The contour of the argument is easy:

1. Trump’s complete schtick is that he’s America’s Putin-like strongman, interesting to the deplorable base’s want for a powerful daddy. 

2. He’s not successful this election through votes, so he wants the Proud Boy militia sorts in his bid to sow chaos post-election and retain energy. 

3. He can’t maintain the anger and sense of grievance essential to maintain his supporters agitated if he’s weak and frail, combating off illnesses in a hospital mattress. 

Electorally, this isn’t a lot an issue for Trump. He’s already shedding. However it’s completely devastating to Republicans, who’re already dealing with deep losses. Democrats in locations like Kansas, South Carolina, and even Mississippi (!) are posing robust challenges in what must be secure Republican territory, and each Trump supporters who tunes the election out as a result of his Massive Daddy is definitely a frail damaged outdated man is yet another impediment these Republicans should overcome. 

And as for Trump, how can he contest an election if he can’t mission energy and energy? 

TOPSHOT - A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020. - US President Donald Trump drove past supporters outside the hospital where he was being treated for Covid-19, after announcing on Twitter a "suprise visit" to his backers. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s clear Trump is keenly conscious of that problem, thus resulting in completely reckless and doubtlessly self-destructive habits. 

For instance, he determined to place his Secret Service element at extreme threat by staging a ridiculous photograph op, driving across the block in his motorcade to wave at supporters exterior Walter Reed Medical Heart. 

The comparisons to his Lafayette Sq. PR stunt have been clear and apparent—the one the place he violently cleared out protesters so as to wave a Bible exterior a church throughout the park. Whereas Lafayette Park was the brainchild of superspreader Hope Hicks and Jared Kushner, I’d wager this one is all Trump, but equally outrageous and ineffective. 

He bolstered the injury along with his recorded message from inside his hospital suite: “We will pay slightly shock to among the nice patriots. They have Trump flags and so they love our nation so I am not telling anyone however you however I am about to make slightly shock go to so maybe I will get there earlier than you get to see me.” 

His message wasn’t directed at well-wishers across the nation, or directed in any respect Individuals. He was hyper centered on the form of supporters who would stage a vigil exterior his hospital, the “nice patriots,” those with “Trump flags.” It was microtargeting at its most absurd excessive.

Then there was Trump pretending to “work.” If by “work” you imply “signal clean items of paper as a result of why even faux they’re actual?”

All of this stagecraft has one goal: to take care of the looks of energy, well being, and vigor mandatory to take care of his maintain on his deplorable base. Everybody else appears to be like on with abject horror on the entire embarrassing spectacle. Two polls thus far have been carried out solely after Trump’s COVID-19 prognosis. YouGov was 44-37 instantly earlier than COVID-19, 48-40 after COVID-19. Ipsos for Reuters was 50-41 earlier than COVID-19, and 51-41 after COVID-19. Each of these are a web +1 towards Democratic nominee Joe Biden, which doesn’t appear to be a lot, and it isn’t a lot.

However it does counsel that Trump isn’t getting any “sympathy bounce,” and why would he? Simply the act of placing his Secret Service safety element in grave hazard is purpose alone to disclaim Trump any advantage of the doubt. 

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As I’ve mentioned time and again, folks’s minds are made up. You received’t see massive swings in public opinion. However we don’t want massive swings to dramatically change the outcomes of this election. If 1-2% of Individuals swing away from Trump and the Republicans, and perhaps 5% of Trump’s most ardent supporters keep residence, dejected at their impending loss and damaged hero, then we’re speaking about choosing up 20 extra Home seats as an alternative of single digits. We’re speaking a Senate that goes from 50-50 or 51-49 Democratic to 55-45. 

A giant Senate majority means a better finish to the filibuster, statehood for Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico (if its residents need it), and the passage of extra aggressive motion on well being care, local weather change, financial stimulus, and all types of different Democratic priorities. 

And courtroom growth. Positively courtroom growth.

An even bigger Democratic wave means we take management of extra state legislatures, which means higher laws for hundreds of thousands, in addition to larger Democratic say in redistricting each on the state and federal ranges. 

There’s a lot at stake, which is why Trump is panicking on the considered being trapped in that hospital suite. It’s why he’s staging these photograph op stunts to maintain his core supporters engaged and motivated. He can’t afford to see any slippage or lack of depth. And Trump’s Republican Social gathering even much less so. 

It’s a gamble, nevertheless. Think about if Trump does speak his docs into releasing him at the moment. He is the president, in any case—it’ll be exhausting to lock him up in opposition to his will. What occurs if he degenerates over the subsequent week or two? What occurs if he needs to be taken again to the hospital, besides this time on a gurney? 

We solely have 4 weeks left. However we nonetheless have 4 weeks left. 

There shall be extra twists and turns to this story. That’s nearly inevitable. 

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