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MATTHEW BOOSE: Cohen said nothing we didn’t already know about Trump
In the classic movie Citizen Kane, there’s a scene in which the fictional journalist who drives the narrative meets with Kane’s long-time friend and business associate, Leland.
Recounting his estranged friend’s downfall, Leland offers a sympathetic, but scathing indictment of the doomed newspaper tycoon’s character:
“I don’t suppose anybody ever had so many opinions. But he never believed in anything except Charlie Kane. He never had a conviction except Charlie Kane in his life.”
Trump has often been compared to Charles Kane, and he has even identified with him, describing his demise as “modest fall.” Like Kane, Trump is a narcissist, a ruthless man with a fleeting conscience, motivated by ambition, by turns arrogant and insecure. Leland’s characterization of Kane — desperate to be loved by people, unable to love himself — isn’t far from what many imagine of the 45th president.
Perhaps, like Kane, Trump is a ruthless man. But if so, then that’s exactly why voters chose him. They picked a brute to fight back against the brutes on the Left who won’t leave them alone. They picked a slugger to help them take their country back.
Speaking before the House on Wednesday, Michael Cohen played the Leland to Trump’s Citizen Kane. It was a role given him by the Democrats, and he played it well. Except Cohen did not say anything about Trump that anyone who has seen Citizen Kane did not already know about him.
As some have pointed out, Cohen did not introduce any new evidence of collusion, and he even exonerated Trump on some counts. Cohen basically played the role of a character witness. He played a dramatic role, a moral role. His job was not to reveal facts so much as to thrust a rhetorical shiv into Trump’s belly.
Across several hours of scathing remarks, Trump’s one-time “fixer” laid out a singularly damning portrait of the president. Here are some of the most outrageous revelations: Trump had sex with a porn star and lied about it; Trump is a “racist”; Trump bought a portrait of himself at an auction using a straw bidder; and Trump lied about his net worth.
Tick tock, Drumpf!
The Democrats and their friends in the media would have Americans believe that this is ground-breaking stuff. But Cohen didn’t say anything that Democrats were not already prepared to believe — or, for that matter, was not readily apparent about Trump’s character to anyone with a bit of common sense.
You mean Donald Trump had sex with a porn star, and lied about it? Could this be the same person who builds golden towers with his name on them, and, much like Kane, brands everything he’s ever created with his monogram?
If Democrats think that Michael Cohen revealed anything Trump supporters haven’t already made peace with, then they just don’t understand Trump or his base.
If it wasn’t already apparent to the Democrats, the Republicans came prepared to deny everything Cohen said, attack his credibility, and rather pointedly, not contradict any sordid anecdotes about Trump’s character and business. They were there to protect the president, because — as shocking as this might sound — Republicans support the president and want him to succeed.
Democrats want to think everyone is as shocked and offended by Trump’s personality as they are. But as it turns out, Republicans are more shocked and offended by infanticide than the fact that their president is a vulgarian.
The voters who chose Trump knew that he was a narcissist and a philanderer, but they picked him anyway. They chose Trump because he “tells it like it is,” because he’s a “fighter.”
What Trump’s followers value most about Trump is that he is willing to push back against the Left. They don’t care about Stormy Daniels or a Russian real estate project that never went anywhere. Is that bad? Perhaps. But it’s also just politics.
Politically, Trump’s base can hardly be accused of working against their own interests. As it turns out, the mob boss Cohen described has been pretty effective at getting conservatives confirmed to the Supreme Court.
Perhaps the Democrats are just mad that a bully is giving back what they’ve been dishing out. Perhaps what offends them most is that the Americans who chose Trump wanted a dirty trickster — to fight for them.
Before Trump rode down that escalator, the appointed leader of the party was Jeb Bush. Can anyone watching the Democrats’ embrace of late-term abortion and open borders say that Trump voters made the wrong choice?
It is wrong, disempowering, and just bad taste to see the president as some kind of savior. But it helps to have a leader that is willing to push back against enemies. Trump, at least, is willing and able to do that.
And there’s a lot of pushing back to do. The Democrats are ruthless. Republicans sense this, and many have warmed up to Trump out of sheer self-preservation. Cohen’s hearing was yet more evidence of the Democrats’ hatred of the president and everything he’s fighting for.
Democrats can clutch their pearls all they like, but they have rather unscrupulously embraced a career criminal as their witness against Trump. They’ve propped him up as the contrite convert of Trump world, an impressionable consigliere who realizes the errors of his ways and just wants to be redeemed.
They don’t care about Cohen at all. They just want to use him. The Democrats had Cohen testify, in so many words, “orange man bad” for seven hours straight. His “explosive” testimony only validates what the Democrats already feel, and what they want everyone else to think, about Trump and his supporters.
Perhaps his testimony was truthful! But it’s hardly revealing. Cohen’s hearing, just like Stormy Daniels, the Trump Tower meeting, and the Buzzfeed report, is the latest Resistance media ephemera that is supposed to finally bring Drumpf down. Republicans can hardly be faulted for snoozing.
Republicans don’t care about what Cohen said on Wednesday. Democrats care because they want to destroy Trump. It’s just that viciousness that made voters choose Trump in the first place.
Like Kane, Trump may be a brawler. But that why voters chose him. They picked a fighter to help them take their country back.
Democrats might find it satisfying to hear Cohen, like Leland, describe the president as a vain man. But to his supporters, it’s nothing new. Democrats still don’t get why Trump won.
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