It’s A Struggle

It’s a struggle writing about politics when every single political story leaves you feeling worried for the future of the country.  That’s especially true when it comes to the stories about the upcoming Trump indictment.

I don’t have much more to say about any of this, other than I don’t think there’s a hero to be found anywhere in this situation, not in the DA’s office and certainly not in the Trump campaign.  The case against Trump is obviously a partisan prosecution, with the idea being to keep Trump in the news for as long as possible because as long as people are paying attention to Trump, they won’t be paying attention to Biden.  At the same time, if you don’t want to run the risk of having stuff like this happen to you, don’t cheat on your wife and then use campaign funds to pay off a porn star.  It’s not that difficult.

I’m frustrated with the lot of them and quite frankly tired of the whole thing.

Larry Hogan, Independent?

Larry Hogan Not Ruling Out A Third Party Presidential Campaign

Good luck with that.  It’s hard enough for someone with a national following to run a credible third party campaign, let alone a former governor who is unknown to the majority of the country.

There’s a lot of ego involved here.  Hogan’s smart enough to know that he could never win the Republican nomination but I’m going to guess he’s got some undoubtedly well-paid consultants who want to keep their grift going for as long as possible.

As I said when he announced he wouldn’t be entering the Republican primaries, Larry Hogan has a legacy that he can be proud of.  He was elected and re-elected, as a Republican, in one of the bluest states in the Union.  Because of that, some people said he was the future of the GOP.  (Strangely no one said that when John Bel Edwards managed to get elected and reelected governor as a Democrat in Louisiana.)  Hogan was a good governor.  He has a lot to be proud about.  The last thing that legacy needs is to be ruined with a vanity presidential campaign.

Twilight of the Kennedys

Robert F. Kennedy Jr ‘thinking about’ launching Democratic challenge to Biden for 2024 White House nomination

That RFK, Jr. has presidential ambitions has never exactly been a secret.  Right now, he’s best-known for being an outspoken opponent of vaccines but people forget that, before he embraced that particular cause, he was one of the most strident environmentalists in the country.  He was promoting the Green New Deal long before AOC ever made her way to Congress.  Before he was encouraging parents to leave their children vulnerable to deadly diseases, RFK, Jr. was arguing the the CEOs of companies that pollute should be tried as war criminals.

Before even that, a young RFK Jr. was a member of the Manhattan DA’s office.  Like his brother David, RFK Jr. developed an addiction to heroin.  David would die of an overdose.  RFK Jr. was merely arrested and spent two years on probation.  If not for his name, RFK Jr. would probably just be another unknown activist with a difficult personal history.

But RFK Jr. does have the name and, as a result, he is treated as serious person despite his history of spreading conspiracy theories.   And now, RFK Jr. appears to be poised to be the latest Kennedy to enter a presidential race.  In some ways, it would be a case of history repeating itself.  The last time a Democrat as incompetent as Joe Biden ran for reelection, he was challenged by a Kennedy.  Ted Kennedy won at least a few primaries against Jimmy Carter.  I doubt RFK Jr. will be able to make that claim.

But I have no doubt that he will try and it will be interesting to see where his votes come from.  Will RFK, Jr. be the candidate of the Green New Deal or the candidate of vaccine skepticism?

Larry Hogan is Not Running For President

Larry Hogan, the former governor of Maryland, made it official yesterday.  He will not be running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

Like a lot of former Marylanders, I’m breathing a sigh of relief.  It’s not that I felt Larry Hogan had any chance of winning.  And it’s not that I don’t feel that Hogan did about as good of a job as any Republican could possibly do in a state that is as blue as Maryland.  Hogan was a good governor and he’d probably be a good Cabinet secretary in either a Republican or a Democratic administration.  Personally, I’d rather see him in charge of the Transportation Department than Mayor Pete.

What I was dreading was watching Hogan ruin his legacy by running an obviously doomed and ego-driven presidential campaign.  There was absolutely no path for Hogan in 2024, regardless of how much the Washington-based punditry claimed otherwise.  There was a chance that Hogan would have served to split the anti-Trump vote though it seems more probable Hogan would have been humiliated in much the same way that former governors like George Pataki and Jim Gilmore were humiliated in 2016.  No one wants to end their political career as an asterisk in a poll.

Hogan should have run for the Senate in 2022.  If Ben Cardin retires in 2024, Hogan will undoubtedly be courted by the NRSC but I doubt Hogan will take the plunge.  Just as some politicians are born legislators, Hogan was a born administrator.

Hogan served two terms in a state this usually hostile to Republicans.  He ended his term as one of the most popular governors in Maryland’s history.  That’s not a bad record to go out on.


President John Bolton?

It will probably never happen but it does sound like John Bolton is determined to run against Trump in the 2024 primaries.  I think he’d be better off just supporting a candidate who actually has a chance to defeat Trump but I think, in Bolton’s case, his opposition to Trump is more personal than political.  Bolton took a job with Trump, at a time when many other establishment types were going out of their way to disassociate themselves from the President.  Trump responded by telling everyone that Bolton’s advice was worthless.  Much like Al Haig in 1988, Bolton’s campaign will be about trying to win back the respect that he feels was stolen from him.

A Frustrating Few Weeks

If you’re like me and you follow politics and you think a second Joe Biden term would be disastrous for the country, the past few weeks have been frustrating.

Among my problems with the Democrats, two of the big ones were that 1) the Democrats have consistently refused to strongly call out anti-Semitism in their own ranks and 2) the Democrats have no problem shredding the Constitution to get what they want.

So, of course, Donald Trump goes off and has dinner with two of America’s best-known anti-Semites (yes, Milo was there as well but I’m not sure anyone who isn’t very online has the slightest idea who Milo is) and then he demands that the Constitution be shredded so that he can be president again.  Thanks, Don!

(For whatever it’s worth, I don’t think Trump is himself an anti-Semite.  I just think he’s a man in his mid-70s who isn’t really in touch with modern pop culture and who can’t let go of a grudge and who will have dinner with anyone who sucks up to him.)

Myself, I’ll be voting for DeSantis.  Or Kemp.  Or Youngkin.  Or even Larry Hogan!  (I like Larry Hogan more than most Republicans and I think he was effective as any Republican governor could be in a state as blue as Maryland.  But I know there’s no way a Hogan presidential campaign would get beyond New Hampshire.)  In 2024, vote for a governor.

Have We Been Spared A Newsom Presidential Campaign?

Newsom vows to finish four-year term if reelected governor

That’s according to the AP, of course.  Everyone knows that Gavin Newsom wants to be President, even if everything about him seems to remind people of why no one trusts a politician.

If Biden runs again, Newsom will be able to keep his pledge.  If Biden doesn’t run, there’s no wat the Newsom is going to be able to resist jumping into the fray.  It is said that every politician, even the mayor of the smallest towns in the smallest states, wakes up in the morning and sees a future president in the mirror.  That seems doubly true for Gavin Newsom.

Dwayne Johnson Is Not Running For President

Today, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made it official.  He will not be running for President in 2024 and I hope he’s gotten the idea of running for political office out of his head.  Dwayne Johnson can do more good as a nonpartisan movie star that everyone can rally around than he could ever do as a member of the Senate or even as President.

Adam Kinzinger Is Losing It

I spent last night watching Adam Kinzinger lose it on twitter.

Here’s an in-depth post about what happened:

Adam Kinzinger ‘Drunk-Tweets’ His Way Into Total Embarrassment

The too long; didn’t read version is that Kinzinger accused Dan McLaughlin, who has been anti-Putin since before the Obama administration and who was regularly tweeting his support for Zelenskyy before Putin even invaded, of being pro-Putin because McLaughlin disagreed with a tweet in which Kinzinger accused pro-lifers of being pro-Putin.  (It makes even less sense if you read the tweets.  Put the beer down before you tweet next time, Adam.)  When McLaughlin and others pointed out how stupid this way, Kinzinger drunk-tweeted his way through it.  Eventually, he decided to search Kinzinger’s followers (and not the people who Kinzinger was following back) until he found some people who were pro-Putin.  As a political pundit, McLaughlin has 89,4000 people of all different ideologies following him on twitter.  I wonder who we would find if we searched everyone who just happened to follow Adam Kinzinger.

Normally, this would just be another night on twitter except for the fact that this is Adam Kinzinger, the man who never misses a chance to promote himself as being the conscience of the U.S. House and who has built his entire reputation on attacking Trump for engaging in the same type of behavior that he engaged in last night.  Kinzinger is one of two Republicans on the January 6th Committee.  (He’s the one who cries for the camera.)  He’s angry at the Republicans who he feels have enabled Trump.  That’s fair, if simplistic.  However, he’s also mad because he’s losing his house seat because it was gerrymandered out of his existence by the Democrats who control the Illinois redistricting process.  Kinzinger often says that he’s losing his seat because he’s anti-Trump but the main reason he’s losing it is because he was dumb enough to run as a Republican in a blue state that’s run by one of the most ruthless political machines in the country.  As far as losing his seat his concerned, Adam is mad at the wrong people.

Oh, and Adam is also talking about running for President in 2024.  Of course, Liz Cheney has stolen his thunder with the Never Trumpers.  Maybe that’s why he’s so pissed off.

Congress has gone from Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln, and John Quincy Adams to Adam Kinzinger, Eric Swalwell, and Matt Gaetz.  It’s often been said that most journalists would be better off if they didn’t get on twitter.  I think the same is true of most members of Congress.

Is That A Promise?

Liz Cheney says she will leave the Republican Party if Trump is the nominee in 2024

Comments like this, from Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, almost make me wonder if they’re secretly trying to convince the Republicans to go ahead and nominate Trump in 2024.  For all the adulation that Liz and Adam get in the press, most Republicans would be happy to see them admit that they’re no longer members of the party.

(And I suspect most grassroots Democrats would rather vote Green a thousand times before accepting Liz Cheney as a member of their team, let alone a potential leader.)

There are a lot of ways to convince voters to move on from nominating Trump.  His grip on the Republican Party has diminished, though many outside of the party are loathe to admit it.  If Democrats actually do well during the midterms as a result of a bunch of bad Trump-endorsed candidates, that will pretty much be the end of his power.  People like to win.

But people like Cheney and Kinzinger claiming to be Republicans while mouthing Democratic talking points in an attempt to keep their careers relevant are a good example of the type of thing that led to a lot of Republican primary voters supporting Trump in the first place.  If you don’t want to see a second Trump turn, stop promoting Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney as the alternatives.