*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
It’s getting to the point that even Americans who aren’t tasked with closely following politics, and elections, can hardly believe the dog-and-pony show raging in the Republican Party. At this juncture it’s glaringly apparent that it is not just Donald Trump’s campaign that’s in complete disarray, it is fair to say the entire movement is in chaos. In fact, based on the past couple of days events and statements from all concerned on the right, it is getting a little more difficult every day to comprehend exactly what is going on with Republicans and their war against the Party standard bearer.
Yesterday Donald Trump made a big deal out of the dearth of party unity for his presidential bid and all but declared war on the RNC. So it was very curious indeed that a Donald Trump comrade in arms and early supporter was summarily fired from his esteemed position for taking up the mantle for Trump and protesting the RNC’s obvious lurch away from the top of the ticket.
The now-unemployed Trump acolyte, Corey Stewart was unceremoniously relieved of his lofty position as Donald Trump’s Virginia State campaign chairman for participating in a protest in front of Republican National Committee headquarters. The protest was, obviously, a reaction to Trump’s declaration of war against the GOP for “abandoning” the candidate and concentrating on saving down ballot candidates. Let’s face it; when a campaign fires a loyal and important state chairman in a state it desperately needs because he joined a protest according to the candidates encouragement, saying something is amiss in Trump-land is a monumental understatement.
Apparently, there has been no small amount of finger pointing between Mr. Stewart and senior Trump campaign officials who have been blaming each other for problems in Virginia that show Hillary Clinton with a lead in the polls. Tensions must have been high because Stewart only learned of his summary termination in a statement released by Trump’s deputy campaign manager David Bossie. Bossie said in a statement that:
“Former Virginia State Chairman Corey Stewart is no longer affiliated with the Donald J. Trump for President campaign. He is being replaced, effective immediately. Corey made this decision when he staged a stunt in front of the RNC without the knowledge or the approval of the Trump campaign.”
Part of Bossie’s statement was a blatant lie. The Trump campaign certainly had knowledge of the rally because David Bossie had warned Stewart to shut down the event he didn’t organize before it even began. And, as far as “approval,” one might think that Trump’s escalation of hostilities against the RNC and establishment Republicans would be considered, at least, tacit approval.
Mr. Stewart likely believed that when Donald J. Trump declared war on the RNC after being humiliated by House Speaker Paul Ryan and other establishment Republicans that protesting its defection from the candidate was exactly what “the Donald” wanted. The so-called “stunt” was not organized or controlled by Stewart, but he did participate and later acknowledged that he was fired for supporting the rally in front of RNC headquarters.
It was a Trump supporter rally, by the way, that was intended as a warning to the national party against abandoning Mr. Trump. Although Stewart admitted he didn’t actually organize the rally, he did say that as an ardent Trump loyalist he “wholeheartedly backed it and helped spread the word about it.”
Stewart said that Bossie did, in fact, warn him to put an immediate halt to the rally he had no part in starting, and he had no qualms telling the assembled Trump supporters that the deputy campaign manager had just issued a threat that meant his job was in jeopardy. Stewart said,
“He threatened me. I let everybody know he was threatening me. They said, ‘there are going to be dire consequences’ unless I shut down the rally.”
Stewart said he had a feeling he would be fired if he went ahead with his plans to join the rally against the RNC, but that it was worth it to make his and most of Trump’s supporters’ point that establishment Republicans, people he referred to as “establishment pukes” were deliberately trying to undermine his boss’ campaign for the White House.
Even though he lost his job, Stewart defended his participation in the rally as part of his job in defending Donald Trump’s campaign. He said,
“I wanted to call them out and, look, there’s not a lot of time left. The truth needs to be told. Paul Ryan, the Mitt Romneys, the Reince Priebuses, they don’t want Trump to win. They’re sabotaging the campaign.” Stewart also complained about the RNC “breaking its promise” to support Mr. Trump, particularly over Virginia money raised for the Trump campaign but not spent on the Trump campaign. He said,
“We’ve been raising money in Virginia for Trump, and the RNC has broken all its promises to help its campaign in Virginia because Virginia doesn’t have any critical down-ticket races.” Part of breaking “all its promises” included that money that had been raised by Virginia Republicans for Trump was being spent by the RNC on down-ticket races in other states.
Apparently the idea of disloyalty Trump has been claiming is rampant among Republicans is also rampant among the people running Trump’s campaign. It is noteworthy that Stewart has been Donald Trump’s staunchest ally and supporter from the start of the campaign. As of late, Mr. Stewart was the only prominent Virginia Republican to defend Trump after a video was released revealing the Republican standard bearer making lewd remarks about women. Like many avid Trump supporters, Stewart said that Trump was only guilty of “acting like a frat boy, as a lot of guys do.”
Despite his firing, Corey Stewart says he still supports Donald Trump; likely because they share nearly identical views on everything to the point that Stewart has no problem regularly bragging that “I was Trump before Trump was Trump.”
Stewart’s firing must have sent chills throughout the Trump campaign simply because it must be nearly impossible to know who is in charge or exactly how far campaign loyalists should follow the lead of Donald Trump. It is reasonable to believe that based on the escalating rancor between Trump, the RNC and an increasing number of establishment Republicans, and Trump’s claims that “the shackles are off” and that he is finished with the RNC, a loyal follower would be rewarded for defending the candidate, not fired. It is a sure sign that Trump’s campaign is lacking leadership and organization as badly as Republicans are lacking a sane candidate for the presidency.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.