Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Does Trump 2024 Clear the GOP Field?

Donald Trump says he's seriously considering running for President in 2024. While you might think that's tantamount to a concession that he didn't win re-election in 2020, Trump was notorious for claiming that he'd run for a third term anyway because -- hey, why should the law stop him now?

Anyway, I'm curious: If Trump runs in 2024, does he clear the GOP field? On the one hand, it's hard to imagine that the Republican Party will want to go with the guy who lost the last election. And four years should, one hopes, be enough time to break the spell that Trump has cast over his party where virtually every Republican of note just crumbles into quivering jelly at the thought of standing up to him.

But still -- how does a prominent Republican run against Trump 2024? In 2016, they could and did call him a demagogue, a racist, an idiot, and an extremist. But of course, 2016 proved those are selling points for today's GOP voter, and nothing has changed in the interim. What has changed is that we've witnessed four years of prominent GOP figures kowtowing to Trump at every opportunity. After clambering over one another to see who can be the biggest Trumpist suck up, it's hard to see how they could attack Trump in the context of a primary campaign without looking ridiculous. What does Tom Cotton or Josh Hawley or Nikki Haley say to make the argument they're better than their Godhead figure?

Personally, I think someone should start a whisper campaign on Twitter that Trump was betrayed by the GOP establishment and that in 2024 he should run on a Trump branded third party. Of course his defeat wasn't his fault -- how could it be? Rev him up with paranoid conspiracism and let him wreak havoc on the right for a change. Could be fun to watch.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Republicans Are Trying Their Mightiest To Ring That Bell

 Shortly before election day, I argued that the right analogy to apply to the efforts of Republican judges to get Trump elected was not "thumb on the scale" but rather "the carnival game where you smack a target with a hammer and see if you're strong enough to win the bell." We're two weeks distant from election day, Joe Biden's victory has only gotten clearer since then, but what's gotten even clearer than that is how right I was regarding the metaphor (with the sole caveat that we can substitute "Republican political officials" for "Republican judges").

They really are trying their best to make the steal. It doesn't look like they're strong enough to actually ring the bell, but let's not in any way diminish that this is their agenda. We're going to stave off a frontal attack on our democracy, but it's shameful that it is even coming to this.