Anyone who lived in Manhattan in the ’80s and ’90s knew who Donald Trump was. For most, he was a buffoon, a wannabe, a punchline. Nobody of any significance took him seriously, which is why his circle of friends mostly included mobsters, hucksters and other wannabees. He tried to rub elbows with the old-money debutante crowd, and was able to buy his way into many of their galas and benefits, but he was never able to buy his way into their circle. They detested his lack of taste and gracelessness. His only revenge was to use his inherited fortune and his gift for exaggeration to build a few shiny buildings and stamp his name on everything he could get his little hands on.
Television brought Trump to the masses, and allowed his con to go one step further. Through the magic of television, he was able to broadcast the fiction that he had created through shrewd business acumen a vast corporate empire, and the masses believed it. They thought the seemingly wise Trump on the Apprentice was the real Trump, when in fact it was merely a character in a reality TV fantasy.
This view was echoed and expanded yesterday in a brilliant article in the New Yorker by Adam Davidson, on how history will look back on Trump:
The narrative that will become widely understood is that Donald Trump did not sit atop a global empire. He was not an intuitive genius and tough guy who created billions of dollars of wealth through fearlessness. He had a small, sad operation, mostly run by his two oldest children and Michael Cohen, a lousy lawyer who barely keeps up the pretenses of lawyering and who now faces an avalanche of charges, from taxicab-backed bank fraud to money laundering and campaign-finance violations.
Here’s a link to the full article. It’s a fascinating perspective on why this last week was a turning point in the Trump saga.
The search and seizure of Michael Cohen’s legal records was a watershed moment in the investigations of both Russian collusion and Stormy Daniels. It wasn’t just the latest chapter. It was the beginning of the end-game. As Mueller puts the screws to Trump, expect drama and uncertainty and chaos. And be ready to mobilize in support of the rule of law. If Trump fires Rosenstein and a million people show up on the Capitol steps the next day demanding consequences, the GOP will notice. They may even feel shame. Stay tuned and keep resisting…