With thanks to our Editor-at-Large, Sherry, for the tip.
Writing in The Bulwark, Ex-RNC Spokesperson Issues Chilling Trump Warning For 2024 Election. Tim Miller calls on Republicans to “show some balls” and work against the former president now, while there’s still time.
Miller reviews the book-maker bets and (other probabilistic sources) …
I, your Scriber, pick up Miller’s essay as he nears the closing message …
So what’s the point of this exercise, besides a little post-Halloween fright?
It’s a wake-up call that people should start taking really fucking seriously the notion that a guy who incited a deadly mob on the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow our democracy is the frontrunner to become president again. Once that reality is accepted, there ought to be a lot of downstream considerations being made by different participants in our politics.
(1) The Democrats might want to focus more on competency and broadening their appeal, rather than participating in an internecine murder-suicide over how many trillions of dollars they spend. In addition they might also want to consider focusing on the problems that people tell pollsters they care about, rather than on the whims of D.C. interest groups.
(2) The media should probably start treating Donald Trump like the frontrunner he is, rather than a drunk uncle whose deranged ravings can be ignored unless it’s convenient or there’s a hole in the D-block.
But most importantly, (3) Republican politicians and commentators who claim they don’t want a wannabe authoritarian lunatic to become president again should probably do something to try and stop it.
And on this last point, I am deadly serious.
Nine months ago almost all the leading figures on the right stated that Donald Trump should be removed from office because he was so deranged and dangerous.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board called for Trump’s resignation saying that he “has refused to accept the basic bargain of democracy” and that January 6 “probably finished him as a serious political figure.” National Review ran, by my count, seven separate columns, including one from The Editors, calling for his impeachment. “There must be a consequence and it should come from the nation’s legislature,” they wrote.
Mitch McConnell railed against Trump, “after it was clear to any reasonable observer that Vice President Pence was in serious danger. Even as the mob carrying Trump banners was beating cops and breaching perimeters their president sent a further tweet attacking [Pence].” Kevin McCarthy said Trump “bears responsibility” for the riot at the capitol. Seven Republican senators voted to disqualify him from ever running for office again.
And yet just yesterday one of their ostensibly more sane colleagues Tim Scott, a potential presidential candidate in his own right (in a non-Trump world), preemptively endorsed Trump for 2024! Why, God, why?
The Atlantic ran a silly, made-for-Twitter column over the weekend about how Never Trumpers should support anti-vaxxer-in-chief Ron DeSantis now, because he’s better than the bad orangina. And I guess that’s true in the most narrow and literal sense. I mean, having a rabid raft of fire ants build a nest inside my ass is also preferable to President Trump Part Deux but I’m not sure a TDSer endorsing Butthole Fire Ants will have a major impact on the Republican primary electorate.
So rather than turning to us Never Trumpers to save the hot mess that is the GOP … maybe the DeSantis 2024 movement should start with all the people who supported Trump in 2016 and 2020 but then, when they thought the coast was clear, called for his impeachment a few weeks later? Maybe those guys could show some balls and start a concerted effort to defeat Trump? But of course, the question answers itself.
Because if Republicans in good standing don’t do anything to change the current dynamic and instead continue their strategy of owning the libs while secretly praying that their god king gets a move-on to his eternal reward, well, then we’re going to be repeating the same nightmare that engulfed us for the past half-decade, all over again.
So here’s my message both to the cowards who know better and to the people of good will who put it on the line because they care about our constitutional Republic:
Right now, today, Donald Trump is the favorite to win the presidency again. If you don’t want that to happen, then start acting like it.