Şervan Kurdî
What on earth is he talking about? What the Clintons did was to go to the mattresses with amazing discipline,” he explained. “They set up an outside shop and then Bill and Hillary never mentioned it again. They ground through it. Starr had them dead to rights and they got through it. But if Bannon was back, it was far from clear what being back meant. Trump being Trump, was this true rehabilitation, or did he feel an even deeper rancor toward Bannon for having survived his initial intention to kill him? Thanks a lot in advance
Aug 20, 2018 9:04 PM
Answers · 6
The first part is Bannon speaking, informally. "Go to the mattresses" is a phrase I know--and most people know--only from a novel about the Mafia, "The Godfather," by Mario Puzo. In this novel, Mafia families are about to conduct a war, and to prepare for it they leave their homes, rent apartments, and put down mattresses to sleep on. In any case, it means "to get ready for a serious fight." In the novel, when one Mafia family is planning to fight another, the leaders say "We're going to go to the mattresses." I don't know what he means by "They set up an outside shop and then Bill and Hillary never mentioned it again." "They ground through it" means "they got through it with determination and hard work." "Starr had them dead to rights" means "they were guilty, Starr had the evidence, and Bill Clinton should have been convicted." "They got through it" means that Clinton succeeded in escaping conviction. The second part is the writer, Michael Wolff, talking about Bannon and Trump. "Bannon was back" means that Bannon had regained a position of influence, Trump liked him again, Trump was again listening to him "It was not clear what being back meant" is explained in the following sentences. "Trump being Trump" means that the author, Wolff, thinks Trump has specific, unusual personal characteristics. "Was this true rehabilitation?" raises the question that Trump might appear to like Bannon again, while secretly hating him ("feeling even deeper rancor.") In Wolff's opinion, another person might sincerely forgive Bannon, but "Trump being Trump," it was more likely that Trump held a grudge, continued to be angry at Bannon.
August 20, 2018
Wow, this excerpt is loaded with idioms and slang, isn't it? Here are some definitions: To go to the mattresses - go to war or have conflict with another group. The term was popularized in the Godfather movie where two mafia families set up mattresses in a room where they could spy on their opponents. They covered the floor with mattresses so they could take turns watching the enemy day and night. Dead to rights - caught in the act of a crime. Rancor - hatred Rehabilitation - the process of reforming criminals into honest citizens via prison time. To ground through something is less clear. This is not a phrasal verb to my knowledge. My closest guess is to 'grind along' which means to continue in a slow and steady way. The author doesn't win any points with me for writing so cryptically. Without knowing the background of this story, my best guess is that the Clintons got away with a crime. It sounds like Bannon got off easy too. Not sure what the author means by Trump being Trump other than he is known for being a tough businessman.
August 20, 2018
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