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Their Alternative Universe Is As Real As A Rod Stewart Show In Vegas


"Under The Bus 2" by Nancy Ohanian

Illinois Republican Adam Kinzinger made a big boo-boo today when he was on State of the Union with Jake Tapper. He said he wants GOP leaders like Kevin McCarthy to call out "garbage politicians, clown politicians" like Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene. How is it possible that Kinzinger is still missing the fact that McCarthy himself is a garbage politician, inexorably bound at the hip to Trump-- until Trump no longer finds him useful. "Our party," said Kinzinger, "has been hijacked. My party has been hijacked. It is on its way to the ground... if you are a Republican voter, do not listen to people like Marjorie Taylor Greene." Kinzinger and Greene have two Twitter accounts each. Kinzinger, who was first elected to Congress over a decade ago, has around 542,000 followers. Greene, a freshman, already has around 687,000 followers. And beyond Twitter, she commands a much bigger platform than Kinzinger, especially among Republicans.


Do you think creatures like Greene and Boebert would exist as forces within the GOP without Trump? When an establishment, mainstream conservative like Kinzinger says on national TV that "I call on Leader McCarthy, I call on every leader in the Republican Party to stand up, say, get vaccinated, and to call out these garbage politicians, these absolute clown politicians playing on your vaccine fears for their own selfish gain," it would have big headline news everyone. In today's atmosphere, it will hardly even be noticed.


And speaking about an alternative reality, PatriotsSoar, one of the right-wing propaganda channels helping the fascists flood the zone, is promoting a sure fire way-- just 7 easy steps-- to get Señor T right back into the White House "in just a matter of days." CPAC attendees love it of course. Here's the "7-Pt Plan To Restore Donald J Trumpanzee In Days, Not Years." The steps speak for themselves:

  1. Reveal ACHILLES' HEEL: Pull back the curtain on the horror show that is today's "Democrat Party." Watch Pelosi melt, like the Wicked Witch of the West. See the Black Caucus and other key groups flip, unexpectedly, and watch the tables turn.

  2. Witness a trusted Conservative elected as Speaker of the House and, FINALLY, reveal suppressed results of existing investigations and election racketeering.

  3. Correct the official record. Reveal that Trump legitimately won the 2020 Election

  4. The Speaker often House drafts Articles of Impeachment for Biden-Harris

  5. Citizen Donald J. Trumpanzee is placed into the line of Presidential succession, behind the Vice President, by electing him Speaker of the House

  6. The Speaker of the House Donald J. Trumpanzee then calls for a vote to impeach, charge and remove impostors Biden and Harris.

  7. Duly impeach, charge and remove Biden and Harris whereby rendering all acts of said impostors, while in office, null and void and of no effect! Then, duly elected Donald J. Trumpanzee resumes his rightful place as U.S. President.


As long as we're talking fantasy, let's flip over to a more likely scenario, one penned for The Hill this morning by Joe Ferullo, a former executive vice president of programming for CBS Television Distribution, a news executive for NBC, where he was a writer-producer for Dateline. He thinks Señor T should move to Vegas full-time, where he can perform his nostalgia routine on a regular basis for his adoring fans.



"He and his audience," wrote Ferullo, "seemed most excited living off past glories and grievances: Hillary Clinton, the Mueller report, the election. They were happier looking back than looking forward. This impulse to marinate in the glow of times gone by is just the kind of powerful desire that paves the streets of Las Vegas with gold. For performers such as Elton John (age 74), Cher (75) and Rod Stewart (76), Vegas residencies have kept them working well past their glory years. But their success comes because each understands the world of nostalgia entertainment brings one unshakable demand: Nothing about you can change. Ever. That’s why 'classic' acts strain to look exactly as they did at the height of their fame. They step on stage in the same hair and clothing styles they’ve worn for more than 30 years. And each night, they play their biggest hits note for note, just the way fans remember them from that special beach summer they’ll never forget. That approach works, time after time, because for many fans, these nostalgia performances are deep down about melancholy and a sense of loss. People return each year and pay top dollar so veteran entertainers can take them back to a time when life felt filled with possibilities and the world was theirs to own. Trump (age 75) has begun to cross over into that world."


At Trump’s rallies, his hair and clothes-- red tie, white shirt, blue suit-- were as iconic as Elton John’s bedazzled eyeglasses. Trump ticket holders now arrive with old campaign banners and wear favorite T-shirts from previous events. They loved it when the former president asked, “Are we having a good time?” and then tossed red MAGA hats out into the first few rows-- standard crowd-pleasers that every seasoned headliner lives by.
But just like fans at the MGM hotel singing along with vintage hits from Aerosmith (lead singer Steven Tyler, age 73), Trump’s people didn’t show up to hear the “new stuff.” Laugh lines about woke generals and New York prosecutors missed their mark even as they made headlines the next day.
For Trump, the best model to follow is the king of all "oldies’ performers," Elvis Presley. The rock 'n' roll idol essentially invented the Las Vegas residency, setting in stone the way it should be done. Even in 1976, a year before he died, with the music world changing all around him, Presley’s set list of songs for his Las Vegas Hilton show was jammed with hits from the 1950s-- the sweet spot for his fan base.
Over those Vegas years, Elvis’s connection to his audience became ironclad. Elvis sightings continued years after his death; fans just could not let go of a man who represented so much that was golden about their lives. Eventually-- once his death was reluctantly accepted-- true believers moved on to the next best thing: Elvis impersonators, a Las Vegas industry that continues to thrive 44 years after the King’s final days.
Trump’s connection to his base has the same appeal as Presley’s-- a deliberate throwback to a less complicated post-war era, seen through the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia. Some reports have noted an increasingly dark and angry side to his fan base, but Trump’s appearances can also be seen as a safety valve-- a way to let off steam as the audience is taken back to a better time.
He’s even spawned his own Elvis-like cadre of would-be impersonators (Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley), waiting for him to surrender the stage.
Understandably, the former president may be reluctant to make the move to Vegas. Financially, he’s done well fundraising from his headquarters in Florida. But in Sin City, money flows even faster. Consider this: Rod Stewart is a year older than Trump and last had a No. 1 hit in 1979 with “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” Stewart’s reported Caesar’s Palace salary: $2,700,000 for each performance.
Even a billionaire must find that kind of coin hard to ignore.
Apparently, for many high-profile performers Trump’s age, nostalgia is a lot better than it used to be. He should try it. Las Vegas is waiting.