Steve Bannon’s Spontaneous Combustion

It’s been said that death was a good career move for Elvis, it remains to be seen if Steve Bannon’s Watch–Me–Burn–Down–My–Career Tour will be equally favorable for his future prospects. The coverage of his quotes and leaks in Michael Wolff’s new book ‘Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House’ has been nothing short of incendiary.

So far this week Bannon has alienated President Trump, driven away his largest financial backer and made himself look delusional by thinking he could successfully run for president. He now joins another Breitbart.com alumnus, Milo Yiannopoulos, in the firm of Persona Non Grata and Partners.

Right now, the only way Bannon could possibly make the situation worse would be for him to start dating Kathy Griffin or ask to borrow her Trump head.

I’ve been reading coverage of the book excerpts and making lists. I started with the list of people who thought Trump would lose the election and then moved on to the list of people who hold Trump in contempt. There is plenty of overlap, but the name that’s surprising is Trump’s!

Trump is on the roster of people who thought he wouldn’t win the election. That goes a long way toward explaining why he broke his first promise to his voters and didn’t self–fund the campaign. Trump doesn’t back losers. According to Wolff, his goal was to become even more famous and then cash in on his increased notoriety after the election and make Trump enterprises even bigger.

No wonder his campaign was composed of a thin veneer of consultants on top and large numbers of enthusiastic rally attendees at the bottom, with mostly nothing in between. Trump was happy with the adulation of the masses, the attention of the media and the consternation of the entrenched political class.

Trump was liberated by his low expectations.

What the Opposition Media overlooks is the narrative of no expectation for victory completely undermines the ‘colluded with Russia to win’ fantasy. If a steely–eyed Trump was telling his meager staff to win at all costs, well it’s Putin on line #1. But if the campaign was a lark, an ego trip and a roadshow then it makes no sense for Trump to be looking to Moscow for help in beating Crooked Hillary.

The motive for collusion vanishes. Trump’s references to Russia and email were laugh lines at rallies and debates that grim, humorless, Trump–hating reporters purposely choose to take literally. Trump in the book was on a fun–filled romp — insulting other Republicans, attacking Hillary and generating unprecedented news coverage — that was going to conclude on election night.

He would have one last rally that night, claim Hillary stole the election and then start exploiting his new–found fame. Much of the staff planned on doing the same thing. According to the book, “The candidate and his top lieutenants believed they could get all the benefits of almost becoming president without having to change their behavior or their worldview one whit.”

A vote margin of under 10 points for a candidate with Trump’s negatives, would be impressive and help build the client list.

Colluding with Russia on the other hand would have been work. Serious business like that requires planning and long–term strategy, which were not a characteristic of the Trump campaign.

And that leads me to the tragedy of the book and the campaign.

A candidate who didn’t think he would win, won a stunning victory because he ran on issues that resonated with Americans who were tired of being told their beliefs were hateful or backward. These citizens were sick of being treated with thinly–veiled contempt by political, academic and corporate elites who intended to change the US whether they liked it or not.

These voters stayed with Trump through thick and thin and delivered an Electoral College victory. If Trump had been a candidate who left discussions of female anatomy exploration to experts like Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer, there’s an excellent chance he could have won the popular vote, too.

Reestablishing the rule of law, protecting borders, putting America First, protecting the unborn and rolling back the cultural depredations of the left are important issues and Trump’s victory may be the last chance conservatives will have. If his feckless approach to governing doesn’t deliver on his promises or Trump is forced out of office, no foreseeable Republican presidential candidate will embrace those issues.

It will be one complacent, country club Republican after another. A failed state of affairs that will make Trump’s outraged response to Bannon’s comments become poignant. Trump said his “historic victory…was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country.”

A failed presidency or one that betrays his promises will guarantee they remain “forgotten.”

Advertisements

“Gde myaso?” Russian for Where’s the Beef?

Political campaigns are full of liars and fabulists. From the candidate who promises to repeal Obamacare root–and–branch, to the volunteer who lies about how many doors he knocked, campaigns attract people who are, as Mark Twain observed, “Economical with the truth.”

I know because I spent almost 40 years working in elections all over the US and in a handful of islands.

Think of all the disfunction and outrage you’ve ever endured in any organization where you’ve worked. Then condense the burned microwave popcorn in the break room, the idea–stealing colleague, the boss who doesn’t give the promised raise, the boasting braggart and the job description that changes monthly into a timeframe of only a few months.

That’s a political campaign.

The people outside the campaign who want to “help” are often no better. The relative that meddles, the donor with advice on campaign commercials and the family friend who has negative information that’s going to “blow the opponent out of the water.”

The Trump campaign had to deal with all these annoyance on the largest scale possible.

This brings us to Donald Trump, Jr. He’s a businessman with zero political experience. On June 3, 2016 he gets an email from a music publicist, who tells him a Russian singer says his dad met with the “Crown prosecutor of Russia,” who in turn said he had documents related to Hillary’s Russian dealings that would incriminate her.

The only difference between this and typical campaign fantasy mongering is the information wasn’t for sale.

Media hindsight is currently spinning this third–hand account of potential Russian government “help” as the latest confirmation of the Axis of Internet hacking conspiracy. What this “evidence” really proves is the Russia collusion scandal is the leftist equivalent of the Obama birth certificate conspiracy.

Neither the timeline nor the result stand up to objective scrutiny.

When Donald, Jr. received the initial email Trump wasn’t even the nominee. Instead he was the presumed nominee — although John Kasich had recently stopped taking his medicine and was attempting to organize other bitter–enders in an effort to seize the GOP convention.

Those of you who are counting may list this as the first attempted coup against Trump.

If you are as credulous as the Opposition Media it makes perfect sense the Russian security service, the FSB, would use a music publicist sending an unencrypted email as part of a nefarious plot to derail Our First Female President.

The situation was significantly different from Junior’s viewpoint. The message refers to a so–called “Crown prosecutor of Russia.” But it may as well have been the “Clown prosecutor of Russia.” The office is as imaginary as the documentation.

Google the phrase and you get 40,800 results that refer to the news stories about the email.

For Trump the primary motivation for the meeting isn’t a sit–down with some shadowy Russian. Donald, Jr. is maintaining a business relationship. The singer’s dad is a Russian big-shot Trump, Inc. has done business with in the past. The rule of thumb for operating in an oligarchy is: Keep the Oligarchs Happy! A meeting with a potential crackpot is a small price to pay to stay in the Russian market.

If the Russian “agent” does have information, so much the better. One thing his motivation couldn’t have been was joining some Russian conspiracy to steal the election. That’s because the alleged Russian DNC hack wasn’t announced until AFTER junior’s meeting.

The Russian scandal that had been in the news was in connection with Hillary’s ties to the infamous Uranium One deal.

As reported in the New York Times more than a year earlier, Sec. of State Hillary approved a deal where Russians acquired a majority stake in a Uranium One, giving Putin control of one–fifth of the uranium production capacity in the US.

That’s considerably more significant that gaining control of the Georgia voters rolls.

Uranium One was so grateful for Hillary’s generosity the chairman gave the Clinton Crime Foundation a total of $2.35 million. Hillary was still a government employee and couldn’t take a speaking fee, but Bill cashed a $500,000 check from a Moscow bank directly tied into the Russian government.

That is a genuine Russian scandal that actually happened.

Meanwhile Trump, Jr.’s meeting went like most of these negative hype–fests do. Rosa Klebb walked into the meeting, excuse me Natalia Veselnitskaya, and all she wanted to talk about was Russian sanctions, not Hillary shenanigans.

There was no Russian help. No Russian collusion. No beef at all.

The meeting was such a waste of time Jared Kushner walked out halfway through and resumed living a normal life. I would recommend obsessed members of the Opposition Media discard their tinfoil hats and do the same.