Mike Lee's pivot to full-throated Trump fan has taken a toll on his credibility, and his hairline. | Private Eye | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Mike Lee's pivot to full-throated Trump fan has taken a toll on his credibility, and his hairline.

Private Eye



A lot of noise is frequently made by the supporters of Donald Trump that we must "make America great again." I'll not debate whether he is the right person for that on the simple predicate that I am not yet convinced that—while many convicted felons have any number of redeeming qualities—Trump stands alone as lacking a single redeeming quality.

In fact, "convicted felon" is nearly the only moniker I've ever heard attributed to him. I've never heard: "Donald Trump—what a great father he is!" "Donald Trump—he's the smartest person I know!" "Donald Trump—a compassionate man, a visionary, brave, honest and honorable man of faith!"

Nope. I've only seen his name mentioned with less positive descriptors, such as "cheater," "whiner," "liar," "narcissist," "craven," "adulterous" and plain "dumb."

I've never met him. He may be all of those, or he may be none. But in picture dictionaries, his face sure shows up a lot next to words that are most often associated with the most vile of human traits.

The same is true of Utah's own senator, Mike Lee, who was one of Trump's harshest critics back in 2016. He refused to endorse Trump at the time, when character mattered to him just a wee bit. Upon hearing the Access Hollywood tape, Lee said as validation for his non-support of Trump that, "We can get into the fact that he accused my best friend's father of conspiring to kill JFK [Note: Lee's "best friend" back then was Sen. Ted Cruz]. We can go through the fact that he's made statements that some have identified correctly as religiously intolerant. We can get into the fact that he's wildly unpopular in my state, in part because my state consists of people who are members of a religious minority church."

It's hard to forgive a man whose best friend is Ted Cruz. Today, Lee's voice has curved so far that he's among the most full-throated supporters of Trump. That causes people to think that, perhaps, Mike Lee is not a very honest person, or that his own integrity is only as thick as the dollar bills that flow his way every time he takes to social media.

He's a scoundrel, that Mike Lee. I mean, he even takes a rake of cash when he does endorsements for fellow Republican candidates, as he is currently doing for Republican Colby Jenkins, who is running for Congress in Utah's 2nd Congressional District. That seat is currently held by Celeste Malloy, who filled the position when former U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart stepped aside for personal reasons.

For every dollar that Lee raises for Jenkins, he keeps 10% as political tithing. Gee, a guy has to make a buck right? Especially a guy who makes nearly $200,000 per year (before all the perks like expensed meals, flying here and yon and the free spankings from Donald Trump). Not only did Lee later step in line and change his tune for Trump—ostensibly because Trump is such a fine protector of the Constitution that sideshow dalliances and every manner of chaotic behavior can all be left aside—but Lee has taken a couple of pages from the Trump playbook.

For one, he knows a gravy train when he sees one. When Lee lent his own terrible name to the fundraising efforts for the failure of a human being and accused wife beater, Herschel Walker, in the 2022 mid-year elections, Lee cut a revenue sharing deal with him. His cut was not 10% then, but 50%. If this were the 1970s, and this was the set of Blazing Saddles, at this point Sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little) would be told by Jim (Gene Wilder) about the people who are getting fleeced by politicians such as Lee: "You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know ... morons."

For another, Lee added a second persona to his social media pages. He was once just Mike Lee, a U.S. senator who posted about the things he was elected to do in D.C., like comment on how he'd vote and inform his constituents about his position and intentions. Now, as alter-ego moniker "Based Mike Lee," his inner jackass pops off all day long in a manner less senatorial and more Trumpian.

Like Trump, Based Mike Lee likes to fill any void with a gripe or accusation. It's as if once he came to realize that the Trump heist was something he could also benefit from, he enrolled into Trump University, where he majored in assholery.

There is nothing that Based Mike Lee seems to like about anyone, especially Democrats or members of the Biden family. There is nothing that cannot be denied, nothing that he cannot project as unworthy. There is no lie he cannot make.

He's taken to doing little more as U.S. senator than proclaim at every turn the denigrating of our institutions and the bloodied soil of our country. He never so much as finger-scolds members of his own party who defile the religious tenets he proclaims to care about. If Mike Lee were ever a seriously religious man, he no longer is.

He doesn't care about you or Utah. Mike Lee, like his mentor, only cares about Mike Lee. And it's taking a toll.

Look at his photos from just four years ago, when he was thinking he would get away scot-free for undermining a fair and honest election. Now look at him today all sullen, doughy and losing his hair. There's always a price.

Lee is paying up and looking, daily, more like God's personal laboratory rat. Verily, a truism is born: When Mike Lee lies, a hair follicle dies.

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