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The Right Resistance: Is it time for Trump’s GOP challengers to take the gloves off and fight?

If you’re like me, there’s been a time or two when you’ve watched a sporting event cheering earnestly for a team getting beaten badly and you were left hoping the other team would just make a mistake and sway the momentum.

Folks who rooted for the Kansas City Chiefs in last month’s Super Bowl understand the feeling. In the game’s first half, as their team was being crushed by the Philadelphia Eagles in nearly every aspect of the on-field contest – except maybe on the scoreboard at the time -- Philly quarterback Jalen Hurts was stripped of the ball. A Kansas City defender scooped up Hurts’ fumble and ran it into the end zone, temporarily tying the score.


Football followers realize that a simple error can dramatically alter a game. Too their credit, the Eagles rebounded from the miscue and played strongly the rest of the half. But such steadfast resolve is rarely exhibited by squads that endure such a crushing mistake by one of their leaders. For example, how many teams come back from a punt block for a touchdown? Not many.


The sports world isn’t exactly like the American political world, but there are similarities. There’s momentum, changes of fortune, turnovers (mostly forced by misreporting by the establishment media), costly penalties and, let’s face, it, Jalen Hurts-like blunders that are downright hard to get beyond.


Right now, as the 2024 GOP primary race inches towards mid-March (I know, still a week away), opponents of another party nomination and second presidential term for former president Donald Trump are seemingly waiting around hoping that the hard-to-bring-down outsider politician will simply slip up and do something to dent his otherwise blemish-less defensive shield that’s developed over the course of years of being pounded and assaulted by #NeverTrumpers, nasty Democrats and the always antagonistic media.


And while it’s true that Trump commits a healthy number of unforced errors, he’s yet to do anything that “loses the game” for him in the long run. Astute political observers are astonished at how resilient Trump has proved to be since he announced his first run for office in 2015.


Is such a fatal political error in the making? Is it even possible? In a piece titled “Republicans Can’t Wait for Trump to Implode”, wishy-washy establishment Republican Rich Lowry wrote at Politico Magazine:


“[T]he disinclination to engage with Trump at all brings back memories of 2016. If it’s a temporary dynamic, that’s one thing; if it’s another prisoner’s dilemma among the non-Trump candidates, waiting for someone else to take him on and hoping to emerge unscathed in the aftermath, it’s repeating the same mistake and expecting a different result.


“If the current situation holds, there’s no way around Trump — only through — and that will require making a case against him.


“To be the man (or the lady), as the immortal Ric Flair said, you’ve got to beat the man. Trump may indeed be beatable, but the latest polling shows him squarely in the way of anyone who wants to take over the party he’s dominated for seven years and counting.”


This is all true. Trump would appear to be vulnerable from several different angles. He badly mismanaged the 2020 campaign by failing to grasp the degree of angst across the country – folks who were terrified for their lives because of COVID. Rather than being consoler in chief, Trump brazenly downplayed the danger (which, of course, turned out to be the right course of action, but not at the time), further opening up the door for Democrats to label him as incompetent and hardhearted.


How many stories did the establishment media feed us about citizens who voted for Trump in 2016 but were reversing course in 2020 because they felt Trump didn’t care about what they were going through? Fear is an awesome political motivator, and the soulless Democrats were more than willing to demagogue the issue and play it up to basement dwelling Biden’s “let’s stay safe” campaign.


Then there was the other side of the COVID argument – that Trump recognized the fallacy of what was going on but didn’t do enough about it. Why, for example, did he permit Drs Anthony “fuzzball” Fauci and Deborah Birx to trample all over the responsible side of the government response – the one that said lockdowns and masks didn’t work – without firing their butts right away? COVID made Trump look hesitant and indecisive.


And then he got COVID himself. What a disaster. I still believe his awful performance during the first presidential debate with Biden is what ultimately did in his chances for reelection. Trump was rude, kept interrupting senile Joe (while he was babbling and discrediting himself) and seemingly felt it was a better strategy to try and beat up on the moderator (the awful Chris Wallace) rather than bide his time and assail Biden’s absurd policy positions.


A “presidential” performance would’ve been all it would’ve taken to keep Trump in the position he needed to be in for the last month of the campaign. Don’t sugarcoat it – he blew it.


Trump’s first debate was akin to Jalen Hurts’ fateful Super Bowl fumble. It didn’t ice the game for his opponent, but Biden couldn’t have won the election without it.


Trump is also vulnerable for his multitude of “behavioral” issues during his presidency, post presidency and current campaign. Trump’s seeming refusal to lay off the Twitter “send” button during his presidency brought him nothing but ill feelings from a public that just wanted him to do his job and set executive policy instead of litigating every personal slight in the court of public opinion.


Trump clearly believed Twitter was helping him. It wasn’t. It bound together his coalition of “Always Trump” supporters that are in his corner for the GOP primary race, but it also created a fairly large pool of Republican voters who inhabit the “anyone but Trump” faction in the party. At least until lately, these people appeared to be gathering behind Ron DeSantis. Recent polls have suggested DeSantis’s base support might be slipping a bit, but these voters haven’t necessarily returned to Trump’s side.


But it’s also these distrustful Republicans who are waiting for Trump to do something so personally destructive or damaging that he’ll take himself out of the consideration. I analogize these people to the type of dreamer who’s searching with Linus from Peanuts’ fame for the most sincere pumpkin patch to sit and await the arrival of the “Great Pumpkin” on Halloween night. It ain’t gonna happen. Trump isn’t completely bulletproof, but at this point, after all that’s happened to him, what’s going to be the one scandal that will convince him to end his career?


In this sense, Joe Biden is a lot like Trump. Senile Joe believes, no matter how old he gets, how many gaffes he commits, bikes he falls off, hairdos he sniffs or laptops that prodigal son Hunter leaves at repair shops – that there’s nothing that can touch him politically. A large percentage of Democrats – the ones who only care about electability and power – think Biden’s still the one because he’s never lost. And he’s steerable by the leftwing fringe, so why would they care that Biden let Chinese spy balloons fly over the entirety of the country unhindered or he’s got more secrets buried in his house and garage than Jimmy Hoffa’s never-discovered final resting place.


As I and others have repeatedly argued, Trump needs to be challenged – and pushed hard – in the 2024 Republican primary race. I agree with Lowry’s main point – that Trump could be vulnerable – but I disagree that the main attacks must be waged sooner rather than later.


If anything, as senile Joe Biden’s age becomes a bigger and bigger issue on the Democrat side, Trump’s similar senior status will begin to influence those who are persuadable in the Republican camp. Trump still has his legendary energy to push him along, but the wear and tear of the past seven or eight years will eventually show up in some way.


It could be a cumulative effect; it won’t just appear out of the blue.


For the time being, it wouldn’t behoove Trump’s challengers – real or potential – to begin critiquing Trump from afar, only inviting a haughty retort from the thin-skinned former president. Trump will be more than happy to oblige such personal jabs. It’s a presidential candidate pissing match that simply cannot be won.


Because of his age and past record of self-inflicted errors, time isn’t necessarily on Donald Trump’s side. There’s still a long way to go in the GOP primary race. Let’s see how things play out.


Trump isn’t going to beat himself. There isn’t going to be a game-changing “fumble” like there was in this year’s Super Bowl, and there likely isn’t anything behind closed doors or in the Biden Justice Department that will dramatically alter the balance. The time for making Trump work for the nomination is coming – will he be ready when it finally arrives?



  • Joe Biden economy

  • inflation

  • Biden cognitive decline

  • gas prices,

  • Nancy Pelosi

  • Biden senile

  • January 6 Committee

  • Liz Cheney

  • Build Back Better

  • Joe Manchin

  • RINOs

  • Marjorie Taylor Green

  • Kevin McCarthy

  • Mitch McConnell

  • 2022 elections

  • Donald Trump

  • 2024 presidential election

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2 Comments


dgj
dgj
Mar 08, 2023

There is some context missing on this: "How many stories did the establishment media feed us about citizens who voted for Trump in 2016 but were reversing course in 2020 because they felt Trump didn’t care about what they were going through?" What's not mentioned is what the Enemies of the People were up to with their covid coverage. People were being fed propaganda to blame the pandemic on Trump, that he's directly responsible for people catching and dying from the virus, so that they can attempt to get Biden elected. Recall that CNN had a death count rolling on their broadcasts, which magically went away once Biden usurped the Presidency. It's a false claim to suggest that Trump didn't…

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dgj
dgj
Mar 08, 2023

Interesting to see this football talk. I used to love the game, but pro sports in general lost me in 2020, in the aftermath of the George Floyd incident. There was just too much anti-American rhetoric coming out for me to take. Philadelphia was my team and I didn't watch the Superbowl (or any games for that matter). I don't want to be entertained by these entitled punks anymore. No offense if others can't seem to pull away from it. It is disappointing to read though, this attempt here to cover up for Little Joe Biden and the Uniparty's election theft in 2020. The difficult thing to grasp, it seems, is that Trump was always gonna "lose." Whether it was…

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