Friday, July 27, 2018


Eugene Robinson writes:
If President Trump’s secretly taped conversation with attorney Michael Cohen reminds you of a crime boss and his consigliere, you’re not alone. Trump’s current lawyer and mouthpiece, Rudolph W. Giuliani, evidently agrees.

After CNN first played the tape on Tuesday, Giuliani went on Fox News and played down its importance, citing his experience as a mob-busting federal prosecutor: “How about 4,000 hours of Mafia people on tape? I know how to listen to them. I know how to transcribe them. This tape is crystal clear when you listen to [it]. I’ve dealt with much worse tapes than this.”

Spin-wise, this is the best they’ve got? That Trump and Cohen don’t sound as bad as the Gambino family? Yikes.
I think the deplorables actually like that comparison, subconsciously if not consciously. Trump, to them, is a Great Man, and this is one thing they think Great Men do: confer with fixers to make distractions go away so they can go on being Great. I think they like the idea that Trump has embarrassing assignations with strippers and Playboy models and requires legally suspect solutions to the ensuing inconveniences. This means he's an Ubermensch. It means he's living on a plane of glamour they'll never reach, though they'd sure as hell like to.

They probably feel the same way about the Russia story. They don't think Trump is Putin's poodle -- they imagine he's an International Man of Mystery huddling secretly with Vlad in order to save the world (because with Trump's great dealmaking skills on our side, how can the world not be saved?). When it's no longer possible to deny that Trump connived with Putin, what he did will be described to the faithful as his most skillful act of dealmaking yet. And they'll buy it. Not only won't the facts disillusion them, they'll probably consider Trump sexier once we learn the truth. He's operating on a loftier (and more mysterious) plane -- he can't be held to the same rules as mere mortals.

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