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 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.

For once, Trump Waited

I wonder how many people are breathing a sigh of relief that Trump didn’t announce that he was running for President at Monday’s rally.  The rumor was that he was going to and you could literally hear Republicans across the country thinking, “Please don’t do this before the midterms.”  Right now, the GOP appears to have a winning message for voters who are concerned about crime and the economy.  The last thing anyone wanted was to have spend Election Day answering questions about Trump.

Fortunately, it turned out that Trump’s big announcement was that he’ll have a big announcement on November 15th.

The Best Thing That Could Happen To Joe O’Dea

Trump slams ‘stupid’ GOP Colorado Senate candidate after 2024 remarks

Considering how unpopular Trump is in Colorado, this is probably the best thing that could have happened to Joe O’Dea.  Much like Lee Zeldin in New York, O’Dea is a Republican who originally wasn’t given much of a shot but who has recently been showing unexpected strength in the polls.

Working to O’Dea’s advantage is that he’s running against one of the most vapid senators in Washington, Michael Bennet.  Bennet is so forgettable that most stories on this race don’t even mention that he was briefly a candidate for 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.  He dropped out of that race even before Tim Ryan but he did manage to outlast Eric Swalwell.

Is there anyone in Washington who didn’t run for President in 2020?

Changing The Narrative

Of course, on the same day that a truly terrible inflation report comes out, the J6 Committee tries to change the narrative by issuing a subpoena that Trump is going to ignore and which will never be enforced.

At this point, most people just want to be able to wake up with some sort of confidence in the future of the country.  Biden and his people don’t seem to understand that and that’s why they’re about to lose the House and probably the Senate as well.

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.

After The Raid

I don’t want to speculate wildly about the FBI raid on Trump’s home because speculating wildly is what the Democrats have spent the six years doing and the country has suffered as a result. 

If the FBI and the DOJ have a compelling case to show why an unannounced raid was necessary over Trump doing something that every other President has done, they need to show it and show it now.  Right now, it looks like it was simply the Biden administration trying to intimidate an opponent.

If the FBI and the White House’s goal was to fire up a Republican base that was feeling a little bit demoralized last week, mission accomplished.

This is the sort of thing that the Democratic base will eat up but how are they going to react if it doesn’t lead to charges against Trump?  Democrats, I think, always assume that the rest of the country is as obsessed and angry with Trump as they are.  

Democrats spent four swearing that Trump was going to use the FBI and the DOJ to target his political opponents.  I imagine Trump would have if not for his staff, who often do not get enough credit for reigning in Trump’s worst instincts.  Biden’s staff does the opposite.  With old Joe checked out mentally, they’re free to make their Resistance fantasies a reality.

Democrats need to stop governing as if the Republicans are never going to be in power again.  

Liz Needs Donald

I was just reading that Liz Cheney now says that she doubts she could support Ron DeSantis if he received the Republican nomination in 2024.  All I can say about that is that if Ron DeSantis is too extreme for you, you really have no business calling yourself a Republican.

Not supporting Trump I can understand.  If Trump were the 2024 nominee, I would be very tempted to stay home or cast my vote for a third party candidate.  (Ultimately, it would depend on who the Democrats nominated.)  But refusing to support DeSantis seems like it’s more about keeping Liz’s newfound admirers happy than anything else.  It reminds me of when Colin Powell endorsed Obama because he claimed Mitt Romney — MITT ROMNEY! — was just too extreme in 2012.  

In 8 days, Liz Cheney will lose her primary.  Next year, regardless of who is in control of the House, neither Cheney nor Adam Kinzinger will be in it.  I get that both of them have to do something to keep their name out there and I guess pretending to be principled conservatives on CNN and MSNBC is the route that they’re going to take.  Ironically, their future worth as media commentators depends on keeping Trump in the news.  It’s an interesting situation.  They may hate him but the future of the media and the Cheneys and the Kizingers of the world are all dependent on Donald Trump not going away.