Slack Chat: Huffing and Puffing from the Big, Bad Wolff

T: Hey J, how good is this book going to be??????? I can’t wait to get a hold of it.

Trump Tower meeting with Russians ‘treasonous’, Bannon says in explosive book

Former White House strategist quoted in Fire and Fury, by Michael Wolff, as saying: ‘They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV’

J: It should be an interesting read; I want to see it, too.

T: Have you seen any of the excerpts?

J: I saw a couple of articles about it, and my reaction was about the same as yours. They’re eating their young, I tell you.

T: Did Jr. committ treason? We’ve been so gas lighted by these people that it took Bannon saying it out loud to register to me … but did he?

Was that meeting with Jr., Kushner and Manafort just stupid, or criminally stupid?

J: Well, you have to consider the source, but I’d have to agree with Bannon that having that kind of meeting with no lawyers present was a really, really bad idea.

T: Is the book legit?

J: I don’t doubt that it’s all legitimate, as far as actual quotes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if stuff was taken out of context or otherwise tweaked to reflect badly on the Trumps. This guy definitely seems to have an agenda.

T: That makes the whole thing debatable, doesn’t it? Trump can just dismiss him as a liberal assassin.

J: Oh, trump would dismiss him anyway, but the obvious agenda-promotion just makes it easier.

T: I don’t care if Trump dismisses him that much – as you say, he would, even if he had a tape (yes, Trump denied a fact on tape, with witnesses) – but will the center dismiss him?

J: I don’t know. It does play into the narrative of Bannon being a loose cannon, so there’s that. I’m sure there’ll be more excerpts and so on… that might help the center make a little more informed decision.

T: Will the book be meaningful, or just one more bullshit fake news whining bag of shit?

J: Oh, it’s going to be a good read, good inside stuff … and Bannon is probably right about the direction of the investigation shifting to following the money. Did you see Trump’s blast against Bannon? He’s already trying to discredit him.

T: I’ve been saying since Manafort’s indictment that this is all about money laundering, at least that’s the main thrust.

J: “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” said Trump. “Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look. Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country.”

J: Nothing to do with it? He was your fucking campaign manager.

T: He’s dog whistling to his base, telling them that Bannon jumped the fence. Plus, as usual, facts have nothing to do with anything he said. He’s the most oblivious, relentless self-promotor since Bobby Riggs.

J: Couldn’t think of a good one, huh?

T: Nope.

J: You’re right about the money laundering, though. That’s where Mueller is going. Do you think that daddy would pardon Junior if he got indicted?

T: I don’t know if it’ll come to that. I think Kushner is the first family domino, and Trump’s actions regarding Kush will determine his path to the kid.

If he pardons Kushner – and Ivanka could be holding some very damaging cards to ensure he does – the political fallout could be immense.

J: Would pardoning Kushner constitute obstruction of justice?

T: I don’t really know. Trump has to be careful about how he goes about his obfuscation, but (1) he’s gonna, and (2) he’s the type – unlike his kid – to bring a fucking lawyer with him.

J: He’d at least ask a lawyer. The political fallout would be intense; it would taint the GOP brand for a generation.

Ivanka would be the wildest of wild cards … you have to figure she knows most, if not all, of what Kushner knows

T: She’s kind of d**b too, but she seems to value niceness. The base would turn on Trump like rabid dogs if she cried wolfdaddy.

J: I wouldn’t be surprised if she did. His attraction to her has always bordered on the creepy, and it’s often gone over the border.

T: I don’t think Trump does anything to the GOP. He’s not a republican, and nothing that’s happened in his first year leads me to believe his base thinks he’s a republican. If anything, he’s a Freedom Caucus sympathizer, something like that. But I don’t see him connected to the GOP fortunes.

J: Well, the GOP is Trump’s party now, whether they like it or not, and anything he does will gleefully be tied to GOP candidates up and down the ticket by the Democrats. That’s how politics works.

T: Well, they’ll try – but I don’t think it’ll work as usual, not this time. Trump isn’t loyal to the GOP, and the GOP is being careful not to glue him to their agenda. They have had a foot out the Trump window ever since the beginning – and I don’t see where they ever closed it.

I don’t think they’ll suffer any beyond 2020, because the issues that led to this mess are still out there. Polarization takes two parties in conflict, which we have – and the Republican Party itself is in conflict. Four years is a lifetime in politics.

J: Well, they’re certainly going to be punished in the midterms, and whoever the Democratic nominee for president is can probably book a moving van for DC for January of 2021… beyond that, I suppose it will depend on what the Democrats do. I think it’s very likely that they will hold all three branches of government in 2021; what they do with that power is an open question. Do they push through Medicare-for-all? Do they spend all their time undoing what Trump has done? What about the Supreme Court? They’re going to put some judges on there who will make Ginsburg look like Scalia. They’ll find the most liberal, granola-eating weed-smoking Birkenstock-wearing lawyer in the country and make him or her a Supreme Court justice, and there will be fuck-all the Republicans can do about it.

T: The liberals ain’t getting a lifetime pass, just because Trump is an asshole and McConnell robbed them. Gingrich robbed them. GW robbed them. Yet the GOP lived, and won elections.

The dems are going to clean up this year, and I think they have to be big favorites in 2020, for sure. I don’t disagree with one iota of what you said up to that point.

But whoever holds the power is powerless to hold it right now, so to speak, because the argument between the parties is out of control. The right hates the left, the left hates the right, and the center can’t do much but try to stay out of the way.

So, in effect, 2021 – yes, absolutely. After that? No guarantees. The moment the dems drive the White House off the 2021 lot, they will become the hated establishment. Hell, if they make a tiny mis-step between 2019 and 2020, as the congressional majority, they could blow the 2020 election.

J: We need a unifying figure, someone who can bring the country back together. Probably not the extremes at either end of the spectrum, but the silent majority, as LBJ used to call them. The loud minority has been and always will be there. Who in politics – hell, who in any walk of life – could the bulk of the people in the country (who are centrists, I firmly believe) could we all get behind and say “Yeah, this guy (or gal) has good ideas and policies, we should listen.”

T: That’s why I like Oprah Winfrey, Mark Cuban, or some politician who can find a way to get that sort of united followership.

 

*****

EXCERPTS? WE DON”T NEED NO STINKING EXCERPTS!

T:You know I don’t like Donald Trump, but these excerpts make me almost feel sorry for him. Almost.

15 behind-the-scenes tales from the new book on Trump’s White House

J: Here’s another one:

Donald Trump Didn’t Want to Be President

J: And another:

What Was Steve Bannon Thinking?

J: So, what do you think of all this shit hitting the fan?

T: I think you are maligning fans.

J: I meant the cooling device, not the supporter.

T: “Welcome to Altamont. Try not to bleed directly on the seat cushions; those things are a bitch to clean”

J: “Welcome to Altamont, sponsored by Harley-Davidson and Ginsu Cutlery”

T: I need to find a picture of Robert Stack.

J: You mean the fan.

T: Oh, right. This one?

J: That’s the one.

T: And Roger is getting larger.

J: Don’t call me Shirley.

T: So Wolff happens? So to speak.

J: It looks like, if nothing else, the book will expose the internal fractures within the Trump team.

T: Did you see that bit about Michael Flynn “opening” for Trump? I can see that loon coming out in a hood and a sheet, warming the crowd up with a “string ’em up!” chant.

“String-‘em- UP!” (to the tune of “lock her up” ™ – Donald R. Trump)

J: I did see that… not that Trump really needed an impresario, a barker, someone to warm the crowd. His people did that all on their own.

T: I had two major takes from the book excerpts:

  1. Trump just wants to be loved. And he’s really dense about everything else, because most 3-year-olds are.
  2. I knew Trump didn’t really want to win.

J: And Melania didn’t want to be First lady, either. No surprise there, really. She didn’t move into the White House for several months.

T: Also, the Trump campaign staff rolled into the Beltway like the Beverly Hillbillies. Trump ain’t Pa Clampett, though. He isn’t really Charlie Manson, either – he’s not that murdery – but they both came into their power accidentally, and they were stuck riding the tiger more than controlling it.

Imagine the Manson Family, instead of killing everyone, taking over the country because, I dunno, Charlie wrote a cool song and the Beach Boys covered it.

J: Sorta like the Beverly Hillbillies, but more stabby.

T: The Beverly Killbillies.

J: Well, if you take the whole stabbing thing out of the equation, a lot of the personalities are similar… although I suppose that’s true with any personality cult.

T: The Trump cult … I bet I could cast the whole White House with Manson family members, associates and related Hollywood weirdos.

J: Trump is obviously Charlie. Who’s Sadie?

T: The obvious Sadie might seem to be Bannon, but I’ll go with Mr. Flynn. He’s batshit crazy, he was Trump’s biggest public face of support – his opening act – and he is singing like a bird in between tossed salads now.

J: Who’s Bannon? Bannon might be Bobby Beausoleil, someone who thought he could manipulate Trump but ended up getting his own strings pulled.

T: I think you’re right; I think Bannon is Bobby Beausoleil. Bobby Bannon came in after the family/campaign formed, with his own family (the alt+right Breitbart fans), his own musician credibility, and Bobby’s action – the murder of Gary Hinman – set the ball rolling like Bannon’s insistence that they begin with the travel ban. The war on the media compares to the girls all wanting to go kill pigs to spread the copycat evidence, to free Bobby. Blame the media, to free Trump.

Also like Bobby, Bannon left the scene fairly early, but his mark remained. Bobby had his loyal girls, and Bannon had his rightwing freaks.

And like Beasoleil, Bannon is done – though he still thinks he’s relevant.

J: Is Pence one of the girls, maybe Van Houten?

T: Mike Pence is Trump’s shadow, only relevant when something has to be decided in the Senate, but people think he’s important. Also, he has his own brand of looniness. I think he’s Gypsy, Catherine Share. She was the older, more mature Manson member, savvy in the world unlike the others, but largely neutered while Charlie – a far more dominant personality – was around.

Once Charlie was out of the picture, Gypsy became far more influential. Pense will obviously become a huge national figure if Trump leaves the White House early.

J: Melania is obviously Mary Brunner.

T: Melania, Mary … that suits. She never really wanted to be part of the big mess; she remained loyal, though. Will Melania remain loyal?

J: Manafort is about like Katie Krenwinkel, another follower. Not really a leader.

T: Manafort was there early, had connections outside the family that got him in trouble once the family itself made him too famous. He’s the kid that wrote the book .. what was his name? The early Charlie procurer.

Paul Watkins; that’s the kid. He was Charlie’s girl-getter early, and his confidant. He eventually lost interest and left when Charlie got all murdery. Manafort left when the party decided to stop counting money and start counting brown people.

Manafort is Paul Watkins, loosely speaking. His early right-hand man, long gone by Helter Skelter. Also, his testimony helped break the case, comparable to Manafort’s early indictment.

J: Where does Jared fit in this menagerie?

T: I think Jared is Katie. Katie had the same desperate need for approval, and she did whatever she was asked to do. Underneath, of course, she had her own issues. As does Jared, who is probably going to jail for some combination of money laundering, influence peddling and general weaselness.

J: USC 1802.0, Weaseliness.

T: Duly noted.

J: Lewandowski might be a better Watkins… Manafort might be more like Tex Watson.

T: Lewandowski was an early hanger-on, and an angry, violent asshole. He’s Sandy, lol.

That makes Hope Hicks Squeaky.

J: Not Conway?

T: Oh no. I have a different Conway.

KellyAnne Conway is Trump’s Leslie Van Houton. She came in late, never really cared –  she was just positioning herself to get ahead through the association – but she wound up in it up to her elbows, and now she’ll never get away. Just like Leslie.

J: If you have a Conway that lasts more than four hours, see your doctor.

T: Leslie spent 40 years in prison for stabbing a dead woman in the butt. KellyAnne will be in every history book as the weather-beaten bleach blonde bitch who sold Donald Trump to the gullible masses.

J: I kinda wish Conway had just stabbed a dead woman in the butt.

T: Who’s next?

J: OK, who’s Ivanka in our simile?

T: If Ivanka turns on Daddy she could be Linda, but the book excerpts paint her more as a wannabe Squeaky.

Honestly, Hope Hicks isn’t a strong enough force to be Squeaky. She can be Ouisch – her affair with Lewandowski seems appropriate for a girl named after her own sex noises – and Ivanka can go “take care” of old man Spahn. Parallels to Daddy Warfingers unintentional.

J: But noted.

T: Yes.

J: I’m sure she would appreciate that.

OK, who’s Priebus?

T: Priebus is Bruce Davis or Tex Watson, but it’s hard to figure which is which. Davis was a short little troll who killed people so nobody would think he was a pussy. So Priebus is Davis, I think. The Davis role could go to Carter Page, though, if it turns out Page was deeper in this thing than we think. And we still don’t have a Tex, unless we were to go to Jared.

J: So who’s Bugliosi?

T: I’m about 99 percent sure that’s Mueller.

J: Yeah, that’d be my bet.

Sarah Sanders = Irving Kanarek?

T: How about Mitch McConnell = Irving Kanarek?

J: Yeah, I can see that. Who’s Dennis Wilson?

T: Wilson might be Roger Ailes. What do you think?

J: Rupert Murdoch maybe. but definitely someone at Fox.

T: I think Murdoch is actually Rudy Altobelli, that’s a good fit. Or Melcher.

J: Well, if Ailes is Wilson, then yeah.

T: If Melcher is Murdoch, that could work, I guess. Nobody really rejected Trump yet, so those connections are hard to nail down.

That’s the point where the analogy falls apart, I think. Trump and Manson weren’t the same. Manson failed, and his signature move was revenge. Trump, in spite of himself and all his followers, succeeded.

J: The analogy fails on one other point; Manson didn’t seem to crave positive attention the way Trump does. He just went about his murdery business and charted his own path. Trump does to some extent, but he’s much more subject to outside influence than Manson was.

T: Yeah, Manson was a penniless street urchin who was surprisingly bright, but far more fucked up than he sounded. Trump is a rich guy who is surprisingly dumb, but really not as fucked up as people paint him.

Charlie cheated, lied and stole, but he wanted to be understood for who he really was. Trump lied some, cheated some, and stole some, but he didn’t have the stomach for outright crime. He remains terrified that somebody will figure out who he really is. It’s his biggest nightmare. Well, that and somebody taking all his money.

Again.

J: People are starting to figure out who he really is … maybe that’s why he’s trying to stop this book. He doesn’t want the details of his Trump-ness out there for the world to see.

T: How much of his base wakes up because of this book? Where do you think Trump’s approval rating on 538 lands in two weeks? It’s currently 38.2 percent.

J: That depends on what’s actually in the book. Unless there are real bombshells, I don’t see it changing much; maybe a point or two down but no more than that… so if it’s 38.2 now, it might go to 37, but that’s more or less in the noise.

Trump’s lawyer sent a cease and desist to the publisher to try and stop publication of the book, alleging libel. It won’t matter though, that book’s coming out come hell or high water.

T: The base will be stubborn, but the facade is beyond repair now, I think. It will be impossible to keep all that stuff out, call it all fake news. Ivanka saying she wants to be President, KellyAnne and Trump himself not believing they were going to win, and not really wanting to … Melania being angry, hurt and terrified at the thought of being First Lady … all the weasely stuff from Bannon and Kushner … and Mueller ain’t getting fired.

Mueller has the keys to the safe, now.

J: He’s at least got the combination. And he’s gonna use it.

T: The fact that the lawyer is attacking it is a banal as it gets, just one more excuse to pull out of his ass.

J: If I’m the clerk being handed that letter, I’m wearing gloves.

T: Will the book be meaningful?

J: I’m guessing it won’t exactly be the Pentagon Papers, but it’ll be a good read.

T: I guess that’s the next step; we need to read the book.

J: Yep. And I’m wearing gloves for that, too.