$$ SYNDICATEDÂ content
Are you an On Account or Unlimited Access Member?
|TOO BUSY TO JOIN TODAY?|
|We reserve the right to validate your circulation|
|787 words, with tag|
The 70 per cent of Americans who self-identify as Democrats or independents share one thing: they hate, hate, hate Donald Trump. They want him gone. Impeached, indicted, whatever. Gone.
The 30 per cent who still call themselves Republicans, however, love him. They adore him. They stick with him.
No amount of controversy, no new outrage, deters them. They remain devoted to the president. As such, elected Republicans are afraid to oppose him. Those who detest Trump (see Senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker) fear the wrath of the lunatic Trumpian media (see Fox and Friends, Breitbart, Alex Jones). So they choose flight over fight.
Politicos and political scientists are frustrated by the stubborn Trump voter. Entire forests have been felled to print analyses about how pry lose Trumpâ€™s core voters. Racism allegations didnâ€™t work (mainly because a lot of them are racist). Sexism allegations didnâ€™t work (ditto). Allegations about mental instability didnâ€™t work, either (sigh).
But, last week, something revisited the public consciousness. Something that just might work. And it was the product of â€œoppo.â€
Iâ€™ve been doing oppo for political parties for decades. Oppo, however disparaged it is by the mainstream, persists because it works.
Now, notwithstanding the many mythologies that have developed around James Carvilleâ€™s Bill Clinton-era war room, and just about every other war room since, opposition research â€“ oppo, as itâ€™s called â€“ is neither new nor glamorous. It is, instead, frequently boring work that has been done in political campaigns since the beginning of time.
Sometimes it wins campaigns and sometimes it doesnâ€™t. But itâ€™s always worth doing.
Oppo is just one part of a large and complex campaign organization, drawing together press relations, polling, field organization, debate preparation, advertising and the candidateâ€™s retail politicking. At best, an oppo teamâ€™s damaging revelation will throw an opponent off his or her campaign message for a day or so. But rarely will it win a race on its own.
By the early 1990s in the United States, oppo started to come into its own. Larry Sabato, one of the most acute observers of the unloved species that calls itself a political consultant, estimates that there was a 200 per cent growth in opposition research firms in the U.S. in this period. Such paid, full-time professional political consultants â€“ as opposed to the ad hoc, decidedly amateurish political consultants who had preceded them â€“ had become a big, multimillion-dollar business.
Oppo is ubiquitous now. Technological advances have enabled the media, and politicians, to do things that had previously only been dreamed of. In the case of politicos, technology and the Internet (and its dangerous progeny, Facebook and Twitter) permitted even the most modestÂ campaign to develop crucial databases containing information about opponents.
Carville once told me he doesnâ€™t agree with the naysayers say about oppo. â€œLook,â€ he said, â€œthe best way to do this game is to get all your information and then get all your information out. The voters deserve more information, you know? Weâ€™re not in this business to be mean or negative. Weâ€™re in it to draw distinctions and to draw distinctions that favour our side. So we just go out and try and be very honest about these distinctions, these differences.â€
Which leads us to this bit of oppo: a tape exists that people have seen. It shows something that happened in room 1101 at the Ritz in Moscow on Nov. 9, 2013.Â Here, according to one of the people who has seen it, is what it shows:
â€œThere were other aspects to [the targetâ€™s] engagement with the Russian authorities. One which had borne fruit for them was to exploit [the targetâ€™s] personal obsessions and sexual perversions in order to obtain suitable ‘kompromat’ (compromising material) on him. According to Source D, where s/he had been present, [the targetâ€™s] conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel where he knew President and Mrs. Obama (whom he hated) had stayed on one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him. The hotel was known to be under [Russian federal Security Service] control with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to.â€
The target of the oppo effort â€“ initially paid for by Republicans, later by Democrats â€“ was one Donald J. Trump.
So when this oppo work ever becomes public â€“ and it will â€“ will Trumpâ€™s voters stay with him? Will they remain loyal?
This war room guyâ€™s hunch: they will do what has been long-predicted and is long overdue:Â Drop him.
Troy Media columnist Warren Kinsella is a Canadian journalist, political adviser and commentator.
Included in Troy Mediaâ€™s Unlimited Access subscription plan.
Troy Media Marketplace Â© 2017 – All Rights Reserved
Trusted editorial content provider to media outlets across Canadaâ€‹
Â Terms and Conditions of use