Although less likely than before, it seems horrifyingly possible that the Republican and Democratic parties will contrive to inflict upon the body politic a rematch of the 2020 presidential contest in 2024. In that national embarrassment, Mr. Biden narrowly bested Mr. Trump in the electoral college to assume the Presidency, although Mr. Trump is apparently still unaware that the fat lady has already sung.
Prior to the midterms in which a widely anticipated red wave never materialized, it was expected that Mr. Biden would announce that he would not be running in 2024. But the unexpected success of the Democratic showing in the midterms has reportedly persuaded Mr Biden to carry on and he is even now preparing for another run—or shuffle as the case may be.
For his part, Mr. Trump displayed a mastery of electoral politics not seen since George McGovern managed to lose 49 of 50 states to Richard Nixon. He did so by engineering the nominations of: Kari Lake for Governor and Blake Masters for Senator of Arizona; Pennsylvania nominees for Governor (Mastriano) and Senator (Mehmet Oz); New Hampshire Senate nominee Don Bolduc, Nevada Senate nominee Adam Laxalt and for the Michigan Governor’s office, Tudor Dixon.
They all lost. Bigly as The Donald might say.
In fact, across every region of the country, Trump’s candidates lost and lost convincingly in what were eminently winnable races. The only major Trumpkin who managed to successfully cross the finish line was JD Vance in Ohio, and he ran something like 15 points behind the other statewide Republicans.
Meanwhile Brian Kemp of Georgia, who was personally targeted for extinction by HRH Trump, beat Stacey Abrams handily in the Governor’s race. She even conceded this time around. By doing so, Kemp became a political figure to keep an eye on.
Not that losing, and losing badly in 2018, 2020, 2021 (Georgia runoffs) and 2022 would serve in any way to deter the mighty Trump. He is, after all, trying to settle scores with Republicans who failed to kiss the ring. To that end, shortly after his latest series of losses, he assumed that Republicans were gluttons for punishment and announced that he intended to run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
He did this despite (or maybe because of) the fact that he is on the cusp of being indicted in several jurisdictions for various crimes that he almost certainly committed. The decision to announce his candidacy may quite possibly be part of a larger legal strategy that is divorced from electoral politics.
On the other hand we might invoke Occam’s razor to explain Mr. Trump’s increasingly erratic and cringeworthy behavior. The evidence is clear: The man is a lunatic, an easily observable fact that has been recognized by roughly everyone blessed by the touch of rationality.
So why do so many Republican office holders stare at their shoes and mumble when asked about the latest burst of idiocy Mr. Trump manages to utter? He, for instance, just recently suggested that the Constitution should be “suspended” so that he can be inaugurated as the “real” winner of the 2020 election. Failing that, he suggested there should be an electoral do-over.
Calling for the suspension of the Constitution requires an impressive dose of Chutzpah. Especially when you consider that the Presidential Oath of Office contained in Article II obligates the President-elect to “…preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Then again, Mr Trump, who has never shown the slightest inclination to tell the truth when it’s inconvenient, notwithstanding a pesky thing like an oath, will no doubt soon be championing law and order.
What is a mystery of sorts is why Republican office holders don’t simply come out and say the obvious. The Constitution is not going to be suspended; that there is no way short of a coup for it to be suspended; it simply doesn’t matter what Mr. Trump has to say on the subject, and by the way he simply doesn’t have the slightest idea what he is talking about, which is not an entirely unusual phenomenon.
After all, this would not take much courage—not that Republican courage is in noticeable surplus these days—because it has now been demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that following Mr. Trump’s leadership is a surefire path to losing.
Alternatively, they could just say he is off his meds.