Monday, September 25, 2023

Dancing To A Madman's Tune

Donald Trump just skipped the second Republican debate. He figures the nomination is in the bag. E.J. Dionne explains what is happening:

Trump wants his foes to stay weak. By not showing up, he reduces them to squabbling bit players trying to bring each other down while the major contenders offer pale imitations of his own message and values.

Republican voters once open to someone other than the former president are concluding that if they’re going to get Trumpism, they might as well go with the guy who invented it. And they’re getting little useful advice from party leaders who — as Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told his biographer McKay Coppins — see Trump as a disaster but are too timid to say so publicly.

All of this was not inevitable:

It didn’t have to be like this, because the strength of Trump’s lock on the party is vastly exaggerated.

Sure, Trump has an unshakable base, those who would stick with him if he were indicted a dozen more times. But that hard core accounts for no more than about 35 percent of the Republican primary electorate. There really is (or was) room for someone else to break through.

But not one of them has inspired real excitement, and the politician who once seemed best placed to take on Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has had a miserable year.

As a result, Trump has been able to combine his base with a fair share of the largest group of Republicans: those with a more or less positive view of the former president but willing to support someone else.

The sad news for the country is that Republicans let a real chance to end Trump’s career slip away. The opportunity might not come around again. Critics of the GOP enjoy observing that the more Trump is indicted, the more Republican voters flock to him. The timelines of his growing lead and his expanding list of felony counts do overlap, but there are better explanations for his comeback.

Republicans have simply not shown the courage to take Trump on. They're cowards. And, as a result, they're dancing to a madman's tune.

Image: Pinterest 


Northern PoV said...

"not shown the courage to take Trump on"

That is a very kind interpretation of the situation.

With the exception of a very few Romney/Cheney types, the Rethuglicans love tRump.

Owen Gray said...

the flip side of "not having courage" is cowardice, PoV.

Cap said...

The US has had ten one-term presidents and none were ever re-elected. Trump's continued popularity among GOP voters is truly astonishing.

Even the candidates running against him won't flat-out call him a crook or attack him as a loser. Trump was impeached twice, at last count faces 91 criminal indictments in Florida, Georgia, New York and DC, and is fighting over a dozen civil suits. Trump himself would stomp any opponent with that kind of record, but even DeSantis, who's trying to outflank Trump on the right, is cowed into silence.

Trump was right when he claimed, "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK?" The GOP's become a cult.

Owen Gray said...

Precisely, Cap. What a sad collection of cowards.

Anonymous said...

Trump!.....the mad man Nazi! Have you ever counted all the men with German last names who support him? Just saying! It makes one think past the excuse of "madness" to "absurdity. ASM

Owen Gray said...

At one point, Trump claimed his family was Swedish, ASM. Just one more example of fraud.

e.a.f. said...

Spent some time reading American articles today about the debates and Trump. It was entertaining: Paul Ryan suggested Trump might not be the winner. Cohen, was quoted as saying , if Trump is fined $250M or $500M by New York, he may not have the money to pay the fines. Trump has spent some time saying nasty things about the surviving Koch brother. He isn't happy. I'm sure we'll be hearing more from the money section of the Republicans as the election comes closer. One of Trump's co conspirators in the Georgia case has pled guilty and gotten not a bad deal, no jail time. I'm sure more will follow and that may sink Trump. As they used to say, its not over until the fat lady sings and no one is even near the opera right now.

Owen Gray said...

I'm betting that several of Trump's co-conspirators will make plea deals, e.a.f.