Donald Trump just keeps taking the hits, one after another, at least last week for sure.
‘He Should Just Quit” – Meaning Donald Trump
First, you have a growing number of legal experts and commentators stating that Donald Trump is disqualified from running for office.
This hit the news cycle earlier in August. However, it seems commentary on this matter is heating up, and many on the GOP side are speaking out at least quietly and off the record, hoping this to be true.
So, where did this growing movement bubble up from?
Scholars William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulson argue in an academic article that has since gone viral that:
“Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment forbids holding office by former office holders who then participate in insurrection or rebellion. Because of a range of misperceptions and mistaken assumptions, Section Three’s full legal consequences have not been appreciated or enforced. This article corrects those mistakes by setting forth the full sweep and force of Section Three.
First, Section Three remains an enforceable part of the Constitution, not limited to the Civil War, and not effectively repealed by nineteenth century amnesty legislation. Second, Section Three is self-executing, operating as an immediate disqualification from office, without the need for additional action by Congress. It can and should be enforced by every official, state or federal, who judges qualifications. Third, to the extent of any conflict with prior constitutional rules, Section Three repeals, supersedes, or simply satisfies them. This includes the rules against bills of attainder or ex post facto laws, the Due Process Clause, and even the free speech principles of the First Amendment. Fourth, Section Three covers a broad range of conduct against the authority of the constitutional order, including many instances of indirect participation or support as “aid or comfort.”
It covers a broad range of former offices, including the Presidency. And in particular, it disqualifies former President Donald Trump, and potentially many others, because of their participation in the attempted overthrow of the 2020 presidential election.”
As one GOP pollster told me who has worked for both Mitt Romey and two current GOP 2024 candidates: “Donald Trump should just quit.” He added, “[T]here will always be a cloud around his candidacy. He has broken so many laws that he needs to walk away from politics. I don’t know why MAGA is ready to ‘ride or die’ with Donald Trump when they could have Ron DeSantis or Vivek. They offer the same policies and none of the garbage.”
A New Poll Has Him Down Six Percent
Then there is a recent poll that has him down six percent. I know, and yes, other polls this week have him up; I get it.
However, we are rapidly approaching a do-or-die moment for the GOP regarding the Donald Trump candidacy.
It seems clear he will get some sort of jail time for something; he has 91 different charges against him. If this comes early enough in the nomination process, the GOP can have a strong primary and pick the best person.
However, if the charges move to jail time, let us say after Trump wins – and that does seem like – what in gods name will the GOP do then?
About the Author
Harry J. Kazianis (@Grecianformula) is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive and serves as President and CEO of Rogue States Project, a bipartisan national security think tank. He has held senior positions at the Center for the National Interest, the Heritage Foundation, the Potomac Foundation, and many other think tanks and academic institutions focused on defense issues. He served on the Russia task force for U.S. Presidential Candidate Senator Ted Cruz, and in a similar role in the John Hay Initiative. His ideas have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, CNN, CNBC, and many other outlets across the political spectrum. He holds a graduate degree in International Relations from Harvard University and is the author of the book The Tao of A2/AD, a study of Chinese military modernization. Kazianis also has a background in defense journalism, having served as Editor-In-Chief at The Diplomat and Executive Editor for the National Interest.
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