Donald Trump has backed the GOP into a no win corner
Donald Trump is one of the most embarrassing things about being a conspiracy theorist these days. They finally got what they secretly wanted all their paranoid lives: a big-mouthed, indiscreet, mallet-headed jerk in the Oval Office, someone who can’t keep a secret to save his life. Every amateur ufologist, every 911-“Truther,” every Moon Hoaxer, every Kennedy assassination wingnut must have been rubbing their hands with glee over the prospect that, any day now, Donald Trump will spill the beans and tell us what REALLY happened!
That he didn’t say a word about those things was absolutely no surprise to me. There was nothing to say, of course. Because there’s one thing about Donald Trump that you can take to the bank. When it comes to betraying his country, he always tells the truth. That was the point of all those stolen documents at Mar-a-Lago. He wanted to make damned certain that whatever he sold to China or Russia or the highest bidder was quality stuff. Nobody betrays their country better than Trump.
And that goes for betraying his party as well. And that’s the big fear among Republicans about 2024. Whatever you may think about his prospects in November of that fearful year, if Trump doesn’t get the nomination there will still be 25% of the Republican Party that will vote for him no matter what. And with that kind of indestructible minority behind him he can wreck the Party and destroy any other candidate’s chances of becoming president. Which means President Biden is just about guaranteed a second term.
Forget about what they say in public. Most Republicans in Congress and other positions of power despise Donald Trump. They understand better than anyone what a threat to their power base he represents, and the relentless, embarrassing headaches he causes them is a source of unbelievable frustration for them. He has single-handedly lost the last three elections for them, and he’s about to lose another one in 2024.
Republicans know that if Trump doesn’t get the nomination in 2024 and if he’s not in jail he will become a third party candidate and split the Republican vote right down the middle. And Joe Biden will then stroll back into the Oval Office on their divided and conquered corpses.
What to do? Their choices are grim and there seems to be no real answer. On the one hand, if they give him the nomination he will lose the race because he’s even weaker now than he was in 2020. Otherwise he will start the MAGA Party and hand Biden a victory Biden won’t even have to break a sweat for. Whichever way it goes Republicans know that, thanks to Trump, 2024 is yet another year they’re going to have to sit on the bench.
But it gets better. After two years of the chaos that is the 118th Congress, the American people are going to want a change there too. With a Democrat in the White House and a Democratic House and a still Democratic Senate, Biden will be even more effective than he was the previous two years.
So Republicans are just going to have to continue to do what they do best. They’re going to have to whine and complain and find fault with everything Democrats do no matter what it is, no matter how economically sound and responsible, no matter how good it may be for the American people. Republicans can do what they like as long as they remain out of power. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.