It will be no surprise to our readers that I think that Trumpism is a con, scam, and grift. Fleecing suckers is the Impeached Insult Comedian’s lifetime avocation, make that vocation. Sometimes the con job is legal: casinos in Atlantic City. Sometimes it’s not: Trump University. But it’s always a con.
That brings me to two of Trump World’s most blatant con artists: disgraced General Mike Flynn and professional asshole Steve Bannon. They both received pardons in the waning days of the Trump regime. They’re both out there shaking down Trumper suckers. Only one of them has been indicted again but I wouldn’t bet against Flynn joining Bannon in the dock.
We begin by going in like Flynn. I really should stop using the Errol Flynn trial line but I’m incorrigible. In the early days of the Mike Flynn scandal, I had some sympathy for him because of his distinguished military record. I’m a sucker for a guy in uniform. More importantly, he originally pled guilty and agreed to take his medicine until MAGA lawyer Sydney Powell took over his defense. That’s when shit got weird.
As you may recall, Flynn’s withdrawal of his guilty plea was supported by Bill Barr and eventually led to a presidential* pardon. I told you this shit was weird.
Since the pardon Flynn has become a QAnon hero. He’s been cultivating the most gullible group in the country and making a living off them. Nice work if you can get it.
I feel a musical interlude coming on:
Flynn is back in the news because of a phone call between him and MAGA shyster Lin Wood who is on the outs with some Q-types or is that Q-Tips? I get the two confused.
Lin Wood has a nasty habit of recording phone calls. He did it again with Flynn:
In the call, Wood complains to Flynn that his QAnon supporters had attacked Wood online. But Flynn attempts to disown QAnon, claiming it’s a “disinformation campaign” created by the CIA.“I think it’s a disinformation campaign,” Flynn said on the call. “I think it’s a disinformation campaign that the CIA created. That’s what I believe. Now, I don’t know that for a fact, but that’s what I think it is. I think it’s a disinformation campaign.”
Later in the recording, Flynn called QAnon “total nonsense.”
“I find it total nonsense,” Flynn said. “And I think it’s a disinformation campaign created by the left.”
Since Flynn was in military intelligence, one would think he knows from disinformation. He does not. Q-Anon is strictly a right-wing phenomenon with rhetoric straight out of the Bircher handbook. Besides, the CIA may have started life stuffed with lefties, but those days ended with the rise of Allen Dulles and James Jesus Angleton. Jeez, General, you oughta know that. He sounds like a guy who doesn’t know the difference between a mole and mole poblano…
As of this writing, Flynn hasn’t denied the story but I’m sure he will. QAnon is his golden goose. He’ll do anything to salvage a tie to the most gullible people in the country. It’s hard to find marks that easy to con. Why do you think the Kaiser of Chaos has always refused to denounce them?
The reason I used the title of the surreal WC Fields classic Never Give A Sucker An Even Break is our second MAGA con artist, Steve Bannon. I’ve long thought of Bannon as WC Fields’ evil twin. The sardonic and bibulous comedian was a Republican who threatened to run against FDR in 1940:
One would have thought Fields would have liked FDR who was the president who ended prohibition, which was one of the greatest scams ever perpetrated on the public.
Fields may have been a misanthropic proto libertarian, but he was as funny as hell. Unlike Bannon, Fields never threatened violence against anyone except for fictional children.
Back to Bannon. When I read one of the earliest tomes about Trumpism, Devil’s Bargain by Joshua Green, I came away surprised that I found Bannon to be somewhat likeable and surprisingly funny. That’s when I made the Fields-Bannon connection. I didn’t like Fields’ politics either but unlike Bannon he wasn’t a fascist who was walking on the Devil’s Sidewalk:
The pardoned then indicted again Bannon is back in the news on two fronts. First, DOJ has filed court documents asserting that Bannon is trying to whip up a media circus over his criminal contempt case. Anyone surprised? Bannon’s entire life is a media circus.
A reminder that the man who coined the phrase Never Give A Sucker An Even Break was PT Barnum who knew from circuses as did WC Fields who played the owner of a downtrodden circus in 1939:
What’s not to love about a movie co-starring a ventriloquist and his dummy?
The second front in the latest Bannon war pits him against internet behemoth Google. Bannon was kicked off YouTube for advocating the beheading of Dr. Fauci, but, like an expert con artist, he found a loophole to make money off ads. It’s too complicated for me to go into so read this ProPublica piece. One could call that lazy linking to more energetic writers or some such shit.
One reason that Bannon is so dangerous is that he’s smart. He’s audacious enough to fleece one of the richest corporations in the world. Of course, the tech industry has turned into a Trumper sock puppet in recent years with the likes of Bannon pulling the strings like an ugly modern-day Edgar Bergen.
People like Flynn and Bannon are only in the headlines because of their association with former President* Pennywise. Flynn is one of his favorites and Bannon is his Goebbels. The Nazi propagandist was also a one-man media circus and flim-flam man extraordinaire. Let’s hope that Bannon ends up in the dustbin of history like that diminutive Nazi creep.
Since Trumper con artists often claim to like country music, the last word goes to Jim Reeves: