Thom Hartmann: Is Donald Trump a Supporter of Scott Walker and the Koch Brothers?
File this under “conspiracy theories,” although every day that goes by it seems to get more and more plausible.
Is it possible that Donald Trump’s goal in this election cycle isn’t just to become president, but to make sure that Scott Walker is the next president? (Yes, it’s speculation, but in this policy-free “horserace” Republican primary, that’s pretty much the coin of the realm these days.)
Walker, as pretty much everybody knows, is the get-along, go-along servant of the billionaires, particularly the Kochs. Their out-of-state money helped him hold onto his governorship, and he’s faithfully followed the Koch/billionaire playbook of destroying unions, shaming the poor, defunding public education, and cutting taxes for the rich.
So imagine a meeting, say, back in March, at the Koch brothers’ 30,500-square-foot Florida estate, where a group of billionaires – including Donald Trump – each pays $25,000 to sit with each other (this part did in fact happen) and, with the blessing of our Supreme Court (Citizen’s United), pick the next Leader of the Free World.
“Walker’s definitely our boy,” one of them says, noting how well Walker has served the Koch and billionaire interests in blue-state Wisconsin, and is even willing to brag about trashing the poor, students, the elderly, and unionized workers. “But we have a problem.”
Three other billionaires all simultaneously say the same thing: “Jeb Bush.”
“Yes, Jeb doesn’t need us. He’s rich, his family is powerful, and he won’t go ‘full Libertarian’ like Walker has and will as president,” says another billionaires. “We have to take him out of the race to make way for Walker, but he’s leading everybody else in the polls by such a big distance that he’s the ‘presumptive nominee.’ What do we do?”
At which point, billionaire Donald Trump stands up and says, “I’ll take care of Jeb Bush.”
“How?” another billionaire asks.
“I’ll run for president, raise a lot of hell, and criticize Bush every day until he sinks in the polls. And I’ll avoid trashing Walker. Don’t worry – I know how to handle the media!”
“Do you know Walker?” another billionaire asks.
“Sure,” says The Donald. “I maxed out my donations to him just a few months ago. I met privately with him back in February. I agree that he’ll do exactly what we want. He as much as told me so to my face.”
And, sure enough, Trump met with Walker back in February, and has been a big supporter – at least financially – ever since then.
“But you’ll need a bit of help with that,” says David Koch in this imaginary scenario. “May I loan you one of my most loyal lieutenants? His name is Corey Lewandowski, and he worked his way from New Hampshire head of our Americans For Prosperity, to East Coast Director, to National Director for voter registration. He’s good, and he even successfully ran Republican Bob Ney’s campaign for Congress; he knows what he’s doing.”
“He’s hired!” says Trump. “I’ll make him my campaign director!”
So, there you have it. Scott Walker combines the personality and political amorality of Richard Nixon – since his campaign first started cheating when he ran for class president during his college days – with the policy ideas of Ronald Reagan. He’s the perfect front man for the conservative billionaire class.
And Donald Trump would never seriously be willing to buckle down to the exhausting and detail-oriented job of being president. But running for president, loudly and out in front of the world, in order to take down Jeb Bush? Of course!
Trump has criticized – loudly – every consequential Republican running for president except Scott Walker. The closest he’d get to even saying anything at all about Walker was in response to a direct question, and then he still refused to criticize Walker, instead referring vaguely to “problems in Wisconsin” that, presumably, Walker is helping fix.
But Jeb Bush has had a special space in the Trump vitriol. Virtually every day for the past few weeks, Trump has delighted in ridiculing and trashing Bush – and it’s now showing in the polls, where Walker is beginning to top Bush.
Soon, The Donald’s work will be done, and all that’s left is the coronation.
(By the way, if you don’t think that billionaires will play dirty to take down a politician who’s in their way, consider what happened to Eliot Spitzer when he took on the billionaires on Wall Street, as told so brilliantly in the movie Client 9. Spoiler alert – it was a billionaire who took him down.)