An MSNBC reporter went to Wisconsin the other day to check in with some Trump voters. She interviewed a trio of Ever-Trumpers, who could just as easily have been from any state.
They reminded me of the late Earl Landgrebe, an Indiana Republican congressman and Never-Say-Die Nixonite.
"Don’t confuse me with the facts," he declared while defending the president during the Watergate hearings.
When it looked like a lot of other GOP lawmakers were leaning toward impeachment, Landgrebe doubled-down. "I'm going to stick with my President even if he and I have to be taken out of this building and shot," he declared.
Landgrebe wasn't reelected, and he's all but forgotten.
But indelibly etched on Trump's escutcheon is his famous boast, "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters.”
The Dairy State interviewees are proof that the Prevaricator-in-Chief told the truth that time.
Anyway, the first interviewee on camera was a middle-aged white man.
He mentioned the “backlash” over the Helsinki summit. Nonetheless, he's still "totally in support of” Trump “because he’s an entrepreneur" and "a business-man-working-class person’s president" who's "trying to make this country great again.”
I went to Google and keyed in “Trump’s business failures.” Off the bat, I got 10 hits. Topping the list was Tessa Stuart’s Rolling Stonestory that was headlined “Donald Trump’s 13 Biggest Business Failures.”
"Donald Trump has made his vast wealth a centerpiece of his presidential campaign; he says voters can trust him because of his keen business sense. There are some problems with that strategy, however: 1) He’s not quite the self-made mogul he makes himself out to be — he got a considerable head start in business thanks to his real-estate developer father. 2) His fortune may well be considerably smaller than he says it is. And 3) his business record is less sterling than he suggests. (Sad!)"
Based on the interviewee's duds, he’s not well-heeled. Trump is a well-heeled big business man’s president. His populist blather was a smoke screen to hide the old-fashioned Wall Street Republican, social Darwinist, "trickle-down economics" and screw-the-unions platform he ran on.
Trump a working-class person's president? Not even when hogs fly and kids stop shooting hoops in Kentucky, where I've lived all my 68 years.
A working-class person's president? Not even when hogs fly and kids stop shooting hoops in Kentucky, where I've lived all my 68 years.
Trump rewarded himself and his rich friends by backing a Republican tax plan that Richard Trumka called "nothing but an attack on America’s workers."
Added the AFL-CIO president:
"We will pay more, corporations and billionaires will pay less. It’s a job killer. It gives billions of tax giveaways to big corporations that outsource jobs and profits.
"President Trump said that he wanted to lower taxes for everyone as a Christmas gift to America, but this bill is simply a lump of coal to working families across the country. The only real gift is the major tax giveaways to Wall Street, big corporations and the super-rich, when what our country needs is investment in our schools and infrastructures that creates jobs."
Trump, too, is avowedly anti-union. On the campaign trail, he said he preferred “right to work” states to non-RTW states. A mailer from Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul and the National Right to Work Committee tells their friends that Trump promised to sign Paul's "National Right-to-Work Act" if it passes.
Trump cheered the Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, which essentially forces public employee unions into a RTW framework. Trump’s justice department filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff, a union-despising, Illinois government employee who refused to pay the union a service fee to represent him, though he enjoyed union-won wages and benefits.
"President Trump has a history of mitigating union and labor rights," wroteNewsweek's Nico le Goodkind. "Since taking office in January 2016, he has chosen anti-labor nominees for Cabinet positions, issued a number of executive orders and backed rules and legislation that weaken labor rights."
Anyway, next up in the MSNBC report was a middle-aged white woman. She emphatically said "yes," when asked if she was still for Trump, but didn’t elaborate.
“I’m not one bit worried about the rest of the world,” said the last of the three Wisconsinites, an older white man with what sounded like a Southern drawl. “They ain’t worried about us.”
Our NATO allies were worried enough about us on 9-11 to invoke, for the first time ever, that fundamental provision in the NATO Treaty that says an attack on one ally is an attack on all allies. The NATO nations rallied to the U.S. before President George W. Bush asked for help.
Troops from NATO countries are still fighting alongside U.S. forces in the Middle East.
In any event, I can imagine Ever Trumpers all over the country popping corks and yelling "fake news!" over a recent Frank Bruni musing in The New York Times. The pundit called the Trump administration an "American disgrace."
Bruni also pointed out "a way to contain the damage" that is "both utterly straightforward and entirely effective."
Revealed the scribe: "It’s called voting. And from now until Nov. 6, we must stay fanatically focused on that — on registering voters, turning them out, directing money to the right candidates, donating time in the right places."
Added Bruni: "The moral of the Helsinki freak show, the NATO tragicomedy and the children in cages near the border isn’t just that Donald Trump lacks any discernible conscience, real regard for this country or mature appreciation of history and our exalted part in it. It’s that this next election matters — immeasurably."
I'm an historian by training and trade. From time immemorial, politicians stumping for votes have warned John and Jane Q. Citizen, "we face the most important election in your lifetime."
What an incumbent or a challenger almost always means is the most important election in my lifetime.
"There’s no hyperbole in the frequent assertion that it’s the most important midterm in a generation," Bruni wrote. He's right.
[dc]"A[/dc]nd those of us rightly appalled by this president must devote as much energy to giving Democrats control of at least one chamber of Congress — and the ability to restrain him — as to finding fresh methods for mocking him. A blimp in a diaper is a hoot. A legislature with its foot on his throat is an insurance policy."