Grifters will always find each other…

reed_abramoff_&_ralston

Back in 1999 I started to research Jack Abramoff and his web of corruption. I was on to the scandal years before it broke and shared details of my research with journalist, authors, filmmakers and others. Quite a bit of this work was shared before the scandal broke in 2004 and more was shared in the years since. In 2004 I started to write about my Abramoff research over at Dkos and the 280 plus Diaries with an “Abramoff” tag can be reviewed here.

Since the early 1980s Jack Abramoff was part of a troika of grifters. For decades these three scoundrels have polluted, harmed and infected American politics. Of the three, Abramoff is easily the one with the most integrity. This might seem hard to do until you realize that Jack’s partners in crime were Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist.

Unlike Jack, Reed and Norquist are still very powerful players in wingnutopia. Grover is the think tank guy and his front group, Americans for Tax Reform, has become a very effective way to shakedown Republican candidates and office holders. If Grover said it was a “tax” it was and if he said it wasn’t well then it wasn’t. Folks pay to keep on his good side and pay another price if they cross him. Since McCain made his deal with Grover for Presidential support in 2008, nobody on the right will stand up to the little grifter.

As bad as Grover is, it is Ralph Reed who is easily the most odious of the group. Reed’s schtick is an old school con–he is a Christian grifter and he is very good at his life’s work. When Abramoff needed help, it was Reed who convinced gullible Christians to defend Jack’s clients as they profited from sweatshops, forced prostitution, forced abortions, gambling and other things that make Jesus weep. Ralph knew how to get some fools to embrace almost anything as a “Christian Value” and was more than happy to run the con if the money was right. Reed was so corrupt that Abramoff one marveled at his shamelessness and greed. In a 2002 email exchange with Mike Scanlon (a convected Abramoff co-consprirator) Jack wrote that Reed was a “bad version” of them.

As the Abramoff scandal broke both Reed and Norquist had some close calls, but now they are back on top. Ralph continues to run the Christian grifter scam and present himself as a “gatekeeper” for the votes of these “born again” folks who Ralph plays like they were born yesterday. Ralph is holding debates for Republican Confederate Party candidates and organizing the rubes in early primary states. Ralph has been building his con into a package to sell to the highest bidder and it looks like he has found his mark in a grifter from the big city.

Word leaked out over the weekend that Donald Trump has interviewed Ralph Reed for the job as his campaign manager as the hair piece plans a run for the White House. It is a grifter match made in the bowels of hell–and almost perfect in its contempt for voters and America.

And Reed is already fluffing the Donald. In an statement to Christian Broadcast Network, Reed said:

“There is a nascent and growing curiosity in the faith community about Trump. Evangelicals will like his pro-life and pro-marriage stances, combined with his business record and high-wattage celebrity all but guarantee he will get a close look from social conservatives as well as other Republican primary voters.”

Sounds like Reed is already helping Trump run the hustle.

Someday we may have a corruption scandal where all the guilty folks go to jail, the truth is exposed and real lessons are learn. So far it has never happened. The Abramoff scandal is no exception. Most of the guilty went free and are still running the same old scams. The damage continues.

Reed and Norquist can always be easily bought by folks with money and a desire to embrace the endless con. The boys have decades of dirty tricks between them and there is almost nothing they will not do for money. Trump could not buy two better operatives if he is serious about running for President. And if he is not serious, he could not find two more willing grifters to help the Donald fleeces the rubes for more of their hard earned cash. Grifters will always find each other, the con never ends and there is a sucker born (again) every minute.

Cheers






112 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    Evangelicals will like his pro-life and pro-marriage stances

    I would absolutely KILL to see the logical distortions Reed will have to pull off to get this sold to the God-botherers. A thrice-divorced serial adulterer with almost zero ethics and no strong attendance to any church that I’m aware of. Reed will have no choice but to expose himself as a huge fraud if he accepts working for Trump. And it couldn’t happen to a better weasel.

  2. 2
    RossInDetroit says:

    Someday we may have a corruption scandal where all the guilty folks go to jail, the truth is exposed and real lessons are learn.

    And some day pigs may fly. But I’m not holding my breath for either.

  3. 3
    Corner Stone says:

    A couple typos? Fine, even though I like to call ’em out. But…

  4. 4
    Jay C says:

    Dennis, are you sure it isn’t The Donald who is the real mark here? I mean, you’re quite right about the grift going on, no mistake: but isn’t it just as likely that even if Trump blows a huge (probably borrowed) wad on a “Presidential campaign” resulting in just a handful of votes at the RNC, Ralph Reed will still be pocketing a hefty chunk-o-change for “consultancy fees” or whatever? Or a piece of whatever juice Donald can be induced to spread around in his quest?

  5. 5
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Trump’s “pro-marriage” stance is on par with his “pro-bankruptcy” stance, in that he makes a habit of getting into and out of both.

  6. 6
    Church Lady says:

    I guess being “pro-marriage” for Donald Trump means doing it as many times as possible, given he’s already on number three. I guess that makes Newt pro-marriage too.

  7. 7
    James E. Powell says:

    Any money Trump spends on a presidential “campaign” will be other peoples’ money. He is and always has been a con man.

  8. 8
    Exurban Mom says:

    Wow, the slime oozes off the screen as you read about these guys. Thanks for that update, Dennis, I like to keep tabs on all those douchebags.

  9. 9
    dogwood says:

    @Jay C:
    Of course Trump’s a mark. Trump’s a washed up celebrity with a big pocket book. From what I can tell, however, he has never been involved in politics in any real influential way before. He knows nothing about government. That’s why he fell for the WND Farrah stuff he just discovered a month ago. Farrah, a small time grifter, contacted Trump to see if he could get someone with name recognition to peddle his crap. It’s not surprising that Reed, seeing how easy it was to sell Trump on the birther deal, decided he’d be a perfect cash cow. I also think guys like Reed see some long term benefit for all this. If they can stroke Trump’s ego, make him part of the movement, he can be used as a mouthpiece as well as a bank for years to come. I mean, if the first few weeks of the Trump candidacy tells us anything, it’s that Trump is as dumb as a box of rocks.

  10. 10
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jay C:

    You’re onto something here.

    Trump imagines himself the master of “the deal” but given that this is a guy who drove a casino into the ground…

  11. 11
    JGabriel says:

    Ralph Reed:

    Evangelicals will like [Trump’s] pro-life and pro-marriage stances …

    Trump is so pro-marriage, he got married three times! He’s as pro-marriage as Newt!

    That is what Reed means by pro-marriage, right?

    .

  12. 12
    Stillwater says:

    @Yutsano: Reed will have no choice but to expose himself as a huge fraud if he accepts working for Trump.

    To us. Of course. But the forsaken humble ‘silent majority’ is willing to shred their own dignity in support of a champion. Dollars to donuts the faithful follow their leaders down that twisty, murky path, and never look back. Just like always.

  13. 13
    nodakfarmboy says:

    @Jay C: Donald may be the mark, but he might also think he’s running the con. Sort of a twisted, real-life, right wing version of the movie “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” If the plot plays out according to form, Sarah Palin will take off with all of their money, leaving Reed and Trump wondering what the hell happened.

    I’m assuming a hoveround scooter will be involved at some point, also, too.

  14. 14
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @JGabriel: And Trump has already used Newt’s excuse — he’s just such a hard worker, he has no time for the excellent ladies he married, one and all.

  15. 15
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @dogwood: I remain unconvinced that the mark here isn’t Ralph Reed. With the Donald, the most likely explanation for anything is what will get him the most attention. Frankly, I don’t think he’s really a grifter at all, since I don’t think money is his primary motivation. He’s an attention whore. He isn’t going to leave himself destitute or anything, but he can spend a hell of a lot of cash and consider it well spent if he gets face time.

    Assuming that Trump actually does mount a campaign, rather than calling it off during May’s season finale, I expect him to, make a complete mockery of the GOP primaries, and do so deliberately. Being the driver responsible for a twelve car pileup is worth a metric fuckton of publicity. I wouldn’t put it past the clown to win the nomination, and then give a speech at the convention firing the whole party. (Note: I don’t find this at all *likely*, mind you, just not in any way out of character for Trump. And he is certainly a character, in all senses of the word, though I wouldn’t call him a three-dimensional one.)

    Ralph Reed isn’t dumb, but I have a feeling that he thinks that everyone is motivated by exactly the same things he is. He may not understand Trump at all. He’ll happily cash his paychecks without realizing that he’s being played. Now, it’s also possible that the Donald has decided that the best way to publicity is to take this campaign seriously and never dump on the GOP. In which case, Ralphie will never get shown up and will make a nice chunk of change.

    Either way, though, since Trump can’t possibly win a general election campaign, the only rubes losing money here are Republican primary voters that take Trump seriously and donate money to his campaign. And they may throw their primary votes away, but I suspect they’d be doing that anyway.

    I sincerely hope that Trump wins the GOP presidential nomination. I don’t think he will, even if he does run, but not only would that completely seal the deal on Obama’s re-election, but no one, not even Michelle Bachmann, would be as effective at making the modern Republican Party look stupid, ridiculous and nuts to the voting populace as Trump would, because Trump is the only candidate for whom making the Republican Party look ridiculous is the primary goal. With the others, it’s just an unintended (and unrealized) consequence.

  16. 16
    Mr Furious says:

    Beat me to it, JGabriel. Almost to the letter.

  17. 17
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Joseph Nobles: Sadly, though, each wife has been younger than the last. I know very few wives who look kindly on that. Especially when there is such a defined pattern. The philandering can be forgiven, but not the actual replacing.

  18. 18

    As long as I live, I don’t think I will ever see anything as funny as the time Donald came rocketing out of his gold and pink marble bathroom, stark naked, hair flapping behind him, stomach flopping in front of him, his arms flailing and with Ivana’s little pekinese Frou-Frou attached to his testicles.

    I imagine Ralph Reed’s first meeting with the Donald was very similar visually.

  19. 19
    Yutsano says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    since Trump can’t possibly win a general election campaign

    Regardless of the judicial shenanigans, Dubya did win twice. No one ever went broke overestimating the intelligence of the American people.

    @Stillwater: If Trump is adopted into their tribe, there is literally no sin he cannot be forgiven for. So in that instance Reed will come out just fine. I just don’t see the adoption going all that smoothly, especially if Trump’s Christan bona fides can be called into question.

  20. 20
    ruemara says:

    aye yai yai. Ralph Reed and Donald Trump? It’s like the evil and stupid is so concentrated you’d think the earth itself would open up and swallow them just because.

  21. 21
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Yutsano:

    They’re both not very bright, but Bush was at least not a laughingstock before he ran for president, and had the legitimate political office of Governor to point to, and, of course, his last name. Trump meanwhile has been a walking cartoon character for 30 years now. We tolerate stupidity in our presidents but not clownishness.

  22. 22
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @nodakfarmboy:

    Like The Departed but with protagonists who are somehow even scummier.

  23. 23
    Yutsano says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Texas liberals were trying to warn us about Dubya, but we just couldn't bring ourselves to put Gore in the big chair. Bush was mostly helped by Pappy and the establishment who thought he would be an easy puppet on a string. I think he woke up the last half of his second term and started to figure out he was a used tool. Too bad self-awareness is not a strong suit for either Georgie or Donald.

  24. 24
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Yutsano: I largely agree with Spaghetti Lee on this one. It may be hard to remember after eight years of complete incompetence, but by 2000, George W. Bush had been cast as a reasonable executive with a good record and the ability to work with Democrats for almost half of a decade. Forgetting that and using his election as a defense of the chances of candidates who have been cast as patently ridiculous for a decade and a half is engaging in selective 20/20 hindsight.

    Donald Trump can’t win a general election. Period. Frankly, he’s such a bad candidate that I have extreme doubts that he can win the GOP nomination. If he does, the general election is going to look like Obama’s race against Alan Keyes. Trump would get more than 27% of the vote, because there are a higher number of people who truly loathe Obama now than there were in 2004. I’d be surprised if he cracked 42%, though.

    The true insanity will be if he decides to launch an independent bid from the right of the Republican nominee. This I could actually see him doing, because he can do that in a reality show type format, unlike the GOP primaries, and still attract enough support to be allowed on the stage at the debates. That’s what he really wants.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    In 2000, I was in shock that Bush was installed in the Oval Office. On election night, I was in shock that it seemed he’d pull out Florida. My father tried to allay my fears…”He’s a good man!”, and I insisted that no, he’s not…the knowledge of his desertion from the National Guard was out there, and the MSM ignored it.

    My father later admitted, four years later, that I was right about George W. Bush all along.

  26. 26
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall: LOL. Short but pure gold. A classic.

  27. 27
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: My father eventually admitted that I was right when I told him he should vote for Gore, rather than for a third party. He has long had an irrational dislike of Al Gore. The difference between us in 2000 was that he recognized that the people Bush was surrounding himself with were incompetent, but didn’t realize that they were evil. I recognized that they were evil, but I had no idea they were so incompetent.

    We have since agreed that, if you are going to be stuck with evil leaders, it’s probably best that they also be incompetent.

    Edit: I should also add that I don’t think that Bush actually deserted his National Guard post. I’m pretty sure that he had the permission of his superiors to leave when he did, which means that it isn’t desertion in any legal sense. I agree that he never fulfilled his commitment, but it ends up in an odd sort of limbo if your commanding officer okays it. Given that, I think shouting, “Desertion!” over it weakened the argument, because that part was at least plausibly refuted. I’m not sure that a more honest argument would have gained traction, but I think the approach taken had negative consequences for the cause in terms of backlash.

  28. 28
    Ecks says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): I don’t think Trumps goal is to mock the repubs at all. I’m sure he would consider it perfectly acceptable collateral damage to do so if it built his own brand better, but that would probably change considerably if he actually got close to maybe really being preznit (like if he was the official nominee). At that point enormous power becomes incredibly seductive in its own right, and the the GOP has big enough levers to force him mostly onside with their BS. But when he’s a maverick candidate or even a 3rd party guy, then it’s open season for building the Trump brand as #1 priority.

  29. 29
    gene108 says:

    @JGabriel:

    Trump is so pro-marriage, he got married three times! He’s as pro-marriage as Newt!

    I think, like Newt, Donnie boy kept getting remarried because he was (is) deeply worried about the state of America.

    I mean, what other reason than Donnie’s unequaled patriotism can explain his highly public and messy divorce from Ivanka?

  30. 30
    gene108 says:

    @Church Lady:

    I guess being “pro-marriage” for Donald Trump means doing it as many times as possible, given he’s already on number three. I guess that makes Newt pro-marriage too.

    Also highlights the pro-marriage Patriotism of Rush Limbaugh, who is on marriage #4.

  31. 31
    Jamey says:

    I’ve got the perfect campaign slogan for Trump/Palin 2012: “You’re fired/I quit!”

  32. 32
    bob h says:

    part of a troika of grifters.

    A troika? Isn’t the whole Republican Party dedicated to grifting?

  33. 33
    kay says:

    “There is a nascent and growing curiosity in the faith community about Trump. Evangelicals will like his pro-life and pro-marriage stances, combined with his business record and high-wattage celebrity all but guarantee he will get a close look from social conservatives as well as other Republican primary voters.”

    Sounds like complete PR-firm drafted bullshit to me. Social conservatives here didn’t even give Mitt Romney a “close look”. They rejected him out of hand, knee jerk, because he’s a Mormon, and they aren’t.

  34. 34
    Rihilism says:

    Am I the only one that thinks that picture should be captioned, “Don’t touch me you freakin’ queer!”?

  35. 35
    EconWatcher says:

    We’re not the only developed country with childish, cartoonish politics. When I look at Italy, I always feel a little better about us. And from what I read about Japan, their politicians actually seem more corrupt and incompetent than ours (if a bit less cartoonish). Plus, those who look to France should remember how well LePen did just a few years ago. We haven’t had anyone as odious as him get that close, as far as I can recall.

    But still, there are other countries that seem to demand that their politicians be grown-ups. What’s the difference? Are some countries just more emotionally mature than others?

  36. 36
    stuckinred says:

    @EconWatcher: I notice you didn’t actually name those “other countries”.

  37. 37
    EconWatcher says:

    stuckinred:

    The major parties in modern Germany seem relatively serious and adult. When Angela Merkel represents the right end of the major party spectrum, you’re doing pretty well. I would say the same for Canada; you may not like Harper’s policies, but he’s not a joke like Trump or Bachmann or Palin. I know there’s some nasty anti-immigrant sentiment in the Scandivanian countries, but as far as I can tell their major parties seem serious and adult. Ditto the UK; it’s hard to imagine grifters and shysters of this order doing well there. Sure, they’ve got the BNP, but it’s tiny and inconsequential.

  38. 38
    RIRedinPA says:

    I think the sting here is on the GOP, Trump is the con and Reed might or might not be in on it and really doesn’t give a shit as long as he cashing a paycheck.

    Trump is going to play them through the primaries enough to come close but not win and then run as a third party candidate pulling enough of the birther/Tea Party/business fuckwad Trump wannabes with him to kneecap any serious contender against Obama.

    Because Obama is the moderate Republican politician business folks love and The Donald, like Levon, likes his money first, love of country is significantly higher up on that list. Put a whack job like Palin in office and business will suffer, especially internationally. He can’t support Romney because he is unelectable. Huckabee and Pawlenty won’t have a chance against Obama, Trump is just closing the door on the dark horse nut jobs. Then its back to business.

  39. 39
    Valdivia says:

    Did someone spike Fred Hiatt’s coffee this morning? WTH is up with that piece he wrote actually making sense?

  40. 40
    stuckinred says:

    @EconWatcher: I’m sure we can find examples of nutcase politicians wherever we look, no?

  41. 41
    WereBear says:

    @EconWatcher: Are some countries just more emotionally mature than others?

    Yes.

    I see it as a chicken/egg question; a country which educates their populace, encourages civic involvement, and has rational public discourse will reap the benefits.

    And vice-versa. Since the conservatives waded deeper and deeper into the media pool, they have dumbed everything down; partially because that works better for them, and also because they are, essentially, dumb.

    You don’t have to be that smart to be a successful con artist. You only have to be smarter than your marks.

  42. 42
    WereBear says:

    And on a related subject; it is well known that the fanatically religious are the easiest marks of all. Google “religious scams” and you’ll quickly run across a law enforcement statement about how the congregation fell for the most ridiculous of scams because “they trusted a man of Gawd.”

    I mean, they spend all day believing impossible things. Fish in a barrel.

  43. 43
    EconWatcher says:

    stuckinred:

    Every country has nutcase politicians. But the question is, do they gain wide popular support. Donald Trump currently leads the pack for the Republican nomination. That’s our reality in America.

  44. 44
    stuckinred says:

    @EconWatcher: I guess we’ll see. Living in Paul Braun’s district makes me hard to shock.

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @EconWatcher: It is harder for absolute clowns to reach the top in parliamentary system. Your example of Le Pen in France actually supports this. His party does not do well in the legislature, but, when he ran for president, he had some success.

  46. 46

    Well, I think it’s a stretch to say Ralph Reed and Norquist are back on top. Both have lost their credibility and their public profile is that of damaged goods. With Norquist you certainly don’t see him on TV or quoted in news articles anymore, though I don’t know about his influence behind the scenes. But once upon a time during a big debate about the budget deficit and Bush tax cuts he would have been on every single news show, 24/7. Now I don’t even know if he appears on Fox anymore.

    Ralph Reed’s fall from grace has been spectacular. He lost his bid to be Lt. Gov. of Georgia. His political career is over. He’s now trying to worm his way back into the fold by making Tea Party appearances, and more power to him: the Tea Party has already been divided over whether they should address social issues or not. Nothing gives credence to the Left’s claim that the Tea Party is just the same hard-core Republican base rebranded as some kind of phony populist movement than to have Ralph Reed show his smarmy mug at their events.

  47. 47
    drkrick says:

    @Valdivia: Fred’s piece seems to make sense, but it doesn’t stop him from running George Will’s fantasies of exactly the type he criticizes.

  48. 48
    NonyNony says:

    @dogwood:

    Of course Trump’s a mark. Trump’s a washed up celebrity with a big pocket book. From what I can tell, however, he has never been involved in politics in any real influential way before. He knows nothing about government.

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    @dogwood: I remain unconvinced that the mark here isn’t Ralph Reed. With the Donald, the most likely explanation for anything is what will get him the most attention.

    I think this is close to being right. Trump is out for attention – anything that increases the “Trump brand” is going to be considered. And the “Trump brand” is outrageous bigger-than-life showmanship. He’s doing this presidential run because it will improve his profile, sell some more books, and get folks to tune into his show (he has already tried to use the presidential campaign to drive up ratings on his show, but he was smacked down by NBC for that since it’s, um, a violation of campaign laws. As anyone seriously thinking about a presidential run would find out BEFORE announcing where they were going to make their announcement.) That’s what he’s doing here – using the Republican political follies to drum up more attention for Trump.

    Frankly, I don’t think he’s really a grifter at all, since I don’t think money is his primary motivation. He’s an attention whore. He isn’t going to leave himself destitute or anything, but he can spend a hell of a lot of cash and consider it well spent if he gets face time.

    This, however, is false IMO. He’s a complete grifter. He will not be spending his own money on the campaign – he will be spending gullible Republican donor money and living the high life off of it. He might have spent a bit of his own money as “seed money” so far, but if it reaches the point where he’s spending his own money instead of having things paid for he’ll go do something else.

    Reed is probably thinking he’s playing Trump and Trump is thinking he’s playing Reed. That’s how it works when you run the Big Con – they always say you can’t con an honest man after all. They’re both running a con – the only question is which one is better at it.

  49. 49
    Martin says:

    @Southern Beale: Their ideas are still on top. The GOP is more determined on issues of abortion and cutting taxes than ever.

  50. 50
    kerFuFFler says:

    Don’t know if he’ll run, but he already has a great slogan. Trump campaign slogan: We Shall Overcomb!

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kerFuFFler:Shut down the thread; we have a winner.

  52. 52
    djork says:

    I am 100% convinced that Trump is a very clever plan by the DNC is drive the GOP apart. I’m just basing this on the fact that Trump has donated a ton of money to the Dems in the past (pretty recently, actually) and that everything that comes out of his mouth is seemingly designed to appeal to the worst elements of the GOP base in a manner that is extremely off putting to indies.

    It’s just a theory I have. For this theory to be true, it would involve the DNC actually doing something clever, so I’m probably completely wrong.

  53. 53
    Shalimar says:

    Trump isn’t complicated. He needs publicity so his show will be renewed and this is all a storyline that his reality show writers came up with. I assume they have demographics on the show saying it is popular enough with tea party people that going full birther is worth alienating whatever sane population we have left in this country. The con will only last another month if all goes well. Most likely, he is paying Reed a small consulting fee for saying nice things and pretending to consider taking a position that isn’t going to really exist. If the show isn’t renewed, then Trump has free time on his hands and all bets are off. But he’s too full of himself to be planning for that yet.

  54. 54
    EconWatcher says:

    djork:

    I’ve wondered about this. Do you remember the prank that the physicist Alan Sokal played on a postmodern journal called Social Text, where he pretended to write a “PoMo” critique of modern physics, which they then published? Afterwards, he explained that the whole thing was a joke and thus proved that their journal (and pretty much PoMo thinking in general) was also a joke? It was awesome.

    Could Trump possibly be doing something similar? I don’t think so, but the mere possibility is so exciting I hardly dare to think it.

  55. 55
    geg6 says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    THIS. Man, what a perfect storm of con men. And neither really understands each other’s con. But I know that the spectacle of the greed and desperate attention shoring will make Caribou Barbie look like a rank amateur. I’ve been skeptical of Trump’s moves so far, but this pushes me toward the idea that he’s in, at least for now. I plan to stock up on popcorn. I’ll bet Obama is, too.

  56. 56

    Reed’s business is something comparable to money laundering.

    Soul laundering? Ethics laundering? Scandal laundering?

  57. 57
    General Stuck says:

    I will say this about Trump, if he isn’t purposely doing some democratic style ratfucking the goopers, he is getting that job done visa vi anyways.

    Donald the Duck on Fox News

    “Bush gave us Obama. In all fairness to John McCain and Sarah Palin, nobody could have won. You could have brought back Abraham Lincoln. He couldn’t have beaten Obama.”

  58. 58
    DB says:

    @djork: I am similarly convinced of this or something similar to it. I think he’s positioning himself to be “the guy that saved Obama 2012” or something to that effect.

  59. 59
    pk says:

    We’re not the only developed country with childish, cartoonish politics. When I look at Italy, I always feel a little better about us. And from what I read about Japan, their politicians actually seem more corrupt and incompetent than ours (if a bit less cartoonish). Plus, those who look to France should remember how well LePen did just a few years ago.

    The difference between our morons and theirs is that the US president has enormous power. Italian and Japanese corruption remains confined. The US evil and dumb president gets to bomb, kill, torture and kidnap thousands of unknown non-US civilians the world over with the support of at least 50% of the population. One of the parties in this country is certifiably insane and its most popular candidate talks like a mafia thug about stealing Lybian oil. If this dumb-ass (or Bachman or Palin) comes anywhere near the presidency it will make the Bush era look like paradise.

  60. 60
    JillS says:

    @Yutsano:
    Amen! Adultery and divorce is now a family value? Sheesh!

  61. 61
    Dennis G. says:

    @Jamey:
    Funny.

  62. 62
    LGRooney says:

    @Yutsano:

    o see the logical distortions Reed will have to pull off to get this sold

    Two words: Ronald Reagan.

    No established church presence? Check.

    Divorced and re-married: Check.

    RR gave the man who married the Donald and Ivana a Medal of Freedom.

  63. 63
    g says:

    Whoever said Sistah Sarah will pull the rug out from under these guys is wrong. She’s an amateur compared to these con-men.

    They saw how a newbie could play the system and figured, Why not take the plunge?

    You want a flash in the pan grift, get Sarah. You want a sustainable con game, get The Donald.

    These guys make me want to throw up.

  64. 64
    benintn says:

    Someone will have to explain to me how Trump is “pro-marriage” after what happened with Ivana.

  65. 65
    Mike in NC says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Nothing gives credence to the Left’s claim that the Tea Party is just the same hard-core Republican base rebranded as some kind of phony populist movement than to have Ralph Reed show his smarmy mug at their events.

    Exactly. Time to get the media to stop pretending the teabaggers are some “grass roots” movement. Connect the dots and show how they’re led by Reed, Norquist, Armey, Gingrich and the rest, who in turn are on the payrolls of the Koch brothers and other reactionary billionaires.

  66. 66
    Upper West says:

    It’s just like Robert Earl Keen says: [The Road goes on Forever and the Party Never Ends. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glhrczA1ru4%5D

  67. 67
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Yutsano:

    I would absolutely KILL to see the logical distortions Reed will have to pull off to get this sold to the God-botherers.

    Reagan was divorced, Bush the Lesser never went to church and was pro-choice when he first ran for Congress in the late ’70s. Here’s the thing about the so-called “God Botherers”, they’ll vote for whomever they’re told to vote for and justify it on the flip side.

  68. 68
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Self delete — gambling-venue-related naughty word.

  69. 69
    Upper West says:

    It’s just like Bobby Earl Keen says:

  70. 70
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Try this in your best Obama voice, the one that was given a rare airing against Rep. Ryan and his bros last week:

    “The man bankrupted a cas1no“.

  71. 71
    Dennis G. says:

    @Southern Beale:
    Grover and Ralph are pretty powerful in wingnutopia. They have paid very little for their involvement with Abramoff.

    The NO Taxes of any kind line in the sand was drawn by Grover and there isn’t a single Republican politician willing to take him on. Not a one. I would say that is real power.

    Ralph took a greater hit than Grover. His efforts to run for office and run a political consulting business both fell flat. But in 2008 Ralph went back to the Christian grifter scam and his stock has been rising ever since. The first real event in the current race for the GOP nomination was held by Ralph in Iowa. Reed has been organizing the Christian Right in Iowa since 2008. He will be able to deliver votes on Caucus night. He is doing similar things in other key Primary/Caucus states on the GOP calendar.

    Everybody running to be the GOP Nominee needs to pay attention to Grover and Ralph. I would say that both have made out pretty damn well.

    Cheers

  72. 72
    Upper West says:

    It’s just like Bobby Earl Keen says: The Road Goes on Forever, but the Party Never Ends

  73. 73
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @kerFuFFler: You may pick up your internets at the customer service counter.

    After you replace my monitor, you bastard.

  74. 74
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Jamey: You could have the internets, too, except I just gave them to someone else.

    And you owe me a keyboard.

    (I’m reduced to typing this by shorting out two pins on socket with a paperclip, and I can’t see what I’m typing, you bastards.

  75. 75
    Redshift says:

    Grifters will always find each other, the con never ends and there is a sucker born (again) every minute.

    Brilliant.

  76. 76
    Ash Can says:

    I’m starting to think there might be something to the Dem — or at least anti-Republican — psy-ops angle myself. According to TPM, Trump blasted Eric Cantor over the weekend for doubting birtherism.

    Ultimately, we may never know exactly who’s zooming whom in this charade. And like Dennis says, it’s a shame that there will be people who end up making money off of this circus when they should be serving time. But for once this pompous asshole Trump is doing something I find entertaining.

  77. 77

    Watching Chuck Toad & Savannah Guthrie interview the AP’s Liz Sidoti and some other dude whose name escapes me about how the GOP has been “forced” to take Donald Trump seriously was absolutely surreal. Don’t they get that all of the media attention on Trump’s candidacy is what’s “forcing” the GOP to take this seriously?

    I just can’t believe we live in a country where obvious PR ploys are viewed as credible by the media. I just wanted to throw up.

    I thought Lewis Black pretty much nailed the Donald Trump thing a couple weeks back.

  78. 78
    kay says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Don’t they get that all of the media attention on Trump’s candidacy is what’s “forcing” the GOP to take this seriously?

    Yeah. They do. That’s why they’re “explaining” (making lame excuses) on why they are once again promoting birtherism.

    Because it’s “news”.

  79. 79
    Ash Can says:

    @Jamey: Perfect.

  80. 80
    Poopyman says:

    If I was a sitting President of a non-white persuasion and reputedly non–natural–born and possibly not even (gasp!) Christian, I would think that the best way to drive the Repugs into chaos would be to casually mention in some recorded interview that “Trump can not win an election.” There are tons of folks on the right who would do and spend whatever was necessary to prove me wrong, including abandoning whichever nut–du–jour was their favorite in order to vote for The Donald in the primary.

    Yeah, this thread was trending this way for the last hour, but thought I’d toss in my $0.02.

  81. 81
    djork says:

    @Ash Can:

    It’s perfect, if that’s what it is. You have a loud mouthed, multiply married billionaire reality TV star (which is pretty much a cartoon version of what the GOP has come to represent)out there spouting the most insane RW memes, forcing the primary conversation in that direction. Trump will get his PR regardless, so if he does have Dem leanings (and I think he does, given his views on things in the not too distant past) it’s a total win-win for him. It’s brilliant if it is some sort of ruse.

  82. 82
    Lori says:

    That’s the thing about faith: it’s belief without a shred of evidence. Take a big group of people who make decisions this way, and you’ve got a big group of rubes ready to be taken advantage of. I’d love to see more educational requirements to teach (yearly!) what the scientific method is and why we use it.

  83. 83
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Perhaps you guys don’t watch professional wrestling, but Trump spent several weeks on the WWE in a hostile takeover of the enterprise from Vince McMahon. Not really, of course. It was all part of the man-opera.

    I assure you Trump is playing exactly the same role now. He is trolling the Tea Party so hard, songs will be sung around the troll fires for millenia of his 2012 run.

  84. 84
    Mongo says:

    Nicely written, and concise. You’d have to go to a few places in Lagos, Nigeria, to find more cynical, narcissistic human beings bent on scamming everyone they meet than Jackie, Ralphie and the Twister. Or, just hang out with Berlusconi for a while.

  85. 85
    EconWatcher says:

    Joseph Nobles:

    Hmmmm. The case is getting stronger.

    But part of me says, God just isn’t good enough to allow something this great to happen.

  86. 86
    ppcli says:

    @Joseph Nobles: Oh, yeah. I forgot about that. Could this whole thing be part of a grand design by Vince McMahon to orchestrate my personal greatest fantasy? 2012 republican nominee decided by a pay-per-view Royal Rumble, hardcore steel cage match, with Jesse Ventura as special guest referee. Ya gotta like Michelle Bachmann’s chances in that format – I bet she can really swing a chair.

  87. 87
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    My gaydar has always gone to 11 when Ralph Reed is on the tv tube. He has a purty mouth.

    The closeted, self-hating aspect of who he is and what he does just makes him that much more vile.

    It is hard for me to believe that this fuck couldn’t be taken down by a thorough legal investigation into his activities; so my question is why doesn’t that happen?

  88. 88
    Boronx says:

    Don’t throw them in jail. These guys keep the fascists poor and pointed the other way.

  89. 89
    Woodrowfan says:

    The xtain right can be conned quite easily if you just reinforce their existing prejudices. Just take 1980. They rejected a born-again, happily-married Southern Baptist Sunday-school teacher, who was quite open about how his deep Christian beliefs informed his decisions. They instead voted for a divorced C-list Hollywood star who rarely if ever attended church and whose knowledge of Christian teachings could charitably be described as “uninformed.” But the latter told them that he’d spend more on war and that he’d crack down on poor people who were of a darker skin color from getting stuff for free, like food.

  90. 90
    Martin says:

    @ppcli:

    Ya gotta like Michelle Bachmann’s chances in that format – I bet she can really swing a chair.

    She’s got 23 foster kids. I have trouble keeping my two in line. Say what you will about her, Bachmann probably knows how to run a tight ship and swing a chair when the need arises.

    This is why I don’t really relish personal attacks on people. She might be crazy, but she’s doing good there. There’s plenty of non-crazy people that would just as soon see those foster kids die in a gutter. Can’t bring myself to condemn her much beyond the stupid shit she actually says.

  91. 91
    artem1s says:

    @RIRedinPA:

    I agree with you to a point. I think what the GOP is really trying to prevent is a viable third party. Perot (or at least his followers) came damn close to putting together a party that could get a candidate on the national ballot in a majority of states even after he was out of the picture. Buchanan was the con who blew up that group and had them fighting over who they were going to put on the ticket at their own convention. Trump is their guy to keep anyone from actually running with a T behind their name and not an R.

    BTW this is a great tactic for pointing out to wingnuts, Trump and Palin lovers how much they are being played. Ask them who they have ever voted for who had a T behind their name. Obviously, no one. They are all insiders of the GOP. None of them are outsiders or reformers.

  92. 92
    Judas Escargot says:

    @RIRedinPA:

    Trump is going to play them through the primaries enough to come close but not win and then run as a third party candidate pulling enough of the birther/Tea Party/business fuckwad Trump wannabes with him to kneecap any serious contender against Obama.

    I could see Trump playing the role of Ross Perot for this cycle (albeit somewhat more clownishly).

    Which (given the upset of 1992), kind of worries me a little, actually.

  93. 93
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    @Ash Can: Don’t thank me, thank the good folks who give us reality television.

    Speaking of which, Randinho: I’m addicted to Football Stars on Fox Soccer.

  94. 94
    Henk says:

    Norquist and Reed are political grifters, Trump is a financial one and he is entering into their world. It will be interesting to see who gets burned in this match up.

  95. 95
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Jamey: And One!

  96. 96
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @Valdivia: I thought I was in an alternate universe.

  97. 97
    mds says:

    @Martin:

    She might be crazy, but she’s doing good there.

    Why don’t we wait and see what the kids’ counseling bills are once they’ve grown up, okay? Especially if any of them should happen to come out.

    There’s plenty of non-crazy people that would just as soon see those foster kids die in a gutter.

    And Ms. Bachmann actively works to ensure that millions of children go without health care or adequate food in the name of her deranged philosophy. They can all die in the gutter, because there just weren’t enough well-to-do sanctimonious fundamentalist assholes looking to parade their holiness before the world. So, you know, I don’t care if she was foster mother to an entire village in Krgyzstan and owns her own pope hat. She’s a vile, insane, morally-bankrupt shitstain, and she needs to be called out for it, not patted on the back for graciously cleaning up a microscopic fraction of the fallout of her own political worldview.

  98. 98
    Frank says:

    I’m curious… I’m 49 and been politically aware (I am embarrassed to admit) for only about 20+ years. For those who have been around longer or paying attention longer, has it ever been this bad? Have we ever had such a confederacy of dunces in the Republican party, such a transparent bunch of money-pigs and hypocrites? Santorum, Palin, Bachman, Gingrich (“The Return”), Trump, et al…. The Chinese curse has certainly come to be: We live in interesting times.

  99. 99
    Martin says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Could Trump possibly be doing something similar? I don’t think so, but the mere possibility is so exciting I hardly dare to think it.

    Hmm. Trump’s Law?: Without a some blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of a Republican presidential candidate that 28% of the population won’t mistake for the real thing.

  100. 100
    b-psycho says:

    @Joseph Nobles: I vaguely recall a news story about that, where WWE stock nose-dived because traders thought the takeover was real.

  101. 101
    sponson says:

    The purpose of Trump’s candidacy is to completely identify him with the Birther conspiracy theory. When his campaign goes down in flames, he’ll be humiliated and the Birther story will go down with it, discredited, thus shielding the other candidates from having to deal with Birther supporters. The media will be sure to humiliate Trump big time as he crashes and burns, thus turning the Birther theory into something “no one but that clown Trump ever believed.”

  102. 102
    beejeez says:

    Frank. I’m 54, followed politics since childhood, and the answer is no, although the showing by Wallace and LeMay in 1968 comes close.

  103. 103
    JoeMamma says:

    @Yutsano: You just described Ronnie Reagan

  104. 104
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall:

    Damn, girl! I love your stories, but that image is now etched in my mind. TMI. Thank you very much (not). Even mind bleach won’t work. But LOL anyway.

  105. 105
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @Frank:

    I’m 65 and have paid at least some attention to politics since I was 14. When the Internet became widely available, I discovered blogs, and have been a political junkie ever since.

    Yes, this is probably the worst set of potential candidates the Republican party has ever had. But 2008 is a close rival. I’d say the downward slope began with Goldwater, although he looks positively statesmanlike compared with any of the candidate wannabes today.

    I just don’t get how anyone could remain a Republican these days. My father, may he rest in peace, was a diehard Republican. He was a sensible man in most other areas of his life, but he refused to recognize that the party he’d allied himself with back in the 40s had become insane and idiotic. It was impossible to have a political discussion with him because he would just shout and rant.

    I used to split my ticket to some degree but I can’t ever imagine voting for a Republican again.

  106. 106
    Frank says:

    Beejeez #102 & Wolfdaughter #105 — Thank you for your thoughts. My parents, too, were extremely conservative, but they both insisted they were independents because they voted for Kennedy in 1960. They thought very highly of Bill O., and probably would have liked Beck (they passed away before the Beck ascendancy). I imagine an Eisenhower would not even recognize the Republican party today. Can the party recover? Can it regain some true sense of compassion and move back to the center? Is there anyone on the horizon who can take the helm and exit the neutral zone for Federation space (Star Trek reference) before outright war breaks out with the Romulans?… Okay, the metaphor really just went to hell, but I am at a loss to comprehend the engine behind the contemporary Republican party. I suppose it is a great bit dreadful mix of greed, fear, resentment, and naivete.

  107. 107
    grooft says:

    @Corner Stone: @RossInDetroit: When Pigs Fly is when the shjt falls from the heavens. It might be a Special Day, but not in a good way

  108. 108
  109. 109

    […] was reading the other day that Donald Trump has interviewed Ralph Reed for the job as his campaign […]

  110. 110
    Henrik says:

    Oh c’mon. Trump is partners with a Russian arms dealer in a New York property, a medicare swindler in a number of foreclosured properties in Florida, he’s LEGENDARY for swindling “little people” by wowing him with his “celebrity” then never paying them, fleeced pension funds with his failed Atlantic City casinos, has a net worth close to $2.7 billion like I do (hell, he ran continuing education classes in NY recently), and has a litany of the most intolerant statements imaginable. He is just proof that PT Barnum – a showman and con artist of Trump stature – was right. Suckers ARE born every minute

  111. 111

    […] by Donald Trump as his possible campaign manager. If that doesn’t tell you that Trump is a complete whore, I don’t know what will. […]

  112. 112

    […] Sheppard: “10 Reasons to Still Be [Angry] About the BP Disaster”At Balloon Juice, Dennis G. discusses the odious grifter Ralph Reed, whom Jack Abramoff and his criminal associate Michael Scanlon agreed was “a bad version of […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Sheppard: “10 Reasons to Still Be [Angry] About the BP Disaster”At Balloon Juice, Dennis G. discusses the odious grifter Ralph Reed, whom Jack Abramoff and his criminal associate Michael Scanlon agreed was “a bad version of […]

  2. […] by Donald Trump as his possible campaign manager. If that doesn’t tell you that Trump is a complete whore, I don’t know what will. […]

  3. […] was reading the other day that Donald Trump has interviewed Ralph Reed for the job as his campaign […]

Comments are closed.