Having pulled off the monumental achievement of getting elected with zero help from Wall Street, President Trump is at risk of throwing it all away. He seems to be turning his White House over not only to liberal Democrats, but to the very type of liberal Democrats he railed against on the campaign trail.
It’s like voluntarily getting an AIDS transfusion.
Until Trump, voters had two choices: A Republican beholden to Wall Street or a Democrat beholden to Wall Street.
But Wall Street despised Trump, and he despised them. This allowed him the luxury of denouncing both Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton for their ties to Goldman Sachs, especially Hillary’s six-figure “speeches” to that investment bank.
Ninety percent of Wall Street’s money went to Hillary’s campaign. Wherever the other 10 percent went, it didn’t go to Trump.
What does that mean?
[Fox News’ Sean Hannity frantically waving his hand]: I know! I know! Since he owes them nothing and they’re universally reviled, he needs to turn the keys of the kingdom over to Wall Street bankers!
No, actually. It means that he should stay the hell away from them.
The Democrats, who are evil but not stupid, know what a gift it was for Trump to have had no Wall Street support. And they are already plotting to win Trump’s voters back.
A hand grenade has recently been tossed into Trump’s camp in the form of Stanley Greenberg’s mostly-overlooked report for Democracy Corps.
Greenberg, the Yale professor-turned-Democratic pollster, has conducted extensive, in-depth interviews with the beating heart of Trump’s working-class support: the voters of Macomb County, Michigan, which went for Obama twice, but then flipped to Trump.
They were impossible to move. They love Trump, have no regrets about their vote, disbelieve the media and detest career politicians like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. They just “pray he keeps his promises and succeeds.”
However, one fact, and one fact only, shook their faith: when they were told that his Cabinet was “full of campaign donors, Goldman Sachs bankers (bailed out by the taxpayers) and people who use undocumented workers in their homes.”
Hearing that, these devoted Trump voters called him “two-faced,” a “puppet” and sadly remarked, “It’s going to be a lot of the same old garbage.”
Trump knows this. His guilty conscience propelled him to stray from his standard rally speech in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, last week, and go into what seemed like an endless soliloquy on his chief economic adviser, Goldman Sachs’ Gary Cohn. (Not to be confused with his Treasury Secretary, Goldman Sachs’ Steve Mnuchin, or his deputy national security adviser, Goldman Sachs’ Dina Powell. These are the people the media call the “grown-ups” in Trump’s administration.)
The Cedar Rapids crowd was thrilled to see Trump. They would have cheered his tie. They would have cheered the humidity. But his lengthy disquisition on Cohn? Crickets.
Touting (lifelong, and still today, liberal Democrat) Cohn’s “great, brilliant business mind,” Trump said, he wanted “a rich person to be in charge of the economy,” because “that’s the kind of thinking we want.”
Sean Hannity, bless his heart, has the zeal of the late Trump convert. He would endorse communism if Trump decided to implement the policies of “The Communist Manifesto.” (Which the GOP’s health care bill actually does!)
On his show last Thursday, he tried to get me to defend Trump’s “rich person” remarks about Cohn. I wish you could see the segment, but, unfortunately, Hannity decided no one would ever see it — NOT, I hasten to add, because he would ever censor criticism of Trump, but simply because he ran out of time.
In a pre-taped interview. It was a time problem. (It may not be evident to most viewers, but three minutes MUST be left at the end of every Hannity show for Nerf ball throwing.)
With the zealotry of those who came late to the Trump party, Hannity fully endorsed Trump’s faith in Cohn, adding, “I never got a job from a poor man!”
Those of us who have been here for a while — unlike Cruz- and Rubio-supporting Hannity — know how to party responsibly. The best way we serve the people we admire is to tell them the truth. (Someday, no doubt, Nancy Pelosi will wish she had been surrounded by fewer Yes Men.)
The motto of we longtime Trump supporters is: NO TREATS FOR DOING NOTHING!
As I told Hannity (in the pre-taped, and later edited, interview): He’s also never gotten a job from Goldman Sachs. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross created jobs. Donald Trump created jobs. Goldman Sachs doesn’t create jobs. The geniuses of Goldman specialize in generating obscene salaries for themselves while helping send American jobs abroad.
Trump said he wanted rich people to do for the country what they had done for themselves. Here’s what Gary Cohn did for himself: He oversaw the mortgage department at Goldman Sachs in the run-up to Wall Street blowing up the economy with the 2008 mortgage meltdown.
Under Cohn, Goldman’s role was especially egregious, as described in detail in a 600-page report issued by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations headed by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn and Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, after a two-year review.
As Goldman was furiously betting against worthless mortgages for its own account, it was hawking this toxic paper to its customers.
Goldman’s customers could be wiped out with no skin off Goldman’s back. But Goldman was doing the same with its trading partners, and the problem with scamming people on the other side of a bet is that, by winning, you might bankrupt them, and they can’t pay you back.
But that’s where you come in, taxpayer! To ensure that kazillionaires at Goldman recouped 100 cents on the dollar after the crash, taxpayer money was used to bail out the losers in these transactions — primarily AIG — so that they could pay back Goldman and other Wall Street banks in full.
It was the biggest taxpayer bailout of banks in U.S. history.
Is that what Gary Cohn is going to do for the economy? Scam the naive of, say, Canada, then ask for a taxpayer bailout from Mars?
As to rich people being “smart”: Kim Kardashian is rich. Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is rich. Bernie Madoff was rich — as he surely tells the 300-pound, face-tattooed gangsters he now showers with. No one wants any of them advising Trump, either.
You could have heard this on Hannity, but, apparently, there was some sort of timing issue.
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