Donald Trump is surging as the DNC is trying to maintain order, according to shocking new polls by LA Times and CNN released this Wednesday.
Now, Michelle Obama is not exactly an obscure Democrat, but nor is she the progressive heroine that Elizabeth Warren has been made out to be. Nor is she Bernie Sanders, who, judging just from the blubbering puddles into which his supporters transformed last night, has attained near godlike perfection in the minds of his devotees. These two speakers were scheduled after Michelle Obama’s strong speech, and they proved that it was an impossible act to follow.
Warren was selected to deliver the keynote address on Monday—an honor that reflected both her support within the Democratic Party and her status as an anti-Trump attack dog. Her tone was marmish; her style subdued. Warren’s criticisms of Trump felt half-hearted—placeholders that were forced and designed to sate a frothing mob only long enough for her to get to the real meat of the speech: Financial regulatory reform! The stock market, corporate profits, student loans, banking restructuring, Medicare, Social Security, 401Ks, and, of course, campaign finance; these were the issues that excited Warren. The fire in the Massachusetts senator’s eyes lit up precisely as she was extinguishing it in those of her youthful, heartbroken audience.
Sanders, too, delivered a lackluster speech for all but those initiated into his flock. It was a boilerplate stump speech, a fact which was given away to those who are unfamiliar with the Vermont senator’s campaign trail rhetoric by the Sandernistas who virtually sing along with the most road-worn lines. When Sanders became truly fired up about the prospect of defeating Trump, he was focused on the downright false notion that the GOP nominee is a just another vanilla Republican. From health care to taxation to regulation, Sanders said that Trump represents the “same old Republican contempt for working families.”
This is remarkably lazy campaigning. Trump is no garden-variety Republican. He is not a hard-hearted supply-sider who is dedicated to reducing the tax burden on the rich. Quite the opposite, in fact. He has no interest in the culture wars; be they transgender bathrooms or abortion rights—Trump has demonstrated time and again that his instincts are, in fact, center-left. Every time a speaker tried to frame Trump as a standard Republican, they normalized his radically irregular policy preferences.