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Trump Trying 'Etch-a-Sketch 2.0' Campaign Strategy

And so it begins.

It's Etch-a-Sketch time, folks! We can all remember how that worked out for Mitt Romney in 2012, right? Cynical, cynical Republican strategists have been using this strategy for decades to thread the needle between their insane base primary voters and the general electorate.

This time, the brain behind the bullsh*t is Donald Trump's newly-hired brain, Paul Manafort. To his credit, Manafort didn't play around with niceties. He just came right out to Republican bigwigs at the RNC meeting and gave them the straight lie. It goes like this: Donald Trump is just acting the part to win the primary, and then he'll be his real self. (You can listen here)

Charlie Pierce:

The Republican Party is in the process of being played. They know it. The people in on the scam know it. The media know it. Now it's going to be time where everybody pretends that nobody understands what's really going on. If the con works, it becomes the truth. If enough people see Jesus in the bark of an oak tree, then he's really there.

He also openly said that Mr. Trump wanted to coordinate with the very forces he has spent much of his campaign attacking. "He gave us the mandate to bring together a team of professionals that could finish the job for him, but could also then begin to link in with the establishment institutions that are part of our party, what you represent, what the state parties represent," he said, also alluding to think tanks and members of Congress. "We've started all those conversations," said Manafort, adding of Mr. Trump, "He cares about the united team." The remarks suggest Mr. Trump is conducting something of an inside-outside campaign simultaneously, railing against what he calls a "corrupt" process in public to win over anti-establishment Republicans while sending Mr. Manafort to assure party stalwarts of his true intentions.

Here's the problem. Trump is on the record in too many places at too many times being a Mussolini wanna be, because that's who he really is. There's no way he'll keep to the discipline of a professional Republican, and if he does, his base will force him to stop.

The real Donald Trump is the Mussolini wannabe. No amount of lipstick on that pig will change a thing.

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