This is yet another book about Trump’s fiasco of a presidency (I’m fascinated for some reason but I need breaks between books.) The difference here is that it’s by a solid Republican who is interested in the strategy. about strategy.
Rick Wilson is a total Republican, a stalwart economic conservative and a has a leaning toward the strict interpretation of the Constitution. But he’s from Florida and supported Mario Rubio in 2016. He’s not a racist or much of an extremist in any way – not in this book anyway. I still don’t agree with many of his policies but at least moderate Republicanism is still alive – I can work with this.
So he’s outraged about Trump, the campaign and what Trump has done since, what he seems to stand for and how he’s trashing the Republican party as well as a lot of good people and ideas. hows. But at the end, the book is more than that – a lot more – it’s a nice lecture to his fellow Republicans that they should really shape up and in specific ways. This section is earnest, heartfelt and well written.
Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever
by Rick Wilson
2018 / 336 pages (Free Press)
read by Rick Wilson – 9h 25m
rating: 7.75 – / current events – political
His book is generally a rant against Trump, sometimes harsh and biting, other times very clever and funny and if you get to the end you’ll learn how he’s affected some select elections since then. Check out the Chapter titles (see below) for a sample of the tone.
It was written by a strategist for the Republican party., Rick Wilson, who is an idealogical conservative (especially strong on economics and the Constitution) and he’s mad as hell. The book was released on August 7 and there I was, adrift about what to read next when an old friend on Facebook was wondering about it. Okay – I bit – after I downloaded it, my response to his post was that it was my current read. (LOL)
Publisher’s Weekly called it “a scathing, profane, unflinching, and laugh-out-loud funny rebuke of Donald Trump and his presidency.” Yup – it is that – but it’s from a somewhat different perspective than what I’m used to.
NPR: “…The book has itself the intellectual rigor of a Comedy Central roast for Justin Bieber — and isn’t conscious of its own central irony: Though it calls for ascending to a higher plane, beyond Trump, it’s filled with empty insults.”
“Wilson’s insider take is hilarious, smartly written, and usually spot-on,” Kirkus Review said.
So, what did I think? I think it’s okay if you enjoy a good rant. Rick Wilson was a Republican strategist for many years – during the campaign he worked for Marco Rubio ( I suspect because both are Florida based) and then started the movement known as “Never Trump.” He’s not been shy about his distaste for Donald Trump.
During the first parts I didn’t really learn much except for a few details and putting the puzzle together from a somewhat different perspective. One huge new and totally non-partisan point to me was new: – my words: –
The writing of executive orders is sometimes necessary but often, when it’s misused by one president, the orders are overturned and extended by the next president and that’s repeated by the following president. The effect is that Congress loses incentive to pass messy legislation and that, in its turn, can have a seriously bad effect on democracy.
After I got used to Wilson’s manner of expressing his rage it started to be rather funny – if darkly so – like some campaigns. The text is hugely biting and Wilson explicitly bashes almost everyone involved.
Wilson goes through several of the Republican’s who should have and could have stood in the way of Trump’s nomination but didn’t.
Then he starts in on Trump’s lack of background and competence and even basic knowledge of facts or policy analysis. Wilson is pissed. He also gets after the other Republicans who stayed or got on the bandwagon later, out of fear of his tweets and their Trump supporting constituents.
Wilson readily admits that Trump is not a conservative – his stand on gun control is determined whenever it’s tested, flip-flopping if necessary and it’s the same with many ideas. There is no ultimate Trump strategy or “vision,” or underlying ideology – no matter what his supporters think.
One of the funniest parts is where he follows various anonymous White House aides into their offices and plays out some scenarios blasting other aides, Kushner, Ivanka, Spicer, Sanders Huckabee, etc.
Then he takes after the evangelicals and the low-income folks who voted for him because of Fox news. He takes after the media – all sides. He takes after the liberals and those who love Obama. He takes after them over and over and over.
And he goes after those people who peddle and buy into conspiracy theories. He generally goes after Trump’s base – and his cohorts Roger Stone, Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, a few Cabinet members.
This is to say nothing of the issues themselves – terrorism and trade deals, voting fraud, the marijuana use, executive orders, immigration, race.
Of course he covers the insiders and the family – the “Syndicate” as he calls it, Ivanka and Jared for sure. There are insiders of all stripes to be thrashed.
Here’s the Table of Contents – there are “intermission” type parts which are imaginary, but they’re well noted.
PART I: The Road to This Shit Show
What to Expect When You’re Working For Trump I
Chapter 1: Vichy Republicans –
What to Expect When You’re Working For Trump II
Chapter 2: Furrowed Brows and Deep Concern,
What to Expect When You’re Working For Trump III
Chapter 3: Running With the Devil
What to Expect When You’re Working For Trump IV
Chapter 4: That’s Why You Got Trump
What to Expect When You’re Working For Trump V
PART II – Victims of the Curse
Inside the Oval Office I
Chapter 5. What We Lost With Trump
Inside the Oval Office II
Chapter 6: The Media
Inside the Oval Office III
Chapter 7: – The Trump Base
Inside the Oval Office IV
Chapter 8: Limited Government
Inside the Oval Office V
Chapter 9: The Grown-Ups All Die, Too
PART 3 Surrounded by Villains
Top Secret Intercept 1
Chapter 10: Welcome to Hell
Top Secret Intercept 2
Chapter 11: The Trump Family Syndicate
Top Secret Intercept 3
Chapter 12: Team Crony
Top Secret Intercept 4
Chapter 13: Clown Princes of the Trump era
Top Secret Intercept 5
Chapter 14: Trump’s Island of Misfit Toys
Top Secret Intercept 6
Chapter 15: The Alt-Reich
PART 4: After Trump
Chapter 16: But Gorsuch
Chapter 17: Trump Is Electoral Poison
Chapter 18: My Party After Trump
Epilogue: Post-Trump America –