The redoubtable Gabriel Sherman has a new dispatch from the Land of Make-Believe (née the White House).
Seems the current occupant, Donald John Trump, is feeling a bit like a gimpy gazelle flushed into one of Marlin Perkins’ nets. (According to Sherman, Trump, sensing electoral Armageddon, recently called Fox News’ Tucker Carlson to ask, “What do I do? What do I do?”)
Meawhile, it’s looking more and more like the RNC’s planned Coronavirus Grand Reopening in Jacksonville might not happen. And the false veneer of competence that Donald Trump ascribes to people who impregnate his daughter appears to be wearing off, fast.
To console himself, Trump still has moments of magical thinking. “He says the polls are all fake,” a Republican in touch with Trump told me. But the bad news keeps coming. This week, Jacksonville, Florida—where Trump moved the Republican National Convention so he could hold a 15,000-person rally next month—mandated that people wear masks indoors to slow the explosion of COVID-19 cases. According to a Republican working on the convention, the campaign is now preparing to cancel the event so that Trump doesn’t suffer another Tulsa–like humiliation. “They probably won’t have it,” the source said. “It’s not going to be the soft landing Trump wanted.”
He could console himself with a pallet of Jack Daniels and a blanky and leave us all the fuck alone, but no. He has to try to drag us into his phantasmagorical candy land of Dadaistic fucknuttery.
Also, both Jared Kushner and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows appear to be in deep shit — but for markedly different reasons.
Trump remains furious at his son-in-law Jared Kushner, whom he blames for the campaign’s dismal poll numbers. Axios reported this week that Trump complained privately that Kushner’s advice on criminal-justice reform damaged Trump politically. But because Kushner is family, sources say it’s unlikely that Trump will formally strip him of authority.
Kushner’s vast sway over West Wing decisions has become a flashpoint between him and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, sources say. The two have been engaged in a cold war over control of the campaign. Meadows pushed Trump to replace campaign manager Brad Parscale, a Kushner ally, the Republican close to the White House said. Kushner wasn’t happy that Meadows is close with Kushner’s adversaries Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie. “Meadows is in real shit. He went to war with Jared and tried to get Brad out,” the Republican, briefed on the internal debate, told me.
Meanwhile, the rats may start jumping ship in droves by summer’s end. According to Sherman, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst’s campaign is incensed over Trump’s dismal poll numbers.
“Joni’s campaign is pissed. They should not be in a competitive race,” the source said. (Ernst did not respond to a request for comment.) A Republican strategist close to Mitch McConnell told me that Republicans have Labor Day penciled in as the deadline for Trump to have turned things around. After that, he’s on his own.
Ha ha ha! Do they really expect Trump to do work? During the summer? In the heart of ice cream and eclipse-starin’ season?*
*Okay, I know there’s no eclipse this summer, but I doubt Trump knows that.
This guy is a natural. Sometimes I laugh so hard I cry.” — Bette Midler on Aldous J. Pennyfarthing, via Twitter. Find out what made dear Bette break up. Dear Fcking Lunatic: 101 Obscenely Rude Letters to Donald Trump and its boffo sequels Dear Prsident A**clown: 101 More Rude Letters to Donald Trump and Dear F*cking Moron: 101 More Letters to Donald Trump by Aldous J. Pennyfarthing are now available for a song! Click those links, yo!