Roy Cohn was a young attorney who worked for Senator Joe McCarthy in the 1950’s. As an enthusiastic acolyte of the smear artist that was McCarthy, he was a central figure in the witch hunt that plagued our country in the time of fearful anti-communism. After McCarthy was finally censured by his colleagues and had no more power to destroy people, Cohn moved on to become a New York fixer. He was the one who had reviewed the files for McCarthy. He knew how to smear people and was so lacking in conscience or decency, that he was feared and, in that way, he became powerful.
Now, to many, he was a pariah because of who he was and what he did. But he did have a client first in Fred Trump and then in his son, Donald. In short, if there was a problem that required being tough and getting your hands dirty, Roy was your man. And he mentored young Donald Trump in never backing down regardless of the truth or whether you are wrong, viewing it as a sign of weakness. Apparently, his student listened closely to his mentor.
It was always Cohn who could solve problems created by the ugly things the Trump organization did. And after he was gone, his successors knew how to curry favor with Trump. Whatever you did that created a zoning problem or a rent control violation or a contract not honored, there was always someone in the Roy Cohn tradition that Trump could and did turn to.
So now as he storms around complaining about Russia and why it won’t go away, he is looking for Roy Cohn. He foolishly thought James Comey would actually lay off of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, because he asked. He wanted him to “fix it.” His son Donald Trump, Jr., obviously learned well from his father.
When he complains about the health care bill, he wants Ryan or McConnell to “fix it.” I guess he misses Roy Cohn and wants to know why others cannot perform for him like Roy did. I guess the comparison is not something most people would enjoy and I wonder what will come first: Republicans will stop listening to him, or they will accept the new assignment. I can’t believe that either Ryan or McConnell ever dreamed that this could be their legacy.