Now then: National Interest‘s Christian Whiton has some thoughts on how Donald Trump may still be the key to GOP victories in 2022 and beyond. Excerpt:
It is customary self-indulgence after a change in power in Washington to predict that the other party is not only defeated, but likely to go extinct. This past election was no exception. In March, President Joe Biden said he had no idea if there would even be a Republican Party in 2024. Former President George W. Bush said Republicans “want to be extinct.” The facts say otherwise. Setting aside the furiously contested presidential election result, Republicans gained seats in the House in 2020 and will likely build on that performance next year, taking control of one or both houses of Congress.
In a rare act of candor that was never meant to be public, Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), who almost lost her seat, told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats after the election that radical views like defunding the police cost Democrats and would hurt them more in the future. She said: “If we are classifying Tuesday as a success from a congressional standpoint, we will get f—ing torn apart in 2022.” How right she is.
Note that none of this has anything to do with Donald Trump, but rather, more with massive overstepping by Democrats who hold the levers of power by the slimmest of margins. To whit:
Yet Democrats have not heeded her warning. Instead, they have misinterpreted the 2020 result as a mandate to indulge their most radical instincts. They have wasted trillions of dollars on an economy that simply needed to be reopened, and plan to waste trillions more while raising taxes dramatically, while pretending that they will only target the wealthy. They have mused about packing the Supreme Court with activists. They have gone to war against domestically produced fossil fuels, which we rely on and which make us energy independent. They have invited a wave of illegal immigrants to our southern border and increased the quota of often-radical and always-broke refugees they plan to admit. They have indulged critical race theory and its attempt to redefine America and cast any and all political opponents as inherently racist. Their more radical members have even dabbled in anti-Semitism by labeling Israel, a nation where Arabs and Jews alike can vote and stand equal before the law, an “apartheid state”—an insidious way of siding with those who favor the destruction of the Jewish state.
None of these actions are a recipe for electoral success. They sell well with urban progressives, but not much of anyone else. But still; here’s the key assertion:
Here’s the deal: Trumpism isn’t a set of specific policies, but a willingness to fight, a refusal to accept the terms of political debate set by the Democrats and the media, and a realignment of the party toward blue-collar workers. Liz Cheney rejected all of this innovation. She wanted to fight her own party. She wanted to assist Democrats and the media in smearing all Republicans with the January 6 Capitol riot—a move that Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is resisting in refusing to go along with the House bill to establish a commission to investigate it.
Donald Trump, despite allegations by the OMB crowd, isn’t some arch-conservative right-winger. He was a Democrat for most of his adult life. His policy positions aren’t far from what Bill Clinton professed in the 1996 election, with the exception of a few issues like immigration and gun control. He was in favor of allowing same-sex marriage before Barack Obama was.
No, the difference, as Whiton points out, is that Donald Trump is unapologetic for the stands he takes and is willing to go scorched-earth to fight for them. A big proportion of the GOP base finds that refreshing, after the weak sauce that was the Bush dynasty and the Romney wing of the party. Donald Trump may not be a nice guy, but you know what they say about nice guys.
Even with that said, I’m convinced that it is primarily Democratic overstepping – wild, out of control, unhinged overstepping – that will sink their electoral chances in 2022 and 2024. If they want to have any hope of success they need to get the foaming-at-the-mouth wing of the party muzzled – but that will be hard, when both Queen Nancy and Chuck Schumer (Sanctimonious Prick – NY) seem to have joined that wing.
A precautionary note to Republicans, though: The GOP has a talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Remember that.