Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Stopped Clock Named Manigault

Trump speechwriter David Sorensen has resigned over domestic abuse allegations. A few days earlier, White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter had done the same for the same reason.

In September, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who regularly flew on charter and private planes at taxpayer expense, was forced out by John Kelly, who is himself now under great pressure for condoning, and lying about, the Porter matter.

And then there are the guilty pleas and indictments: Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, Richard Gates, all far before the ultimate completion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report. There will be more. "The overall level of venality in this administration," Obama-era ethics advisor Norm Eisen tweets, "is like nothing we have ever seen."

Keep that- and Watergate- in mind when considering the case of Omarosa Manigault Newman.

While on Celebrity Apprentice, Manigault allegedly propositioned Piers Morgan, recommending "a showmance. You know, a romance on the show — we get it on together. Happens all the time on Apprentice. Everyone has sex together. Then we can make lots of money out of it,

Naturally, that qualified her for the Trump campaign, during which Manigault stated "I am the director of African-American outreach for Donald Trump... I know Donald Trump in his heart."

Completely unqualified, she was a perfect fit for the position of communications director of the Office of Public Liaison in the Trump administration, from which she was fired because she reportedly had been using the White House car service "as an office pickup and drop-off service," then "tried to storm the White House residence to appeal to Trump."

Now on Celebrity Big Brother, she recently was featured on a promotional clip, claiming teary-eyed of Trump  "I was haunted by tweets every day. Like, what is he going to tweet next... It’s going to not be OK, it’s not. It’s so bad.”

Manigault was slammed for her as an insincere, self-promoting opportunist- which she is. And now, Salon's Matthew Rosza notes

"As bad as y’all think Trump is, you would be worried about [Vice President Mike] Pence," Manigault Newman told her housemates on a recent episode of "Big Brother: Celebrity Edition." "Everybody that's wishing for impeachment might want to reconsider their life. We would be begging for days of Trump if Pence became president, that’s all I’m saying. He’s extreme."

She added: "I'm Christian, I love Jesus, but he thinks Jesus tells him to say things. I'm like, 'Jesus didn't say that.'"

Roughly 45 years ago, there was another woman who was derided for having said wacky things.She was accued of being mentally ill, which she was not. However, she probably did have a drinking problem and was brutally obnoxious.

Martha Mitchell, wife of Attorney General turned campaign manager for President Nixon, told the media that the scandal known as "Watergate" reached all the way to the top. She was ridiculed and/or generally ignored by everyone (including Woodward and Bernstein), save famed UPI  reporter Helen Thomas.

But she was right, and bears a similarity to Omarosa Manigault who is, well, a creep, which renders her similar to many members (past and present) of the Trump Administration. And she is concerned primarily, nearly exclusively, with herself.

Nevertheless, despite Rosza's implication, that does not make her wrong about Mike Pence. Like the stopped clock that is right twice a day, Manigault is probably right roughly once a year.The Vice-President could issue a statement denying Manigault's statement or even one saying it doesn't warrant a response, meanwhile asserting the centrality of Jesus Christ in his life. He could issue a more anodyne statement, maintaining that Jesus is a role model for him, a largely meaningless claim that even agnostics and atheists would find acceptable.

He has not done so, perhaps because it would be insincere.  (He does lie, however.) When Omarosa Manigault contends Mike Pence is "extreme"  and "thinks Jesus tells him to say things," she is probably correct. And ifIt is accurate, we eventually would- as she argues- "be begging for days of Trump if Pence became president."

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