If the Democrats and Never Trump Republicans had wanted Donald Trump to go away after the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot they should have collectively worked on moving on. An anaconda strategy of choking off Trump’s political airway of constant media coverage and changing the subject from him might have sapped energy from his political comeback. Still, Democrats and Never-Trumpers would not leave a sleeping dog lie. They insisted on making Trump the subject of every argument against Republicans and kept Trumpophobia alive.
Indicting Trump was suggested prior to the November 2020 election by some anti-Trump partisans just as impeaching him was suggested as far back as April 2016 when he was just a candidate. No one inspires as much hysteria and fear among those who are left of center as Donald Trump does.
They have failed to learn the old psychological dictum, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” They also have failed to learn the lesson from their Russiagate scare tactic. It immunized Trump supporters from any suggestion that he is corrupt or criminal because it proved to have been a case of the boy who cried wolf.
Trump Stronger Than Ever
Despite 91 counts of criminal charges, he is stronger than ever and has an undisputed lock on the GOP nomination. He has become strong enough that he can manipulate state Republican parties into doing his bidding to the detriment of his rivals. He has a massive 43-point lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
FiveThirtyEight puts him at 57% support among Republicans compared to 13% for DeSantis. In January, Trump led DeSantis by around eight points. Trump had 42% in on January 23 and DeSantis had 34%.
As a result, his rivals resemble the Washington Generals whose job is to lose every night to the Harlem Globetrotters. Republicans still have a hangover from the Bush years in which they lost credibility by letting Democrats walk all over them even when they had power. As a result, complaints about Trump’s character go unheeded because those making the complaints are deemed to lack credibility.
Trump masterfully created a guilt by association which tied DeSantis with the hated Bush wing of the GOP that Republicans blame for their losses in social creds during the 2000s. Indicting Trump became rocket fuel that energized the GOP base around him. Trump’s polling prior to his first indictment in April was anemic for a former president who remained popular among the GOP base, but it began to take off after.
Anti-Trump Fantasies Dissipate
Anti-Trump forces are coming to the grim realization that their Lilliputian strategy of restraining the Trumpian Gulliver is failing.
“All of this means that the time for sitting on the sidelines is over. Progressives, Democrats — and independents — who don’t want another Trump term need to volunteer, fundraise, organize and get behind one candidate now, because the 2024 presidential election is going to be a rollercoaster ride like nothing we’ve ever seen,” Svante Myrick, president of liberal group People For the American Way, writes in The Hill. “To put it bluntly, while President Biden deserves to win next year, that is hardly guaranteed. Media can’t stop obsessing over his age, and he’s getting very little credit for historically low unemployment and inflation that is significantly down from last year’s highs. In fact, the increasingly robust economy gets relentlessly negative media coverage.”
Biden will have to go for Democrats to have a chance against Trump. Biden is increasingly being seen as a new Jimmy Carter, weak, affable, and incompetent. Trump’s erratic behavior was tempered by his hiring people who knew what they were doing. Next year will be a referendum on the Trump presidency v. the Biden presidency. If the current global state of affairs continues it could harm Biden the way it did for Carter in 1980.
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.