As much as I’m enjoying the Jan. 6 committee’s careful assembly of evidence proving former President Trump is a douchebag, I wasn’t seeing much in the way of a criminal offense until this week’s underreported story about how Trump used his “STOP THE STEAL” fundraising appeals to grift his supporters out of $250 million, none of which was, in fact, used to fight election fraud.
It didn’t even go to the poor saps who got themselves arrested at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Instead, the $250 million seems to have been funneled exclusively to Trump businesses, family and friends.
And let’s not forget Steve Bannon’s “We Build the Wall” swindle; Trump sending out a fundraising appeal to raise funds for his new private plane; and a Trump-affiliated organization paying Kimberly Guilfoyle $60,000 to give a two-minute speech on Jan. 6 (introducing her fiance, Don Jr.). Every time you think you have your arms fully around Trump’s con, you realize it’s unfathomably more cynical and far-reaching than you could have imagined.
Is there anyone in Trump World who isn’t trying fleece the Deplorables? Haven’t they suffered enough?
Which brings me to Dinesh D’Souza’s movie “2,000 Mules.” The movie tells Trump diehards that their man probably DID win the 2020 election! Using cellphone tracking data obtained by “True the Vote” D’Souza claims to have proof that 2,000 people delivered multiple ballots to election drop boxes in the five crucial battleground states that Trump lost.
There are two problems with this. First, the movie doesn’t show what it says it shows.
n Cellphone tracking isn’t precise enough to distinguish between liberal activists stuffing drop boxes, and store owners, police officers, delivery men and others who have perfectly legitimate reasons to be within a few yards of the same drop box every day.
n In all five battleground states D’Souza considers, it is perfectly legal for third parties to drop off ballots for others, with varying degrees of lenience. Pennsylvania, for example, allows a grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, in-law, household member, caregiver or jailer to drop off someone else’s ballot.
n Even if every cellphone dot represented a left-wing organizer illegally dropping off another person’s ballot, that still wouldn’t make the ballot invalid. A legal ballot can be illegally delivered, although the guy who delivered it might be in trouble.
These flaws have already been well aired elsewhere.
The second problem — my problem with the movie — is the idea that only something nefarious could explain Trump’s defeat. Hello? Trump lost only one demographic in 2020 compared to 2016. What was that demographic?
Answer: WHITE MEN! How did liberal activists pull off that?
In the five states where D’Souza deploys his hocus-pocus cellphone data — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — Trump lost 8% of white voters compared to 2016. He lost 12% of white men.
That’s according to Trump’s own pollster, the highly respected Tony Fabrizio. It was also predicted by anyone who supported Trump in 2016 and then watched him throw away his presidency for four years by betraying his base.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump said of “Dreamers”: “I want ‘Dreamers’ to come from the United States. I want the people in the United States that have children, I want them to have dreams also. We’re always talking about ‘Dreamers’ for other people.”
One month in office, Trump said of the “Dreamers”: “We are gonna deal with them with heart … You have these incredible kids … some absolutely incredible kids.”
During the campaign, Trump sided with rural Americans, who like guns — and don’t live in opulent, lily-white redoubts where guns aren’t needed. He emphatically opposed “gun-free zones,” bans on “assault weapons” and expanded background checks, saying an armed citizenry prevents mass shootings.
One year into his presidency, Trump said: “I like taking the guns early. Take the guns first, go through due process second. … Some of you are petrified of the NRA. … They have great power over you people … they have less power over me. What do I need?”
What do you need? You needed Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, you cretinous moron. Anybody in those states care about guns?
Most stunningly, Trump blew off the signature promise of his campaign: the wall. He finally got around to it in his last year in office. Total new wall across a 2,000 mile border completed during the entire Trump presidency: 47 miles.
Yeah, it’s a total baffler how a president who spent four years ignoring his base could have lost.
Imagine if Ronald Reagan, after running in 1980 on winning the Cold War and slashing taxes, had gotten into office and started bleating about our “inordinate fear of communism,” instead of opposing the Soviets at every turn and driving The New York Times to fits of apoplexy? What if he’d left the top tax rate at 70% and suddenly started releasing criminals recommended by Kim Kardashian? And, for the cherry on top, suppose he’d turned his presidency over to his bimbo daughter and nimrod son-in-law?
Instead of a 49-state landslide and two decades of peace and prosperity, we’d have gotten a D’Souza conspiracy movie about how the Democrats cheated.