August 14, 2018 10:35:52 AM
Froma Harrop -
Rick Wilson was minding his own business as a Republican operative when Donald Trump happened. Though his commercials for GOP candidates often pressed thorns in liberal flanks, he won broad respect as a principled conservative.
Trump has made Wilson stark raving mad. The charges? Betraying the conservative movement and putting the Republican Party at risk. Fortunately for us at ringside, Wilson is also a bad boy with a wicked sense of humor. His new best-seller, "Everything Trump Touches Dies," rains sucker punches of mockery on all things Trump.
"If being a Republican means buying into stories so obviously, barkingly insane that they sound like Roger Stone's conspiracy rantings after a three-day meth bender," Wilson writes with trademark subtlety, "then we don't have a political party; we have an inpatient mental health facility."
Wilson does not spare the "little people." "If there's a sharper critique of America's failed education system than the breathless, mindless Trump voter," he writes. "I can't name it."
Other invective against the base is too raw to repeat here, even with quotation marks. And sadly, some of the most hysterically funny takedowns are so bawdy that my editor would promptly delete them.
The Trump camp hates its Republican critics with the heat of a thousand suns. "Nothing outrages this president or his minions more," Wilson writes, "than the slightest resistance to his madcap urges and the stunningly terrible policy ideas that spring from his Fox-addled brain."
Resistant Republicans such as Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse and Dean Heller know the blowback. They "find their phone lines jammed, their email inboxes filled with poorly capitalized and grammatically disastrous screeds, their social media accounts flooded with Trump memes," Wilson writes, "and their ability to communicate suppressed in a tidal wave of hate and death threats."
"Perhaps it's time for Microsoft to bring back Clippy, the pop-up icon that suggests things like 'Are you sure you want to tweet this, moron?'" I feel sorry for Wilson's keyboard.
The "clickservatives" of the media, meanwhile, are just cynical, he says, "playing the rubes for clicks and ad revenue." They embrace Trumpism "at the low, low price of their integrity."
Under Steve Bannon, the right-wing site Breitbart had to go beyond edgy, Wilson explains. "Edgy wasn't going to feed the lunatic comments section folks." Bannon vowed (and obviously failed) to destroy Wilson's career. His site even targeted Wilson's children.
Advertisers have fled Breitbart in masses. "Who wants to be associated with a media outlet tied at the hip to the Pepe Brigade and the least popular president in history?" Wilson asks. "No one, that's who."
Of Tomi Lahren, the "Alt-Right Barbie" pushing "flag-wavin' warnings about the Muslim-Mexican conspiracy to bring sharia-compliant illegal immigrants to America," he concludes, "She was Ann Coulter without the pungent smell of cat litter, Marlboro Reds, and despair."
Wilson describes, Sebastian Gorka, a former Trump adviser, as "a ludicrous, Bond-knockoff, straight-to-cable movie villain, status anxiety screaming out of every pore."
Wilson shows some remorse that the Trump-Ryan tax cuts were sold with "the same phony line we (conservatives) repeated for a generation." The tax bill, he says, was "a spectacular, budget-busting payday for Wall Street" that provided only "rounding-error benefits for Middle America."
Wilson has a soft spot for first lady Melania. (Don't we all.) "Every moment looks like a hostage video," he observes, "her tense, dark eyes looking for a break in the security cordon, damn the prenup."
As one reviewer said about Wilson's book, "someone had to do it."
Need comic relief? Fire, fury and funny await in "Everything Trump Touches Dies." Plus the lewd taunts that my editor won't let me share. Turn on the A/C and enjoy.
Froma Harrop, a syndicated columnist, writes for the Providence (Rhode Island) Journal. Her e-mail address is [email protected]