Indulge me as I kick a guy when he's down. If you've ever watched Fox News Channel or listened to the Don Imus show, you'll recognize the name Richard “Bo” Dietl. The former New York City police detective also turned up in two Scorcese movies (Goodfellas and The Wolf of Wall Street). Somehow he was appointed to be President George H.W. Bush's National Crime Commissioner. Somehow. But that was probably before he weaponized his caustic dickishness to become a cable news shovel-fighter.
More recently, Dietl decided to hop aboard the Trump Train by running for mayor of New York. In fact, you might recognize this human shit-stain from a recent episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Check out this clip from the New York mayoral debate:
Dietl's obnoxiously vulgar behavior seen above was certainly in keeping with his prior media performances, so it wasn't a stretch to harness his repellent cable news rage-gasms during the race. It was an ill-fated political calculation knowing that Donald Trump's equally repugnant garishness has resonated with angry middle-aged white men. Dietl figured he'd get in on the action now, while Trump's orange coattails are still unfurled.
Dietl calculated wrongly. We'll circle back to this in a second.
One of my primary concerns in the Trump Age is the notion of copycats. Already, we've seen both national and state-level politicians attempting to squeeze through the Trump-shaped hole in the wall in order to capitalize on the president's mediocre support by adopting variations on Trump's public persona.
Even though the rest of us know the real score -- that Trump's poll numbers are slowly collapsing and that he's deeply unpopular with most voters -- there are still too many Trumpers who believe that because he was able to ascend to the White House despite a rickety stack of scandals and horrendously unpresidential remarks, they too might be able to match the same degree of success elsewhere by borrowing his shtick. Only, for these copycats, Trump's remarks and misdeeds are seen as part of his appeal, rather than a downside, and hence his victory exactly one year ago today.
Indeed, one of the toughest challenges for the Resistance in the coming years will be to re-bottle the madness that Trump has unleashed into the world. It's his white-trash impulsiveness, his disinterest in facts, his rejection of presidential normalcy, his breezy usage of lies and exaggerations, his pandering to the darkest instincts of his supporters-- he should've never been handed the keys to the Oval Office, and these are just a few examples of the familiar Trump stink that's dominated the national conversation. It's not difficult to win supporters when feeding-back their resentfulness and bigotry, their lust for tabloid reality-show sensationalism -- their who gives a shit? relationship with decency and decorum, their cynicism about national leaders. No one's ever gone broke appealing to the kneejerk, defiant ignorance of the white trash cave-dwellers of America. To wit: Dietl is apparently a multi-millionaire. Again, it's not a difficult strategy to execute, but one that can't be rolled out ever again without further threatening the integrity of the republic.
This (temporary?) acceptance of villainy on a massive scale, polluting the White House, is chiefly what has to be exorcised from the world. If it's allowed to continue and flourish, say hello to Idiocracy, sooner rather than later.
Until Trump came along, any single episode in his lengthy roster of trespasses would've doomed normal political candidates in normal political times. With the help of Russia as well as a nationwide voter suppression campaign orchestrated by the establishment GOP, and heaped on top of 20 years of Fox News and AM talk radio brainwashing, Trump squeaked out a narrow victory, while losing the popular vote. However, the geniuses on cable news and elsewhere, during the days and weeks after the election pinpointed a different springboard for Trump's dubious accomplishment -- something about rust belt voters. In hindsight, we know it was much more complicated than that. But some Republicans still believe Trump's victory was completely organic.
That brings us back to Bo Dietl.
This barking carbuncle with his douchebag cufflinks thought he could ride what's left of the Trump wave into Gracie Mansion. Fortunately, the five boroughs shouted "no!" in the best way possible. New York City voters ought to be extra proud of themselves for mercilessly rejecting Dietl and, with him, Trumpism. And not by a few nail-biting votes, by the way. Dietl landed in fourth place, accumulating a flaccid 10,592 votes compared to Mayor Bill de Blasio's 726,361 votes and 303,742 received by the official Republican opponent.
In addition to signature Democratic victories in Virginia and New Jersey on Tuesday, the crushing of Dietl in New York City is perhaps one of the best indications that Americans have grown exhausted with the inchoate madness of Trumpism. So, let this be a warning to copycats: Trump turns everything to shit.
Next stop for the Dems will be to send Rhinestone cosplayer Roy Moore packing once and for all. Moore, and Trump by proxy, must be thoroughly embarrassed in Alabama's U.S. Senate runoff next month. Given that it's red Alabama, Democratic challenger Doug Jones need only win in order to karate-chop Trumpism in the throat. And then one batch of rejections will, fingers crossed, parlay into a trend that'll hopefully endure through the midterms and onward.
One last thing. Here's one of Deitl's tweets from Election Night, underscoring his classiness and his spelling abilities: "Good morning @frankmorano I Lost last night but I’m still a multimillionaire your still a Fat Looser in the looser Reform party." That's one "your" and two "loosers" in there for the nincompoop triple-crown.