For anyone with half a brain, Russ Buettner and Susanne Craig‘s N.Y. Times report about Donald Trump’s massive losses between 1985 and 1994, as revealed by Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts, totally pops the myth-bubble about Trump being a shrewd, swaggering, super-rich businessman.
Trump was in fact propped up all those years by his father, Fred Trump, and was subsequently propped up, most likely, by Eastern European or Russian interests at some point within the last 10 or 15 years.
Will the popping of this myth have any effect on the blind loyalties of Trump’s hinterland, red-state supporters? The basis of his legend, after all, is that he’s a powerful financial hotshot who knows the ins and outs of the system and how to finagle things, and now it’s clear he was never a winner and in fact was a clumsy, profligate loser through and through.
Will this make a difference in Bumblefuckland? Of course not. All they care about is Trump as a symbol of rich-white-guy power and the way things used to be when The Brady Bunch was a hit series. As long as he continues to push back against immigration and embraces the fossil fuel industry (and thereby helps to hasten the end of the natural world as mankind has known it for thousands of years), they’ll stand behind him.
The most entertaining portion of this Last Word discussion comes when Lawrence O’Donnell tells Craig that the IRS transcripts that she and Buettner drew upon to write the story “have to have leaked out of the IRS.” Craig says nothing, but her facial expression (a slight nod, a smile) is priceless.