Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Biggest Marks


A modest Democratic attempt at Georgia ratfucking, which isn't totally convincing me, except "Cocaine Mitch", meaning McConnell, seems to be an authentic idea springing from inside the Trumpery, where they're urging Georgians to write in Donald and Donald Jr. (whose lips are so numb in recent videos I think they may have to go to rehab by themselves if he won't take them there) in the Senate races, after McConnell's acknowledgment today that Biden won the election, which they regard as rank treachery.

A little Karmic biteback for Georgia Republicans—in addition to suffering from Trump's denunciations of Georgia's election system for failing to prevent Biden from winning the state, which may (we hope!) discourage some Georgians from voting in the Senate runoff on 5 January, and his furious condemnations of the state's Republican governor and secretary of state, they've begun to realize that he's competing with them for money, and taking most of it:

Trump’s aggressive fundraising blitz appears to be devoted to helping the party defend Georgia’s two Senate seats and, with them, the Senate majority. But the fine print shows that most of the proceeds are going toward Trump’s newly launched PAC, which he plans to use to fund his future political activities. Only a fraction is going to the Republican National Committee, which is investing $20 million into the runoffs.

A stampede of political figures from both parties are emailing their donors with links to donate directly to the Georgia candidates, but the president is not among them.

Trump’s fundraising ploy has rankled senior Republicans, who worry small-dollar donations are being redirected away from the runoffs. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has reached out to the White House and RNC to express its concern and to question the decision, according to two people familiar with the discussions. (Alex Isenstadt/Politico)

In a manner of speaking the Republican establishment has always been the biggest victim of Donald's con. I have a feeling one of the reasons they didn't stop him from getting the nomination in 2016 was his promise to finance it himself:

"You know a lot of times you see these really dumb deals," he said of current political leaders at an Iowa rally Feb. 1 [2016]. "And you'll say that's dumb. It doesn't make sense. But then when you think, it does make sense because these politicians are representing interests, whether it's a country or a company, where doing the stupid deals actually makes sense only for that politician and for that company or country."

In contrast, Trump said, "I'm self-funding my own campaign. It's my money."

With their terrible, lackluster field of candidates that year and Hillary Clinton's aura of inevitability, the billionaire was offering the GOP a value proposition—if they were doomed to lose, at least they wouldn't be paying so much for it.

Of course he was already lying, in a pattern that was going to become familiar. He wasn't paying, he was investing, and he was taking a direct kickback of 20% or so for himself:

The vast majority of Trump’s contributions to his own campaign — about $12.6 million — are loans rather than donations. This means he could expect to eventually recoup these funds.

Further, of the approximately $12 million Trump’s campaign spent in 2015, about $2.7 million went toward reimbursing Trump-affiliated companies for services provided to the campaign, such as traveling in his own plane and helicopter, according to a New York Times analysis.

And as we now understand he was representing or planning to represent not "a company or a country" but a company and a country, or two or more countries, his company and someplace like Russia, which he was actively trying to do business with even as he publicly denied it (while fulsomely offering public flattery to the person who could most help him, its president), or Azerbaijan, where his project was failing, or Turkey, where he was doing very well. 

And all that was to become rapidly worse as he took the nomination and eventually the election and began cultivating the Saudi-Israeli axis (with the help of Jared Kushner), and meanwhile the Republican establishment took him up for the promise of a share in his billions, and ended up financing him for the fanatical voters he seemed to be bringing along, plowing more and more millions into patronizing his properties, especially the Washington hotel, and I'm convinced if anybody ever gets to study Parscale's accounts and those of American Made Media they'll find a staggering amount of self-dealing on Trump's (not just Parscale's) part. 

What we saw in 2018 was a taste of how hard he'd be willing to work on his side of this bargain, attracting voters when he's not running himself, which was not good enough for what the GOP was paying for it. That's not going to stop Perdue and Loeffler from getting elected, I don't imagine (I haven't stopped allowing myself to hope they won't), but Trump won't deserve credit either way (GOP did a good deal better in the Senate race in Georgia than Trump did, though Perdue failed to win the required majority against Ossoff, and in the other race two Republicans defeated each other, allowing Warnock to finish first). At the same time, they're now incapable of doing without Trump, because that's still where the overwhelming majority of their own committed voters are. I don't think that's tenable, in the medium term, especially as His Imperial Narcissism is turning increasingly to direct attack on them.

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