The ongoing war between the entrenched Washington establishment and unruly outsider Donald Trump continues to rage unabated. With Trump leading the polls and rolling forward with a full head of steam, the cadre of lackeys and lickspittles that do the dirty work for the Beltway elite have been as busy as the proverbial one-armed paperhangers. One of the most prolific chop shops of all is the Washington Post editorial department which has been working overtime to churn out their anti-Donald propaganda on a daily basis. The editorial staff has been engaged in the old ‘throw as much shit against the wall to see what sticks’ style of character assassination and the latest effort, by vaunted establishment mouthpiece David Ignatius, compares Trump to the reviled Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.
The piece is entitled “Is Donald Trump an American Putin?” from which I excerpt the following:
He promises to restore his country’s greatness, without offering a specific plan. He uses crude, vulgar expressions that make him sound like an ordinary guy, even though he’s a billionaire. He’s a narcissist who craves media attention. And for all his obvious shortcomings, he’s very popular.
Whom am I referring to? Russian President Vladimir Putin, of course. But the parallels with a certain American politician known as the “The Donald” are obvious.
Donald Trump is in some respects an American version of Putin. Like the Russian leader, he seeks to reverse his country’s losses and return its former glory. He promises a restoration of power and prestige without trifling about the details.
Trump is more nakedly self-promoting than Putin, with a vanity and braggadocio that would embarrass a Russian (or, indeed, almost anyone). Trump’s Web site promotes him as “the very definition of the American success story,” gliding over his four corporate bankruptcies. He seems to enjoy it when commentators deride him as an uncouth lout and rabble-rouser, underestimating the power of his message. His blunt comments speak to a nation that’s sick of political double-talk.
Trump’s tirades about illegal immigration, his loudest campaign theme, are part of a long and ugly story in the United States. Within 70 years of the republic’s founding, a party aptly dubbed the “Know-Nothings” was bashing immigrants, especially Catholics. Over subsequent decades, nativists were attacking every new thread of the American quilt — Irish, Italian, German, Slavic, Jewish, Chinese and African, as John Higham explains in his landmark history, “Strangers in the Land.”
It is a major escalation in the rhetoric against Trump in that the WAPO editorial page has been the most vocal pulpit in trying to agitate for a new war – Cold or otherwise – with Russia and the Pentagon now has the stance that the Bear is the greatest threat to the USA. It doesn’t bode well at all for Trump when influential newspapers begin to make such comparisons and it shows just how raw that he has rubbed the political elite.
But worse is yet to come, Ignatius’s insertion of the “nativist” pejorative and the inclusion of “Jewish” Americans in the list of persecuted ethnic groups is laying the groundwork for the next big comparison. Trump will soon become the latest version of the New Hitler that is always rolled out when attacking the enemy du jour. It is already starting too, none other than Watergate squealer John Dean has just published a column that while not actually making the DNA match, conjures up Der Führer to malign Trump. Soon it will begin to bleed over to where his supporters will be labeled as brownshirts and even worse as the desperation of the establishment to retain their stranglehold upon the reins of power mounts.