Creating anti-Trump news – from nothing – has become a cottage industry. Expect more before November. Here is the latest – a huge story on CBS, parroted across other networks, with the headline: Bush, McCain, and Romney alumni “endorse Biden, joining Republicans Bucking Trump.” The unspoken reality flips the headline.
Here are the facts. Three “alumni” letters were ginned up – two signed by McCain and Romney staff, a third by “Bush alumni” opposing Trump. But stop – and be a critical thinker.
First, no one who called McCain their boss – the guy who saved Obamacare – or works for Romney – who voted for impeachment and feels he should be president – would endorse Trump. Not in the cards, no news there.
But what of Bush 43 alumni? A closer look shows a total of 230 former political appointees for George W. Bush signed the letter. To be clear, since there were roughly 4000 Bush political appointees, 3770 of 4000 did not sign the letter.
Put differently, for each anti-Trump Bush appointee who signed, 17 did not. That ratio looks pretty good for Trump. But peal the onion back another layer.
Of 230 Bush 43 alumni who signed this anti-Trump letter, most were never for Trump – and ironically, as the Republican National Convention illustrated, many others not earlier with him now are! Moreover, most signers are low-level staff, not Senate-confirmed appointees. Obviously, they did not get Trump team jobs, and that must have been disappointing.
Sample the fare – and it tells you all you need to know. Among top signers, you have a former Bush Ambassador tied to the mainstream media – former employee of the Washingtonian, US News and World Report, Atlantic, and New Republic, former columnist for the Washington Post. His bio indicates a family member works for CNN. Would you expect him to endorse Trump?
How about the retired foreign service officer and Ambassador – like other retired federal workers – who carried over into Obama. Most have credentials that hardly come up conservative.
Or take dozens of others, which open-source searches reveals have been reflexive signers on anti-Trump petitions, from amicus briefs to advocates of “Russia collusion” and Obamacare.
In short, the story not reported – becomes an endorsement of Trump, not a non-endorsement. Many of these signers are lifetime liberals, denizens of the “Washington swamp,” vocal Trump critics who held posts and took positions at odds with conservative priorities.
Is it any surprise that others hoping on Trump jobs who did not get them – are now against him, or that protest his effectiveness? Or that they are eager to be on record for a possible Biden job?
In many ways, these lightweight, anti-Trump letters indicate Trump’s mission is not yet complete – a rethink of how Washington does business, need to reduce the “federal job entitlement class,” pulling more thinkers, doers and patriotic citizens from the Heartland.
While some signers are self-styled “policy wonks,” others are venting spleen for what they did not get, seeking Biden jobs, or just pleased to see their name in print. The gist of these letters is simple: Washington’s self-promoting establishment remains at large.
The only reason for a obscure former federal employees, nominally Republican, to be clanging anti-Trump bells is that they think they are smarter, more clever than those who serve. These letters mean absolutely nothing – in context.
In sum, they are feather preening, fluff and puff, of which we have seen more than enough. They confirm wannabes wannbe, swamp waters run deep, and creating anti-Trump news – from nothing – is a cottage industry. Long sigh. Expect more of this nosh before November.