July 18, 2016 4:00 pm -

An unhinged gunman gives Donald Trump plenty of material to race-bait and fearmonger – and that carries risks, says the Newspaper of Record:

The attack on police officers in Baton Rouge, La., cast a grim mood over the opening of the Republican National Convention here, as Donald J. Trump responded to the killings with a stark warning that the country was falling apart.

A string of shootings targeting police officers, as well as the recent killings of two black men by police officers in Minnesota and Louisiana, had already pushed gun violence and social unrest to the center of the presidential campaign. Mr. Trump has campaigned on the theme of “law and order” since the assassination this month of five police officers in Dallas, and he is likely to amplify that message in the coming days.


Within hours of the killings on Sunday, in which three law enforcement officers were fatally shot and several others were wounded, Mr. Trump declared that the nation had become a “divided crime scene” and said that the Islamic State was watching as Americans murdered police officers. After President Obama issued a call for calm, Mr. Trump jabbed on Twitter that Mr. Obama “doesn’t have a clue.”

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has long battled criticism of his volcanic temper and questions about his temperament and readiness for the presidency, and it was unclear if a thunderous response to the shooting in Louisiana will help allay voters’ concerns. While Republicans often run on law-and-order themes, an indelicate approach could carry considerable danger at a moment of such unusual political instability.



D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.