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HORIST: Joe Walsh and the beginning of the dump Trump movement

HORIST: Joe Walsh and the beginning of the dump Trump movement

In the earliest days of the Trump administration, there was talk of a one-term presidency.  The well-established #NeverTrump Resistance Movement had already been working on that goal since the outcome of the 2016 election was announced – and after having made several unprecedented but failed attempts to prevent Trump’s inauguration.

By virtue of the President’s pugnacious personality, the persistence of the resistance and the one-sided reporting of the once-upon-a-time news media, Trump’s base has never grown – generally undulating between 38 and 44 percent.

Trump’s political adversaries at first questioned why even the so-called base would stick with him despite the torrent of uncompromised criticism emanating from the left-wing establishment.  When that failed to reduce Trump’s support, the anti-Trump cabal took of shaming Trump evil incarnate.  When that, too, failed to collapse Trump support base, the left took up a full-scale assault on anyone who would not break with the President – including calls for attacks on businesses and individuals who would not yield.  Still … the base has held statistically solid.

If that is good news for Trump, the other side of that political coin is not so good.  After more than two years in office, Trump has not gained support.  In fact, no President has ever been stuck at such a low level of support during their first two years in office.  Trump has always been underwater politically in terms of having a higher across-the-board unfavorable rating than a favorable rating.

The second problem for Trump is that even his base is not solid.  It is divided between those who idolize Trump without reservation and those who find the administration policies much more to their liking than the proposals of Democrats – but are still put off, to say the least, by the President’s personality and style.

That latter portion of the Trump base is beginning to drift away from the President.  It is not difficult to find individuals who had held their nose and voted for Trump because of a revulsion for the alternative – but who will not vote for him in 2020.  Conversely, it is virtually impossible to find people who voted against Trump who will vote for him in 2020.  When you consider that Trump failed to win the popular vote – and won the Electoral College by some very close votes in key states – it is not difficult to see Trump’s daunting challenge in 2020.

The growing opposition to Trump is not just from the grassroots.  A growing number of prominent supporters are bolting.  In a previous commentary, I suggested that the loss of long-time supporter Anthony Scaramucci was significant.  He served a short time as Trump’s White House Communications Director and was often seen on the news shows defending Trump – and very effectively.

Now cometh Joe Walsh.

The former Illinois congressman is not as nationally famous as Scaramucci – although he does have a significant conservative Trump-loving following from his radio broadcasts.  His desertion of the President can only be described as “stunning” – as was Scaramucci’s. These were two guys who were among the most loyal and outspoken cheerleaders – the last you would think would go against Trump.

Even worse for the President, Walsh and Scaramucci are very articulate and have all the zeal of converts.  They moved from high praise to severe condemnation in the equivalent of a political nanosecond. For obvious reasons, their presidential apostasy will garner them more media attention than was ever achieved by any of their past praise.  They will undoubtedly draw in others who teeter on the fulcrum of the Trump favorable/unfavorable pivot point.

There is one major difference.  If Scaramucci has political ambitions, they are unspecified at the moment.  Walsh has announced his intention to run against Trump in the GOP primaries.  His path to the White House is less likely than Trump’s was in 2016, however.  But after Trump’s success, nothing can be discounted completely.

As a former congressman, Walsh has a bit of a resume – as good or better than such so-called serious Democrat candidates as former Congressman Beto O’Rourke and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Peter Buttigieg.  We often talk about candidates who can win primaries but do not fare well in general elections.  Walsh is the opposite.  He could be more appealing in the General Election than in the Republican primaries where the system is virtually rigged for incumbents.

In many ways, Walsh is a lot like Trump.  He is a no-holds-barred hyperkinetic speaker given to staged theatrics.  He has an absolutist delivery that is not unlike the President.  He is a showman.  He knows how to get attention – something that the other Trump challenger —  former Massachusetts Governor William Weld – is unable to do.

Many question whether one or another Democrat candidate knows how to handle Trump’s pugnacity and bellicosity.  Walsh will not agonize over the various options.  He loves political mud wrestling.  He will give back whatever Trump sends his way – and then some.  He made his radio reputation by say the most outrageous things against Democrats — and especially President Obama.  Walsh was an outspoken birther when birtherism was a hot political issue.  He accused Obama of being essentially an undercover Muslim.

Today, Walsh offers up numerous mea culpas for his past firebrand comments but uses that same harsh judgmental rhetoric against Trump.  He sees himself as the child who sees that the emperor has no clothes – wondering in every interview why no other Republican is willing to step forward.

Whether Walsh can cut Trump down to size – as they say – is still a question. But you can rest assured that it will be a top-billed matchup. Should the Walsh presidential campaign go beyond the current news cycle, you can bet that he will inflict some damage on Trump.  Walsh is a very smart guy, so he probably understands the odds of his ever becoming the Republican nominee, much less the President of the United States.  More likely, Walsh is hoping to launch a dump Trump movement – and that could be the former Illinois congressman’s  greatest impact.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. joewish

    Joe Walsh just another Liberal Commie fool.

  2. Edward

    Walsh has nothing; he is just spinning his wheels and will be easily defeated! Go Thump.

  3. Chuck


    • Tracy

      My opinion exactly. Trump will crush his competition, and continue his legacy of being the best president the US has seen. #Trump2020


      correct a mundo.

    • Bob

      Learn to stop shouting (use lower case letters), and learn how to punctuate so we can understand what you’re trying to say!

  4. LDC

    TRUMP is gaining popularity not falling. The media keeps up it smear job! But the president keeps winning. Joe Walsh is just another never Trumper with TDS!
    MAGA 2020!!!

  5. James Shepherd


  6. Barb Brown

    walsh….Another lib wanna be….LOL….hahahahahahahahahah…….Trump 2020

  7. Jack Bowman

    Go Trump, step on these mealy mouth bugs. Trump will win again.

  8. clifford sturdivant

    Walsh is not a serious contender – no qualifications at all. Why is it that Loud mouths like this guy receive any attention? Maybe because there are so many shallow ill-informed voters in the old USA these days – that and lots of migrants, both legal and illegal, that will never give a “hoot” about the country. These are SAD times – if we lose Pres. Trump, we are in for seem really BAD times!!


      Hell I thought it was Joe Walsh from the Eagles.What a disappointment.

  9. Mike Wilson

    President Trump has my vote. He has done and is trying to do more to help the citizens of The United States than any President since Ronald Reagan. Joe Walsh can go pound sand with Romney and the other RINO cronies.

  10. Darwin L. Doll

    The Republicans are getting as bad as the Democrats and that is low!

  11. Walt

    I’ve heard his radio show while working in Chicagoland. Not really much impressed. It comes down to policies. I like Trump policies, so far, and he is a cagey negotiator. The bombast doesn’t bother me. Walsh needs to bring a better set of policies to have a chance. Dumping Trump for the sake of dumping Trump won’t carry Walsh.
    He does have a pretty cool, guitar player, sounding name, though.

  12. Wally

    He’s got more baggage than what can be loaded on a 747.

  13. Stan W.

    I think President Trump will receive a big boost in support after the results of the ongoing Justice Department investigations are made public.

  14. Wayne

    You’re not serious Joe Walsh & dump Trump movement , Walsh is a loser that couldn’t be elected dog catcher

  15. Jeanette Kelley

    AMEN to all the comments above! These RINO’s make me SICK
    to my Stomach! The DEMOCRATS have all LOST THEIR MINDS
    as well. Very Few Republicans left in the Senate & Congress have
    the Fight to stand up to these Socialist/Communist People in the
    Government. Did everyone of these “So Called Politicians” forget
    they were elected to serve the PEOPLE, not make themselves filthy rich! I believe our founding Fathers are Turning over in their Graves!
    It Took A BILLIONAIRE to relate to the average “Joe American” in this country, and he has the GUTS to tell people like it is, and the Truth! What a Refreshing thing to witness in this Once Great Country of ours. President Trump Won This Election Fair and Square, and beat that LYING WITCH HILLARY CLINTON! This is his so called “IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE”. President Trump just would like this country to do well for all Citizens, not Globalist and Illegals that drain our wealth from within! It’s a Blessing to have a Real Man in the White House who’s working for the American People. I’m a retired Professional Female and will support this Great President of ours all the way! GO TRUMP/PENCE 2020!