Monday, July 18, 2016

Mike Pence Should Watch His Back; So Should American Voters

As Josh Marshall puts it, for Trump it's about dominance or humiliation, there's no middle ground.

"I've been praised in recent months for having some handle on the Trump phenomenon."

I have to stop here for a second and point out that I have shown some handle on it myself-or at least I certainly was early to realize Trump was a real threat to win the GOP primary.

Yes, I have to toot my own horn sometimes. For those of you who want me to do so less, try tooting it for me more. LOL.

Praising myself is fine. But maybe I'd enjoy you praising me more.
But I digress.

"The truth is a little different. Early on I realized that when it came to Trump if I figured out the stupidest possible scenario that could be reconciled with the available facts and went with it, that almost always turned out to be right. The stupider, the righter. So with this rule of thumb in hand, as the empiricist my Dad taught me to be, I just kept following that model and it kept working. Last night there was chatter - half tongue-in-cheek but not totally - about whether Trump's decision to postpone his vice presidential announcement wasn't simply some gambit to gain advantage from the massacre in Nice but an effort to play for time and possibly back out of his apparent decision to place Mike Pence on the ticket. That couldn't possibly be true. Not really. But it's Trump. So who knows?"

"Now of course we find out early this afternoon that it was true. Because of course it was."

"As I was writing the first version of this post in the early afternoon, there were already multiple reports from credible journalists that Trump was up late into Thursday night trying to find a way or find out if there was any way he could back out of his offer to put Pence on the ticket. Now, late in the evening there's this even more detailed version of events in the Times. Trump was some mix of miffed at the leaks, unimpressed by Pence, unable to let the other guys down easy and looking for some way out of the Pence box. He just couldn't find it."

"On its own terms, this turn of events perfectly captures the mix of unsteadiness, cynicism and derp that characterizes everything about the Trump campaign. But the bigger story isn't so much that it happened as that it was leaked, so quickly, and at such a devastating moment for Pence and the ticket. I've gone back and forth in my mind over whether these leaks are coming from the Trump campaign itself or others on the outside - perhaps people Trump called last night to sound out the possibility of tossing Pence overboard. On the one hand it seems inconceivable that the Trump campaign itself would leak these details by design as opposed to having some indisciplined or rogue elements in the campaign choosing to do so. But remember: the stupidest possible scenario that can be reconciled with the available facts."

"Yet the precise motivations, the exact origins of the leak pale before a larger reality. They send an unmistakable message. Coming into the orbit of Mr Trump, taking his yoke as it were, requires not only total submission, a total relaxation of every muscle and defense but a farewell to all independence and dignity."

Speaking of which, Jason Taylor. Tom Brown has been talking up Mr. Taylor for a few days at least so I took a look at him this morning. Pretty impressive. There has been some good anti Trump work over at RedState.

"By now the verdict is in. Many an investor, business partner, associate, or small-medium business owner who provided trade services or goods to a Trump business, have told the same types of stories. They illustrate a person of limited business savvy who uses big money leverage to serve only the needs of his brand. Trump has to “win” at all costs, even if the only way to do it to shaft everyone else associated with a project. What is it about a 70 year old man who must get his kicks out of “punishing” or sticking it to other businesses by refusing to pay his bills — just because he can? If a deal eventually goes bad, it’s everyone else’s fault but his."

Is there any doubt that Mike Pence is going to get the blame if Trump loses as expected?
Maybe also Manafort for being the one to push Pence down Trump's throat? As Tom wonders, maybe Pence just bails of his own volition in October. 
I love how Trump makes no effort to even pretend that Pence is an asset to him. Last night on 60 Minutes Trump explained how a lot of people wanted to be his VP-Pence is awful lucky-and that Trump doesn't actually need him to win. 
But the larger point needs to be born in mind. I'm not going to lose sleep over the fate of Mike Pence-an extremist Conservative Governor who was on the way out anyway-but Americans ought to bear in mind that every partner Trump has ever been in league with has been left holding the bag. 
This time it would be American voters holding the bag. 
To partner with him in any venture, assures one of coming out with the shorter end of the stick. 


  1. Very good Mike! Toot toot! (I'm tooting your horn =)

  2. LOL. This is why you're the best reader.

    Well best commenter., Nanute has his own field...