The Donald Trump phenomenon is admittedly a depressing spectacle to witness. Then again, not all of that sucking of souls is entirely on the candidate; a vampiric press must also answer; sometimes instead of simply toddling back and forth in search of sound bite, it seems useful to mark thresholds and declare an issue, well, if not over, then at least sufficiently defined:
Anthony Scaramucci, a New York financier who recently backed Trump, told Fox News that the real estate mogul’s reluctance is due to “the complication of the return, the fact that he’s under an audit, he feels that he doesn’t want to give out that information to the general public and have a whole nightmare situation with opposition research trying to pick holes through the return.”
Consider, please, that the argument put forth by a surrogate is essentially that the GOP frontrunner and presumptive nominee is afraid.
“… he feels that he doesn’t want to give out that information to the general public and have a whole nightmare situation with opposition research trying to pick holes through the return.”
Such are the dangers of surrogacy: Mr. Trump apparently does not want to release his tax returns because he is afraid to answer for what is in them.
Or, as Steve Benen put it:
Note, Scaramucci, a prominent Republican fundraiser, just this week signed on as an official member of Trump’s national finance committee. He’s not, in other words, just some outside observer; Scaramucci is a new member of Team Trump.
And his defense for keeping tax returns hidden from the public is cringe-worthy. The complexity of the documents is irrelevant, as is the IRS audit. As for the notion that opposition researchers might uncover embarrassing information in Trump’s tax materials, that, almost by definition, is the worst of all possible defenses.
In effect, it’s like saying, “I have to keep the documents hidden because the truth might make me look bad.”
Additionally, we remember that this is Donald Trump, after all. The American face of everything wrong with our business heritage charms how many wearied by institutionalized inequity by “saying what he thinks”, and “telling it like it is”. Indeed, while many in the media would pretend that the movement politics rattling the parties is all the same thing, and many backing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in his fight for the Democratic nomination are anxious to help push the pretense. Yet here we see a defining difference. Mr. Trump’s populism relies on bigotry; Mr. Sanders’ populism relies on an arguably sound pretense of denouncing institutional corruption in public and private influence. By contrast, Donald Trump represents everything Sanders’ liberal movement denounces.
And the presumptive Republican nominee knows this. As it is, he has done a good enough job bucking certain political traditions about how campaigns are run―his movement succeeded in breaking a lot of tacit rules about how to become a presidential frontrunner, as well as identifying the scale of an ideological malady in American society. But at the same time, Trump seems to want to an exemption. And his supporters will bawl on his behalf, which in turn seems something of a neurotic symptom since everyone pretty much presumes the billionaire bankruptcy specialist and television cult celebrity embodies callous, cynical finance. To actually see the detail means Trump’s supporters will need to fashion a defense, a reason why his behavior otherwise qualifying for the range of their outrage should get a pass.
And all because Donald Trump is afraid.
And he knows exactly why he should be.
At least when Donald Trump sent a lawyer out to explain that it wasn’t rape because you can’t rape your wife, that was … er … ah … right. But, you know, it was what, the eighties? That line still had at least some traction.
Donald trump “feels that he doesn’t want to give out that information” because he’s afraid?
Sounds about right.
Image note: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks at a sheet of notes and talking points as he speaks during a rally in Eugene, Oregon, 6 May 2016. (Photo by Ted S. Warren/AP)
Benen, Steve. “Why Donald Trump’s tax-return defense isn’t working”. msnbc. 12 May 2016.
Trudo, Hanna. “Trump clarifies position on releasing tax returns”. Politico. 11 May 2016.