Let's start with the headline of this Washington Post story:
"Despite" is the wrong word. What should it be instead? "Largely as a result of"?
Junior is obviously a star because being linked to pro-Russia is a badge of honor on the right:
[President Trump's] namesake son ... has emerged as the president’s political alter ego and an in-demand campaign celebrity ahead of November’s midterm elections.
... for many in Trump’s political base, seeing Trump Jr. in the crosshairs of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III may be more of a benefit than a drawback.
... Trump Jr. serves as a physical reminder to Trump voters that failure in November raises the specter of impeachment.
“He is fundamentally educating the American people that we must have a Republican House in November, because the alternatives are first and foremost the impeachment of his father,” said David Bossie, Trump’s former deputy campaign manager.
As we all know, Junior is an ignoramus:
He co-hosted a Washington screening earlier this month of “Death of a Nation,” a film by conservative firebrand Dinesh D’Souza (whom the president pardoned) alleging ties between the Democratic Party and Nazis. In an interview there, Trump Jr. compared the Nazi platform in the early 1930s to today’s Democratic National Committee platform.
But that doesn't matter in the GOP -- in fact, it's beneficial. Here we are in the Democratic Party, asking ourselves whether Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is really ready for prime time, and possibly might need a little more experience, or might benefit from a deeper grounding in the issues -- but Republicans don't care about any of that. Anyone who turns their voters into spittle-flecked rage monsters is declared to be a superstar -- and the Post's Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker seem to be eagerly accepting this assessment:
Trump Jr. — who, together with brother Eric, took over the family’s real estate and branding company when their father became president — is planning an aggressive fall schedule of appearances from Montana to Texas to New York to help Republicans maintain their Senate and House majorities.
“He can bridge anyplace,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). “It’s genuine. He’s not there because, ‘Oh, I’ve got to go make this trip.’ He wants to be there. . . . He connects with people.”
In many ways, Trump Jr. carries the spirit of his father’s “Make America Great Again” movement. Like the president, he uses social media to fan conspiracy theories, air grievances and troll adversaries. He busts through boundaries of political correctness and relishes public feuds, especially with those he deems liberal elites.
“Don is a chip off the old block,” said Cliff Sims, a former White House and Trump campaign staffer. “He’s a savage on Twitter and a force of nature on the stump.”
That's not reporting -- it's a GOP press release.
I know, I know -- you all think Junior will be reporting to the hoosegow shortly. My natural pessimism makes me suspect that he and most of the Trump inner circle will get away with what they've done, the way most corporate chieftains do. But even if Junior does time, I think he has a bright future in Republican politics -- maybe especially if he does time. If he does, he'll be a Trump and a martyr. He hates liberals in the most simple-minded way. He likes guns and hunting. He has no self-doubt. Therefore, he's a natural. I think he's the Republican presidential frontrunner in 2024, especially if he's on parole.
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog