A De Niro Moment

Joe Biden’s campaign has been taking some heat for sponsoring Tuesday’s appearance outside the scene of Donald Trump’s trial by Robert De Niro and police officers who were assaulted by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021.  Yesterday morning, Anand Giridharadas, publisher of the online news service The.Ink, came to the campaign’s and actor’s defense.  He explained how the Donald Trump’s daily comments about his trial was what he called “making meaning” of the proceeding, creating a pre-verdict narrative of prosecution and victimhood.  Giridharadas then pivoted to Democrats’ frustration about their failure to get their message across to voters which he blamed on the campaign’s lack of a clear narrative.

Who better than an actor to engage an audience with a Marvel Universe-like script where the future is at stake due to the efforts of a political Thanos who will do anything to vanquish his enemies and consolidate power under his control.  On Tuesday, De Niro delivered the prologue to that screenplay, describing Trump as a two-bit wannabe dictator who will bully his way to power, if we let him.

We New Yorkers used to tolerate him when he was just another crappy real estate hustler masquerading as a big shot. I love this city. I don’t want to destroy it. Donald Trump wants to destroy not only the city but the country, and, eventually, he could destroy the world.

There is evidence the De Niro’s presence had the desired effect.  The event was covered by entertain news outlets such as “TMZ” and “Hollywood Tonight” which normally do not feature Biden campaign events.  Moreover, it put Trump on the defensive.  In the middle of closing arguments in his election interference trial, Trump found time to post the following on Truth Social.

I never knew how small, both mentally and physically, Wacko Former Actor Robert De Niro was. Today, De Niro, who suffers from an incurable case of TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME, commonly known in the medical community as TDS, was met, outside the Courthouse, with a force far greater than the Radical Left – MAGA. 

His response, as hoped, reminded non-MAGA conservatives that all he cares about is himself and a movement that is no longer the party of Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan.  However, one scene does not translate into a compelling narrative.  It has to be reinforced.  And yet, the campaign does not take advantage of the wealth of material Trump gifts them.  Consider the following example.

On the same day De Niro, et. al., appeared outside the Manhattan courthouse Trump took to Truth Social to endorse MAGA candidate John McGuire, who is challenging House Freedom Caucus chair Bob Good in the GOP primary for Representative Good’s seat.

Bob Good is BAD FOR VIRGINIA, AND BAD FOR THE USA. He turned his back on our incredible movement, and was constantly attacking and fighting me until recently, when he gave a warm and ‘loving’ Endorsement – But really, it was too late.

What was Good’s crime?  He endorsed Ron DeSantis for the Republican nomination for president. However, a la Nikki Haley, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell and every other spineless member of the Trump cult, Good genuflected before the MAGA god including an appearance with the blue suit, red tie brigade two weeks earlier at Trump’s trial.

Although I ultimately decided not to throw my hat in the ring for election to the House of Representatives from Florida’s 4th District, I still wake up most mornings thinking about the message I would post.  Here is the my imagined response to Trump’s conviction.

Last night, our incumbent congressman Aaron Bean posted the following on Twitter/X.

STATEMENT ON TRUMP VERDICT: The unprecedented and retaliatory verdict out of New York today was a travesty of justice, plain and simple. This was not a declaration of guilt or indicative of the evidence or the case presented. This was an attempt to derail the election of President Trump in November, and it will not work! We will fight this, and President Trump will have the ultimate verdict in November!

Since the day of Trump’s first indictment, he and sycophants like Aaron have been telling you that Donald Trump is the only thing between you and the deep state which has you next on their list.  Let me ask you a couple of questions.  How many of you have been indicted for having a marital affair?  How many of you have had your homes raided by the FBI?  How many of you have had armed IRS agents raid your home?  I’m pretty sure the answer is ZERO.  And allow me to suggest why.  Because none of you falsified business records to cover up payments to the person with whom you violated your marriage vows.  Because none of you are illegally holding on to classified documents.  Because there are no armed IRS agents out in the field.  If I am your congressman, if there ever was an instance in which the “deep state,” regardless of who was in the White House, violated your rights to privacy and protections under the Constitution, I would make sure there was an investigation and if there was wrongdoing, I would make sure the responsible individuals were held accountable.  However, for 240 years, from 1776 to 2016, no congressman needed to make that pledge because the topic never came up before. But Trump wants you to be scared of something that has never happened before.

Do you honestly believe Donald Trump thinks he needs commission of an actual crime to come after someone?  Based on Trump’s choice to endorse Bob Good’s challenger, even after Good skipped a session of Congress to help Trump circumvent Judge Merchan’s gag order, you now know it is Donald Trump and Aaron Bean who are more likely to turn on you, than it is for the FBI, IRS or any other imaginary enemy in the “deep state.”  Good turned his back on the MAGA movement only if believe Ron DeSantis never ran for governor or president as the post-Trump leader of the MAGA movement.  Which you know is not true.  Therefore, the only thing Good turned his back on was Trump.  For him, that is an unforgiveable crime.

For things I have written about Trump, I assume I am on his retribution list.  If you support the MAGA platform or currently plan to vote for Trump in November, you probably assume you are NOT.  But guess what.  So did Bob Good.

Every Democratic candidate for office this election cycle needs to realize, as marketing guru Donny Deutsch reminded us this morning, the Trump brand took a big hit yesterday.  He is now branded as a convicted felon.  Twelve ordinary citizens proved he is no longer invincible.  And he now holds a place of honor in the “Loser Hall of Fame.”  He has been exposed as a business fraud.  He was held liable in civil court for sexual assault and defamation.  After he became the titular head of the MAGA dominated GOP in November 2016, they have lost majorities in the House, Senate several state legislatures as well as governorships.  And now he has proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be guilty of 34 felonies.

Reinforce that message every day, a la Robert De Niro, to “make meaning” of Trump’s behavior and words.

For What It’s Worth.

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