Texas Outlaw Writers Newsletter: Much Ado About Trumpthings
Tuesday we were PROMISED that there would be an indictment! The Orange Man in the Orange Jumpsuit memes were racing around social media like wildfire. An arrest is imminent!!! Progressives hadn't been this excited since Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted Trump for obstruction of justice. Oh wait, sorry, this just in... he was NOT indicted by Robert Mueller... and wait, my producer is telling me in my ear... um... OK, nor was he indicted Tuesday for paying hookers or porn stars or whatever we said would happen yesterday.
It was just a frenzy this week... TUESDAY he'll be arrested! FINALLY! And the militant MAGAs are mustering (mustarding?) in New York to defend him! “Protest, take our nation back," Trump told his followers. He put out the Trump signal to his army, at least the ones that aren't in prison, to gather 'round his girth to defend him. The whole NY police force is on call, in uniform, to put down the uprising! (Is this movie a sequel?)
And yet... and yet... haven't we learned anything? Who said that Trump would be arrested Tuesday? That would be... C'mon, you know this one... TRUMP said he would be arrested Tuesday. There was one rule, ONE RULE that you learned regarding all things Trump. DON'T BELIEVE A WORD HE SAYS! And look at you, jumping up and down, acting like Obama just got a third term. Get ahold of yourself!
Saddest of all... after the 24/7 press freakout during the primaries and campaign of 2016 (and his entire term in office,) the media supposedly took a hard look at themselves, and in that self-reflection decided that they had allowed this profane, provocative, and perfidious punk to completely control the political narrative, often giving him free and unfettered access to the public. It is even clear now, (because of the Dominion lawsuits,) that much of the conservative media "passionately" hated Trump as well and were glad to be done with him. This control would NOT be allowed to happen again.
But that was then. Here we are. Already the former president is calling the shots, writing the headlines, and commanding the narrative. The left-leaning media thrives on the outrage, the right-wing media are seduced by Trump's fury, and the mainstream media are forced to address the headlines that are being generated all around them.
His political rivals are terrified of losing the MAGA base and yet terrified of that base and what they're capable of. Poor Mike Pence was a few steps away from a hangman's noose during the January 6 insurrection, yet he goes all Brokeback Whitehouse, "I wish I knew how to quit you, Donald." DeSantis is beside himself. When commenting on the stormy Stormy affair (and potential indictment
Tuesday,) he accused Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) of “pursuing a political agenda and weaponizing the office.” In the same breath he added a little poke at at his nemesis, “Look, I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair — I just, I can’t speak to that." Ha-Ha. Hoo-Hoo. ("Trump's not too mad about that one, is he? Can someone find out if that made him mad? I guess I should say I was really, really, just kidding?")
Are we in for a repeat of 2016? It's ridiculously too early to tell. But since history often rhymes... there are an awful lot of people already paying rapt attention to the Cheeto. A lot of those people are pretty dismissive of his chances, but again, we've been through that. The recent CPAC convention is now widely regarded as one big MAGA party, and not a place for serious conservatives, or basically, anyone that doesn't support Trump. DeSantis didn't even show. A poll during the convention showed a 62% vote for Trump while only 20% cast a ballot for DeSantis. Sure, it was MAGAville, but so are the Republican primaries. Or are they? Another very recent poll of self-identified Republican primary voters gave the Florida governor the lead at 55% to 37%. Most respondents said they wanted a candidate that could win a general election. Lately, polls have been showing that Democrats hope Trump wins the primary because he can be defeated. (Where have we heard that before?)
And if he is indicted? It will energize him and his supporters. And he'll raise money off of it... the grift never ends.
But here we are. Talking about Him. Fretting and kvetching. Checking social media. Allowing Him to control the story, control us. Sharing poll numbers. (!) Seething over... everything.
Take a breath. Season 3 of Ted Lasso is dropping.
Yeah, you need it. Your blood pressure needs it. It's good for your soul.
Speaking of Trump... (were we?) Roger has an even better take... a nice analysis of the case before the grand jury. And his piece has more photos! Who can resist beautiful Storms?
His piece is a bit of a tone poem about unrequited love...ha-ha! We kid! It's about Trump, and porn stars, and the heightened expectations of his critics everywhere about an upcoming indictment. But they are headed for disappointment.
The Trump generation of GOP politicians and activists has learned that bullying works. And bullying the media keeps them cowed, and more times than you'd think, it can make them complicit. (Hey Tucker, how's it going?) If bullying doesn't work, playing to the crowd (and advertisers) is a lot easier on profits than allowing reporters to stir up the ratings.
James Moore is reminded of the press cheerleading the invasion of Iraq as today's reporters are getting shut down or fired for asking serious questions. Today's GOP base wants to hear the uncriticized press release version of their party's plans and policies. Because that's worked so well in the past.
Women's History Month continues and Myra Jolivet continues her series on the women that made a difference - the ones that you've probably never heard of. This week, Myra looks at women who broke through glass ceilings to assume prominent leadership positions. While women are still underrepresented in the boardroom and in management ranks, these dedicated ladies have paved the way for many to follow.