Friday, October 14, 2016
The Cohn Connection
"I have in my hand 57 cases of individuals who would appear to be either card-carrying members or certainly loyal to the Communist Party, but who nevertheless are still helping to shape our foreign policy." McCarthy never produced this list.
"I do want to say that I was just endorsed and more are coming next week, it will be over 200 admirals. Many of them are here, admirals and generals endorsed me to lead this country. That just happened." Actually it didn't. 88 retired Generals and Admirals endorsed Trump. Given the number of Admirals and Generals in the Pentagon, this is not a huge number. Again, we never get to see the list.
Communist-hunter (and witch-hunter) Senator Joe McCarthy and Donald Trump have more than one thing in common. They are (or were) bombastic and insulting. And people stayed tune "just to see what thing he says next!" They both ruined lives of many people through their machinations. But the one thing that really underlies their similarities is that they had the same advisor and mentor, the infamous attorney Roy Cohn.
Cohn was a piece of work - a flamboyantly gay man who insisted until the day of his death (from AIDS) that he was not gay. Yes, gays often make the best right-wing conservatives, particularly closeted gays. They also make the best Nazis.
Cohn was famous for taking a "scorched earth" approach to everything in life. When he was the acolyte to Senator McCarthy, he advised him to "go after" his opponents, a strategy which failed only "after at long last" it was shown that McCarthy had no shame. McCarthy's time in the limelight was brief, and he flared out quickly and public opinion turned against him in a big way in a real hurry. Once a popular Senator with a popular cause, today he is viewed as the epitome of evil.
McCarthy died shortly thereafter from his alcoholism. Cohn lived on for a few more decades. And in that time he took under his wing another bombastic figure - you guessed it - Donald Trump. Trump's approach to business resulted from his tutelage with Cohn. Go after your enemies, go after them hard, never concede, and never surrender. And for a long time, this approach worked.
Cohn died in 1986, but the lessons he imparted to Trump seemed to stick. Although I suspect his debacle in Atlantic City would not have occurred had Cohn had lived to advise him otherwise.
But like McCarthy, it seems that the public's fascination with bombast and insults has a very short shelf-life. Overnight, it seems, people are abandoning Trump in droves. It is not that the recent "revelations" about his behavior have tipped the scales, but rather, I think, that people are finally waking up to what kind of person he is, and realizing that the roller coaster ride, while fun, is actually quite dangerous.
It also turns out, guys, that chicks really don't dig it when you grab their vaginas, uninvited. Yea, it is hard to understand, I know. But there you have it. Not only do they not like this, it appears to be a big issue with them. So just a suggestion to all you dudes out there, before you grab, ask.
The parallel struck me during the debate. One of McCarthy's favorite tactics was to pull numbers out of his ass. So many "communists" in the State Department or the Army or whatever. Lists he "had in his hand" but would not show to anyone. Trump did the same thing, with 200 Admirals or 33,000 e-mails (which became 39,000 e-mails later on) or other things he "didn't have time" to show us, but were "beautiful", "huge", "excellent" or otherwise "the best".
Same old shit, different day, different asshole. I only hope that America saw through this, unlike our counterparts in the rest of the world who have fallen for snake-oil salesmen like Trump.