I Tweeted this Tuesday night:
Gotta give @realDonaldTrump this: He is much better at defending his employee than Breitbart was at defending theirs
Of the 11.5 thousand times I've hit the "Tweet" button (I don't have any other hobbies) this one struck the loudest chord. 394 people either re-Tweeted or Liked it.
Once again the DC-NYC axis doesn't get it.
In case you've been out off the planet for the past three weeks here's the summary. (Trump, remember, is protected by the Secret Service.)
At an event in Florida on March 8, 2016 Donald Trump was working the crowd when a reporter for Breitbart.com named Michelle Fields attempted to ask a question.
Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowsky, has been charged by the Jupiter, Florida police for having grabbed Fields by the arm and pulling her away from Trump.
Fields has quit her job because her publication took Lewandowski's side. Lewandowsky is charged with a misdemeanor, "Simple Battery."
No Archdukes were assassinated. No Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, nor German tanks into Poland.
An aide pulled a reporter away from his boss.
I am not excusing Lewandowski's actions although I understand them. When you've been standing one step behind and one to the left, or right, of your boss for months on end you become protective of your boss.
In a high-risk situation like diving into a crowd at a rally, everyone connected to the campaign is on edge.
As The Lad (who worked in the White House and was the Director of Advance for the W. re-election campaign) reminded me:
Who among us has never body-blocked a persistent reporter to keep him or her from getting too close to the boss? ("Oops! Sorry!") But we would never, ever lay hands on them.
As someone (I can't find the Tweet) properly pointed out, "being a senior staffer doesn't make you Deputy Dawg."
So, this has become the major discussion point of the week - supplanting even that sparkling philosophical debate: "my-wife-is-better-than-your-wife" of last week.
This is what the Acela Corridor doesn't understand:
Trump supporters are largely people whose bosses haven't stood up for them.
He or she didn't stand up for them when
(A) They got laid off (it's the economy, stupid),
(B) Their hours were cut to make them part-time employees (Obamacare)
(C) Their pension disappeared (unfunded liabilities),
(D) Their raise was smaller than expected or non-existent (see (A) above)
(E) Their company's CEO left with a multi-million-dollar package (it's what the board offered)
(F) Immigrants have been hired to take their job (we owe it to the stockholders)
(G) Their entire company moves offshore ("Tell Mike it was just business" - Sal Tessio)
(H) They can't get anyone at the power/cable/phone/water/airline company to help them deal with an issue.
And on and on.
It's never anyone's fault. There might not even be an "anyone." You can't find "anyone" to write to, to talk to, to complain to, or to plead your case to. You just keep pressing buttons on your phone.
As Tommy Lee Jones' character, Agent K, explained in the first "Men in Black" You're a rumor, recognizable only as deja vu and dismissed just as quickly. You don't exist; you were never even born. Anonymity is your name. Silence your native tongue. You're no longer part of the System. You're above the System. Over it. Beyond it. We're "them." We're "they."
Many, if not most, Americans have grown so used to the organizational shrug when something happens that shouldn't have; or doesn't happen that should have, they just shrug themselves. In the case currently under review, Michelle Fields' bosses at Breitbart.com didn't cover themselves with glory when an editor ordered the staff to stop commenting on it in public, much less circle the wagons to defend her.
In Richard Nixon's day this was called, by senior advisor John Erlichman, leaving someone "Twisting slowly, slowly in the wind."
Does any of this excuse Corey Lewandowski's actions?
No. Of course not.
A simple "Oops! Sorry!" (and maybe five minutes for a one-on-one with the boss as a peace offering) and this would never have been a story.
Nevertheless, Trump is standing by Lewandowski, which is a lot more than most bosses would do.