By Steve Rohosky
Donald “Despicable Me” Trump has created a mythology about himself that he only hires “the best.” For months and months we’ve been subjected to a mountain of his boasts, this chief among them. And then Trump goes and shakes up his campaign hierarchy, one more time, in order to once again usher out someone decidedly less than “the best.”
First through the revolving door of abject ineptitude was Corey Lewandowski (who never saw a female reporter he believed he couldn’t beat) as the original campaign manager-type. Until escorted back through the same door months ago, that is, when it was decided he’d best serve The Donald’s ego by pretending to be a Trump surrogate on CNN–while admittedly still receiving “severance,” campaign-speak for Lewandowski is still on the payroll while acting as a cheerleader over on the news network.
Now, gone so quickly it’s doubtful he can even file for unemployment is Paul Manafort, who was given the requisite gold watch and cheerful hyperbole to go along with the largely ceremonial position of Chairman after having been on the job just two months, when he too was pushed out the door, doubtlessly kicking and screaming all the way.
Next hired-to-be-fired is strategist Kellyanne Conway as the latest sacrificial campaign manager. The well liked Conway, apparently, replaces Russian dictator, errr, President Vladimir Putin’s secret campaign weapon. Manafort, it seems, took time off from his regular gig of influencing Ukranian politicians to look favorably upon Mother Russia and Putin, that he might return to the US so as to influence the Republican presidential candidate to look favorably upon Putin and Mother Russia.
But, once those famous anti-Free Press–according to the candidate–gremlins at the New York Times discovered Manafort’s name mentioned repeatedly in a collection of hand written ledgers kept by the administration of deposed Ukranian despot Yanucovych, in reference to his having been paid a total of $12.7 million for services rendered–ostensibly under the table–Manafort’s days of influencing Trump to favor anybody, including himself, were numbered. As in all of two days.
Still, from Putin’s perspective, job well done by Manafort after Trump continuously crooned Kumbaya concerning Russian/American relations on the campaign trail, for several weeks. After which the nominee successfully removed several anti Russian planks from the GOP party platform during the convention.
Joining Team Trump, too (or is it three, at this point?)–supposedly strictly in an advisory capacity–is recently resigned Fox News pooh-bah and internationalist Roger Ailes, he of the Roman hands and Russian fingers. Allegedly. Having undoubtedly grown weary of dealing with Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit, Ailes will purportedly assist with Trump’s debate prep. Also brought in is Breitbart über rightist extremist smearmeister extraordinaire, Steve Bannon.
This parade of ex-advisors and former campaign managers continues to lengthen for one rather salient reason: Donald J. has proven himself either incapable and/or unwilling to listen to anyone not named Trump. Because of that fatal flaw, RNC chairman Reince Priebus and the majority of the party’s down ticket candidates are presently in near panic mode, having watched key battleground poll numbers continue to sink, observed once redder than red states like GA, AZ, SC being reevaluated and moved into the toss-up category.
This while one after another prominent Republican publicly pledges to NOT vote for the nominee. Some even going so far as to commit the ultimate right wing heresy: stating intent to cast their ballot for Hillary Clinton.
With yet another reshuffling of the campaign pecking order, one is left to wonder if Trump isn’t being giving this one last chance by the RNC to get his act together. There have been rumblings of late of veiled threats he should act more like a traditional candidate, more presidential. Encouraged to stay on topic during scripted speeches, whilst at the same time told to scrupulously avoid the rambling stream of consciousness style of public speaking from which have come many of the candidates worst self-inflicted wounds.
Whispers abound that if he doesn’t soon begin to turn things around, he could possibly face being replaced as the GOP standard bearer, potentially by Trump’s own handpicked VP candidate, Mike “Mr Somnambulist” Pence.
Alas, the New, Newer, Newest Trump campaign seems to have gotten off to a less than auspicious start Tuesday by avoiding the racial unrest in Milwaukee, eschewing an opportunity to speak directly to angry black voters in that city. Voters who are fed up with the treatment they receive from the local police and politicians. Instead the candidate chose to hold his rally in a nice, safe, lily-white suburb. A rally attended by a virtually all white crowd, not surprising since West Bend, WS, has a black population of 1%.
To this point Trump’s appeal to black voters remains incredibly limited. According to recent polls only 1% support him while a whopping 91% favor Clinton. That is, at least those not effected by red state voter suppression laws aimed specifically at blacks, browns, the poor and the elderly.
In that particular town, so sparkling bright the populous would have no choice BUT to wear shades, Trump chose to give a speech littered with white-speak: restoring law-und-order, how Democrats have done nothing to help blacks, the need for more cops on the streets. JUST the kind of campaign positions sure to endear the candidate to already enraged and bitter Milwaukee residents while at the same time receiving rousing ovations from the extremely low information attendees.
Interesting, too, that Trump avoided mentioning the systematic obstruction by congressional Republicans of every jobs bill Obama sent to Capitol Hill over the past nearly eight years. Bills meant to help unemployed blacks get jobs, especially teens. He also failed to elucidate how his professed commitment to issues important to women–boasting about being “the greatest president for women”–would be improved by bringing aboard an accused sexual harasser sitting on a sizable stack of allegations made by former female employees, someone being sued in court for sexual harassment.
Donald Trump likes to think of himself as being too wild to tame. Those who have been trying to advise him–to the extent Trump is capable of accepting direction from anyone–as well as RNC chair Reince Priebus, Conway, Bannon, Roger Ailes, et al, are about to find out over the next several weeks to what extent he CAN be tamed.
A great fear has arisen and spread like a plague through what remains of the Republican Party: he’s simply too dumb to train. Trump’s ability to move his campaign from the category of train wreck to one of competitiveness is completely dependent upon finding out which is which, over the time remaining.
For if Priebus and the other GOP decision makers wait too long, make the wrong choice, the Republican Party will awaken Wednesday, November 9th to find their carefully cobbled real-life house of cards has collapsed all about them. And it could take generations to build it anew.
Wouldn’t that be a pity???