Keep Louise Linton off official travel

The driving message in the fractious White House of President Trump is that all members must pull together to support the president's program.  That's how they reorient and attempt to cement over their disagreements as they move on from assorted media brouhahas.

One of them, obviously, didn't get the memo.

Louise Linton is a Hollywood actress who apparently thought her already questionable travel with her husband, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, on official trips was actually all about her.

After posting a vulgar tweet flaunting her designer labels in her totally unnecessary tagalong travel with Mnuchin to Kentucky, complete with tags for designer merchandise (which in Hollywood are de facto calls for free stuff from designers), she upbraided a woman in Oregon who expressed her disgust at the conspicuous consumption and called her out.  The exchange is here:

She, uh, not only loves designer labels and wants designers to give them to her as a matter of privilege instead of paying for them the way other people do, but also judges people in terms of how much, money-wise, they contribute to the economy as a measure of their value as citizens.  For good measure, she says she's a nice person after that one.  She also gets all Lovey Howell and tells the Oregon woman "you're adorably out of touch."

Hard to believe such people exist.

Through a publicist, and not personally (being a person of privilege and all and playin' that status game), she made a brief apology.  Color us unimpressed.

One can only hope President Trump or someone in the White House Communications Office lays down the line that this person really can't be seen in public again on Mnuchin's official travel.  She's frankly a danger to the Trump revolution if the memes get out that conspicuous consumption from an elite, rather than economic recovery for all, is the essence of the Trump program.  All it takes is a few pictures of this sort to settle in the public's mind, and the voter blocs break up, and the left takes the spoils.  An incident like this has potential to change the narrative.

Not only does Linton's exchange show her to be the most vulgar, disagreeable person anyone reading the news has encountered since maybe Martin Shkreli, but she's also a foil for the mainstream media, who are having a good time at her expense.  She handed them that gift by forgetting that if she accompanied her husband on official travel, the event should be focused on supporting the Trump agenda, and her travel, paid or not, is a privilege and not a status symbol.  Her bad judgment (and she has a long record of bad judgment, not just here, but in other incidents) has already spread to the tabloid world of Hollywood and the women's magazines – CosmoPeopleElleTown and Country, they are all over it.  Those enclaves contain large numbers of voters who chose to vote for Trump based on his brand recognition in reality TV.  Women's magazines don't traffic in hard news, but they are the media of choice for many women.  If Trump loses them, he's lost much of his voting bloc.

The irritating thing about it is that this sort of vulgarism really isn't what Trump is about.  Sure, he's put his flashy name on buildings, but when you look close at him, he's actually a normal and pleasant person.  Conrad Black was the first to note that he was a cordial host at his events at Mar-a-Lago.  Trump was known for opening his clubs to blacks and Jews at a time when they were shut out elsewhere.  Trump is the guy who shows up at people's weddings when they book his hotels for receptions.  He told a beat up little Colombian woman who brought him a magazine that she was "beautiful."  The bottom line here is that while Trump gets into fights with the mainstream media and the Hollywood chi-chi crowd, he never mixes it up with or insults any common or ordinary people.  Those are always people he defends.  That's who he is.

Compare and contrast to Linton with her status obsession, and one wonders what that person is doing anywhere near the Trump camp.  She's a real liability toward all he's built up and the future of his presidency.  It seems far-fetched that someone that far down in the food chain of Washington power could have any impact, but it may well be that she could.

She needs to be told in no uncertain terms that the gravy train is over on the official travel, paid for or not.

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