Trump announces for 2024, McConnell gets re-elected as Senate GOP leader, the GOP takes the House.
A lot of people are saying a lot of things about what this means and making their stout assertions of what will happen. Spoiler: nobody has the first clue. If the election we just had didn’t tell you that you can’t predict things, then nothing will. As for me, I predict nothing. I will pay no attention to any poll. I will pay no heed to the Experts telling us how it will go. It will be as it will be and we’ll find out after it is over how it went.
That said, there is still much we can say. And of course I’ll say it!
Trump’s speech last night was rather low key, wasn’t it? I’ve never subscribed to the view that Trump is unscripted: I’m pretty confident that he plans everything out to the last detail. So, that was the effect he wanted to present. Why? Could be because after last week’s disaster, being too rah rah would look ridiculous. Could also be that he’s trying to overall strike a new tone: “look, guys, it is bad: we can fix it, here’s how”. Could also be influenced by the potential GOP field…you know, look weak and see who strikes first and then your response is a counter-attack which, no matter how blistering it is, always seems fair turnabout by regular folks.
As for myself, I have decided not to commit myself to anyone this early on. I’m going to see how it plays out. As we get to the end of 2023 I’ll probably decide who my candidate is but even that is subject to change based on circumstances. I really don’t think anyone is wise to commit this early. Once you start getting invested in a thing, you start to blind yourself to possible alternatives. I’m keeping my powder dry.
A lot of Never Trump is now gleeful thinking that the Bad Orange Man is done. He may be! But don’t count on anything. Certainly don’t count Trump out given what we’re getting in the Senate. The bottom line is that a huge portion of the GOP base despises the GOP leadership – and the Senate GOP leadership in particular. I have had a lot of respect for McConnell but I do believe his time is done and he’s making a mistake by hanging on – and if it starts to look like he only hung on thwart Trump, then Trump’s stock with the GOP base will only grow and solidify. McConnell is very much the past presiding over the councils of the present – and his post election statement about finding ways to work with Biden caused immediate outrage. We didn’t send GOPers to Congress to pull Biden’s chestnuts out of the fire! McCarthy, set to be Speaker, seems to at least understand this a bit. He’s a squish, but he also doesn’t hold the base in contempt the way McConnell does. With Mitch there making deals with Biden, Trump will have the perfect foil for a GOP primary – and his opponents will be faced with the stark choice of denouncing McConnell or being seen as Establishment tools.
I make no predictions but I’m working on the assumption that we’re going to lose 2024. Always hard to pry the incumbent Party out of the White House, no matter. Absent a complete economic meltdown (a 50/50 prospect at the moment), let’s just say we’re gonna lose. This, first off, will make any defeat feel less bad – and it can also impel us to try things. Zeldin is pushing to be RNC chair and he has it right: you fight in every precinct. You don’t resign any of the board to the enemy. I think that if we discard the worn out notions of the past and simply try new things we might get some remarkable results. As we can’t change the early voting laws in Blue/Purple States, use them (it is already being done to great effect in NY and CA – and Newsom, the Democrat’s rising star, is way underperforming what was expected because of it). Find a guy or gal to run in the Deep Blue. Mike Garcia is apparently the Giga-Chad: I guess he won a Biden +8 district in 2020 so the Democrats decided to get rid of him by making his district Biden +12..and he still won easily. While voting in the House like he represents Alabama! One jokester said “its 2032, Democrats redistrict Garcia into downtown Los Angeles and swear they’ll get him this time!”. Mostly what it shows is that if you try and find the right message and messenger, no place is really off the table.
That is the attitude I want us to carry into 2024: lets just fight. Do our best. Try something new. It can’t possibly go any worse than it just did!
What I’m also thinking is that DeSantis should think carefully here. I don’t go with the Trumpsters who think he’s just a GOPe mole. He came out of the GOPe, but his fights against woke Corporations show that he’s learned the lesson. Mitch and Co might think that RDS is their ticket back…but they may find that, as the GOPe did with TR, that they just made that damned cowboy President. My concern is that if 2024 is a loser, then we don’t want to expend RDS in a bruising fight to beat Trump and then have him lose the White House. If I were an RDS advisor, I’d be thinking long and hard about telling my guy to back away from 2024. Or make only a token run and then get behind Trump. It works like this:
If you get behind Trump and work your tail off for him, you’ll build up huge goodwill with the Trumpsters. They won’t forget: they’ll be in your pocket for 2028. This works out even if Trump loses. If, however, Trump were to win then its still just 4 years, Trump can’t run again and you’ve not only got the Trumpsters in your pocket, you’ve got the President clearing your path in the primaries in 2028. Plus if we do win in 2024, we’ll almost certainly be coming in during a time of severe economic pain that will take years to dig out of. Might be better to let Trump tackle that: he’ll be free to piss people off, after all.
Anyways, that is mostly where my thinking is right now. I will add one last thing: the only people I’ll pay no attention to at all are those who say they won’t back the GOP nominee unless it is their choice. Such people – and there are Trumpist and Never-Trump people like this – are not only useless, they are destructive. I’ll vote in 2024 for whomever is on the GOP ticket because that person will always be the moral and intellectual superior of the Democrat. If a person can’t commit to that, then get out: we got better things to do.