Kellyanne and the Wicked Witch of the West

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Illustration by W. W. Denslow from the original edition of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) (from Wikipedia, public domain)

Whether you are repelled or attracted by The Trump (see “Trumped by The Trump” for an explanation of the title), rational folk cannot help but be relieved by his feat in lifting the burden of the Wicked Witch of the West from our lives. Even some Democrats must have worried about the prospect of the cold-eyed Queen Hillary and her Familar Bill turning the United States into a satrapy of the rapidly-expanding Clinton Foundation and Wall-Street Convenience Store. Not for nothing did the crews of the aircraft she flew in name them ‘Broomstick One’; she had a well-documented reputation for single-minded ambition and high-handed, four-letter rudeness to those who worked for her, or for the American people on her behalf, like the Secret Service.

Defenders of the Clintons love to argue that for all the scandals and turmoil that have followed them for decades—cattle futures; Whitewater/Castle Grande; missing Rose Law Firm records; Travelgate; on up to Queen Hillary’s blatant defiance of national security rules by using her own email server, almost certainly to hide influence peddling on a vast scale in the office of Secretary of State—none of them, say liberals, have resulted in indictments and prosecution. But the Clintons have narrowly escaped by twisting power to their advantage: Judicial Watch, for example, has revealed the existence of a draft indictment in Queen Hillary’s Whitewater crimes, and memos which “suggest that if she weren’t First Lady, she would have been successfully prosecuted in federal court.” And of course, despite her ongoing efforts to control her Familiar’s ‘bimbo eruptions’, Bill ended up losing his law license and paying almost a million dollars in settlement funds to Paula Jones, the lady he notoriously invited to “kiss it.”

Remember that the FBI was never able to corral the notorious gangster Al Capone for his many crimes, finally resorting to income tax evasion!

So in one enthralling evening of flickering ‘battleground-state’ margins, not ending until The Trump successfully edged the Wicked Witch in Pennsylvania at 2:40 AM, the nation was spared the prospect of four—or even eight?—years of rule by the political equivalent of the Mafia: the Clinton Crime Family. It took 30 years of dogged scheming and planning to get Queen Hillary to the point where she could be elected to the Presidency. But it took only one night to smash her plans to pieces.

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Kellyanne Conway at CPAC 2016 (Photo by Gage Skidmore, via Wikipedia, Creative Commons)

In fairness, though, I suspect that we owe our rescue to a lady named Kellyanne Conway. She was a Ted Cruz supporter, who moved over to the Trump campaign as an advisor after the Republican convention. Then The Trump fired his second campaign manager, and Kellyanne took over. The change was immediate. What went on behind the scenes we won’t know until the first ‘tell-all’ books come out, but the candidate metamorphosed from an undisciplined shoot-from-the-hip roustabout at huge rallies to a focused whistle-stop campaigner. The crowds were still large, but the speeches were written out. The Trump was at first a little stiff when reading from the teleprompter, but he’s nothing if not a quick study, and his entertainment experience took over: he turned texts into broadsides, and interjected just enough ad-lib jokes and asides to keep the fans happy. Word was that Kellyanne—or someone—took away his cell phone, which curtailed his 3 AM reactive tweets. The Trump started looking ‘Presidential’.

Now maybe Kellyanne wasn’t responsible for Donald Trump’s sudden maturation, but it sounds like she was:

 “She is very effective, not just at communicating a message, but understanding what message works for what person,” says a senior Republican Party official. Just as important as devising a pitch for specific demographic groups is crafting one that will resonate with Trump. And Conway, the official says, is proving to be adept at managing someone “who doesn’t want to feel managed.” (Alex Altman and Zeke J. Miller in Time)

And, says Celinda Lake, coauthor of a book with Kellyanne Conway in 2005, “She could be a great help to Trump if he listens to her. She has an 11-year-old, so she can use some of the techniques she uses with her.” (Ibid.)

Can we credit her with defeating the Wicked Witch? The pundits claim it was all ‘angry white men’ eager to tear down the Establishment. But I think it was more the growing realization that with Queen Hillary and her long history of shady behavior; with her on-again, off-again romance with the FBI and the Republicans in Congress; with Familiar Bill’s mysterious rendezvous with the Attorney General on the tarmac in Phoenix at night; with her, lengthy well-rehearsed but vacuous answers to all questions; with all this and more, we were, as The Trump liked to say, “Not dealing with an honest person.” His “Criminal Hillary” was not a slur, but the plain truth.

So when November 8th came at last, there were the voters, faced with a Wicked Witch or a flamboyant blowhard—except he wasn’t one any more. He was Harry Truman, not on the observation car, but instead on the ramp from his own airplane, before a crowd in a hanger. He looked like a President and he sounded like a President. This made the choice a lot easier. Surely The Trump deserves praise for listening to Kellyanne, but I think she gets much of the credit, like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, for aiming Donald’s energy at the Wicked Witch of the West, proving there was nothing of any substance there, but dry dust held together by a vortex of power:

Now the Wicked Witch had a great longing to have for her own the Silver Shoes which the girl always wore. Her bees and her crows and her wolves were lying in heaps and drying up, and she had used up all the power of the Golden Cap; but if she could only get hold of the Silver Shoes, they would give her more power than all the other things she had lost. She watched Dorothy carefully, to see if she ever took off her shoes, thinking she might steal them. But the child was so proud of her pretty shoes that she never took them off except at night and when she took her bath. The Witch was too much afraid of the dark to dare go in Dorothy’s room at night to take the shoes, and her dread of water was greater than her fear of the dark, so she never came near when Dorothy was bathing. Indeed, the old Witch never touched water, nor ever let water touch her in any way.

But the wicked creature was very cunning, and she finally thought of a trick that would give her what she wanted. She placed a bar of iron in the middle of the kitchen floor, and then by her magic arts made the iron invisible to human eyes. So that when Dorothy walked across the floor she stumbled over the bar, not being able to see it, and fell at full length. She was not much hurt, but in her fall one of the Silver Shoes came off; and before she could reach it, the Witch had snatched it away and put it on her own skinny foot.

The wicked woman was greatly pleased with the success of her trick, for as long as she had one of the shoes she owned half the power of their charm, and Dorothy could not use it against her, even had she known how to do so.

The little girl, seeing she had lost one of her pretty shoes, grew angry, and said to the Witch, “Give me back my shoe!”

“I will not,” retorted the Witch, “for it is now my shoe, and not yours.”

“You are a wicked creature!” cried Dorothy. “You have no right to take my shoe from me.”

“I shall keep it, just the same,” said the Witch, laughing at her, “and someday I shall get the other one from you, too.”

This made Dorothy so very angry that she picked up the bucket of water that stood near and dashed it over the Witch, wetting her from head to foot.

Instantly the wicked woman gave a loud cry of fear, and then, as Dorothy looked at her in wonder, the Witch began to shrink and fall away.

“See what you have done!” she screamed. “In a minute I shall melt away.”

“I’m very sorry, indeed,” said Dorothy, who was truly frightened to see the Witch actually melting away like brown sugar before her very eyes.

“Didn’t you know water would be the end of me?” asked the Witch, in a wailing, despairing voice.

“Of course not,” answered Dorothy. “How should I?”

“Well, in a few minutes I shall be all melted, and you will have the castle to yourself. I have been wicked in my day, but I never thought a little girl like you would ever be able to melt me and end my wicked deeds. Look out–here I go!”

With these words the Witch fell down in a brown, melted, shapeless mass and began to spread over the clean boards of the kitchen floor. Seeing that she had really melted away to nothing, Dorothy drew another bucket of water and threw it over the mess. She then swept it all out the door. After picking out the silver shoe, which was all that was left of the old woman, she cleaned and dried it with a cloth, and put it on her foot again. Then, being at last free to do as she chose, she ran out to the courtyard to tell the Lion that the Wicked Witch of the West had come to an end, and that they were no longer prisoners in a strange land.

/LEJ

[Edited for clarity 10Nov16]

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