As we head into the long (and welcome) Labor Day holiday weekend, I’m continually amazed at the sheer volume of debate over GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s potential electability –
namely, whether the eternally embattled 45th president can rouse enough smart, forward-looking and patriotic Americans to best the number of folks on the other side of the sanity spectrum who hate him so passionately that they’d pull the lever for any Democrat.
Kamala Harris? Yeah, that would be the argument; even the truly awful cackling air-brain from California would triumph over the despised orange man. The Never Trump contingent is so thoroughly convinced that Trump’s a loser that they outright dismiss the prospect that liberals, leftist kooks and Democrats simply hate whomever disagrees with them.
And this list includes pretty much any Republican, a group that claims wishy-washy RINOs Mitt Romney and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski as members. Well, maybe not her.
I’m certainly not arguing that Trump isn’t beatable. 2020 proved he is vulnerable, but lingering circumstances from the previous election demonstrate that whomever ends up the 2024 Republican standard-bearer would face a more than uphill climb to ensure the upcoming election is outside the margin of fraud in enough states to guarantee a victory in the Electoral College.
It’s a monumental task. The political observers, myself included, who keep harping on the notion of elections integrity aren’t just voices crying in the wilderness or canaries in a coalmine, we’re worried to death that what happened on Election Night 2020 will reoccur fourteen months from now if things don’t change. And, this time, it isn’t all about Trump. A DeSantis or Ramaswamy or (gulp) Nikki Haley nomination would be just as hotly opposed as another go ‘round of The Donald from New York City. Bet on it. Plan on it. Pray on it. And be ready.
As for now, what to do about battling the myth of a miracle “savior” Republican candidate who could/would pull everyone together to produce a positive result vis-à-vis broken-down old dolt senile Joe Biden and the Democrats? In a piece titled “The Magical Thinking of Never Trump”, the always hard-hitting and insightful Melissa Mackenzie wrote at The American Spectator the other day:
“Writers whose central thesis can be boiled down to ‘Orange Man Bad’ are strangely quiet about actual means and methods of winning. They have a mystical faith that it will all just work out and that the problems Donald Trump has faced will miraculously disappear for their preferred candidate. Votes will appear out of nowhere. Fraud will be magicked away. The amber waves of grain will hypnotize Democrats and stop them from their devilish ways...
“The Never-Trump crowd seems loath to admit that what the Democrats are doing to subvert justice is working. Probably because they’re enjoying the abuse of the law to destroy their hated enemy, they’re blind to the fact that once the Democrats succeed in their mission to destroy Trump, that template will be used for any Republican. Those Republicans do not have the vast resources and internal fortitude of Trump. They’ll simply be destroyed and discarded.”
Yes indeed, tossed unceremoniously onto the most stomach-churning, maggot infested rubbish pile, one so vile that even rats and vultures wouldn’t find it appealing. Here’s thinking the evil Democrats are already preparing the place(s) to put their victims. They thought they’d buried Trump up to his neck in such ground at the end of 2020, leaving just enough flesh exposed to saw at and torture. They were wrong. Will they pay? Time will tell.
By the way, for those unfamiliar with her, Melissa Mackenzie is one of the premier politics commentators in conservative media today. The snippet of her work above doesn’t do justice to her full argument. I would highly recommend you read the entire treatment if you have time over the holiday.
As Mackenzie pointed out, Trump’s enemies, including the status quo-loving Republican establishment, believe they’ve finally got him ensnared in the criminal charges against him. Sure, Trump could escape the federal allegations because he may not be going to trial before the 2024 election, or sleazebag senile Joe Biden’s own foibles could make a full-on prosecution of the political indictments rather uncomfortable, forcing Merrick Garland to step-in and delay them.
Or, Trump could beat the rap in New York City (which would seem almost certain, except for a biased jury) and Fulton County, Georgia, where Democrats are pursuing their most outlandish, free speech cancelling witch hunts.
This is why Trump’s haters threw the proverbial book at him in the first place, compiling an impressive list of charges, basically anything that could survive the “laugh test” (meaning, if you can say it in front of a mirror and not laugh, then go with it), hoping against hope that a jury would be so bored with hearing about Trump that they’d vote to convict him without copiously considering the judge’s “If you find the defendant was truthful or it was within his right as president of the United States, you must acquit” instructions.
But none of this alters the idea that any Republican who supplants Trump will confront the same gaggle of leftist challengers, especially if he or she is a conservative. Need an example? Donald Trump, by his own admission, favored abortion as a legal right up until about the time he considered running for president as a Republican. He changed his mind on the procedure after seeing an ultrasound of a mother’s womb, I recall. Trump also complained that the GOP suffered in 2022 because the party made too many calls to ban abortions. In other words, he’s rather “moderate” on the issue compared with some others.
Democrats and leftists will cling to abortion in hopes of repeating their modest success in 2022 and in subsequent contests such as Wisconsin’s Supreme Court election and, more recently, Ohio’s ballot question concerning the rules to amend the state constitution. Democrats believe they’ve concocted a winning formula, and the elements will be employed no matter who the GOP nominee is. Would Nikki Haley receive less animosity from them because of her abortion stance? Would the Planned Parenthood nuts go easy on Nikki just because they revile her a smidgen less than they do Trump?
Heck no. They’d paint Haley as an “extremist” and “MAGA fascist” no matter what her actual position is, because to Democrats, anyone who’s not a pro-abort freak is an enemy. Count on it.
Besides, what is it about Trump that the Never Trumpers assert is so extraordinarily offensive they’d walk over hot coals to vote against him but not hold the same grudge against the other Republicans? Are the others more palatable to the left? Was bipartisan schlep “maverick” John McCain electable? Would he be today? Would George W. Bush, if eligible, win a third term in 2024? How about Mitt Romney as a “White Knight” candidate? Is Mitt the Never Trump answer because he’s repeatedly spoken out against Trump and his movement?
Further, in her piece, Mackenzie added this observation: “[Never Trump] does not … explain how the Republican Party can have success without Trump. Of course, it’s possible. But how? And what are the Republicans doing to make that happen? Why is Never Trump so specific with the insults and so vague with the solutions?”
It’s a darn good question, one those on all sides of the issue should consider in the days and weeks ahead. While Trump is far from a foregone winner of the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, it certainly appears as though his popularity and position have staying power, making the possibility of another Trump general election run almost a certainty.
Would Never Trump think on a combination of Trump and [someone else] to bring them back into the GOP fold next year? I’ve often mentioned a Trump/DeSantis ticket as a great example of a “unity” combo that could make most conservatives happy, and might even appeal to elements of the DC establishment (okay, probably not). But a number of commenters have pointed out that the Constitution prohibits ticket-mates originating from the same state. Trump could get around the obstacle by declaring New York as his domicile, but the matter might need to go to the courts to settle.
How about Trump and Vivek Ramaswamy? Trump himself indicated the other day that he was impressed with the Ohioan’s debate performance (while panning the others) last week, but Ramaswamy has dismissed the notion of joining Trump’s ticket if he were asked.
Would a Trump/Kristi Noem team do the trick? Or Trump/Tim Scott? I don’t think Trump would pick Scott – too non-committal to the MAGA agenda – but it’s within the realm of possibility.
Or, as Mackenzie rhetorically asked, how would the party fare without Trump at all? The Never Trumpers are so obsessed with ditching Trump that they don’t talk much about the legions of voters the man brings to the party, which is no small number. How would down ballot Republicans do without “only Trump” supporters casting their votes? Would there really be enough Trump haters staying home to counteract and make up the difference?
Does such a person even exist? Are there polls or surveys on the pool of people who would vote for the Democrat nominee if Trump were on the ballot but won’t bother voting at all if Trump is absent? If there is this type of person, I bet the totals are miniscule.
Which means conservatives have a heck of a conundrum.
In this ultra-contentious political day and age, many, many people forget that at its core, politics is a team sport. A football team can’t win without a quarterback, and it’s safe to say, not every player is wild about the guy who earns the job. Republicans and conservatives face the probability that Donald Trump wins the nomination. The time is now to take one for the team, isn’t it?
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