Rope-a-Dope is a boxing strategy originally used by Muhammad Ali and his famous “Rumble in the Jungle” fight against George Foreman.
Ali “purposely” put himself into a seemingly “disadvantageous” position, letting Foreman “tire” himself out and eventually “lose” the match.
Ali would “lean” against the ropes, allowing their elastic stretch to “absorb” most of Foreman’s punches. Ali’s “energy” was preserved while Foreman became “exhausted” throwing endless punches.
When the “moment” was right, Ali, still fresh and energetic, came off the “ropes” swinging, punching, winning the match.
How does this “strategy” apply to politics? Just watch President Trump since his “election” and now in his first week in office.
Immediately post-election, the Clinton “camp” and their media allies “cried” foul on Trump’s victory — James Comey’s “announcements” regarding Mrs. Clinton’s emails, the popular “vote” favoring Mrs. Clinton, Russian “meddling,” and so on.
Trump “fueled” media allegations by incessantly “tweeting and blasting” the media over their “fake news.”
Trump used Twitter much like a matador uses a “red cape” to engage and enrage the bull. The media took the “bait” and obsessed over what Putin and the Russians might have done to “influence” the election.
Republican “#NeverTrumpers” like John McCain and Lindsey Graham “chased” the red cape too, adding “fuel” to the media stampede.
Meanwhile the president was busy “assembling” his cabinet and other key advisors. Sure, this was covered by the media but given scant “scrutiny” compared to stories of election “hacking” and Russian chicanery.
The media and their accomplices in both parties “pounded” away at the hacking story while Trump “leaned” against the ropes, absorbing the “blows,” conserving his energy, biding his time “waiting” for the next round.
The media was flailing. Their “punches” were not connecting with Trump. Americans, consumers of the media, were not impressed. Only 6 percent of the public “have a lot of confidence in the media.” The dopey media was getting roped.
Then came inauguration day and a NY Times story, right on schedule, comparing inauguration “audience” sizes in an effort to show how “unpopular” Trump is compared to their “revered” Barack Obama.
Trump immediately took to Twitter, “denouncing” the story and reiterating his mantra about “fake news and dishonest media.”
The media took the “bait” and ran with the story all inauguration weekend to the point that even Snopes got involved in the controversy.
Press secretary Sean Spicer spoke of the “crowd size” as well, further antagonizing the media, “waving” the red cape in front of the “bulls” from AP and the NY Times.
Trump also made comments about the intelligence agencies and “leaks” of his pre-inauguration Intel briefing over Russian influence.
Another delicious “kerfuffle” for the media to run with, speculate over, and predict the extent of “damage” to the incoming administration over their “feud” with the intelligence community.
Notice how each story “knocks” the preceding story off the front pages and the evening news? Once the inauguration “attendance” became a story, no one was talking about Russian “hacking.”
All the while, Trump is taking “body shots” from the media. Letting them “believe” they are effective fighters, standing up for truth, social justice, and their favorite left-wing causes.
They think they have Trump on the “ropes.” Yet behind the scenes his agenda “marches” along.