Friday, August 19, 2016

The Illustrated Manafort

With great respect for the life and work of Ray Bradbury.

It was a warm afternoon in early September when I first met the Illustrated Manafort.

Walking along an asphalt road, I was on the final long of a two weeks' walking tour of Wisconsin. Late in the afternoon I stopped, ate some pork, beans, and a doughnut, and was preparing to stretch out and read when the Illustrated Manafort walked over the hill and stood for a moment against the sky.

I didn't know he was Illustrated then. I only know that he was tall, once well muscled, but now, for some reason, going to fat. I recall that his arms were long, and the hands thick, but that his face was like a child's, set upon a massive body.

He seemed only to sense my presence, for he didn't look directly at me when he spoke his first words.

"Do you know where I can find a job?"

"I'm afraid not," I said.

"I hadn't had a job that's lasted in forty years," he said.

Though it was a hot late afternoon, he wore his wool shirt buttoned tight about his neck. His sleeves were rolled and buttoned down over his thick wrists. Perspiration was streaming from his face, yet he made no move to open his shirt.

"Well," he said at last, "this is as good a place as any to spend the night. Do you mind

"I have some extra food you'd be welcome to," I said.

He sat down heavily, grunting. 'You'll be sorry you asked me to stay," he said. "Everyone always is. That's why I'm walking. Here it is, early. September, the cream of the Labor Day carnival season. I should be making money hand over fist at any small town side show celebration, but here I am with no prospects."

He took off an immense shoe and peered at it closely. "I usually keep a job about ten days. Then something happens and they fire me. By now every carnival in America won't touch me with a ten-foot pole."

"What seems to be the trouble?" I asked...

Chapter One:  The Other Foot  (from The New York Times, March 28, 2016)

Donald Trump Hires Paul Manafort to Lead Delegate Effort 
Donald J. Trump, girding for a long battle over presidential delegates and a potential floor fight at the Cleveland convention, has enlisted the veteran Republican strategist Paul J. Manafort to lead his delegate-corralling efforts, according to people briefed on Mr. Trump’s plans. 
Mr. Trump confirmed the hire in a brief telephone interview. “Yes,” he said, “it is true.”

Mr. Manafort, 66, is among the few political hands in either party with direct experience managing nomination fights: As a young Republican operative, he helped manage the 1976 convention floor for Gerald Ford in his showdown with Ronald Reagan, the last time Republicans entered a convention with no candidate having clinched the nomination.

He performed a similar function for Mr. Reagan in 1980, and played leading roles in the 1988 and 1996 conventions, for George Bush and Bob Dole.

Mr. Manafort has drawn attention in recent years chiefly for his work as an international political consultant, most notably as a senior adviser to former President Viktor F. Yanukovych of Ukraine, who was driven from power in 2014...

Chapter Two:  The Exiles (from Bloomberg Politics, May 19, 2016)

Trump Promotes Manafort to Campaign Chairman

The veteran campaign strategist will now be in charge of nearly every facet of the campaign.

Power over the management of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is shifting to Paul Manafort.

Manafort was hired for his experience with contested Republican conventions, but now that that threat has passed, Trump is naming the 67-year-old strategist as the campaign chairman, aides told Bloomberg Politics.

Corey Lewandowski, 42, will continue to be campaign manager, Hope Hicks, the campaign's spokesperson, said. But Manafort, whose title also currently includes chief strategist, is now in charge of every facet of the campaign...

Chapter Three:  The Long Rain  (from USA Today, June 20, 2016)

Trump fires Corey Lewandowski as campaign manager

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump fired Corey Lewandowski as campaign manager on Monday, seeking to re-calibrate his organization after a stream of criticism about the divisive political operative who directed his presidential bid since its launch a year ago.

After a number of advisers — including his children — had raised questions with Trump about Lewandowski's aggressive style, the campaign issued a short statement early Monday saying only that he "will no longer be working with the campaign."
"Firing your campaign manager in June is never a good sign," said Republican political consultant Kevin Madden after the announcement.

The former campaign manager clashed with many colleagues, according to two people briefed on the dismissal who were not authorized to speak publicly, including senior adviser Paul Manafort and the candidate's children, who supported the leadership change...
Chapter Four:  Marionettes, Inc.  (from the Washington Post, August 18, 2016)
These Trump surrogates are working as hard as they can to deny a campaign shake-up 

Trump's decline in polls in the wake of the two political conventions held last month began to cause panic among Republicans, and Trump himself reportedly began to tell friends privately that he blamed micromanagement by advisers and a change in strategy away from his shoot-from-the-hip style toward scripted, "teleprompter Trump" for his recent numbers.

It's not a huge stretch, then, to say that this week's shake-up of top Trump advisers was an attempt at a reset, at a minimum. But the campaign tried its hardest to smother that narrative, sending its small army of television surrogates to attempt to change the narrative. In the video above, several of Trump's top surrogates can be seen trying to deflect the argument that the campaign shake-up wasn't a … campaign shake-up.

Chapter Five: The Illustrated Manafort (from The New York Times, August 19, 2016):

Paul Manafort Quits Donald Trump’s Campaign After Tumultuous Run

Paul Manafort, installed to run Donald J. Trump’s campaign after the firing of his original campaign manager, handed in his resignation on Friday morning.

Mr. Manafort left nearly a week after a New York Times report about tumult within the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign helped precipitate a leadership shake-up. His departure reflects repeated efforts to steady a campaign that has been frequently roiled by the behavior of its tempestuous first-time candidate.

Mr. Manafort was also dogged by reports about secretive efforts he made to help the former pro-Russian government in Ukraine, where he has worked on and off over several years. He had also become viewed with trepidation by Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and a major force within the campaign, amid a number of false starts since the Republican National Convention, according to three people briefed on the matter...
It was  almost midnight. The moon was high in the sky now. The Illustrated Manafort lay motionless. I had seen what there was to see. The stories were told; they were over and done.

There remained only that empty space upon the Illustrated Manafort’s back, that area of jumbled colors and shapes.

Now, as I watched, the vague patch began to assemble itself, in slow dissolvings from one shape to another and still another. And at last a face formed itself there, a face that gazed out at me from the colored flesh, a face with a familiar nose and mouth, familiar eyes.

It was very hazy. I saw only enough of the Illustration to make me leap up. I stood therein the moonlight, afraid that the wind or the stars might move and wake the monstrous gallery at my feet. But he slept on, quietly.

The picture on his back showed the Illustrated Manafort himself, with his fingers about my neck, choking me to death. I didn’t wait for it to become clear and sharp and a definite picture.

I ran down the road in the moonlight. I didn’t look back. A small town lay ahead, dark and asleep. I knew that, long before morning, I would reach the town...
Run all you want, Donald.

Run all day and all night.

You'll never make it.

There is nothing waiting for you at the end of the line but the brutal judgement of history which will mark you down forever in as the biggest liar, fraud, buffoon and loser ever nominated for President by a major American political party.


zombie rotten mcdonald said...

A worthy tribute.

Also, Josh at TPM thinks Manafort may be headed for the House of Many Doors:

trgahan said...

To me, the biggest remaining question at this point is:

How will Crazy Uncle Liberty and Auntie ALLCAPS, who dared ice and snow this past winter to make sure they got a primary vote in for their long awaited "tells it like it is" Real America candidate, react?

Yes they will deflect, deny, project, and burrow deeper into the right wing dung heap that the media is already prepared to dump another million pounds of a grade A bull crap mix of No Mandate! Hillary hate, "Were there voting ill regularities? Some are saying..." we-aren't-a-dying-minority conspiracies, and "Hillary has ONE bad appointee! SEE BOTH SIDES!!!"

BUT, they only will do all of that because they know, in their hearts, that their long awaited guy, the one they gave the most primary voters ever, the one who refused to be PC, and not pivot to appease those congressional RHINO's that failed to stop the Kenyan usurper! is projecting to lose by the widest margin in history. And what that says about them and their most deeply held beliefs.

Or will Democrats pull another 2010 and fuel the TrumpOFF machine by falling asleep or having "she's a corporatist!" hissy fit?

banker puppy said...

Given that the GOP abyss is bottomless, I'm willing to predict it (or its successor) will produce a worse nominee by mid-century.

bowtiejack said...

Just fabulous work. Especially the photoshop. Kudos!

My personal bet is that the NY Daily News has already mocked up a post-election headline in 432 point type - LOSER!
There are, of course, those who feel they will go with - YOU'RE FIRED!
But it's all good.

After the success of Mao in the Chinese Communist Revolution, some fleeing remnants of the Kuomintang set up in the opium business in the Golden Triangle.
So there's this to worry about:

dinthebeast said...

Do you think there might be a Trumpy metaphor in my favorite Sci-Fi story of all time, the story in The Illustrated Man called "The City"?
Perhaps the city itself represents the Republican party as it used to exist back when it was functional, killed by the disease brought by the astronauts of the conservative movement, and now taking its revenge on the conservative movement by sending disease-bombs in the form of Donald Trump back to Earth to destroy it the same way it was destroyed itself?
Or maybe I can write that analysis about any random story I read these days...

-Doug in Oakland

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Further to my comment above:

Manafort, as John Cole said, has dead eyes and is a psychopath, and his Russian blood money will probably be enough to keep him out of prison....

bowtiejack said...

zombie rotten etc.

My own little note on psychopaths, sociopaths ("you say tomatoh, I say tomatah . . . ") :

What is commonly called sociopathy or sociopathic behavior [and No, I do not want to get into the DSM weeds on this] probably runs in a spectrum from inveterate shoplifters at one end to people who will back over a toddler to get a parking space at the other.
My personal belief is that successful functioning sociopaths have a reptilian focus on their goals to the disregard of all other considerations while exercising just enough peripheral vision to not be caught going too far. Emphasis on not getting caught.
My own little rule of thumb for dealing with life is that there are a LOT more functioning sociopaths out there than anyone realizes or admits. They are inordinately drawn to any power position (providing opportunities to lord it over people). They are attracted especially to law enforcement, the judiciary, politics, high finance, and the corporate aristocracy. Their indifference to truth and the welfare of others, coupled with a stone cold preference for lying as a form of communication, often make them very "successful". They have the emotional range of a dead fish save one regard - frustration at not getting their own way which leads to cataclysms of anger and rage.

THE SOCIOPATH'S MOTTO: "The truth doesn't matter, what matters is what works!"

RUKidding said...

If Manafort doesn't dead eye strangle Trump, perhaps Putin's Vory buddies will.

Q: will Vlad be pissed off now that his direct connection to USA Intel may be facing time in the Big House?? Will manly white supremacist Putin forgive his manly white supremacist pal Trump of all of his outstanding debts? Or will KGB Vlad finally have enough of Trump's bullshit & set the Vory dogs on him?? Good luck with that Donnie.