I’ve been watching with interest Rachel Maddow’s interview with Lev Parnas. There’s tons of commentary about it, and it’s rich, very rich. I just want to focus on one thing here.
Lev insisted a couple of times that the way Trump’s goons act is cult-ish. He made a point of that. The media picked it up, to some extent. “Is this cult-ish behavior?” asked some, while others just deemed it cult-ish with a weird sort of giddiness for the idea that Lev had made the cult-ish characterization light bulb go off in America.
Here’s the thing. By Lev convincing us that it’s cult-ish, he masks the fact that it’s mob-ish. Lev has every characteristic of a mob goon. So does Michael Cohen. So does Rudy Giuliani. So, for that matter, do Pam Bondi and Bill Barr and Devin Nunes. It is in Lev’s interest for the public to view the behavior as cult-ish rather than mob-ish, because that makes him look like a victim instead of a criminal. and as a guy facing trial, it’s a lot better to look like a cult victim than a mob perpetrator.
Lev Parnas is a criminal. So is Michael Cohen. Both of them have souls, it seems, and have decided that they want to turn their lives around, but that doesn’t change the fact that they willingly took part in criminal conspiracies godfathered by Donald John Trump, a Putin tool.
It’s complicated, and mob-ish and cult-ish behaviors have lots of overlaps, but to cede to Parnas’s characterization of this all being cult-ish diminishes and obscures the reality of its mob-ishness.
Donald John Trump is a criminal who surrounds himself with criminals. While there’s a cult element, the driving force is organized crime. Donald John Trump should not be president, and the fact that he is is a stain on every single citizen of the United States.