Election 2020

A Trump 'Blacklist' for Political Operatives Who Opposed Him?

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One of the most upsetting things about the rise of Donald Trump from Manhattan playboy/Spy magazine figure of fun/oft-bankrupted builder and New York City tabloid fodder to presumptive nominee of the Republican Party for president of the United States is how little he owes his ascendant political fortunes to the krack kadres of GOP kampaign konsultants and the kiddie korps of pundits who’ve been slagging him off in increasingly hyperbolic terms since he began his hostile takeover of their racket. So this comes as no surprise:

Donald Trump’s campaign is considering hitting his Republican enemies where it hurts: Their wallets.

As Trump moves to work in closer concert with the Republican National Committee apparatus, some campaign aides and allies are pushing him to block lucrative party contracts from consultants who worked to keep him from winning the nomination, according to four sources familiar with the discussions.

“The Never Trump vendors and supporters shouldn’t be in striking distance of the RNC, any of its committees or anyone working on behalf of Donald Trump,” said a Trump campaign official.

The blacklist talk — which sources say mostly targets operatives who worked for Never Trump groups, but also some who worked for Trump’s GOP presidential rivals or their supportive super PACs — strikes against a Republican consulting class that Trump has assailed as a pillar of a corrupt political establishment. It’s a sweet bit of turnabout for Trump aides and consultants who in recent months were warned that their work for the anti-establishment billionaire real estate showman could diminish their own career prospects.

If Trump’s team makes good on the blacklist, it could elevate a whole new crop of vendors, while penalizing establishment operatives who attacked him, often in deeply personal terms. But it also could put Trump’s campaign at a competitive disadvantage as it scrambles to quickly beef up capabilities in highly technical campaign tactics that it largely eschewed in the primary, including voter data, direct mail and phone banking.

Well, how about that? Diana West has compiled a Trump Lexicon of choice invective that vividly illustrates the deracinated way some of Trump’s critics have reacted to his candidacy. Some of the more printable:

B is for Bullet

The donor class “are still going to have to go out and put a bullet in Donald Trump. And that’s a fact.” — Republican consultant Rick Wilson on MSNBC (see “A is for Anal,” etc. etc.).

and —

C is for Complete Idiot

“Donald Trump is a complete idiot.” — Sen. Lindsay Graham, GOP presidential candidate, Newsmax TV

“… and then we’ve got sort of the third tier, which are people who really are unlikely to break through; they’re good people some of them … or in the case of Donald Trump, they’re complete idiots.” — Karl Rove, speech, Missouri Boys State, June 15, 2015 (see also “C is for Complete Moron”).

and no list would be complete without —

H is for Hitler

1) With Donald Trump, “you have the makings of Adolph Hitler.” — TV host  Glenn Beck on his radio show, reported January 22, 2016

2) “You know, Adolf Hitler — we all look at Adolf Hitler in 1940. We should look at him in 1929. He was the kind of funny, character that said the things that people were thinking. Where Donald Trump takes it, I have absolutely no idea.” — TV host Glenn Beck on ABC’s This Week, March 6, 2016

Tempers do get frayed in the heat of battle, and minds sometimes change. But it’s little wonder that Trump isn’t particularly inclined toward magnanimity at this point; and given the track record of many of his critics, he can just as easily lose without them as with them.