I watched “Get Me Roger Stone” on Netflix last night.
For those who don’t know who Roger Stone is, he is an extremely talented, sybaritic, Nixon-worshipping, Republican political operative and Trump advisor who loves…yet has been burned by…the limelight.
While I respect his sartorial choices, Mr. Stone’s relentless amorality is, shall we say, more than moderately off-putting. He is an almost perfect caricature of a “win at all costs & get paid handsomely for it” consultant because that is, essentially, who he has been for over 40 years.
Had Trump never sought the presidency, this GOP-pish dandy would have primarily been remembered for:
1) his rise to prominence in the 1970s along with New Right activists and operators such as Terry Dolan, Paul Weyrich, and Richard Viguerie (Stone was an enfant terrible going back to the Watergate-era).
2) The “cashing out” years with the lobbying firm of Black, Manafort, and Stone where they provided political counsel to corporations, Republican candidates and office-holders, and foreign leaders and governments, including more than a few brutal dictatorships.
3) The sex scandal that derailed Stone’s career (which incidentally occurred in the same year as Dick Morris’ fall).
4) His comeback in 2000 with his efforts to help secure Florida for Bush.
5) His work (!?) on behalf of Reverend Sharpton’s 2004 presidential campaign, his involvement in New York politics and the Spitzer imbroglio, and his Libertarian flirtations.
But his on-again, off-again, but mostly on-again long-standing relationship with Trump is troubling because his corrosive style of politicking meshes so horrifically well with Trump’s eagerness to exploit the basest instincts within the electorate. So we find ourselves in this nightmare that Stone, in the coda of his career, helped bring about. Thus, any sympathy for Stone, as a rogue-ish figure, is eviscerated by the all-too-present reality that he helped elect a dangerous, unfit, and unqualified demagogue to the White House.
One can only hope that history will repeat itself and that Trump will be removed from office like Stone’s idol, Richard Nixon. That would make for a fitting epilogue to this film.