There are three kinds of Nazis. There’s the reluctant kind with a vestigial conscience (think of Albert Speer) who was swept up by events and the charisma of Der Fuhrer. Then there’s the glassy-eyed fanatic (think of Josef Goebbels or Rudolf Hess) who would happily trade their lives (and in the case of Goebbels the lives of their innocent children) for Der Fuhrer and the ideals of National Socialism. Finally there’s the opportunist (think of Heinrich Himmler or Martin Bormann) who saw in Der Fuhrer their main chance and backed him as long as he was winning.
What kind of Nazi is Kellyanne Conway? We’re about to find out. As we have known for some time, Kellyanne Conway has joined the parade of post-Trump book writers. But what kind of book will it be? Rumor has it she made a sweetheart deal with her publisher, Simon & Schuster, that’s even more lucrative than the $2 million advance they gave John Bolton for “The Room Where It Happened.”
It turns out that Conway sat with Trump at Mar-a-Lago to discuss the project and gather quotes. Trump’s ego is so fragile and his skin is so thin that he often agrees to lend such writing projects his official imprimatur, even though it has led to disasters for him in the past.
Trump’s former press secretary Sean Spicer calls it a “strategic mistake” on Trump’s part. “I understand the rationale, but it was a strategic mistake to sit down with these folks,” Spicer said. “You’re giving them credibility. It’s hard to say, ‘I sat down with them and they got it wrong.’ So they’ve created a sense of credibility that makes it harder to critique.”
Whatever Conway’s book turns out to be, former White House aides, lawyers and Trump toadies are scared to death. Kellyanne’s famously vicious tongue and backstabbing ways are about to find their way into print and no one is under any illusion about what that portends. People are frightened because they know how unrelentingly cruel she is, and they are justifiably worried about what she will say about them. If the book contains an index the very first thing such people will do is find their names and read all references to them, at which point they will either breathe a sigh of relief or reserve an emergency flight to some island far away.
People in the know say she isn’t holding anything back. Since she is famous for attacking Trump enemies and loyalists alike no one is safe. Whatever the case they know the book will have more megatonage of destructive power than most other books because, unlike Mike Pence’s forthcoming book and other books by pro-Trump authors, both enemies and loyalists will read it.
My favorite part in all this is Kellyanne has a deserved reputation for sticking her foot in her mouth. Recall her coining the term “alternative facts,” or her famously stupid remark, “It’s Covid-19, not Covid 1, folks.” This time she might write something stupid about something illegal she did. Or she might accidentally reveal that she was involved in a conspiracy to commit a felony.
Federal laws often have statute of limitations longer than the five year standard, but even five years might be more than enough. If she broke any laws and accidentally confesses to those broken laws in her book, anything she says can and will be used against her in a court of law. And you can bet that prosecutors and not just former White House personnel will be avidly searching what Kellyanne has to say — for clues of any crimes she may have committed.
So what kind of Nazi will Kellyanne turn out to be? We shall see, but my money’s on the Heinrich Himmler/Martin Bormann opportunistic square. When I think of Kellyanne I think of a one time Trump detractor who changed sides as effortlessly as she changes outfits. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.