Saturday, September 17, 2016

The logic of revisiting birtherism?

I admit to being puzzled.  Donald Trump was doing exactly the right thing for the last year by avoiding discussion of Obama's citizenship.  Yes, he now admits that Obama was born in the U.S., but just by talking about it, he revives discussion.  Why now?  He is gaining in the polls, Clinton's campaign may finally be showing real weakness, and simply by being the one to start talking about it again, Trump gives the press an excuse to revive discussion of birtherism and shift from attacking Clinton on the Clinton Foundation and emails to attacking him on his many years of leading the birther movement.  I... don't get it.  It was off the table.  Why re-introduce it?  And then, to add the charge that Clinton started it?

I'll make a guess.  Trump looked at the polls, and started getting overconfident.  So, he thought he could turn a general election weakness into an attack on Clinton.  We have also seen another return of Trumpiness.

This is the kind of thing that got Trump into trouble in the past.  He has stayed away from these moments for the last month or so, and risen in the polls.  Maybe it's a coincidence, maybe not.  I've been speculating on that for the last few days.  But, Trump himself is inviting the press to start talking about birtherism again while making comments about how Clinton should go without armed secret service protection so that we can see what happens.  Maybe Trump is slipping back into Trumpiness.  There are limits to his self-control.

Sorry, I have no social science for you today.  I have no explanations.  All I have is the rough guess that Trump has gotten overconfident from his recent rise in the polls, made a strategic blunder on birtherism, and started letting his Trump flag fly again.  This year is just nuts.

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