Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Grand Old Party (GOP) vs. Party of Trump (POT)

trump, gop donor, RINO, future of GOP, Republican Party

March 10, 2021

New Orleans      No matter what, it seems that when we are talking about Trump, it’s all about the money. In the latest stop on his revenge tour, his lawyers have filed cease-and-desist orders against the Republican Party and their Senatorial and Congressional campaign funds demanding that they not use his name or likeness in any of their fundraising efforts.

Like most of Trump’s lawsuits, this one is more like a press release or a Twitter substitute than litigation with any likely merit. Trump has spent decades building his brand, and as an ex-president virtually everything he does is in the public domain. He was a Republican when it suited him, so certainly the Republican Party can acknowledge and claim him as one of their own. Why they would want to these days is an open question, but once again, we’re back to talking about the money.

Former President Trump and his advisors understand that the care and feeding of the donor base, particularly small donors, is their real source of power and potential control of the party apparatus. They understand that campaign operatives come and go with the cycle, but controlling the potential stream of cash to prospective candidates can buy loyalty to Trump or whoever manages the purse strings, even if money doesn’t buy you love. The $250 million windfall that Trump raised with claims of undoing the election results is more than simply a proof of concept.

Trump claims his true believers need to donate to his new PAC, because sending their nickels and dimes to the formal party coffers supports RINOs – Republicans in Name Only. What hereally wants is money through his accounts for TINAs – Trump in Name Always. The heck with the Grand Old Party (GOP), he’s clear that he wants this all to go to POT – the Party of Trump.

True, the cynics in the legal and journalistic community can’t help pointing out that with his new financial structure he could use the money for anything he felt like. He could pay himself and his family. He could use it to bail out his businesses.  It’s funny money. We should be so lucky if this was just another Trump family grift. More dangerously, Trump with a mountain of cash is way more dangerous to the political class and – not to be too dramatic – to the future struggle for democracy.

Republican senators of a slightly more moderate cast than some of the more strident mouth breathers are already calling it quits in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and even North Carolina and Georgia. They are unable to toe the Trump line and be mouthpieces for his grievances and grudges. The loudest drum-beaters will have advantages in Republican primaries and that spells trouble for all but those who are true blue. Anyone dreaming of a split Republican party or a separate party for Trump and his radicals can forget about it for now. Trump is clear. He may or may not run again, but he definitely wants to run the Republican Party and keep it hewing to the far-right edge of the road where MAGA hats are still part of the official uniform.

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“Rigged,” What’s New?

2016-electionsNew Orleans   Headlines in both the local and national papers focused on Donald Trump’s unwillingness to commit that he would honor the verdict of the voters in a democratic election. Clinton responded in the debate that his position was “horrifying.” My question continues to be, “What’s new?” Am I the only one who wonders why this is such a flashpoint now, and hasn’t been for the last eight years or longer?

Part of this is both personal and political for me, as I have noted before. But at least I’m not alone. David Weigel writing in The Washington Post this week had a memory that was longer than yesterday’s news cycle, and began his piece this way:

According to the Republican nominee for president, his opponents were “on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history.” In an ad, his campaign warned of “nationwide voter fraud” that could swing the election. His running mate worried, in a fundraising letter, that “leftist groups” were trying to “steal the election.”

 

The candidate was not Donald Trump. It was Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who in the final weeks of the 2008 presidential election embraced the theory that ACORN, a community organizing group previously embraced by Democrats and Republicans, was helping to rig the election for Barack Obama by filing fake voter registration forms.

Poor Weigel. He’ll probably be fired soon for pointing out that the emperors continue to walk naked in Congressional hallways and DC corridors. It also goes without saying, and time has proven this out, so I’ll bore everyone by saying, that no such thing happened, nor was there ever any evidence then or now to back up such nonsense about voting.

Even for McCain in 2008 this was an old saw, rather than something he was inventing. Such claims on voter fraud based on voter registration work have been part of the standard operating procedure on election tactics for Republicans for a number of cycles, certainly since the concept of “battleground” states became prominent and the George W. Bush election turned into a Supreme Court disputed umpire call after Al Gore won the popular vote. In Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania for a number of election cycles before 2008, ACORN had been the subject of similar attacks and fabrications with fake FEC complaints and state election charges all of which would be withdrawn by early the following year after the elections were over. Our assumption had been that McCain had wrongly assumed that the election might be close with Obama and was tactically hedging in order to prepare claims in some states and hope for a repeat of the Bush 2000 scenario. As it turned out, he was stomped by Obama, so none of that emerged, though thanks to McCain the target for conservatives would stay on ACORN’s back.

And, let’s be honest about all of this. Of the hardcore 40% base that is sticking with Trump and listening to all of this balderdash, I would put good money on the fact that a huge percentage of that base has still refused to accept the legitimacy of President Obama’s two election victories and the work of his eight years. The continuing drumbeat of the Republican faithful up until recently that ACORN stole both elections and was preparing to steal this one is more than sufficient evidence for such a bet.

Once the votes are all counted, the winner will be named, and whether Trump and his Trumpeteers accept it or not isn’t relevant come Inauguration Day, except that such schoolhouse door resistance to the choice of voters in our fragile democracy only assures even more polarization and extremist from Congress on down to the grassroots.

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