Pretzel News Update
Donald Trump would not be President of the United States right now if not for the quiet but substantial support, Iago-like acquiescence, and arm-twisting prowess of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Trump-McConnell mutual admiration society, and the obvious “hands-off” agreement between these two men famous for publicly destroying anyone who would thwart their intentions in any way, would have presented a serious crisis of principle for Trump’s early supporters, if they had actually had any principles.
After all, the cultists’ love affair with Trump was supposedly all about his being an alpha male outsider who would “drain the swamp” and “fight the deep state,” and yet there is no Republican who more blatantly and unequivocally epitomizes the swamp, or plays front man for the deep state, than McConnell.
Given, however, that Trump’s followers — both the early “Lock her up!” mobs and the tagalong bandwagon-hoppers, from the “conservative media” to the “Republican grassroots” — are people who have forsaken all political goals other than loving and defending Lord Trump at all costs, they have had a heck of a time defining their position on McConnell. On the one hand, since he is obviously supporting Trump, he must be glossed over as “the new Mitch.” On the other hand, the cult needs him as the nearest available whipping boy for any whim of Trump’s that is not simply granted to him by the GOP establishment. What to do?
And here we are again. Trump is apparently intending to nominate Ken Cuccinelli as his new director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, much to the delight of the cult — simply because Trump’s having nominated him proves that Cuccinelli is a great man and true conservative. (And, of course, if Trump nominated Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kim Jong-Un, or a kumquat, they too would suddenly be great men and true conservatives in the eyes of the cult.)
Unfortunately, back in 2014, before the cult was created, up-and-coming Republican politicians thought playing to the (long dead) Tea Party constitutionalist movement was the right way to position themselves. Thus, at that time, Cuccinelli was part of the (long dead) Mark Levin wing of the grassroots, advocating a primary season rebellion against Republican incumbents. And that means he was part of the faction to which Mitch McConnell was referring when he promised, at that time, to “crush” the Tea Party.
Well he crushed it, thoroughly and permanently — and ingeniously, as one might expect of a man who has proved himself indestructible atop a mountain of snakes. As I have argued repeatedly since 2016, his final hammer in this brilliant crushing job was none other than his old friend Donald Trump. (You may read a few of my articles on this great establishment swindle here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)
And so now, for perhaps the first time during the Trump presidency, McConnell is directly expressing disagreement with a Trump decision, specifically promising to use his magic powers to prevent Cuccinelli’s appointment to anything, anywhere, anytime. A power-hungry turtle never forgets.
And so, predictably, the Trump cult is out in full-throated fury, denouncing McConnell as an establishment rat, and praising Cuccinelli’s efforts to destroy the turtle back in 2014, even to the point of lamenting the fact that Tea Party challenger Matt Bevin (now Kentucky’s governor) was unable to topple McConnell in the 2014 Kentucky primary.
Hmm…luckily for Trump and McConnell, a cultist has a short memory, or at least a convenient one. For as I have described in detail before, back in 2014, when Bevin was challenging McConnell, and Cuccinelli was backing the challenger, McConnell’s establishment throne was defended by a group of (mostly non-Kentuckian) donors hiding behind the PAC name Kentuckians For Strong Leadership (KFSL). One of that group’s tiny club of elite “major donors” was Donald J. Trump.
Trump also donated more big money to McConnell that year, independently of KFSL’s efforts, along with publicly endorsing McConnell for Senate Majority Leader.
Today, however, the cult is condemning McConnell as a deep state swamp creature again, all in defense of the very same establishment minion who — the year before he started his presidential campaign — put his money and his famous name out front in support of McConnell against the grassroots rebels who would soon form the core of the Trump cult.
What a pretzel believes….