Sunday, November 15, 2020

Downshifting On The Hill

Trump will be 78 in four years. That’s pretty old to run for President, though we can’t really say it’s too old since Biden will be that old on January 20th. But really it doesn’t matter whether Trump eventually runs. By announcing his 2024 campaign Trump provides a tentpole to what amounts to Trump legitimism, a focal point around which to array anger and resentment over the purported theft of his second term. 

More concretely and more immediately it freezes the Republican party in place as Trump’s party. As long as he’s running it will be very difficult for any other Republican to make moves in that direction. Added on to this is Trump’s creation of a bloody shirt myth about the 2020 election. Any Republican trying to push him from the stage will become complicit, in his world, with the Democrats who stole the election from him.

JMM doesn't say Trump will run in 2024.  He says the announcement will freeze the GOP field, and cement Trump's control over the party.  If so, it will be a dead hand.   

“I think that’s so critical to him that I think it is a viable possibility,” he suggested. “I think he is deeply lazy and he is getting older — he has lost more than one step and so the idea that he could mobilize that effort by himself, that’s inconceivable. But, on the other hand, he has a lot of people around him in the Republican Party and, you know, allies outside the party that could help him — for example, I keep thinking that he might take over for Rush Limbaugh, that would be a nice perch for him.”


“I also think four years is like 400 years was 50 years ago, meaning that so many things can and will happen over the next four years that even the sense of distress and anxiety that I’m feeling right now and I think many Americans are, you know, could change in a moment when Biden comes in,” he added.

Aside from the fact Trump couldn't organize a two-car funeral procession (wiser heads than mine insist a one-car procession would exceed his abilities; I won't quibble), his only hold on the party will be rallies.  There's a problem there, though:  who pays for them?  Trump won't, we know that.  Some fund-raising scam, perhaps?  How long before that peters out?  Because you know Trump won't be able to resist keeping most of that money for himself, even as it provides the means for him to make more money scamming rubes to attend his rallies.

Four years is like 400 was 50 years ago; it's the reason a losing Presidential candidate disappears from the scene, no matter how badly he wants to get revenge.  Four years is too long a time to keep everyone's attention.  How many times can Trump claim his investigators will be back from Hawaii Nevada/Arizona/Georgia/Pennsylvania with PROOF YOU WON'T BELIEVE!...?


Yeah, yeah, I know; there are still people who think Obama was born in Kenya, too. Big deal. The last election is like the last Oscars show, or the last Olympics: forgotten almost as soon as it is over.  The people who do know who won the Oscar last year are not people the rest of us rally 'round and cheer on. Come January people will forget Trump, even as he tries to keep our attention.  Already the press is discarding him, finally treating his lies as...well, lies.  Stick a fork in 'im, he's done.  Frankly, this is just as legitimate a concern: It cannot happen (and I blame The Atlantic for starting this runaway train of bullshit down the tracks, with the legally illiterate article about what COULD happen in Pennsylvania, which even the GOP in Pennsylvania says can't happen, as a matter of black letter law. And no, the authors of that Atlantic article wouldn't know what "black letter law" means, because it's a legal term of art, and they are chowderheads.). It cannot happen, anymore than the election can be "reversed" (there's not even a legal concept for that) or Trump can keep everybody's avid attention for four more years.  The party's over.  The machines are off.  The bills are due.

And they all have Trump's name on them.  He can't even buy our attention anymore.  At worst, Trump will simply fade away, or be prosecuted into penury and prison.  At best, he'll take the GOP with him, his dead hand scaring everybody in the party as they rush to set a place for Banquo's ghost.

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