Republicans turning their backs on Trump for grotesque sexism is a bullshit cover story to disguise some unreported shadow-play, most likely about big money interests. Or so I propose.
The sudden outbreak of conscience and principle in the Republican agglomeration of reactionary sentiments just doesn’t ring true.
Nothing new is revealed about Trump in the apparently just-discovered open mic tape. What he said is hardly out of character for a man who has made his vulgarity a badge of honour.
The misogyny inherent in his attitudes is also hardly out of place in a party that stands for destroying basic human rights for women. The Republican Party unambiguously stands for returning women to chattel status, supporting rape culture and rolling back self-determination in social and political rights, to say nothing of the their positively mediaeval, stance on reproductive health or services.
Therefore I just can’t bring myself to believe that the sudden denunciation of Trump by die-hard reactionaries in the party is motivated by the public release of a 2005 video tape.
It might be worth speculating why it took so long to find this tape in a political environment so clearly motivated by sensation and scandal, but even then, the comments about treating women like disposable sex toys could surprise only someone who has been deaf, dumb, and blind for more than a decade.
The Bush family hardly matters at this point, so bringing Jeb Bush’s first cousin Billy into the picture seems pointless.
So what could be the real reasons for this late and potentially disastrous change of heart by the GOP establishment?
One plausible explanation is that Congressional reps suddenly realised that this kind of talk could cost them their seats, and through it, control of the House and Senate. That would certainly be a powerful motivator. But in a party that stands for everything Trump talks about, why would this be a sudden concern powerful enough to seek to scuttle a convincingly nominated candidate a month or so out from the elections? Surely that would just produce a bigger disaster for the party a little further down the road.
If the expectation was that a notoriously belligerent man would gracefully step aside, it was a silly play. Can the Republicans remove Trump some other way? It seems that short of foul play, they waited too long: he was nominated by their own internal pre-selection processes and cannot be forced aside.
Besides, the Republican Party, as it has constructed itself since the 1980s, combining elements of crypto-fascist authoritarians, a pseudo Taliban of religious atavists, the gamut of libertarians, and genuine demagogues, has never been this shy about flying the flag of bigotry and sexism.
Every instinct I have about this says: ‘Follow the money.’
I’m not close enough to the game to have more than instincts, and the American media has lost its core of what was once worthy of being called ‘press’, or ‘news’ media. ‘Reportage’ now centres mainly on ideological justifications for the views of self-interested plutocrats, and on salacious sensationalism that seems to have no end of devoted fans.
What I can see even from this distance, though, is that Trump has made two powerful enemies: China, and its proxy in the USA, Rupert Murdoch. Much of Trump’s anti-China rhetoric is populist nonsense about stealing jobs and undermining an economy that is actually reliant on Chinese money because its own plutocrats have hollowed out its manufacturing and consumer base for their own short-term gains.
The Chinese are hardly known for taking slights lightly, even if their responses are more subtle and long-term than lay observers know how to interpret. And Murdoch, who harbours dynastic ambitions that include a strong presence in China (possibly through his Chinese daughters), is probably the conduit of Chinese displeasure in the USA, albeit less crudely than would be immediately visible on Fox News.
Then there are Trump’s murky ties to Russian business interests. It isn’t clear whether these are directly to gangster cartels, or less directly to money with political obligations. But it’s a concern even in an America where the distinction between ‘business’ and ‘crime’ has always been more blurry than the public is led to believe. Are these Russian ties a conflict of interest for Saudi money in Washington? For Chinese interests? For some other constellation of self-interest?
I’m betting that the late orchestrated Republican disavowal of their leader is in fact the concrete manifestation of demands made by one or more sponsors of the party who are concerned about threats to their investments, and less so about the likely damage they will inflict on their Washington corporate vehicle – the Republican Party.
These sponsors either funded the discovery of dirt on trump to sue as pretext, or merely used a fortuitous discovery to issue orders to the men and women they bought as their Congressional proxies that they should start squawking a particular line on Trump. Even if that line is a complete contradiction of what they were ordered to squawk about yesterday, and the day before.
And what of Hillary Clinton in all of this? Does it matter that she might be laughing ‘all the way to the bank’ as the old saying goes?
If only some enterprising journalist in the USA would follow the money to either debunk this theory as conspiracy, or to find the money trail that might give it substance.
Is Matt Taibbi on leave?