Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Trump the Snake Bites the GOP

Why Trump’s latest tantrum, targeting his own party, matters (to Steve Benen, MSNBC/MaddowlBlog). Watching Republican reactions to Trump’s weekend tirade, in which he attacked his own party, “The Snake” parable keeps coming to mind. Read on for excerpts and additional commentary

When Donald Trump appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) about a month ago, the former president boasted, “The Republican Party is united…. I think we have tremendous unity.” About a week later, Trump’s lawyers sent cease-and-desist letters to the Republican Party’s three most powerful campaign entities, including the Republican National Committee, asking that they stop using the former president’s name and likeness in fundraising appeals and merchandise.

Trump soon after made clear that he wants supporters to send their money to him, not his party.

It wasn’t long before RNC leaders, eager to please the former president who’d just threatened them, announced plans to reward Trump, holding an event at one of his private clubs. Indeed, the RNC reportedly paid more than $100,000 for the privilege of using Mar-a-Lago and hearing directly from the former president.

The result was utterly predictable.

Former President Donald Trump again lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., calling the top Republican a “dumb son of a b—-” and a “stone cold loser” in a long rant at a Republican donor event Saturday night in which he reiterated his false claims that he won the election last fall. Trump, according to a source familiar with his remarks, said “a real leader” never would have accepted the electoral results.

By all accounts, the former president had a prepared text, which he repeatedly ignored. Instead, Trump spoke his mind, which meant Republican attendees heard him attack his own party’s Senate leader. And former Vice President Mike Pence (R). And Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R). And former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao (R). And Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Trump also lied about his 2020 defeat. And the crowd size on Jan. 6. And unnamed Democrats whom he says secretly know he won the election he lost. And his responsibility for the development of COVID vaccines. And the illegal extortion scheme he hatched against Ukraine.

Remember, the Republican National Committee paid for all of this. It was effectively a reward for Trump threatening to sue his own political party for fundraising with his likeness.

Does anyone seriously believe Trump cares about what is or isn’t “helpful” to the Republican Party?

Gauging some of the partisan reactions to the former president’s weekend harangue, I was reminded of Trump’s favorite parable, “The Snake.”

As regular readers may recall, the story is simple: a “tender woman” rescues a “vicious snake,” who repays her generosity by biting her. When the dying woman asks why, the snake explains with a grin, “Oh shut up, silly woman. You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.”

As Republican officials are once again forced to come to terms with Trump’s latest divisive harangue, much of which targeted Republicans, it’s awfully tempting to respond, “Oh shut up, silly party. You knew damn well he was a snake before you took him in.”

For all the chatter about how the Republican Party needs to move on, the fact remains that it isn’t even trying to remove the snake. On the contrary, it’s paying him $100,000 to bite them.

The GOP could have saved themselves lots of money and morbidity if they had paid attention toTrump’s “primal flaw.”

… we should never forget Trump’s primal flaw - he has nothing but contempt for the vast majority of Americans. This is from NY Times report on Trump’s biographer’s tapes.

Who earns his respect? “For the most part,” he said, “you can’t respect people because most people aren’t worthy of respect.”

So there it is - what Trump really thinks about his fellow humans, both Democratic and Republican, both liberal and conservative, both rich and poor, both soldiers and bureaucrats, both sick and well.

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