July 21, 2016 11:01AM

Power Always Attracts Friends and Supplicants

Napoleon Trump

A month ago Politico reported:

Donald Trump is trying to win over a skeptical Republican donor class, but they’ve closed their wallets — and they’re angry.

Today the New York Times reports a different view:

G.O.P.’s Moneyed Class Finds Its Place in New Trump World

In his unlikely rise to the Republican nomination Donald J. Trump attacked lobbyists, disparaged big donors and railed against the party’s establishment. But on the shores of Lake Erie this week, beyond the glare of television cameras, the power of the permanent political class seemed virtually undisturbed.

Though Mr. Trump promises to topple Washington’s “rigged system,” the opening rounds of his party’s quadrennial meeting accentuated a more enduring maxim: Money always adapts to power.

At a downtown barbecue joint, lobbyists cheerfully passed out stickers reading “Make Lobbying Great Again” as they schmoozed on Monday with Republican ambassadors, lawmakers and executives. At a windowless bar tucked behind the Ritz‐​Carlton hotel, whose rooms were set aside for the party’s most generous benefactors, allies of Mr. Trump pitched a clutch of receptive party donors on contributing to a pro‐​Trump “super PAC.”

To be sure, a number of individual and corporate donors stayed away from the Republican convention and seem to be unwilling to support Donald Trump. Still, the reconciliation of so many principled conservatives, prudent donors, and former targets of vicious personal attacks puts me in mind, again, of the following headlines that may have appeared in a Paris newspaper, perhaps Le Moniteur Universel, in 1815 as Napoleon escaped from exile on Elba and advanced through France:

March 9


THE ANTHROPOPHAGUS HAS QUITTED HIS DEN


March 10


THE CORSICAN OGRE HAS LANDED AT CAPE JUAN


March 11


THE TIGER HAS ARRIVED AT CAP


March 12


THE MONSTER SLEPT AT GRENOBLE


March 13


THE TYRANT HAS PASSED THOUGH LYONS


March 14


THE USURPER IS DIRECTING HIS STEPS TOWARDS DIJON


March 18


BONAPARTE IS ONLY SIXTY LEAGUES FROM THE CAPITAL


He has been fortunate enough to escape his pursuers


March 19


BONAPARTE IS ADVANCING WITH RAPID STEPS, BUT HE WILL NEVER ENTER PARIS


March 20


NAPOLEON WILL, TOMORROW, BE UNDER OUR RAMPARTS


March 21


THE EMPEROR IS AT FONTAINEBLEAU


March 22


HIS IMPERIAL AND ROYAL MAJESTY arrived yesterday evening at the Tuileries, amid the joyful acclamation of his devoted and faithful subjects

So far, those last few headlines have not been replicated, but those who wish to be near power have already begun rallying around.