Roger Stone … remember him? A real piece of work. He and his ex-wife jointly won Filosofa’s Idiot of the Week award back in July 2016. Well, guess what? He has written a book … I should say another book, but since until tonight I wasn’t aware he had written previous books, it doesn’t really matter. The title of his new book? The Making of the President 2016: How Donald Trump Orchestrated a Revolution. It is touted as being “In the tradition of Theodore White’s landmark books, the definitive look at how Donald J. Trump shocked the world to become president.” Trust me … Stone is no T.H. White!
I have read only the equivalent of about the first 20 pages, having downloaded a sample from Amazon onto my kindle, just to get a feel for the tone of the book, author’s writing style, etc. A few excerpts:
- “This [Trump’s electoral win] can only be attributed to the talent, energy, and foresight of Donald Trump himself.” And the Russians, and FBI Director Jim Comey, and the media …
- “The increasingly vigorous alternative media, whose reporting standards are superior …” This is a joke, right?
- “Trump’s skillful courting of the conservative media, like The Daily Caller, Breitbart News, WND.com, and InfoWars, made Trump the first presidential candidate to reach these disaffected … “ An apt description of what is wrong in this country
- “American voters have finally become hip to the fact that the media and the political establishment work hand-in-glove …” Not all of us … in fact, not even most of us.
As you can see, this is not much more than a 408-page propaganda missive, though admittedly there is some interesting historical context. As my blogger-friend Keith has mentioned before, Trump was groomed in his early years by none other than Roy Cohn, the “legendary mob and celebrity lawyer, who was an attorney and advisor to the young real estate mogul.” Cohn was also former Senator Joseph McCarthy’s right-hand man during the era of the McCarthy communist witch hunts.
There are numerous comparisons throughout the brief bit of the book I read that compare the Trump campaign to Richard Nixon’s 1972 campaign, which may be quite apt: Nixon – Watergate; Trump – Russia. At any rate, turns out that Roger Stone was actually an advisor to Nixon’s campaign. In 1972, he joined Nixon’s “Committee to Re-Elect the President”, and while I find no evidence that he was directly involved in Watergate, he played dirty pool, bragging, “By night, I’m trafficking in the black arts. Nixon’s people were obsessed with intelligence.”
After Nixon won the 1972 presidential election, Stone worked for the administration in the Office of Economic Opportunity. After Nixon resigned, Stone went to work for Bob Dole, but he was fired after columnist Jack Anderson publicly identified Stone as a ‘Nixon dirty trickster’. Here is an interesting article from 1986 about Stone and his shady dealings.
Stone began his political career early … in his junior year of high school, he manipulated the ouster of the class president, then succeeded him. “I built alliances and put all my serious challengers on my ticket. Then I recruited the most unpopular guy in the school to run against me. You think that’s mean? No, it’s smart.” (This is reminiscent of the day Trump said his manipulations of the IRS code to avoid paying taxes was “smart”.)
At age 12, Stone read Barry Goldwater’s book, Conscience of a Conservative, and volunteered with the Goldwater campaign (1964), deciding that he was “a staunch conservative but with libertarian leanings.” In 2007 Stone, a top adviser at the time to Joseph Bruno (the majority leader of the New York State Senate), was forced to resign by Bruno after allegations that Stone had threatened Bernard Spitzer, the then-83-year-old father of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer. Interestingly, when Trump learned of the incident he said it was “ridiculous and stupid”. But that was then, and this is now. And in the here and now, Stone advised Trump that he must run his campaign like a dictatorship, that trying to run his campaign as a democracy would only lead to divisiveness and rivalries. Trump listened to Roger.
Roger Stone has not changed since then, either. During the 2016 Republican National Convention, he threatened to send supporters to delegates’ hotel rooms if they switched from Trump to another candidate, a move that then-RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said at the time was “just totally over the line.”
As mentioned in an earlier post, Stone was initially a campaign advisor to Trump, but was soon fired for the same racial, sexual and ethnic slurs that got him banned from CNN & CNBC. But the man continues to make the rounds, as he is a regular on Alex Jones’ radio show, and a frequent guest of Sean Hannity. That should tell you something right there. Though not officially a part of Trump’s White House staff, there is little doubt that Stone is an advisor to Trump in an unofficial capacity. Just last night, in fact, Stone tweeted the following:
“The buck stops here. Obama responsible for illegal surveillance of @realDonaldTrump – must be charged, convicted and jailed.” Link to The Week article
In mid-January, Stone claims that he was poisoned with a radioactive agent, Polonium, in order to keep him from “exposing the “Russian Hacking” LIE b4 the Congressional Investigation”. Comic book stuff? Spy vs Spy? Interestingly, he claims that his book contains the evidence to dispel the Russian hacking “lie”. Since his book was released on January 31st, why would somebody try to poison him at that stage of the game? Methinks this was an ‘alternative fact’, probably a ploy to gain attention a week before the book came out.
As for the book, no, I do not intend to buy or read it. Just reading the sample in bed last night was enough to cost me some sleep. Interestingly, it garnered pretty good reviews … 4.5 / 5 stars from 194 reviewers on Amazon. But then, likely Trump supporters are the only ones who have any interest in reading it. In the past, T.H. White’s “The Making of the President” accounts of the 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976 and 1980 presidential elections have been historical documents, well-written and certainly credible. Stone’s book falls far short, as it is a piece of propaganda, though there is some historical context, but presented from a thoroughly biased viewpoint.
I think we have not seen the last of Roger Stone. It is interesting to note that the aforementioned Idiot of the Week post from July, featuring Roger and Ann Stone has been viewed 40 times in the past week! Apparently people are still interested in him. Like a bad penny, or a nightmare … he just won’t go away!