We talked yesterday about Robert Kagan’s WaPo piece on the continuing danger the zombie Trump party poses. The most significant threat is that Trump loyalists installed to replace officials who balked at throwing out vote totals in 2020 will come through for the demagogue next time, causing chaos and/or violent upheaval. That’s a gloomy, doomy scenario, but it’s one we discount at our peril, IMO.
So, I was glad to see Jamelle Bouie’s column in the NYT today, which takes up the same subject. Bouie compares complacency on the part of some now to similar blasé attitudes that existed before the Civil War. Like Kagan, Bouie points out that the obvious remedy is for lawmakers to address this crisis by defanging new, bad-faith state-level laws, i.e., for the feds to insulate nonpartisan election processes from undue partisan influence. He also acknowledges, like Kagan, that this is unlikely to happen.
I know it’s a depressing subject, and we’d all rather put the Trump Error behind us. But it’s good to see columns in major mainstream outlets pointing to this danger. That said, while the danger is real, it’s not all gloom and doom. There are possible upsides to the unfortunate situation of having one of the two viable political parties captured by a toxic narcissist in a cult of personality. Valued commenter Kent pointed out one possible positive outcome yesterday:
I could see a lot of best cases. Including that Trump runs again in 2024, clears the field, then absolutely tanks in an utter landslide and brings the GOP down with him across Congress and the states.
Best of all, that outcome could be realized with an assist from the orange crybaby himself. From CNN:
Donald Trump is escalating his fight against Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, and state Republicans fear it will give Democrats a stronger foothold in the key swing state as next year’s midterm elections loom.
The former President’s criticism of Kemp now includes hyping Democrat Stacey Abrams as a preferable alternative to the GOP governor, whose crime against Trump was staying out of his attempt to overturn the Georgia 2020 election returns.
“Having her, I think, might be better than having your existing governor, if you want to know what I think,” Trump said Saturday at his rally in Perry, adding later, “Stacey, would you like to take his place? It’s OK with me.”
Imagine being the chair of the GA GOP and having that dickhead running around saying shit like that! Especially after Trump’s sore loser butt-hurt after the 2020 election possibly depressed the Republican vote in the runoff elections, giving hardworking Democrats in the state a critical assist.
Trump is also foisting terrible candidates like Herschel Walker onto state Republican Party organizations. His only criteria is loyalty to himself, so of course his picks are of the lowest quality, and the need to cater to the zombie base inspires current officeholders to do stupid, extreme and unpopular things (see DeSantis, Ron and Abbott, Greg).
Maybe none of this matters, but we need all the help we can get to hold Congress and make headway in statehouses in a tough environment. I don’t think it requires rose-colored glasses to believe a deranged ex-POTUS out there interfering with his party’s internal politics and pushing the most extreme and ridiculous loyalists onto tickets could result in some of those tickets blowing up. So, reason for optimism!