If we've learned anything from the past few days it's that the Trumps hate financial regulation. But also that they love it.
On night two of the 2016 GOP Convention in Cleveland, the nominee's firstborn son Donald Jr. took the podium to show off his uncanny impression of dad's hand gestures and talk about how well he knows, like, business. Like Pops, Don Jr. has a Bachelors degree from Wharton and has worked for his father since graduation.
Based on that deep pool of knowledge and experience, Junior launched into this well-constructed attack on Dodd-Frank:
"They want to run everything top-down from Washington. They tell us they're the experts and they know what's best.
The other party gave us a regulatory state on steroids. Dodd- Frank was a thousand pages long and it's already spun off 22,000 pages in regulations.
Imagine trying to digest all that before you even open your doors for business. That doesn't help consumers. What it does is destroy small business in favor of big businesses who can afford the vast number of lawyers and accountants needed to comply. Dodd-Frank is consumer protection for billionaires.
We've produced the thickest network of patronage and influence of any country at any time in world history. It's composed of a self- satisfied people at the top, our new aristocrats. We can't live that way any longer, it's too risky."
Setting aside the faulty notion that Dodd-Frank has any direct compliance effect on small businesses other than small banks (or that Donald Trump Jr. doesn't want to protect billionaires), let's agree that - on its face - Junior delivered a strong and concise version of the GOP attack on Dodd-Frank.
Sure, he failed to mention that the real negative impact of the law is on the ability of small financial firms to operate and lend therefore creating a possible systemic liquidity issue in the economy, but overall Don Jr. gets a high grade for his oratory. The crowd ate it up, he didn't plagiarize, and he came off like a guy who knows what he's talking about. He did great and now everyone loves him because he's really fantastic. TRUMP!
But there's just one tiny thing.
See, Don Jr.'s smart rant against Dodd-Frank and the socialist culture of over-regulation is undercut in an extreme and borderline comical way by the GOP platform adopted the day before his speech. We won't bore you with it again since we went rather HAM on it yesterday but by promising to reinstate Glass-Steagall, Trump and his party have surrendered any possible attempt to factually run as the party of anti-regulation.
It also makes his kids look dumb when they're sent out there to make a point the platform inherently contradicts by its mere existence. But does the campaign even get that?
The Glass-Steagall promise was an obvious attempt to appeal to bereft Bernie Bros still hating on Hillary, and Don Jr.'s speech was meant to appeal to the few flyover Americans who trust Brylcreemed Manhattan yuppies and believe Washington is evil. One almost wants to believe that the Trump campaign is going after these groups with a craven, flinty-eyed political calculus, but it's easier to believe at this point that they really don't care what it takes to win and they will say whatever they need to about things they don't understand to make that happen.