The 2024 Presidential elections is shaping up as an historic one in many ways. Of course, in this rapidly changing world, sometimes it is hard to keep up with events. I tend to read the morning papers in the evening. Frequently I learn that what I am seeing on the TV screen and reading in the paper are out of synch.
Let’s start with the easy one.
The upcoming Presidential election will be the first rematch since 1956. In that election Dwight Eisenhower defeated Adlai Stevenson for the second time. Strange as it may seem now, the nomination of a loser was not that strange in the opening decades of the 20th century. William Jennings Bryan and Thomas Dewey had done the same previously in the Democratic and Republican parties. Since that time, individuals have sought their party’s nomination on multiple occasions, but the loser in the general election has never run again.
One difference this time is that the 45th President does not accept that he was the loser nor do his followers. We have seen the tape from the House Select Committee of the Loser not being able to acknowledge on January 6, 2021, that he had lost the election. As a result in the minds of many, 2024 will be a battle between the rightful winner in 2020 and the person who stole the election from him. In fact, based on the media coverage, one might still think 45 was still president. Compared to LBJ in the 1960s, 46 receives scarcely any attention for his legislative achievements. 45 easily can dominate the first 30 minutes of a cable news talk show. Strangely enough, that means in the 2022 midterm elections, voters may be more likely to vote against the daily barrage of criminal actions associated with 45 than in favor of the achievements of 46.
There was never any doubt that 45 was going to run for third time. The timing of the announcement was subject to debate particularly as it relates to the filing of financial reports. The declaration of candidacy was a given since January 20, 2021, even if not spoken out loud. The only issue was whether any of the wannabees would challenge him. Now we know.
The execution of the warrant at Mar-a-Lago ensures that he will not be challenged. All the wannabees did the Kevin-McCarthy-kiss-the-ring a Mar-a-Lago genuflection in response to the actions of the FBI and DOJ. None of them said, “Enough is enough.” None of them said it was time to move on. Instead they all pledged their loyalty to their leader no matter what hare-brained explanation he provided. With the plea deal of Weisselberg and testifying of Giuliani, we can anticipate many such moments of loyalty affirmation in the weeks, months, and years ahead. The wannabees have been jockeying for position in the hope that there will be an opening in 2024. Barring medical reasons and maybe prison, there will be no opening.
The only one who did not get the memo is Mike Pence. He still thinks he is on a divinely-ordained path to the Presidency. Maybe he is positioning himself for 2028!
As long as Donald Trump is the candidate for 2024, then so is Joe Biden. If one of the wannabees successfully challenged the Loser, the results would be different. Biden is not going to let it be said that he backed down and quit rather than face the “real winner” of 2020 in a fair election. Otherwise, given his age and recent legislative victories, Biden would have no qualms about retiring as a one term president. But as long as Trump is the Republican nominee, then Biden will be the Democratic nominee.
In a few blogs, I have commented on the generally overlooked election of 1824. Its marks the end of the First Party System of Federalists and Republicans (Jefferson) and the emergence of the Second Party System of Whigs and Democrats (Jackson). Now that the primary season is almost over, we can say that the Republican Party of the Third Party System (Lincoln) no longer exists save in name only. When people who consider themselves patriotic Republicans start referring to John McCain as a RINO, we can safely say the Party is over.
It is fitting that Sarah Palin is in the news for her attempt to be elected to Congress. It was John McCain’s selection of her to be his running mate that previewed that eventual collapse of the Republican Party. Little did anyone know at the time that she had broadcast to the longtime faux Democrat and Clinton-supporter, that there was an opportunity for him to be the center of attention and make money be becoming a faux Republican. As a result, when the Tea Party took over the Republican Party, it really was not due to Tea Party issues. It was based on Trump issues or rather personality.
The new Republican Party has only a few main issues:
1. Revenge against people who were not sufficiently loyal – mission accomplished
2. Relitigate 2020 so the results can be decertified
3. Impeach Joe Biden and investigate Hunter Biden.
The purification of the Republican Party of real Republicans is nearly complete. There still may be some local resistance efforts to salvage what is left at the state level. However, at the state level the battle is over.
Other than rigging the electoral process so Joe Biden cannot win and ensuring that Democrats cannot win at the state level, the Trumpican Party has no agenda. It has slogans but no actual platform. Some Trumpican state legislatures have become bogged down in what to do post Roe v. Wade reversal. They are floundering around because they did not think things through and now are confronted with an ever increasing number of real-world situations they would rather avoid. Notice the absolute silence from 45 about what to do. So much for leadership!
Speaking of the absence of leadership, DO NOT ask a Trumpican candidate about what do about the declining water levels in the Colorado either. Trumpicans have no suggestions about what to do in the real world, only slogans about what to yell in the culture wars. At some point, people will pay the price for putting unqualified people in positions of power. As long as times were good, the United States could get away with having an immature child with the emotional maturity of a three-year old as its leader. Unfortunately, his shortcomings left him no match for the coronavirus leaving hundreds of thousands of American dead. The same disastrous results await if Trumpicans are put in power at the national and/or state level.
So what should Lincoln Republicans do? Retirement is one path elected Republicans have taken. Then instead of having cowed elected officials they will be replaced be true believers. They have no interest in governing or ability to do so. In the Senate, at least, where candidates need to be elected on statewide basis and not in gerrymandered districts, there still are traditional Republicans who can cross the aisle for the good of the country. However, their numbers are dwindling. By contrast, the House is hopeless. Republicans have been routed by Trumpicans there.
What then should a traditional Republican do? Another possibility is the Georgia maneuver. In 2020, 28,000 Republicans voted in the election but left the presidential line blank. That made 45 the loser. The same possibility exists in 2022: vote for Republican candidates on the ballot and leave the Trumpican candidate line(s) blank. In Arizona, that might mean not voting at all!
The political realignment of the two party system is underway. With the Republican Party, the transformation is almost complete. But there are two caveats:
1. what if the Trumpican candidates do not prevail in the general elections as they did in the primaries? – There is a growing awareness even among Republicans that the Trump-selected Senate candidates are déjà vu 2010/2012 all over again. Democrats could pick up seats in Senate and Governor races.
2. what happens when the leader of the transformation leaves the stage whether it is due to age, medical, prison, or health? – At that point the knives will come out as people battle for power for control of the Trumpican Party and maybe even give an opening to the real Republicans to take back their party.
In the meantime, we can enjoy the two mysteries
Why did he remove the government documents? Even though he thought they were his, why these particular records both classified and unclassified as souvenir/trophies?
Who was the informant and what will happen once that person is exposed?