Democrats still swear Trump is purposely destroying the GOP. Are they right?
The scene was surreal this past Saturday night when President Donald Trump went down to Georgia to conduct a campaign rally.
Such a headline wouldn’t have shocked anyone a couple months ago as the incumbent president, running for a second term, held numerous similar assemblies in states purported to be in contention during the 2020 election. Only this mass gathering of thousands of boisterous and cheering Trump backers wasn’t necessarily just for his benefit. No, Trump spoke for almost two hours on behalf of Peach State Republican U.S. senate candidates David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler as well as the ongoing conservative effort to get to the bottom of the plethora of blatant and legally attested to irregularities from last month’s vote.
The locals’ reception for the president seemed extraordinary, but only because of the circumstances. Fighting for his electoral life against an unbothered Georgia (and national) Republican establishment, the president was his characteristic humorous self while laying out the stakes in a much different kind of contest coming up next month, a one-of-a-kind double runoff that very well could determine the course of American history. Trump realized the moment, delivered kind praise for the GOP candidates while also excoriating the powers-that-be for timidity and inaction.
One thing was evident: the emotion and feeling from the 2020 campaign hadn’t subsided one iota. Conservative Trump supporters have endured four years of relentless savagery against their political icon and weren’t about to let him go without a general demonstration of lasting devotion. Was this merely a rally to bolster the Georgia senators or a prelude to what’s to come in 2024 if this year’s challenges fail and Democrat Joe Biden succeeds Trump in the White House?
Regardless, the Republican Party itself looked strong, even if not everyone recognizes it. In a piece called “Trump is feasting on a dying GOP,” Juan Williams wrote at The Hill, “After weeks of saying the presidential election was rigged in Georgia and elsewhere, Trump spent most of his rally ranting his baseless grievances and telling his fans not to accept his loss because Democrats ‘steal and rig and lie.’
“So, why should Republicans vote in those races if they believe Trump’s claim that the presidential election was rigged? That makes no sense unless he is trying to get the party to kill itself…
“[W]hat if this backstabbing among Republicans makes sense to Trump? What if Trump’s lie that the election was stolen is fatal to the GOP but gives him new life with an infusion of money from the hard-right conspiracy crowd, the most gullible Republicans? Then there is a method to the madness.”
Fatal to whom, Juan? Those people on Saturday night were doing an amazing job of looking alive. Where is it that the GOP is dying?
As he tends to do in each of his anti-Trump diatribes (which, to be fair, is practically all of them), Williams shores up his points with anonymous quotes from supposedly objective media people and someone writing at the #NeverTrump rag The Bulwark who allegedly overheard Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson label Trump an a**hole. Such strong sentiments! Nothing like trusting a liberal Democrat like the Fox News personality to tell it like it is. To him, all Republicans think alike just like all African-Americans, suburban white women and Hispanics love Joe Biden and the Democrat party!
Besides, what are Democrats saying in secret about Joe Biden? Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall in coronavirus-proof liberal party watering holes as they gripe, whine and kvetch about the lack of “diversity” in Grampa Joe’s cabinet selections or the fact the idiot “president-elect” can’t play with his dogs without making a trip to the emergency room? Prime yourself for years of fierce Biden rear-end covering by the pretty people if the dumbest person ever elected POTUS comes to pass.
But thinking about it, perhaps Juan is correct -- that Trump is doing all this post-election grandstanding because he really wants to tear what remains of the Bush/McCain/Romney Republican Party to shreds leaving it unrecognizable from five and a half years ago. Memories fade, but in June, 2015, before Trump dramatically entered the huge GOP field contending for the party presidential nomination, most pundits and establishment elites were talking about how Jeb! Bush was raising tens of millions of campaign bucks without really doing much and the others were delusional and pretending in figuring they could unseat another well-funded Bush dynasty candidate.
(Note how Bush and Trump were tied in mid-July, 2015. Fascinating to recall.)
Meanwhile, the wishy-washy Republican House majority had repeatedly refused to fully repeal Obamacare (as it time and again had promised to do since the Tea Party wave election in 2010) and the Republican senate majority was equally dithering on everything remotely connected to the conservative agenda. The old GOP gave lip service to fiscal conservatism, denying amnesty to illegal aliens and getting ahold of the exploding national debt, but did they ever really fight it out with the Democrats to win? Did they use the House’s control over the purse to bludgeon the opposition into concessions… or were they all just kissing cousins who loved big government?
President Barack Obama was heading into the final year of his presidency and by all appearances, the GOP poohbahs were readying themselves for another bite at the evasive fruit from the tree of liberty. But the elites never were very good at bobbing for apples.
Trump came in and upset the balance. It’s a distant memory now, but roughly two-thirds of the Republican primary electorate favored the “outsiders” in the race, those being Trump, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and to a lesser extent, Carly Fiorina. Even Marco Rubio was considered anti-establishment by many of his supporters. Jeb! Bush was practically alone in the establishment lane and there weren’t many who were bullish on trying to elbow him out of it.
Conservatives were worn to the bone over establishment two-faced lies and lack of fight against Obama. The two-term Democrat wasn’t exactly popular, was he? Though the first African-American president retained the loyalty of black Democrats and the culture-assaulting left loved the fact they could maneuver him in any way they pleased, there still was a groundswell of emotion that America needed a new direction.
So yes, Juan, Donald Trump was it. And if it means “feasting on a dying GOP” then conservatives will donate their last dollars and cents to buy Trump the requisite utensils to accomplish the feat. A Republican Party -- like the old one -- that makes promises at election time and then crawls into its comfortable shell when the battle rages isn’t worth much. Trump may be accumulating resources to launch a years-long campaign to regain the presidency, but you don’t see the ninety-plus percent of party members objecting to it.
The Republican Party is now the Trump party. The president has a ton of options as to his next move and don’t be embarrassed when Trump defies the pundits and announces his 2024 bid upon leaving the White House. Juan Williams and those of his mindset may forecast disaster for Trump being Trump, but it’s themselves that they’re really worried about.
For if Trumpism continues to spread, their ideology is in grave jeopardy. Should Joe Biden become president, it won’t be because he was seen as some great unifier by American citizens. It was due to the vagaries of mail-in voting and the impossible task of verifying every single vote when people were granted license to “ballot harvest” and ballots were mailed to every address, including vacant lots and warehouses. Was there outright conspiratorial fraud? Probably. Can it be proved? Who knows?
The Georgia rally showed that Trump’s movement is in good shape. Would tens of thousands come out to hear Joe Biden speak? Or Kamala Harris? Or Stacey Abrams? Nope.
Larry Hogan and #NeverTrump love Reagan but ignore his 11th Commandment
Oh the anguish of the #NeverTrumpers! They can’t quite get onboard with Donald Trump’s movement to build a new and better Republican Party that actually stands for something, but they’re certain there’s another Ronald Reagan out there somewhere who can “unify” the country the way The Gipper did in the early eighties.
One such dreamer is Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who is showing signs of wishing to be the next Reagan. David M. Drucker reported at The Washington Examiner, “Issued Monday, [Hogan’s] video harkens back to Ronald Reagan as an example of a broadly popular Republican president who influenced American politics for a generation. Using snippets of a speech he delivered at the Ronald Reagan Institute think tank in Washington just after the Nov. 3 election, Hogan points to his popularity and pragmatic leadership in deep-blue Maryland as a model for Republicans to follow after Trump leaves the White House in January.
“’In 1980, just four years after the predicted demise of the GOP, Reagan led our party to one of the largest landslides in American history, and then went on to truly make America great again,’ Hogan says as the video opens.
“’As Reagan said,’ the 64-year-old governor added, ‘we are once again at a time for choosing. Are we going to be a party that can’t win national elections, or are we willing to do the hard work of building a durable coalition that can shape our nation’s destiny?’”
Sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo that could’ve just as easily been written by a Democrat speechwriter and delivered by Joe Biden himself. Such mindless babble about “unifying the country” omits the main obstacle to doing so -- namely that one half of the voters (the liberals) don’t want any part of “bringing people together” unless it means conservatives ceding their attachment to gun rights, belief in God, the right to life, traditional marriage, all-of-the-above energy exploration, a government that pays for itself, does as little as possible to interfere in anyone’s life, provides a strong national defense and any objection to the stock phrase “Black Lives Matter” (rather than All Lives Matter).
Probably because he’s an electoral anomaly, Hogan thinks he and other Republican governors in blue states hold the key to future GOP success. But didn’t Reagan himself follow what he called the “11th Commandment,” when he said, “The personal attacks against me during the primary finally became so heavy that the state Republican chairman, Gaylord Parkinson, postulated what he called the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican. It's a rule I followed during that campaign and have ever since.”
Trump certainly broke the commandment, but so did the #NeverTrumpers. It’s never been clear why people who’ve advocated for conservative issue positions all their lives disavowed the man who made them reality. Strange, isn’t it?
Hogan’s heroes (sorry, couldn’t resist) completely ignore why Trump is so popular within Republican grassroots circles. It’s not that we’re attracted by heavy doses of bombast or taunts of “loser” by the chief executive. It’s the fact that Trump, like Reagan, comes from outside the party establishment and governs as though he doesn’t care what they think.
It must’ve been torture for the lily-livered GOP bluebloods to hear Trump making fun of the Republican Georgia governor and secretary of state last Saturday night. Hogan, if he even viewed the speech, probably groaned about party coherence and togetherness. Like Trump should’ve said “Everything is great and we’re in full agreement with the Democrats that there was no fraud and all the affidavits are bogus.”
If Ronald Reagan were alive today, Democrats would tear him apart just like they do Trump and any other conservative who’s seen as a threat to their quest for power. Hogan is flat out wrong in thinking that stylistic differences between Reagan and Trump make all the difference. Trump was arguably more successful than Reagan at advancing the GOP agenda. The lengths Democrats went to defeat him testify to his threat to them.
If President Trump does leave the White House next month, media talkers and establishment pundits will speculate what is next for the Republican Party. As if there was any doubt, last Saturday night’s Georgia rally should’ve provided the needed clarity. Donald Trump is still the undisputed leader of the party, a fact that isn’t likely to change.