When real-world gains or respect for the law and truth don’t count, fantasists stumble and fall.
So, isn’t it getting clearer who’s up and who’s down? Contrary to expectations, national polling is leaning Democratic, well-timed for midterm gains, strong candidates display their mettle, and the latest breed of bizarro right wing Senate candidates is redefining the phrase “unelectable extremism.” Can even the deranged yell “voter fraud” when losing by 20+ pts? Abysmal GOP losers will depress turnout – further helping Dems.
It’s not as if Trumpers can’t concoct marginal positives but, like their mafia boss, lunacy is in. Even a legitimate right wing win, like the Supreme Court shocker nuking abortion, is boomeranging, driving outraged voter activism and fundraising. No doubt, fixated Trumpers, certain their champion is a political genius, still award their misguided loyalty no small measure of genius. Assuredly, it is a marvel that Trump, the certified sore loser of all time, still heads a national party, impacts primary races, and remains the favorite to win the 2024 nomination. But that testifies to the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the most shocking hijacking since Patty Hearst. When Trump hits a predictable bottom, one can imagine fleeing ex-backers rife with laughable excuses, denials, and defiance of history.
Obviously, nothing Trump does, no crime he commits, will alienate his hardcore base—not more criminal evidence, felony indictments, even convictions—and not even personal admissions that will never come. One must acknowledge the absurd staying power of this Pied Piper—as never before have so many heinous scandals besmirched one politician. More Trump disasters will only drive Democratic hopes that Trump runs again (runs forever), because he will more destructively disrupt his party vs. any outsider.
To the prospect that Republicans, whose leaders are fed up with the self-defeating hustles, could nominate this phony “populist”—one can only respond with astonishment (what blockhead risks a third popular vote rout?), considerable anxiety (to think the world is that crazy) and reluctant delight (a disintegrating Trojan gift horse). Where are replacement Trump voters he doesn’t already own, as his dying, male oldsters are offset by angry, liberal youngsters?
Now that “threats to democracy,” per NBC polling, outranks cost of living concerns, what do Republicans have to run on? Voter suppression? Law and order by inciting violence? Backing overseas dictators? Abortion may thrill evangelicals, but what about centrist and libertarian voters who hate all government mandates that crush personal liberty? As the Wash Post’s Megan McArdle writes, “The Democratic Party has no better friend at the moment than Donald Trump.” Any pre-midterm Trump announcement will spur massive, favorable Democratic turnouts.
Okay, give Trumpers credit for primary picks, but what if their choices fall on their faces? Ditto, the well-publicized defeat of Liz Cheney, and perhaps the brouhaha over the Mar-a-Lago “invasion”—but we just learned Trump himself manhandled the forbidden secret documents last year, verifying both intentional theft and espionage. Okay, Trump will sucker more funding from his marks, but assess the unspeakable, looming legal costs. Dubious pundits claim the FBI document retrieval strengthened Trump’s hold on the party, even cemented his 2024 nomination. Pick your own punch line: “is this a joke?” or “he should live so long.”
What cult wins elections?
Delusion feeds on itself, and after six very long years, with help from Trump propaganda, his base will believe whatever the manic liar belches forth. Flush with denial about the Jan. 6 riot, Trumpers talk up violent protests, even looming Civil War. Yeah, who against whom? When did pushing violent rebellion (read: the politics of bloody chaos) succeed as an electoral lever (except by seditious, crushed Confederates)? Such ultimatums push the majority not only to defend “democratic institutions under direct attack,” but to resolve the elemental choice between civil order vs. more Trumpian insurrections. Are Trump fanatics so out of touch they think they can pull another such infamy, without inciting an enormous, injurious backlash?
From Lucien Truscott comes confirmation of extremism on the march: “A poll conducted last month by Monmouth University revealed that an astonishing 61 percent of Republicans believe Jan. 6 was a “legitimate protest.” Fifty-eight percent told pollsters they believe that only by “voter fraud” did Joe Biden win the 2020 election.” One cringes, imagining what the party of stupids deems “illegitimate” protest (successful Democratic Capitol takeover? Five new Supreme Court justices?). The wildly deluded miss the cosmic irony: Only Trump and co-conspirators are guilty of bad faith “voter fraud,” whose inexhaustible mendacity has won a media first in America, immortalized as the “Big Lie.”
Another chapter of dramatic, Trump-generated mid-term losses will signal more political demise. Clearly, his misguided 2020 intrusion cost the GOP two GA Senate seats. Today, a Senate majority that was the Republicans to lose appears lost thanks to unelectable boobs (not just likely reversals in WI and PA, but maybe OH, NC and FL). It’s no big leap to project new criminal revelations that tarnish Trump, the endless felony machine. Further, even if GOPers take the House, such chronic do-nothings only set up a 2024 Dem House takeover. Where’s evidence that any of so many discredited Rethugs can win either the popular vote or Electoral College (even if Trumpers corrupt one or two states).
The Trump carnage campaign
Finally, won’t the core Trump message—a barrage of vengeance, retribution and retaliation—feed only a regional party. Who wins a national election by promoting fascist takeover moves, starring white supremacist, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-Washington, anti-expertise, anti-intellectual fervor? I’d welcome knowing how a reduced Trump minority gang pulls off an upset that would dwarf 2016? Trump’s great original strength was zero public record against a weak candidate with enormous negative baggage. Unquestionably, Trump’s appalling baggage busts all limits—plus now he’s a big party divider. When cornered by serial trials, Trump will explode his venom, likely to shock and offend even those who’ve been asleep.
While Trump’s scam show has outlasted notable TV programs, what entertainment gets away with playing the same tedious scene ad infinitum, with the same pathetic, inexcusable victimhood? It’s as if aggrieved Trumpers have to sustain their dignity with loyalty not only to a naked emperor but one about to be run out of town on a rail.
Compared to less ambitious traitors (like Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr, or Aldrich Ames) Trump is profoundly aligned to Confederate rebels, sharing their mission to overturn the elected government they once swore to protect. One only wonders how much truth these Wash Post headlines foretell: “Is there no crime Trump could commit that would lose him GOP support?” and/or “The GOP has become the stupid party—and proud of it.”
Still undecided is what will be the greater ultimate humiliation to America: That Trump could hijack, then corrupt a totalitarian-prone party and drive a failed coup—or, arguably as bad, that a critical mass was foolish enough to slavishly obey the worst, most scandalous hustler long after his fall. How long will Trumpers endure being dragged through the mud by one of history’s greatest mudslingers? Pandemics like Trumpism despoil all they touch—and no vaccine in sight but reality.
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