Last week America was introduced to Anthony Senecal, that curious octogenarian who lives in Trump’s house in Florida and writes bilious Facebook posts about his view that the president should be lynched. Senecal is flesh and blood. “John Miller” and “John Barron,” who are not, are made of faith, trust, and pixie dust. Former associates of the Republican party’s presumptive nominee for president in 2016, the pair was presented to a bemused nation on Friday.
This most recent distraction — the revelation that Trump impersonated his own, imaginary publicists on the phone for several years in the 1980s and ’90s, confessed to it then, and denies it now — freshly illustrates his well-established flair for drama and deception. It also ratchets up a little the Fremdscham that he stirs in those who, as Rachel Lu put it the other day, “remain un-hypnotized” by his antics: They feel his embarrassment, and all the more so because he does not, or pretends he doesn’t. Instead of correcting course, he doubles down and rubs the public’s nose in it.
We should be talking instead about ISIS and Hillary Clinton’s e-mails, his supporters say on Twitter and elsewhere, disingenuously. His campaign is nearly bereft of ideas and policy arguments except the flavor of the moment. He contradicts himself routinely, with insouciance. It matters to most voters and to many donors, though clearly not to his base. Has a presidential campaign ever been built on such a small ratio of substance to mood music? Obama 2008. There you go.
A vocal and passionate bloc of voters on the right want their own Obama, a president who for a change —change! — will cut out all that “principled conservative” jabber about “the Constitution” and exercise an imperial presidency in their interest, as they perceive it. They resent conservatives for standing between them and the Left. The new populists, or nationalists, demand to have at it: “Out of the way, you had your chance, our turn, we’ll show you how it’s done.” What they mean is that they aim to install a Clinton donor in the Oval Office, to keep Clinton herself out of it. Got that? Meet the new boss, same as the old one. Or worse than the old one? That’s a question for another post.
We the people are the boss, of course, and Mr. or Mme. President our public servant, at least on paper. That notion is now fairly quaint, a parchment piety. Too many Americans would rather have a king, like the Israelites who ended up with Saul. It turns out that the demand for an American monarch far exceeds the supply of willing candidates. Voters in the market for such a thing will take what’s on offer. That is how the Republican party has come to this, preparing to nominate for president a person whose primary qualification for the office is that he can rage with senior-style ferocity, like Lear on the heath.
To deflect attention from a swelling drumbeat of questions about what might be in his tax returns, Trump released to the Washington Post a tape of a phone interview that “John Miller” gave to a reporter for a celebrity-gossip magazine in 1991. So speculates the reporter, Sue Carswell, who says that she lost the tape long ago and that the only other person who would have had a copy is Trump. But if he was the one who released it, why did he appear caught off guard when asked about it on TV on Friday, and why did he hang up when asked about it again a few hours later, 44 minutes into an interview with the Post?
Whatever the bottom of that peculiar story is, it’s backward-looking and sad, a picture — it’s ironic — of what Americans who rally to Trump fear their country has become. Remember Shelley Levene, the paunchy, andropausal real-estate con man played by Jack Lemmon in Glengarry Glen Ross? On the phone with potential marks who probably won’t buy the sketchy and possibly nonexistent real estate he’s so desperately pitching, he shouts directions to and answers questions from his nonexistent secretary. The guy is sunk.
Carswell suggests that we keep our eye on Trump’s failure to release his returns. Others, including Paul Krugman, suspect that the reason he’s stonewalling is that the returns show him to be poorer than he lets on. In his book TrumpNation (2005), Timothy L. O’Brien wrote that “three people with direct knowledge” of Trump’s finances estimated that his net worth was between $150 and $250 million. Trump sued O’Brien for defamation, insisting that he was a billionaire, and lost in court.
@Richard Wheeler: It was a fine diversion.
He didn’t say Hawaii. Why did he say it? to take that issue off the table. Obama himself claimed on the cover of his book from 1991 thru 2007 that he was born in Kenya, if Trump had said ‘no hell no, he wasn’t he was born in Hawaii” the press would have cried racist and that he was lying about Obama not being born in Kenya.
I’ve said I will vote for the Repub nominee on Nov 8, whoever that is.
So? Do you think she’s not going to support Donald?
I guess you’re loving the fact that ALL polls are now showing Trump clearly ahead, even in the swing states and EC. Sorry I can’t tell you where to find a crying towel.
And that’s still the case. I’m sure that there is no BC on file in the State of Hawaii. That governor buddy of Obama’s that was gonna get elected and produce the BC has never produced. Couldn’t find one.
@Richard Wheeler: No doubt he was, since to him everything is a personal political gambit.
@Redteam (One of The Proud Deplorables): Are you saying Trump is now lying when he says BHO was born in the USA? The issue won’t go away–he will be asked again at first debate. Do you think he will “lie” again.
Certainly no unanimity among national or swing state polls. Winner of PA. WILL be POTUS.
No crying towels needed till The Fat Lady sings night of the 8TH
Trump’s crying the debates are fixed–the election’s fixed.
He can’t even get the support of his own Party.
He’s gonna lose– to an incredibly bad opponent.
Kasich or Rubio could have beaten HRC
@Richard Wheeler: I haven’t heard him even mention the things you talking about. Strange how all the polls now are saying Trump is going to win. He even has the EC count now. You’re going to be crying the blues. Prediction still: Hill will not show up for first debate.
@Redteam: Your hearing and vision are very selective and skewered
What we do know
You predicted HRC would not be the nominee
You predicted she would not show up for the debate
You predicted a Trump win 55%-45% and an E.C win 300-235–said 3 D.C. votes don’t count.
Not true, there was never any question.
As fast as the Dims and Blacks and Hispanics are bailing out, I’m not so sure it’ll be that close.
@Redteam: Back in the spring you were predicting HRC would not be the nominee–possible jail, bad health–crap like that–you’ve forgotten?
She’ll be there on Monday.
Are you still saying Johnson and Stein won’t get any votes? Remember I got them at 11% and 4% respectively.
Race will be close with neither HRC or DT getting over 44.9%
Keeping it simple—Pennsylvania winner will be POTUS
I think if he wanted to be accurate, he would just say that the issue could be put to rest if the real birth certificate were produced.
I suspect if Trump gets elected, the ‘real’ records will be produced.
I believe that Obama’s mother told him he was born in Kenya, whether he actually was, we don’t know. My theory, he’s the son of Frank Marshall Davis, which would make him an American. But since Davis was married and didn’t want credit for an illegit son, they went all out to convince everyone that he was Obozo Sr’s son, even to going to Kenya for him to be born to add credibility to it. Obozo played it for max benefit until he realized he actually was proving that he wasn’t eligible to be pres if he was Obama sr’s son (making him a Brit, not US, by birth) That’s when his birthplace got moved to US, even though no genuine paperwork could be produced to show it.
He went to Occidental as Foreign student, Never attended Columbia and got into Harvard on a multi million donation by a sugar daddy, he got a degree on affirmative action. In short, he’s never accomplished anything except accidentally coming along at a time to run against two Bozo’s, McCain and Romney making it exceedingly easy to fall into the presidency. He still has not accomplished anything except to make the race relations the worst they have been since 1860. His greatest accomplishment will occur on Jan 20 when be becomes a private citizen again. Note: He will then be supported on the public dole.
Other than that.
I have NEVER said she would not be the Dim nominee. I think I might have predicted she might not still be the candidate on Nov 8, but since she was the only candidate running for the Dim nom, I would’ve been kinda foolish saying she wouldn’t be the nominee. (No, Bernie was never a serious candidate, the Super Delegates automatically gave the nom to Hillary before the primaries even started.
no EC votes, correct. What happened to your vegetarian? why are you not mentioning him (or is it ‘it’, not sure how ‘it’ is self identifying)
Gee, I can remember when you thought Ohio and Fl would determine it, but now that they are both solidly in Trumps column, you’re changing it to Pa state.
She’ll have a ‘medical emergency’ prior to Monday. She won’t make it on stage.
Hey kids what fun, they are trotting out polls that show the Don down by 6, sooo it must be they want him in his seek and destroy mode where the worst comes out in him, making tipsy top ratings for the debate. I think it should be the mic drops from the ceiling, in this corner we have Don the Con weighing in at holy cow!, and in this corner we have Crooked Hillary weighing nearly as much, but weight cannot be confirmed as she was being held up while stepping on the scale, One of Bills bimbos struts by holding up a card indicating what round it is…
@kitt: I got no skin in the game but I’m looking forward to the debate between these two frauds–Don The Con and Crooked Hillary– Worst 2 candidates ever to face off in a Presidential debate’.
Should be good for some laughs.
RT actually I said whoever wins 2 of 3 Michigan, Ohio and Pa. It’s down to just Pa.
Ohio and Fla can go Trump but he still loses without the Quaker State. Are you gonna claim on Tues that it was a HRC double who showed up?
Not gonna claim anything. Will just state that ‘as predicted’ Hillary fell ill and couldn’t make it.
If the people Hill and Obozo have put out of work in Pa vote, it will surely be for Trump.
I’m not sure what Hill’s excuse will be, innovative, I’m sure.
Why have you deserted your vegetarian candidate? Did he quit saving animals or something? Will ‘it’ be on the ballot in Gayfornia?
@Redteam (One of The Proud Deplorables): I’d vote for Mickey Mouse before DT or HRC.
Two of my Repub friends are writing in Jesus Christ.
Humane Party candidate Clifton Roberts should be on the ballot.in Cal
BTW He’s a tech exec with a wife and 2 kids
I’m guessing he’ll be on the ballot in Gayfornia.
Should be? Why won’t he (or is it ‘it’ ) be? Why did he drop the Vegetarian Party? They start killing animals again?
And that’s about all you know about him. That’s about all that’s published about him on Wiki. If you know where to find out anything about him, let us know. I suspect he’s from Manchuria, the same place Obozo was created.
Hillary will withdraw from debate by Noon on Monday.
@Richard Wheeler: Have to disagree as citizens we all have a bit of skin in the game. The debate wouldn’t miss it, it will either be a comedy or a liberal lynching could be both.
ABC nightly did a great job of pointing out the Dons legal troubles but no mention of Hillarys little problem with security.
@Redteam (One of The Proud Deplorables): Mickey Mouse is a lot more popular than Donald the duck Trump–at least in Cal and is out polling DT The HUMANE PARTY also out polling Trump. Write in vote for Jesus appears strong among registered Repubs–no surprise.
HRC will be there Monday night–Monday Night Football may draw a larger male audience.
Kitt Think I’ll get one of those signs–expect 20% no to both voters. Got a good throwback video for some laughs?
And I’m quite sure Minnie is more popular than Hillary the Hun.
There is no Humane Party on the ballot in Gayfornia.