Win one, lose one

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I often get accused of being an “optimist” simply because I’m willing to factually point out that only ten things are on fire, when the media is falsely claiming twenty things are on fire. But I’d like to think that I’m simply a realist. That means calling a win a win, and calling a loss a loss. To that end, it looks like we scored one big win yesterday, and suffered one big loss.

First, the good news: Judge Aileen Cannon scrapped the entire schedule for Donald Trump’s criminal trial. Why is this good news? Up to now Cannon has used slight delay tactics to try to help Trump in a subtle enough way that Jack Smith couldn’t do anything about it. But now Cannon is doing something blatant enough that Smith should finally be able to get her removed from the case. I take this as a sign that Cannon now wants off the trial and is trying to get removed – which is good news.

Now for the bad news: the Georgia Court of Appeals decided yesterday that while it’s hearing Trump’s appeal over having Fani Willis removed, the trial will be paused. There was some hope that perhaps the trial would move forward while the appeal was being heard, but now that’s out the window. The doomsday pundits are already racing to declare that this means the trial will be pushed past the election, because they say that in response to every piece of news that occurs. We don’t know what the appeals court will do, so there’s no point in trying to guess a timetable for the trial. But suffice it to say that this is not good news. It’s a loss for us.

I still think the most likely Trump trial to happen before the election is the one in Washington DC. Based on the Supreme Court’s calendar, I suspect we’re perhaps three weeks away from a ruling against Trump’s “immunity” claim, which means the trial could be right back on schedule. There would still be more pretrial proceedings to clear away, but that trial could easily still happen before the election. And remember, the felony charges in that trial are much more serious than the felony charges that Trump just got convicted on in New York.

In any case, Trump’s trial prospects are still a mixed bag overall. But that’s okay. I’ve said all along that with four criminal trials pending against him, it was likely that at least a couple of them would happen before the election. One already has happened, and I expect another one will happen.

So yeah, you win some, you lose some. But keep in mind that Donald Trump is backed into such a deep hole, he can’t afford to lose anything. His felony conviction last week is already hurting him in several new polls – and that’s before he even gets to his sentencing hearing next month. Another criminal trial before the election would be devastating to his chances.

Even if Trump doesn’t go on trial again before the election, he needs good things to start happening for him. He needs wins. He needs to find a way to broaden his popularity beyond where it is right now. And there’s no clear path for him to do that. Each time he tries holding a rally or giving a speech, he makes a confused fool of himself, and certainly doesn’t appeal to anyone new.

So if the news continues to be mixed, win some, lose some, I think that’s good for us overall in terms of the 2024 election. It’s Trump who needs to win every battle from here on out just to stay afloat. But remember, it’s not about predictions or prognostications. It’s about how much work you’re willing to put in to help make sure the election goes the way you want it to. The best way to predict the future is to create it. So let’s go do that together.

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