Desperate is as desperate does. A group called Americans for Responsible Government would have you believe that a group of Democrats, horrified at the mental state and leftist politics of its 2020 candidate, Joe Biden, has mobilized to support Donald Trump. Unfortunately, the effort is so transparently phony and incompetent, that all that has been achieved so far is to give everybody a good laugh. Daily Beast:
As part of its anti-Biden efforts, DVAJB is soliciting video testimonials from Democrats who say they won’t support Biden in November. So far, the group has posted just one video, from a man named Tracy in Phoenix, Arizona. Public records and social media postings reveal that his full name is Tracy Chavez, that his son is a field organizer for the Trump campaign, and that—per his son—he has been a Trump supporter since the 1980s.
Wow. That’s some Democratic testimonial. Now, it has crossed your mind, surely, that this is the counterpart to Republican Voters Against Trump, and a paean to the concept of both-siderism. The only problem is — and it is a doozy — is that on the hateable scale, Joe Biden is a lot closer to Sara Lee than to Donald Trump.
But unlike RVAT, which is led by former aides to prominent Republicans such as Jeb Bush and John McCain, DVAJB doesn’t appear to have much in the way of Democratic bona fides. One clue that few Democrats are involved is in the name. “Democrat” Voters Against Joe Biden eschews the adjective, “Democratic,” that actual members of the party generally use. Another is the parent organization that runs it. Americans for Responsible Government is headed by Steve Nickolas, an Arizona bottled water businessman who’s been involved in a handful of conservative political advocacy groups in recent years.
In an interview on Tuesday, Nickolas acknowledged that his new initiative doesn’t yet have much in the way of Biden-skeptical Democrats to promote. “We’ve only been live for a week and a half,” he said. “We haven’t really been overwhelmed with interest but we haven’t really pushed it as much as we plan on doing.”
Call me cynical, but a sole “Democrat” of questionable bona fides, star of a single testimonial, does not to me seem to make a movement. Add to that, the fact that Tracy Chavez and his son are pictured with Trump at a meet-and-greet in 2017. This honor was bestowed after Chavez fils donated $3 to the RNC and won a chance to meet the *president.* Does this sound like the behavior of Democrats that you know?
The founder of this group, Steve Nikolas, started up Americans for Responsible Leadership along with a former chairman of the Arizona Republican party back in 2011 and then they got indicted for money laundering in California and had to pay a $1 Million fine to settle the matter. Then this fine Democrat hooked up with Alex Meluskey, who ran for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Arizona in 2016. Now he’s on the board of DVAJB. Do these people sound like one of us to you?
But my favorite is John Michael Capaldi, the psychic.
He’s listed as a director of Americans for Responsible Government in corporate filings in Arizona, and he told The Daily Beast that he too is a Trump supporter, having voted for him in 2016 and with plans to do so again this year.
Capaldi’s past ventures are considerably more unorthodox than his foray into politics. He describes himself in his Instagram profile as an “internationally known celebrity psychic, life coach and stylist.” A résumé posted to his LinkedIn page lists Capaldi as an employee of Nickolas’s Raintree Media Group and says he’s active in a number of philanthropic and cultural initiatives in Arizona. It also details his experience with the supernatural and the occult, noting his participation in a number of “ghost hunts” and his experience teaching classes including “Exorcisms Done Right.” In an interview on Tuesday, Capaldi said he “stopped working in that world, and the reason I did is too many people are doing it and unless you have a TV show it’s not fun.”
Capaldi said he met Nickolas about 15 years ago and leapt at the opportunity to get involved with DVAJB this year. “I left the Democratic party quite some time ago. I couldn’t vote for [Biden] if I even tried,” he said. In his circle of acquaintances in West Hollywood, Capaldi insisted, burgeoning Trump support is quiet but unmistakable. “I’ve met multiple Democrats who are ready to vote for Trump,” he said. But he acknowledged the challenge of getting them to say so publicly, including in DVAJB’s hoped-for testimonials. “There are Democrats who want to be known and there are Democrats who don’t want to be known, and that’s the problem.”
Maybe the secret cabal of West Hollywood Trump supporters will swing this bat for Trump and deliver big time on anti-Biden testimonials. All I can tell you, from first hand experience, the last time I was in West Hollywood was in 2016, when the naked Trump statue had been dropped off. Remember that apparition? And there was one like it in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago, remember that? A soap store owner decided to bring it in off the street and give it a good home. He put a dish towel over the genitals, (a drag queen friend was said to be bringing a glitter fig leaf later on that evening) and set the statue in the window. At that time there was dialogue about dressing the Trump statue in a tuxedo and taking it down the road to the Kodak Theater, where the Oscars are held. The idea was to set the statue in the lobby, with tacos in it’s tiny hands (the “taco truck on every corner” story was breaking at the same time.) Supposedly somebody had called the City Attorney’s office to ask if it was legal to do so, but the lawyers couldn’t stop laughing long enough to give an opinion and I don’t know if anybody ever called Mayor Garcetti to ask him. That was discussed, too.
So if this psychic can find Trump supporters in West Hollywood, he’s a better man than I am, Gunga Din, because everybody I talked to there couldn’t get their fill of derision and ridicule — and that was before Trump tortured us for four years.
The task ahead of Democrat Voters Against Joe Biden isn’t that of a salmon swimming upstream. It’s that of a salmon swimming to the moon.