RNC defies Trump attorneys: We'll keep on referencing Trump in fundraising letters

Is this a new defiance against Donald Trump by the GOP? Or a clever marketing ploy by Trump and his team? Over the weekend, Trump’s attorneys sent a cease-and-desist order to the RNC over their use of Trump’s name in their fundraising efforts. Their predictable response all but guarantees the party will continue to build its brand around Trump’s:

The Republican National Committee is denying a cease-and-desist demand from Donald Trump’s attorneys, who asked the party organization to stop using the former president’s name and likeness in fundraising appeals.

In a letter sent Monday afternoon to Trump attorney Alex Cannon, RNC chief counsel Justin Riemer asserted that the committee “has every right to refer to public figures as it engages in core, First Amendment-protected political speech, and it will continue to do so in pursuit of these common goals.” …

Trump attorneys sent letters to a cadre of GOP committees asking them to stop using Trump in fundraising appeals, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Other groups loosely affiliated with the party have also received notices.

Politico describes this as “a brush-back pitch to the Trump team.” It might well be, although that would depend on whether they seriously want people to stop talking about Donald Trump. Ostensibly, Trump’s attorneys sent the C&D in order to keep the RNC and all these other committees from diluting the impact of the Trump brand as Trump himself wants to wield it. If Trump wants to use his brand in a precision-targeted manner, having everyone lay claim to his legacy will no doubt cloud Trump’s ability to use his brand strategically.

However, this has more than a whiff of the briar patch to it, especially since Trump has not exactly built a reputation for precision, scalpel-like use of his brand. Trump holds mass rallies, not candidate selection processes. He wants the name Trump to be on everyone’s lips. Trump would love nothing more than to have the GOP brand itself with Trump to such an extent that it can’t separate itself from him, which would leave Trump in perfect position to contend for the 2024 nomination.

Perhaps Trump really does want the GOP establishment to have a care with his name lest they wear it out, to quote Shakespeare In Love’s Queen Elizabeth. Even so, this response is less a brush-back pitch than it is a love letter, and Trump knows it.