Trump’s Rasputin

22 07 2015

New Hampshire

Politico profiles Trump’s national campaign manager, one Corey Lewandowski.

Who reminds me of myself in some ways.

He’s 40, I’m 38.

He grew up poor, I grew up working middle class.

He was once attached to Bob Smith.  I was once attached to Todd Akin.

After the Senate campaigns, he became a lobbyist.  I became a PR-lobbyist hack.

While starting out within the Republican establishment, he drifted away from it and grew distasteful of it.  I never gave it the time of day.

And now, we both want Donald Trump to go as far as he can in his Presidential campaign.

 

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30 responses

22 07 2015
Ben

Dude, you’re getting grifted. Trump is in this for book sales and/or a new reality TV show. He’s out by Labor Day.

The willingness of conservatives to be grifted (Palin, Bachmaan, Cain, circa 2012 Gingrich, etc) never ceases to amaze me.

22 07 2015
countenance

Someone who has $10b and all the name rec in the world is out on a grifting game?

Michele Bachmann never struck me as a grifter. The other three you mention, very fair game for that accusation.

That said, even if he wins, I am still mentally checked out of democratic republicanism. It’s just that his winning or at least doing very well short of winning is going to bork a lot of narratives. And that is already happening.

Trump being Trump, he could very well say or do something extraordinarily stupid by Labor Day.

22 07 2015
Ben

Word is its more like $1.2 billion–he’s protesting much too much with shouting I’M REALLY REALLY FUCKING RICH from the rooftops. I mean, yeah, I’ make $50k/year so I’m not saying that’s not a lot of money, but David Koch he ain’t.

And yeah, he’s the type of guy that craves as much attention and notoriety as possible. Back in ’99 when he was “considering” running as a Democrat he sounded like Bernie Sanders. He’s a mountebank. I fully agree with the HuffPo here–he belongs in the entertainment section of the newspaper.

Bachmaan could maybe be arguable re: grifting. But you’ve got to admit the Republicans have turned grifting into a true quadrennial art form–the closest we have is Al Sharpton but the grifting is incidental to his shtick, it’s not the core of it.

23 07 2015
eah

he belongs in the entertainment section of the newspaper

If he’ll close the border and stop amnestying illegals — maybe even get rid of a few — then I don’t much fucking care which section of the paper you and the assholes at the HuPo think he belongs in. And since no one else is even talking about immigration — except to grant amnesty, like that beta faggot Jeb Bush — then I’m willing to give Trump a chance.

22 07 2015
countenance

Even if it is $1.2 billion, it’s $1.2 billion. And he’s one of the few people who can brag, everyone knows it’s bragging, but it doesn’t come off as irritating.

Considering some of what HuffPo calls “hard news,” they’ve got a lot of nerve.

And don’t think your side doesn’t have its share of grifters. The only reason why there’s far more of it on the Republican side is that they’re trying to keep people in the fold who really shouldn’t be there, the Republican brass wishes they could get rid of, but they need for voters. The grifting is a form of crumb throwing. Trump may be grifting attention, but he’s not grifting for anything else. In fact, that’s his main attraction to many people reading this space, that he doesn’t have his hands out and he doesn’t need to put his hands out to the typical array of Republican oriented donors, so there’s a much better chance that he’s not being disingenuous. Meanwhile, none of us really trust people like Ted Cruz or Scott Walker with their supposed immigration patriotism, because one Sheldon Adelson check will wash that down the porcelain god.

22 07 2015
neanderthalpropaganda

Trump ’16 buddy!

Told you this would be great any way it played out. Can’t wait for the debates…

Poor uncle Lindsey. What a goob. Poor Ric Perry – what an idiot. Next?

I think Trump’s the real deal. My sweet, silly, recovering libtard sister likes him even.

Imagine – a populist, brassy, motivated GOP lead by an honest and charismatic lovable asshole?

Trump ’16!

22 07 2015
countenance

Ben

Actually the grifting on the right isn’t so much actual or wannabe elected politicians as it is the subterranean beltway hustlers and scam artists. Sam Francis once estimated, not long before he died 10 years ago, that in the years between Reagan left office and that time, 1989-2005, that outfits raised a half billion dollars based on quixotic campaigns to amend the Constitution for various rightist causes. And that’s just a small slice of the whole universe of hustles. It’s why James Kirkpatrick and others use the phrase “Conservatism Inc.”

22 07 2015
Ben

Oh, absolutely. I just think that in the last two GOP primary cycles it has finally bubbled up to the presidential level.

With that in mind, you should really read this when you have some time. A thoroughgoing look at right-wing grifting, written by Rick Perlstein of Nixonland fame. Short summary: Perlstein signed up for all kinds of right-wing e-mail lists when writing the book, and found out by doing this that Conservatism Inc. looks at its supporters as suckers and marks.

I can assure you I have never gotten an email from, say, The Nation hawking natural ‘cures’ for cancer or to invest in placentas.

22 07 2015
countenance

That essay is almost my daily existence in my snail mail box, but thankfully not often my e-mail box. You can tell it’s a grifting beg snail mail letter if it uses a pseudo manual typewriter monospace “Courier New” type font.

And I do remember reading it several years ago; after having skimmed over it again, I think it has some validity, but I think it mixes up some good people with some obvious scam artists, and its political bias is that all of conservatism is a scam. Also note that Chris Ruddy, who runs Newsmax, has now become Bill Clinton’s BFF.

22 07 2015
Ben

Oh, and I can remember when Trump was pretending to be a leftist in 1999 because I remember being really impressed by him and really wishing he could run.

In my defense, I was in the 7th Grade.

22 07 2015
countenance

One thing from Trump’s very short lived 1999-2000 run that I think would be worth looking at is the net worth wealth tax on very large individual fortunes.

22 07 2015
Ben

Yes, a wealth tax is an idea very much worth looking at, though you would need a really good communicator to explain it because a depressingly large number of people in this country think wealth and income. Also, tax capital gains at the same rate as income. That’s how you really go after the plutocrats, not raising the top marginal rate 5%.

But it ain’t happening as long as Citizens United is allowed to stand.

22 07 2015
countenance

Seriously, you people need to quit treating Citizens United like some sort of silver bullet. Even if it is repealed, the problem won’t get any better long term. And I’m saying this as someone who thinks the idea outcome of the actual Citizens United case would have been for SCOTUS to find that the application of McCain-Feingold to the Citizens United production in question was an improper application of McCain-Feingold, not eliminating the limits altogether.

Still, McCain-Feingold or not, in our system, money is always going to be able to find a way to buy power.

23 07 2015
eah

worth looking at

Yes, let’s strip people of (part of) their wealth (that was already taxed when it was earned) and give it to government. Since government does so many useful and wonderful things with money. Maybe they could use some of that new cash to put a Section 8 “family” right next door to you. In fact I hope they do.

You cannot be serious.

22 07 2015
Ben

Now that I think of it, the biggest grift on the progressive side of the aisle is probably Rheeism (aka education “reform”). There’s lots and lots of taxpayer money to suck up in charter schools, standardized testing, and giving TED talks to hawk your new book about how American schools should be more like Korean ones.

Nintey percent of our public schools work just fine, and the ten percent that don’t isn’t because of bad teachers or not enough testing, but rather circumstances beyond the school’s control. It’s a money making scam based on a colossal lie. Rheeism really pisses me off and I’m not even a teacher.

22 07 2015
countenance

Oh yes, the neoliberal “education reformers.” A lot of those charter schools fund the Turkish Gulen cult.

But don’t forget that “education reform” was born on the lamestream right; it has only been in the last 10 years that it’s been seeping over to the left.

Race is the main reason why the 10% that don’t work don’t. Getting people to admit that, well, pulling teeth.

22 07 2015
Ben

It’s concentrated poverty and hyper-segregation that kills schools. Achievement gaps are much smaller in integrated schools than segregated ones. I’ve never heard an explanation for this from the ‘race realism’ crowd.

I’m not being a SWPL here, either. I went to a high school that was a 50/50 white/black split and I felt it was alright. I’m not saying it was racial utopia, but it wasn’t some Blackboard Jungle. Not only was it 50/50 racially, but we also had the wealthiest neighborhoods in the county going there along with the poorest. I’m still trying to figure out to this day how that hell that attendance zone got drawn without a peep of protest.

The black kids at that school had much higher test scores and a lower gap with white kids than the neighboring 100% black, 100% free/reduced lunch school across the river from our zone. I never saw the figures but I’m positive they had fewer behavior problems too.

22 07 2015
countenance

Ben

Thinking out loud here.

Cuckservative (a newly minted NRx term for lamestream conservative) grifting wouldn’t much bother me to a point if they had anything to show for it. That, and some hustling is just a fact of life in just about every endeavor. It’s just that cuckservatism keeps on losing and losing and losing and getting further and further behind on the causes it wants, or claims to want, in spite of all these Republican wins in the last two midterms, and that’s not even counting that we here on the hard right (“far right”) have it even worse for the most part; I am under no delusion that cuckservatives are nationalists. The racket is all a consequence of cuckservatives not being able to win much of anything for cuckservatism, so a lot of people have to keep the masses happy with rhetoric, crumbs, token gestures, bombast, sound bytes, and here’s how you can donate. Catch while catch can, before the rubes figure out the score.

Bringing this full circle back to the subject matter of this post, that’s the attraction of Trump, that he doesn’t need to grift.

22 07 2015
Ben

Oh, they have plenty to show for it. Wealth inequality is at 1928 levels, the billionaire class has the country by the balls, military contractor’s pockets are fatter than ever. It’s not what you want, but for the people who run the movement? Life couldn’t be better.

That’s because, as you quite correctly note, the American right is not a nationalist right. It’s a plutocratic right. What they want to do above all is line their pockets. All the stuff about stopping abortion, the sacrosanct Constitution, traditional marriage, the Founders, and whatnot is just cover to get more cash. It’s like they saw this ’60s Soviet propaganda and thought it was a how-to guide.

22 07 2015
countenance

The main problem with the greater American right, and I’m casting a net way wider than myself or my beloved NRx universe, is that its mostly an individualist-libertarian cult pursuit; any pretense that it cares about anything else is just lip service. That’s what’s holding the American right back, the grifters are just a minor annoyance by comparison. It’s also why cuckservatives can’t do anything more than talk about the culture wars, because their own individualism-libertarianism undermines that. What is “Caitlyn” Jenner but America’s foremost rugged individualist?

That and the cynic in me thinks that what passes for right libertarian individualism is mostly beltway bastardized plutocratic trope either to justify the greed of the top 0.00000001%, or to keep us from getting mad about it. But before you cheer, the same plutocrats are starting to chew up and spit out the mainstream left, which is why you hear all this noise about transgenders and gay marriage and the left’s side of the culture war; look squirrel.

The real driving force behind the ethnic cleansing of things Dixie in the South? The Chamber Pot of Commerce.

22 07 2015
countenance

It’s concentrated poverty and hyper-segregation that kills schools.

Which is why all those all white hyper segregated schools are so horrible.

Achievement gaps are much smaller in integrated schools than segregated ones.

I’ve never even read or heard that boast, and because these kinds of issues are in my wheelhouse, I would have heard that argument by now, many times over.

I went to a high school that was a 50/50 white/black split and I felt it was alright. I’m not saying it was racial utopia, but it wasn’t some Blackboard Jungle. Not only was it 50/50 racially, but we also had the wealthiest neighborhoods in the county going there along with the poorest. I’m still trying to figure out to this day how that hell that attendance zone got drawn without a peep of protest.

My bet is that the blacks you went to school with weren’t ghetto blacks, that they were the sons and daughters of Richmond’s (?) black upper classes. If I’m right, the reason that school’s boundaries were drawn the way they were was to give upper class blacks a school to send their kids to to avoid their own race’s undertow. The reason there was not a peep of protest is because upper class blacks helped engineer it; if it was to their disliking, their stuck pig squealing would have been heard on the other side of the world. A lot of the deseg agenda is little more than upper class upper part of the black bell curve bafflegabbing their way into engineering a system for their own kids to avoid having to go to school with the ghetto undertow, all the while suppressing white fear of blacks so that whites don’t fear having to go to school with the black preachers’ and judges’ kids, and they want their kids to go to school with (most) white kids in hopes that our good habits rub off on them and stay with them.

The black kids at that school had much higher test scores and a lower gap with white kids than the neighboring 100% black, 100% free/reduced lunch school across the river from our zone. I never saw the figures but I’m positive they had fewer behavior problems too.

Which gives my theory some credence.

22 07 2015
Ben

If I had to pick two words to describe my black classmates it would be ‘military’ (we were quite close to a huge army base, this being Virginia) and then ‘country’.

My bet is that the blacks you went to school with weren’t ghetto blacks, that they were the sons and daughters of Richmond’s (?) black upper classes.

Nah, the wealthy in my district were nouveaux. The real upper crust go to schools in (West End)* Henrico. They consider Chesterfield too redneck. If you’re really old money or high up in the state government, you send your kids to Deep Run High aka ‘Twin Hickory Prep’.*

*My college roommate went there with the son of the first black chief justice of the Virginia Supreme Court. One day he burst out laughing in front of his laptop and informed me said son was going to prison after he got caught boosting appliances from West End home construction sites. A few years later, this happened. So yeah, integration failed in this case.

22 07 2015
countenance

Then I can see the hand of the Pentagon at work in drawing this school boundary. Black service members don’t want their kids going to school with their own undertow.

22 07 2015
Stogie

Bro, we are very much in sync here! Go Trump!

22 07 2015
countenance

You must not have read the conventional wisdom in this thread. Trump is obviously a grifter and a hustler, because he’s only doing this for a reality show (which no network will give him now after all of his immigration statements), or a book (no big publishing house, ditto), or fame (because nobody knew who Donald Trump was before this), or keeping his name in the headlines (he had 50 other ways to do that besides politics), and he’s hustling because he’s spending his own money and will be less rich for having run.

But, giving the critic his due, people cheer with their hearts but bet and make book with their brains. I checked a few British books, and Trump is still only in fifth place with around 15-20:1 odds to win the Republican nomination, with JEB! still being in first with 2-2.5:1, Walker, Rubio and Rand Paul between them.

23 07 2015
neanderthalpropaganda

Who knows? As I’ve said before, there’s a first time for everything.

The American electorate kind of reminds me of a battered spouse. Her hubby smacks her around and Stockholm syndromes her, she weeps and gnashes her teeth, vows to leave him, always skulks back. Or she dumps the old abuser just to hook up with another abuser. Over and over. After a while I start to lose respect.

On the other hand until Trump, the knight in brassy armor rode in, what choice did the poor abused girl have?

Trump ’16!

24 07 2015
Trumped

Countenance,

1) I hear you, but wouldn’t go with the British books, bets are made on past performance, party and candidate, and Trump has no past performance in a very strict sense, while the Bushes have a history of controlling the People’s Republican Party. I am a mostly a Trumpgnostic, but I do like and respect the man and I find it hard to believe Rubio, Rand Paul, and even Walker have better objective odds. Bettors must be surveying the Party of My Turn and not the objective reality. Besides, who is betting at this point?
2) Trump is a smart man. It is the Adlai Stevensons and Mike DuKaki who think they are going to be President. What does The Donald then see as “in it for him,” then, since he is spending a wad?

BTW the “strict sense’ is that he asks the rights questions but backs out of the race. I think it is diferrent this time- he is older and wants to leave a larger memory than a skating rink well done and an excellent building in Chicago.

22 07 2015
David In TN

“Achievement gaps are much smaller in integrated schools than segregated ones.”

Yawn. That was the argument for integrated schools 50 years ago. It was said black children’s performance would increase when they were alongside white children in integrated schools. And then there was large scale “school busing.” Remember what a great popular success THAT was?

23 07 2015
Thomas

Blacks want segregation except when they don’t. I learned that it was unfair the Ferguson has a 70 percent black population but majority white cops, white mayor and white city council. I’ve also heard black students “perform better” if they have teachers that look like them. That all sounds like blacks want segregation. But then when whites flee Spanish Lake, etc., that’s racist. Whatever.

Speaking of Trump – I like how he totally runs roughshod over Anderson Cooper here:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/donald-trump-insults-anderson-cooper-cnn-interview-article-1.2301463

At this point in my life and given the sad state of the American experiment, I would have no problem voting for this guy.

23 07 2015

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