Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, former senior adviser to Melania Trump, was interviewed by Rachel Maddow. Wolcoff was describing how Melania turned her back on her when the White House decided to throw Wolkoff under the bus for inaugurationgate:
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff told US journalist Rachel Maddow she had recorded her former friend to gain material for the book, but only once it was clear that Melania was not going to come to her aid in an investigation.
“If she was my friend that would be horrible, but Melania and the White House had accused me of criminal activity, had publicly shamed and fired me, and made me their scapegoat,” Ms Winston Wolkoff said. “At that moment in time, that’s when I pressed record. At that moment she was no longer my friend and she was willing to let them take me down and she told me herself this is the way it has to be.
“That’s not how you treat a friend so I was going to do anything in my power to make sure that I was protected.”
“She turned her back, she folded like a deck of cards and I was shocked when she did it.”
This is a congruent conflation of “fold like a cheap suitcase” and “fall like a house of cards”, both meaning to collapse easily or a plan that is destined to fail. “Fold like a card table” may also be in the mix, as it doesn’t have the word “cheap” in it. This is similar to a prior posting uttered by Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenetti – “folded like a cheap deck of cards”. https://malaphors.com/2018/04/10/hes-going-to-fold-like-a-cheap-deck-of-cards/
Props to Frank King and Mike Kovacs, two giants in the malaphor spotting field.
I had to put this one at the head of the line. This gem was uttered by Michael Avenetti, Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, on MSNBC’s “The Beat”. He was referring to Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer. Here is the context:
“I think when push comes to shove he’s going to fold like a cheap deck of cards, I really do,” Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told MSNBC’s “The Beat” on Monday night. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-s-attorney-michael-cohen-will-fold-cheap-deck-cards-n864241
This is a congruent conflation of “fold like a cheap suitcase” and “fall like a house of cards”, both meaning to collapse easily or a plan that is destined to fail. Regarding the “cheap suitcase” idiom, the Free Dictionary explains: “expensive luggage was made from well-constructed leather or fabric. Cheap ones used to be made of cardboard with little or no structural reinforcement, not very sturdy especially when manhandled by baggage handlers or hotel porters. You also hear “fold like a cheap suit”, but since fabric folds easily, whether it’s cashmere or polyester, “suitcase” presents a better connotation of a losing proposition.”
Mr. Avenatti’s is particularly sweet, as he combines the image of a cheap deck of cards with folding. A poker player with a losing hand would certainly fold but “like a cheap suitcase”, although I suppose there are cheap enough cards out there that bend easily. Casinos would not use them.
I think the mashup was also caused by the word “suit” in the proper idiom, with the speaker associating “suit” with “cards”. A big thanks to Jim Kozlowski for spotting this one first and sending it in. I had many people send it in as well, but Jim was the first so he gets the malaphor kudo.