Trump Needs to Stop Harping on the Past
Republicans – and all Americans – have every good reason to continue to investigate irregularities in the 2020 election. The claim that the presence of vote fraud at some level is a big lie …is a BIG LIE. The review of our state-based voter laws that is going on in 47 states is a good thing. Saying it is all about voter suppression and racism is another BIG LIE.
Whether one believes that the presidency was stolen from President Trump or that he did fall short of a victory is no longer a useful debate. Like it or not … legit or not … Joe Biden is sitting in the White House as the certified President of the United States. Lamenting does not produce progress.
Former President Trump recently hosted the big fat-cat donors of the Republican National Committee at his Mar-a-Lago resort home. While it was an off-the-record private meeting, leaks are inevitable at such events.
According to most reports, Trump gave a rather good cheerleader speech.
Both the event and his words were clear indications that he will not be considering any political future outside the Republican Party. The question is: What is his political future IN the GOP?
Whatever his plans may be, they would be more successful if he would stop obsessively haranguing about the 2020 election — and stop his seemingly insatiable pugnacity. It is that personality thing.
Reports from the Mar-a-Lago event indicate that he used the occasion to express his bitter opinions about anyone and everyone he perceives as insufficiently loyal. Trump has left behind an unprecedented trail of former friends, aides and appointees he had first exalted only to later label them with the most sophomoric ad hominem insults – including his own super-loyal Vice President Pence.
Trump still maintains that Pence lacked “the courage” to stop the electoral vote count. This is something the former Vice President had no constitutional or legal authority to do. He called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a “stone cold loser”. He previously had even harsher epithets for the Kentucky Senator.
Trump complained that neither McConnell nor his wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, thanked him for putting her into the Cabinet.
What keeps Trump in play is the undying loyalty from a portion of the Republican base.
He does not own the GOP as Democrats and the biased media like to suggest. Although even he may think so. But he does have a following that pledges fealty to him personally. By most objective measures that is about 25 percent of Republican voters (excluding the apostates who fled to Biden).
Trump cannot elect candidates as much as he can defeat them. His power is – and always has been – the ability to pull away votes.
Trump’s base is not only loyal in the voting booth, but with small donors. In just weeks from his departure from the Oval Office, Trump has amassed more than $80 million in his political action committee – slightly more than the Republican National Committee has in its bank account.
Will the GOP make a comeback?
The Republican Party has every opportunity to take back both the House (80 percent chance) and the Senate (50 percent chance) if the various players will put the past behind them and strategize a unified growth strategy for a future based on ISSUES – and that includes Trump.
While many see Trump’s success as a candidate and as a President as a personal achievement, it was the issues – as compared to what Democrats have been offering – that produced the victories. Trump needs to talk more of the issues and a future combined Republican/Trump vision. Rather than provide the media a conservative Republican response to the Biden policies, Trump gave the unfriendly media another chance to ignore the philosophic and political differences between the parties in favor dredging up their evergreen anti-Republican political narratives.
The next day reporting on his speech to the donors was not about the Republicans specific opposition to Bidens bogus infrastructure bill, but about nasty in-fighting among Republican leaders.
Somewhere in the political firmament is a person who can speak to the future. Who can draw together a winning Republican coalition of voters. That person could be Trump, but only if he sheds a bit of his self-oriented combative personality. In war and politics, you cannot win if you fight on too many fronts. The Trump personality has already overshadowed the all-important issues – and cost the GOP the House, the Senate and the presidency. The speech at Mar-a-Lago suggests that Trump has yet to learn that lesson.
So, there ‘tis.