Patterico's Pontifications

8/8/2023

More of the Republican Party’s ‘New Normal’

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:13 am



[guest post by Dana]

Republican voters are the problem:

Sycophant is an ugly word, but it isn’t ugly enough for Republicans in 2024. The judgment on Trump is, necessarily, a judgment on the Republican Party as a whole, on those who adhere to it, those who make excuses for it, those who cannot bring themselves to call it what it is…

I do not know how any one of these trials is going to turn out. But, at a certain level, I don’t need to. And neither do you.

That is because the uncontested facts of the case—of the cases—are enough to disqualify Donald Trump from any position of trust. We all know this. Ted Cruz knows it, Sean Hannity knows it, Rudy Giuliani, in his rare lucid moments, knows it. There isn’t any dispute about whether the affair with the pornographic performer happened or whether money changed hands to facilitate its conclusion more conveniently; there isn’t any question about whether Trump had piles of classified documents sitting beneath the gilt chandelier of the Mar-a-Lago toilet; there isn’t any question about the fact that Trump did, in fact, try to nullify the 2020 election and unconstitutionally hold on to power. These uncontested facts ought to be understood as dispositive. The fact that they have not disqualified Donald Trump in the hearts and minds of Republican voters is not a judgment on Trump—it is a judgment on Republican voters.

According to recent polling, Republicans, not just MAGA-identified Republicans, remain convinced that this is just another effort by a “weaponized” DOJ to stop Trump’s campaign (thus stopping him from becoming the nominee, and perhaps the next president):

Despite Trump facing one indictment after another, and one investigation after another, “40 million right-wing evangelical fingers going into 40 million right-wing evangelical ears and 20 million grimly pious mouths chanting, “Nah! Nah! I can’t hear you!””

Relatedly, any number of contenders for the 2024 nomination remain reluctant to name Trump:

Over the course of two hours, seven GOP hopefuls took their turn on stage in front of about 800 party activists in the leadoff caucus state, all invited to speak at Iowa Rep. Ashley Hinson’s fundraising barbecue at a Cedar Rapids racetrack.

But in their pitches to challenge Trump for the 2024 nomination, it was as if his indictment Tuesday on federal charges accusing him of working to overturn the 2020 election results had never happened, even from the candidate who has suggested the former president quit the race.

Walking the tightrope of self-protection rather than separating oneself from Trump by taking every opportunity to name check the former president for attempting to overturn a legitimate election and reminding voters of his scorn for the Rule of Law may be a beneficial political strategy at work (see the polling), but it simultaneously reveals that fear (of Trump) is controlling, er, influencing how most of the candidates campaign. Not a good look for anyone who, if elected, will likely be facing down the likes of the barbaric Putin or Xi. Why should voters have any confidence in their ability to lead?

–Dana


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