Archive for August, 2016

Switchman Sleepin’

August 16, 2016

Way back in September of last year I made the seemingly rash prediction that “Donald Trump won’t be around at the end” of the 2016 presidential campaign.  Eleven months later, here on August 16th, it looks as though I might be right on track … to be completely wrong.  But wait, there’s more!  Two-and-a-half more months of plot twists and narrative turns still remaining in the cliffhanger screenplay, that is.  Thus it is that hope, which springs eternal in the longshot gambler’s breast, still holds forth the possibility of a scenario rarely seen in the annals of American politics: the reverse bait-and-switch.

The [function] of the bait-and-switch is to encourage [acceptance] of substituted goods, making consumers satisfied with the available stock offered, as an alternative to the disappointment or inconvenience of acquiring no goods at all.  The bait-and-switch ploy exploits the consumer’s perception of partial recovery of the sunk costs expended trying to obtain the bait.


In customary commercial practice, bait-and-switch operates by advertising an extremely desirable product, available for purchase at an extremely desirable price.  But when the customer becomes ravenously eager to buy, the product is suddenly “out of stock” or otherwise unavailable.  Instead, something “just as good” is offered in its place –of lower quality, higher price, or both.

The reverse bait-and-switch is an inventive wrinkle on the tried-and-true classic formula.  Both versions are undoubtedly inscribed in the 18th c. playbook of the usual suspects, but the reverse variant is deemed effective only when rarely used.  It is best employed only during highly unusual circumstances in conditions of scarcity.  Reverse bait-and-switch holds out an extremely undesirable and unacceptable product as the only product available:  the seller waits until the consumer has become adamant, almost violently irate, in her refusal to purchase the patently inferior product … and then suddenly offers an alternative (“this just in!”).  Low quality, overpriced, something the customer probably wouldn’t consider buying in everyday market conditions  –but marginally more acceptable than the woefully inadequate alternative.



By now it should be clear where I’m going with this, but to spell it out for the semi-literate, here’s what we might well see in the coming weeks:

  • Republican Party bigwigs/honchos/muckety-mucks will find a way (компромат) to force the Donald to renounce his hard-won GOP nomination and abandon his presidential campaign.
  • Huguenot hireling Paul Manafort will discover he has not been dealt the strong hand (main à fort) that he had thought, and that he’s trying to draw to an inside straight from a stacked deck.
  • A (comparatively) bland and innocuous substitute more-or-less untainted by Trump (Mike Pence, or someone else?) will step (or be thrust) into the breach.
  • Disaffected Republicans will be rallied around their new savior and champion, while disgruntled Trump partisans will grumble “anyone but Hillary” and (mostly) go along with the new program.  After all, they’re followers, not independent thinkers. Just about any fuhrer will do.
  • The Clinton campaign will be completely blindsided by this development, and having geared up to play a “No Trump” bid all the way to November, will flounder in its attempts to respond to the radically altered political environment.  It’s all about the OODA loop.
  • Best of all, I’ll have been proven correct in my offhand 2015 prediction: “Trump won’t be around at the end“.

Stay tuned: I’m guessing that the Koch-Murdoch timetable for action is probably around September 9th.  Nine/Nine, or nein-nein for you Deutsch sprechers.