The effort by influential Democrats to dump President Biden and open the field for other party leaders in time for the 2024 Presidential election is in full stride. Naturally enough, the media that spent the better part of 2020 – 2022 protecting Mr. Biden from his own unforced errors has thrown him under the bus. The proximate cause is Mr. Biden’s sinking poll numbers.
For instance, yesterday’s New York Times ran with a front page story (headline above the fold) that read “Most Democrats Don’t Want Biden in 2024, New Poll Shows”. Meanwhile today’s New York Times has a front page headline that reads “Half of G.O.P voters Ready to Leave Trump Behind, Poll Finds”. All of which presents undeniable evidence of the patently obvious: American voters have had their fill of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
The real question is what the landscape will look like in the post Trump – Biden world. That’s where it gets interesting, because as the Republicans head for the exits of the Trump-Biden era, Democrats cling to it.
It is crystal clear, for instance, that the Trump era cost Republicans dearly at the national level. Core Republican voters, e.g., —college educated suburbanites, were (and are) put off by Trump’s Barnum-and-Bailey style narcissism and and all its associated baggage. Nevertheless he managed to recruit plenty of formerly Democratic blue collar voters as he executed a hostile take-over of the Republican Party. The result is the internal war currently underway in the Republican Party. A war in which traditional (small government) Republicans are showing occasional signs of life, but time will tell.
On the other hand, the Democratic Party has staked its future on Donald J Trump. How so? While maybe 50% of registered Republicans show evidence of distaste for Trump, somewhere in the vicinity of 100% of progressives, liberals and partisan Democrats despise him. The Democratic strategy is therefore obvious: Do everything possible to promote Trump backed candidates in Republican primaries; wrap Trump around any and all Republican candidates, and then wail about the Trumpian “threat to our democracy” TOD™ . The problem is not just the hypocrisy. What if the strategy of backing (theoretically easily beatable) Trump Republicans backfires, and they win? Then what?
In the end though, sanity will likely prevail and the Democrats will be thoroughly eviscerated in November and we will have the joy of gridlock.
That doesn’t mean that that the voters will have bought into any kind of Republican political theory. It will just mean that the voters will have rejected referring to “women and other pregnant people”; it will mean they are tired of high inflation; that they want to be able to walk the streets of their neighborhoods without fear of being assaulted; that they want prosecutors to prosecute those accused of committing crimes; that they want the public schools to actually teach basic skills instead of running indoctrination sessions (good luck with that). Mostly, they do not want the Commander-in-Chief to be an old man who is clearly not up to the job.
Perhaps a resounding Democratic defeat will knock some sense into their heads, after which they can begin to recapture their party from the lunatics who run it now. But I wouldn’t bet against the lunatics. Perhaps a Republican victory will re-introduce a modicum of responsibility into the Party and its leadership. I wouldn’t bet on that either. We will probably have to let the two Parties resolve their own internal battles in the run up to 2024. Then rationality may prevail.