Thursday, June 16, 2022

Grifters, Tramps, And Thieves

What's the big deal about having your bank account drained if it means overturning a free and fair election and installing a megalomaniac fascist as president- for- life?

Amanda Wick, an investigative counsel in the House Select Committee, reported that the Trump campaign raised an eye-popping $250 million from his claims, sending millions of emails -- millions -- between Election Day and January 6, maintaining that the money was for the "official election defense fund." That fund did not exist.
Instead, Trump poured the cash into his Save America PAC, where he could use it with few restrictions. Some of the funds went to the Trump Hotel Collection, and a nonprofit created and run by his chief of staff, Mark Meadows. [snip]

The Trump campaign's alleged grift was well underway long before Election Day. He showed no compunction about tricking his supporters. In one of the most shameless scams, the Trump campaign extracted tens of millions of dollars by setting up the donations page on the campaign website that by default turned every donation into a recurring payment, according to reporting last year by the New York Times.
The scam snagged huge amounts of money. Among those who got caught up in it were Trump supporters -- including a cancer patient -- who saw their bank accounts drained. Complaints about the scheme overwhelmed fraud lines at credit card companies, according to the Times report. Despite issuing more than $122 million in refunds, campaign spokesman Jason Miller downplayed the controversy, arguing campaign records showed only a small percentage of complaints.
Not content with that shakedown, the campaign added another default setting, a so-called "money bomb" that doubled the donation of Trump supporters they took for suckers.

And the dumbass suckers were, and continue to be, more than happy to be grifted.

But wait, there's more!

Shamelessly grifting your credulous supporters of course has a long history in the Republican/ Seditionist/ White Christofascist Party.  The Washington Post's Greg Sargent recently interviewed historian Rick Perlstein, offering this brief intro/ overview:

Historian Rick Perlstein, who has written many books about the American right, is uniquely suited to place this story in the larger context of the modern conservative movement’s predilection for such grift.

At least since the 1960s, Perlstein argues, conservative elites have seen extremist tendencies on the right as a ripe target for manipulation, for the purposes of mobilizing mass political movements. That has often shaded into money-raising schemes that smack of outright grift.

Perlstein has traced this pattern from Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Republican presidential campaign through conservative activist Richard Viguerie’s self-serving direct mail fundraising in the 1970s. It runs through Ronald Reagan’s 1966 bid for governor of California, his 1980 presidential race and even his hawking of miracle cancer cures.

It goes through Newt Gingrich’s 1994 House takeover and then through the tea party. Now, it runs right down to Trump’s monumental stolen-election scam.

The interview is must- read.

But, we repeat, the dumbass suckers were, and continue to be, more than happy to be grifted, whether it's horse de- wormer cures, caravans at the border, or funding "election fraud" litigation that never happened.

And the collateral damage to truth, domestic tranquillity, institutional legitimacy, and democracy is a price these grifters, tramps, and thieves are more than happy to sustain in their pursuit of power for power's sake.

No comments: