president quoted the Constitution, a document that for the past 7 ½ years he’s shown particular disdain. The man with the phone and the pen, who chides Congress for not doing what He wants (or he’ll do it Himself), hypocritically said “We don’t look to be ruled.” He didn’t complete that sentence with “By Donald Trump.” If he had, in fact said that, I would have stood in my living room and said “Amen.”

I thought for a moment that Obama might have fallen and hit his head on a toilet seat, and experienced a conversion to conservatism with all the references to Party of Lincoln and quotes from Teddy Roosevelt (granted, Teddy was a progressive Republican).

So what’s next? Will the Democrats succeed in goading Trump into more scariness?

Next is Hillary. She should honestly just call it quits and show a video, stand up and say “Thank you delegates, I accept the nomination.” and walk off arm in arm with Bill and Barack and Michelle. Anything she utters only undermines what they have done all week. But I suspect she’ll make a shrill, piercing sound resembling a speech, punctuated with cackles and calls to sacrifice a few babies in celebration of her shattering the glass ceiling.

Trump, for his part, remained somewhat contained. One tweet on law and order, and this.

The people Trump has locked onto, building his own brand, are people who deeply distrust Obama. I expect you’ll see Trump go after Obama’s speech in the next day or so, prefaced with something outrageous to steal the news cycle. And Obama will go back to the White House and not respond.

The biggest continuing issue for Trump will remain his tax returns. I don’t know how he’ll get around that one. Either this is the biggest red herring in political history, or there’s really something there that’s terribly damaging to Cheeto Jesus. Either way, I think (I may be wrong) he’ll be forced to release the returns, but will do it in his own timing.

I think if Hillary gets a significant post-convention bounce, Trump will release them and send the press into a blizzard of fact-finding as they deconstruct each page. I agree with Erick that one of his reasons might be to protect himself from piercing the corporate veil on using his company as a personal piggy bank, but I don’t think that’s a compelling enough reason.

When has Trump been averse to generating lawsuits against himself? It’s not his style to be protective–it’s his style to be vindictive.

We won’t know until the poll results are in, but I suspect Hillary will gain a bounce out of the last two nights, from college-educated white men and undecideds who suspend disbelief on Hillary’s crimes and lies. I mean, really, you have to suspend disbelief with either of these two clowns, who will lay everything down at the altar of their own power.

If the bounce is preface to a long-term trend, I don’t know. I still feel that Trump’s message resonates more with middle America, who isn’t going to be convinced by Democrats flag-wrapped Trojan Horse constitutionalism. I don’t think principled conservatives will bite either. So it was a feint to goad Trump, who won’t bite.

Honestly, and sadly, I don’t think anyone knows where this election is going in the next two months until the next mass shooting, or terror attack, or race incident happens. Then we will see which way the wave breaks. It’s sad that it takes such a turbulent and violent time to choose between such soulless options.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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