A Trump Death Spiral in Progress

One of the more bizarre headlines I’ve seen today is at the New York Times: ‘Trump and N.R.A. Leaders to Discuss Preventing Gun Sales to People on Terror Watch Lists.”

Yes, folks, Trump is openly allowing the NRA to dictate his gun polices. The article says,

Donald J. Trump said Wednesday that people on the terror watch list should be barred from buying firearms, putting himself in the center of a gun-control debate in Congress revived by the worst mass shooting in United States history.

Mr. Trump’s stance, expressed in a Twitter post, does not necessarily jibe with the positions of the Republican Party and the National Rifle Association, whose endorsement Mr. Trump frequently boasts about on the campaign trail. His tweet could be read to support measures pushed by Democrats and opposed by Republicans in Congress, reflecting the unusual nuances of the issue, which touches on public safety and civil rights beyond the Second Amendment.

“I will be meeting with the N.R.A., who has endorsed me, about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or the no-fly list, to buy guns,” Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, wrote Wednesday morning on Twitter. His comment came three days after 49 people were killed when a gunman who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State stormed an Orlando nightclub.

Trump’s support shows signs of sagging already, if this Guardian article is any indication.

Amid shrinking poll numbers and smaller crowds, Donald Trump’s rhetoric took a dark turn on Wednesday in Atlanta.

The presumptive Republican nominee struck an apocalyptic tone, projecting that the United States would not survive if he were not elected. He raised the notion of welcoming the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, to the United States for negotiations. And he repeated his contention that Japan might have to “go nuclear” if it did not offer the United States better pay for its military protection.

Recent polls show Hillary Clinton leading Trump by double digits nationally. And his unfavorability ratings continue to rise.

That slowdown in support seemed evident on Wednesday when Trump spoke at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, which holds less than half the audience he commanded during his last appearance in Atlanta in February. “This place is packed,” he said, shielding his eyes against stage lights. “We have people outside who couldn’t get in. Does anybody want to give up their seat?”

Apparently Trump could not see the hundreds of empty seats in the theater’s second level. A similarly reduced crowd showed up at a recent campaign stop in Virginia.

Even better, see this just-published piece at New Republic, “American Horror Story.”

By all accounts he has no campaign organization whatsoever. He’s at open war with the Washington Post, having revoked the paper’s press credentials because he didn’t like WaPo’s coverage, and Charles Pierce predicts Trump will lose to the Post.  He’s at war with a portion of the Republican Party, or at least the portion that has refrained from endorsing him. It’s obvious he has no idea what he’s doing or what he’s in for.

We’ve got just over a month before the RNC convention, which I am looking forward to watching with all my heart and soul. This is going to be weirder than Clint Eastwood and the Chair times a million. They’ll have to get Rod Serling from the Afterlife to narrate the thing. Or better, Chuck Barris. But as he shows signs of spiraling further and further out of control, I wonder if he’ll make it to the convention, or to the November election?

Also, don’t miss “How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos, but Still Earned Millions.” It’s fascinating.

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