21 June 2016

Donald Trump postulated as a "Manchurian candidate"


An excerpt from the Washington Post this morning:
THE BIG IDEA: Salman Rushdie floated last fall that Donald Trump is a Democratic plant whose ultimate goal is to get Hillary Clinton elected president. [video excerpt at the link] To many conservatives, this feels less and less facetious.

The presumptive GOP nominee has spent the past few weeks doing almost everything you would do if you were trying to throw an election, from attacking a federal judge over his Mexican heritage to not building a serious ground game or actively raising the money necessary to wage a credible campaign for the presidency.

At the end of a day that started with Trump firing his campaign manager... he filed an embarrassing May fundraising report late last night with the FEC. Despite raising $3.1 million and loaning himself another $2 million, Trump began this month with less than $1.3 million cash on hand.

Clinton, by comparison, raised $28 million and started off June with $42 million in cash. Bernie Sanders, with his campaign winding down, still brought in $15.6 million last month and had $9.2 million cash on hand...

-- To be sure, Trump is not running anything close to a conventional campaign. And we might be making a mistake judging him by those standards. A big part of his appeal is that he is unorthodox. He beat better-funded Republicans in the primary, and he can afford to raise less than Clinton because of the free media attention he commands and the sheer force of his personality. But being outraised so dramatically (nine-to-one!) undeniably puts him at a palpable disadvantage in the nuts-and-bolts side of 2016. And a general election is a far different beast than a Republican nominating contest...

So where did all the money go? Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy report that the campaign paid out more than $1 million to Trump-owned companies and to reimburse his own family for travel expenses... the biggest sum [for events] went to Trump's own Mar-A-Lago Club, which was paid $423,317. Meanwhile, the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, got $35,845, while the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fl., was paid $29,715. And Trump’s son Eric’s wine company received nearly $4,000.
There are a lot more details at the Washington Post.  Photo credit Ralph Freso/Getty Images.

Bill Maher's response to the Manchurian Candidate theory (here) was that it is on a par with the World Trade Center attack being an inside job... ridiculous.  The very idea that the Clintons could be involved in "dirty politics" or that Donald Trump would do something like this is of course, laughable.  Perhaps that's what they were laughing about at one of his weddings...

12 comments:

  1. Trump is running his campaign like so many of his business enterprises- it's basically a scam: rhetorically, financially, politically.

    That said, why it's had as much success as it's had is because he doesn't bother to use the usual approved Republican speaking code when addressing an increasingly shrinking, increasingly frightened White audience. He's not at all concerned about appearing as a racist, as are some Republicans. Note that many a Republican wasn't condemning him for being a racist, they were condemning him for ditching the usual double speak and sounding like the racist he is, the racists they are.

    Trump is being sued by everyone from architects to waiters for non payment, White voters don't care; Trump is about as anti-religious as you can get, White Evangelicals don't care... He's the last gasp, not so great White Hope!

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  2. Your headline (and the WaPo's) is misleading. No one is actually putting forward this as a viable theory. Rushdie's comments (from nine months ago -- not exactly breaking news!) are just sounds bites from a late night humor show. SNL has worked this joke many times as well, with Clinton profusely thanking Trump for running.

    Has anybody been watching this campaign so far? Trump's behavior over the last month cannot be differentiated in any meaningful way from the behavior of the six months before it. He's not throwing the election, he's just continuing to do what worked in the primaries. Unfortunately for him, the electorate is vastly different for the Presidential election.

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    Replies
    1. I totally agree - this is not a "viable theory." It exists only within the realm of "conspiracy theory." It is patently false.

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  3. His disapproval numbers are growing, too. What works for disaffected whites in depressed areas is absolutely not going to fly in the general election, thank heaven! The thought of Trump sitting down with Vladimir Putin or having access to nuclear codes is absolutely terrifying. And if he has presidential power, those who have criticized him or made negative comments about him would be in for the revenge of a very powerful man. It would be the end of our country as we know it.

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  4. I think they made a movie like this called "the Producers". It's spring time for Trump. Actually it's also has shades of Bullworth and Spike Lee's satire Bamboozled. Someone sets out to sabotage their own success and fails....into success.

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  5. I've been wondering myself if he really wants the responsibility of being president. Rich people often run around looking for what will make them happy, some crave praise, attention, power, more money. I think Trump wanted attention, he is not even close to the richest, but at one point he was the most famous. Now in a world of Mark Cubans, and Bill Gates like celebrity millionaires with legitimately endless money he's fallen out of the spotlight. Until, he decided to run for president... now he's got all the attention in the world and it's not what he really wants. I think he's trying to lose now, I think the fame wasn't worth the cost and the idea of being locked into the presidential puppet trap for 4 years has got him scared. But, on the bright side of all of this we have learned that the Republican party is a shattered mess of neo-cons, cons, teabaggers, rich out of touch old men and young upstarts that don't know they are democrats yet. When a part has so many subsets they can never regain the top chair and that may mean we can avoid going to war for a century or two if the rest of the world helps us kill our baby ISIS.

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  6. salman didn't float anything. Many many people postulated that Trump could be a plant. 99.99% of the time it was done tongue-in-cheek.

    Salman was neither the first nor the 151st to do a little thought-experiment about Trump's candidacy

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  7. It's our theory he plans to be paid off not to run, or as you suggest, he's a plant, not really serious. But what a scary guy.

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  8. TYWKIWDBI, postulating him as a "cat's paw" may be better descriptor?

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    1. Not quite that, either:

      "Cat's paw is a phrase derived from La Fontaine's fable, "The Monkey and the Cat", referring to a person used unwittingly or unwillingly by another to accomplish the other's own purpose."

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    2. A "shill" then? If he is knowingly doing it, then that might be more appropriate?

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  9. Is this where that little box you can check on your taxes comes in? When a candidate who can't raise money from the oligarchs still wants to actually run a Presidential campaign? That's a good $20-$80 million for Trump's jet fare.

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