Or Make America Groan Again.
It is something to behold; this tidal wave of donated money chasing a false narrative dangled like a carrot before an already election-and-pandemic-stressed public by President Trump and his Katzenjammer crew.
More than $200 million and counting since the election—nearly $7million a day raked in from his base. Ostensibly, it’s all to save the election from ballot thieves (President-elect Joe Biden and the Democratic Party), which, according to President Trump, pulled off the greatest clandestine theft in the history of thievery. So clandestine that the Trump campaign can present no credible evidence that such theft occurred—none.
While they cry fraud to the press and on Twitter and other social media, they persistently avoid such language in court because lying in court has consequences. When asked by either Republican or Democratic appointed judges hearing their claims in dozens of cases whether they are actually claiming fraud, they answer meekly, “no, your honor.”
Given the short shrift with which the courts are dispatching these bogus cases and the swiftness with which major law firms are dropping their Katzenjammer clients, it’s hard to rationalize how this legal defense money is, or will be, spent.
Well, just kidding. It seems that relatively little of the money is really intended for paying election legal and vote-recount expenses. The Official Election Defense Fund, writ very large, is simply what donors think they are funding. In reality, the lion’s share of the money is being siphoned off to President Trump’s new post-election Political Action Committee, Save America, and to the Republican National Committee, writ very small.
So, what are the real recipients of these funds obligated to do with this largess? Well, pretty much whatever Trump chooses to do with the money. It will mostly go toward funding Trump’s campaign debts and his future political and attendant personal whims. The Washington Post reported that only $8.8 million of the $200+ million raised so far has gone toward actual legal expenses, and $3 millions of those dollars went to funding the recount in Wisconsin, which, not surprisingly, wound up adding more votes to Biden. Really, you can’t make up this sort of hijinks.
This week President Trump taped a 46-minute speech from the White House with all the presidency’s trappings, including a podium emblazoned with the presidential seal. He ranted about the rigged election, which no court, nor his own Justice Department, nor the Department of Homeland Security, nor the FBI has found credible. But never mind those details, his rant was quickly “liked” on Twitter 134,000 times and “shared” on Facebook 93,000 times. The band played on, and the money rolled in.
Much of the money flowing into Trump’s post-election-day fund-raising effort has come from small contributors, many of whom have repeatedly doled out bucks in response to the campaign’s repeated appeals.
If it looks like a grift and sounds like a grift, it is probably a grift. It is certainly a grift if most of the donors believe their contributions are mostly going to challenge the election results, which they have been told was fraudulently stolen by the Democrats. That fraudulent claim has generated millions in donations every day since the election. A grift, and a swift grift at that.
Here’s how the scheme works according to the small print. Three-quarters of every donation goes to Trump’s Save America Political Action Committee, and 25% goes to the RNC’s general fund. Only after Trump’s Save America Political Action Committee has received $5,000 from any given donor does the Trump operation’s portion of the donation shift to an election defense or “recount” fund established within the Trump campaign. And only after the RNC portion of a donor’s total reaches $35,500 does that fraction start passing to the dedicated “legal proceedings” funds that the RNC maintains.
That means, according to one statistical analysis, a single person’s donations which are split between the two organizations must hit $6,666.67 before a single penny starts flowing to a dedicated defense or recount fund. Because the fundraising emails and texts are sent to donors who typically give in the $20 or $50 range, the chance that any of the money will go toward what the donors assume they are contributing to is small-to-non-existent. One campaign veteran referred to such a money sharing scheme as a pure bait-and-switch grift.
Joe Walsh, a former Republican congressman who unsuccessfully ran against Trump for the 2020 GOP presidential nomination, said Trump’s fans just don’t believe it. “I’ve brought it up to his supporters,” Walsh said. “They just don’t believe it.”
So, how will the money be used? Well, it appears that the funds routed to Trump’s Save America Political Action Committee (which is the lion’s share of the funds) can be used to pay for salaries or expenses to Trump or any of his Katzenjammer crew or kids who are doing work for the Save America PAC, or fund meeting expenses and meals at, perhaps, any of his pricey hotel properties, or to cover any other of Trump’s political aspirations—possibly a Save America cable television network. Ever since the Fox network correctly called Arizona for Biden, Trump has been fuming about Fox’s role in his election defeat.
What is certain is that long after the dust has settled on the 2020 election and all the fatuous appeals have withered, Trump will have the means to harass the new Biden Administration and engage in considerable self-aggrandizement for years to come.
He’ll have the means to Make America Groan Again…and again.