I’m trying to think of anything more undignified than sucking up to colossal loser Donald Trump after everything that’s happened in the past few years—telling him he won elections he lost, groveling for his endorsement, buying overpriced tchotchkes at his cult compound/golf resort, and pretending you’re not staring directly into the sallow, rheumy eyes of primordial evil.
I wouldn’t hire Trump to manage a Chuck E. Cheese, unless I actually wanted to open a strip club with an animatronic jug band and didn’t know who to bribe or murder to make that happen. And yet, according to a profoundly pathetic Sunday New York Times story, Republicans as a whole still can’t get enough of his unique blend of feral charisma and sultry lunch meat sweats.
The story is long, sad, and eye-gougingly horrific, but we pretty much already knew the broad strokes of everything that’s in there. Republicans are cashing in their souls for endorsements, and Trump is devouring those souls like so many saucy McNuggets. Pretty standard fare for the sell-out-democracy party.
That said, one portion of the story did grab my eye, because there’s such a huge disconnect between what these GOP hopefuls—almost all of whom went to college—are likely thinking in the parts of their brains they’ve decided to keep alive and what they’re actually doing these days to curry Trump’s favor.
Mr. Trump enjoys flattery and is not above rewarding sycophants. But insiders say bringing compelling visual material matters, too. Big fonts are crucial. With photos and graphics. In color.
“He’s not a real big digital guy, so we had printouts,” said Joe Kent, who has since won Mr. Trump’s backing for his effort to unseat Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, one of the 10 Republican impeachment votes.
Good God, is being in Congress really worth this degradation? Is being in the GOP worth it? If I had to choose between behaving this way to stay politically relevant or chaining a pair of slumbering antelopes to my vintage Sam and Frodo nipple rings, it would probably come down to a coin flip.
The Times charitably refers to the GOPsters visiting Trump at Mar-a-Lago as a “parade of supplicants”—possibly because “caravan of ass-kissers” was deemed too déclassé for the paper of record. But Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio sums up these ingratiation celebrations pretty well.
“What was The Apprentice but a sad scramble of people behaving like crabs in a bucket to be lifted out by him?” said D’Antonio. “How are these people anything other than contestants vying for his approval?”
That’s a good analogy, but like most analogies, it’s a bit imprecise. Crabs in a bucket have far more dignity. If the GOP ever reaches crabs-in-a-bucket levels of seriousness again, maybe we can talk. But for now, they’re still beholden to the worst sentient being on this or any planet. And, well, the vast majority of them seem just fine with it.
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