“We knew, going into this convention, that Trump would make use of the grounds of the White House as he made his bid for reelection. But he has actually gone further, by using the actual powers his office bestows on him to perform presidential acts as part of the convention. It’s strange, because the act of pardoning a reformed prisoner or naturalizing a citizen is both uniquely presidential and, for presidents, relatively routine. But turning that kind of sober, consequential, and legal ceremony into a live show that is a bid for your reelection? That would be chilling if it weren’t so decidedly Mark Burnett. But it’s also just really chilling.” From using the White House as a backdrop, to a speech from a sitting Secretary of State, to an on screen pardon, the GOP convention is doing a hatchet job on the Hatch Act. Dahlia Lithwick: Trump Plays President in Prime Time.

+ It’s important to realize that the norm busting is considered a feature, not a bug, of this convention. The Daily Beast: Trump Isn’t Building a Case Against Biden. He’s Running a Convention to Troll the Press. (Norms, institutions, and democracy just happen to be collateral damage.)

+ “It was awful.” The Atlantic: President Trump’s surrogates are referring to COVID-19 in the past tense.

+ RNC speaker cancelled after boosting QAnon Conspiracy theory about a Jewish plot to enslave the world. Whatever happens in November, this troubling trend will remain.

+ “It feels like August of 2016 all over again. Polls show Donald Trump losing big. Pundits proclaim he can’t win. Reporters sneer at Trump voters on Twitter and cable.” Axios: How Trump could pull off another upset. Interesting stats in this piece, but I disagree with the intro. It doesn’t feel anything like August of 2016 because November of 2016 happened.