Thursday, May 03, 2018


Whether it was really Sandburg's advice or not -- online quote attributions are notoriously unreliable -- this seems to be the Trump/Giuliani strategy right now:

Josh Marshall watched udy Giuliani on Sean Hannity's show last night and doesn't think it's much of a strategy:
What you have are a half dozen brainstorms cooked up by a group of old men in a room used to bending reality to their purposes when something goes wrong. That’s much more difficult on a national stage in front of intense scrutiny. That’s what happened last night. Rudy Giuliani is far, far past his prime, used to the accommodating hothouse world of Fox News cronies and cash and carry deal-making in his law firm gigs. This was as sloppy as it looked and did his client no favors.
But I keep thinking about this exchange between Tommy Vietor, an Obama administration alum, and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times:

Trump and Giuliani seem to be trying to focus everyone's attention on Michael Cohen's payment to Stormy Daniels and Trump's payment to Cohen. These payments are serious legal trouble for Trump because they might be ... um, violations of campaign finance laws. I think Trump and Giuliani believe it would be good for Trump if that's where the law's attention is focused. Their case will be: Really? You want to bring down this presidency for a campaign finance reporting error? They'd love to rally the base with the seeming injustice of that.

Betty Cracker is certain it won't work. She focuses on a moment in Rudy Giuliani's interview on Sean Hannity's show last night when Giuliani fed red meat to the base on a different subject, claiming he'll "get on my charger and go right into their offices with a lance" if Ivanka Trump becomes a target of the investigation:
The approach seems predicated on the mistaken belief that the view from Fox News holds sway across the land. Would millions rise up to follow Giuliani’s lead — mounting steeds, seizing lances and charging into Mueller’s office to defend Ivanka Trump’s honor? Outside of a relative few loud-mouthed Fox rage-bots, my guess is nope.

But it’s not surprising that these morons think this way — it comes straight from the top. To the extent that he governs at all, Trump governs as if the only Americans who exist are the goobers who support him.
Except that our political system often functions as if the only Americans who exist are supporters of the GOP. Two of the last five presidential elections were decided in favor of the Republican popular-vote loser. It's widely accepted that Democrats might not win a House majority in the midterms even if they win the overall popular vote by a considerable margin; the only debate is whether Democrats' winning margin has to exceed 7 points, 8 points, or more.

In addition, the mainstream press often acts as a force multiplier for Trump's deplorables, defining them as "the working class" (when the working class is actually multiracial) and treating them as if they're the only true Americans, and the only Americans who are suffering from changes to the global economic order. So if Trump and Giuliani succeed in getting them enraged about the investigations, the media's messages really might "America is sick of the investigation."

The dangers Trump faces don't depend on majority rule. Anyone in Trump's orbit who goes to a jury trial will need only 1 in 12 to acquit escape conviction. If Trump is impeached, he needs only 34% of the senators to save his job. The way to achieve those numbers is to rally white America. That's what Giuliani is doing. It might work.

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