(image courtesy Scissorhead MonkeyFister)
The Villagers are pretty much all gossiping that The Russian Usurper is about to change around the White House staff, you know like a cliff-hanger at some point during a night time drama, hoping to improve the ratings. (An ersatz, “Who Shot JR” or Dynasty’s Moldavian Massacre.) And yes, the media is that stupid and Trump is that venal, so it might be self-fulfilling.
(Firing Spicy has reached pop culture status as the SNL clip posted earlier has so well demonstrated.)
Let’s start with some excerpts from the speech that the Russian Usurper gave at Jerry Falwell’s (somewhat accredited) Liberty University to set the tone:
Be totally unafraid to challenge entrenched interests and failed power structures. Does that sound familiar, by the way?…
Relish the opportunity to be an outsider. Embrace that label — being an outsider is fine, embrace the label — because it’s the outsiders who change the world and who make a real and lasting difference. The more that a broken system tells you that you’re wrong, the more certain you should be that you must keep pushing ahead, you must keep pushing forward.
And pushing ahead is the operative phrase. But this is how Trump sees himself, a lone heroic figure.
Mike ‘Payola’ Allen writing in Axios morning email thingie gives us the middle school hallway gossip:
At the urging of longtime friends and outside advisers, most of whom he consults after dark, President Trump is considering a “huge reboot” that could take out everyone from Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon, to counsel Don McGahn and press secretary Sean Spicer, White House sources tell me.
And the smart money in DC says that indeed Elmer Gantry’s Daughter Sarah Huckabee-Sanders will be the replacement, but then again, she doesn’t have the central casting look that Trump craves:
Trump has discussed Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle as a possible press secretary, according to the Times, which noted that the president has also spent several hours with Spicer this week praising his TV “ratings” during briefings.
And Jeebus, praising Spicy’s ratings. It’s insane and shallow.
Putting Huckabee-Sanders in the role would be the conventional thing to do, so we bet 5 Quatloos that it will be some Fox News Refugee. (And those of us who remember Guilfoyle as SF’s first lady are already cringing.)
Back to Axios:
The sources say Trump feels ill-served by not just his staff but also by several of his Cabinet officials. Trump has two complaints about Cabinet members: Either they’re tooting their own horns too much, or they’re insufficiently effusive in praising him as a brilliant diplomat, etc. Among the cross-currents:
- His friend Wilbur Ross at Commerce this week took what was perceived as a victory lap on a China trade announcement that does little new in actuality.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a big announcement about increasing prison sentences, at the same time that Jared is working on criminal-justice reform.
- HHS Secretary Tom Price shares the blame for the glacial pace of health-care legislation.
There is a ring of truth to this reasoning: the Narcissist in Chief sees praise as a zero-sum game: if anyone else is being praised means that some praise was taken praise AWAY from him.
WaPo sees The Russian Usurper more in the Captain Queeg role:
“One GOP figure close to the White House mused privately about whether Trump was ‘in the grip of some kind of paranoid delusion.'”
“White House aides have felt bewildered and alarmed by how Trump arrives at his decisions — often on impulse and emotion and sometimes by rejecting the counsel of those around him.”
“When Trump sat down for the interview with NBC anchor Lester Holt, his aides were not certain what he might say. The president improvised, essentially.”
So what will happen? Who knows! So far Hair Führer has only fired people who are associated with possible criminal investigations of him when they get too close, and none of the people mentioned in the shake-ups are in those kinds of roles.
Here’s my guess: the White House staff is going to put the Russian Usurper out in front of the public, let him say whatever the hell he wants, and run for cover. We will hear more of the Angry Inch’s “The president’s Tweet speaks for itself.”