New Republic editor Michael Tomasky has a new piece titled ‘Rejoice, America: These Trials Should Bring Donald Trump to Ruin,’ and frankly, I don’t agree. My sense is that Tomasky is engaging in the liberal brand of wishful thinking that Donald Trump has defied again and again and again.
And while yes, this time is different, this time Trump is being charged criminally, I can’t endorse Tomasky’s prophecy.
Liberal Optimism on Destroying Donald Trump
“Liberals are wired to see disaster in everything,” Tomasky wrote. “We’re not supposed to discuss matters like this in the tone I’m about to use. But I submit that in this case, a little optimism is warranted, because I think it’s quite possible that by next November 5, Trump could not only be a damaged candidate because of these cases, but his careers (political and business), and indeed life, could be in tatters.”
Speaking with gleeful optimism, wishing for someone’s career and life to be in tatters, seems callously vindictive, doesn’t it? I can appreciate wanting to thwart the efforts of conservative America’s hallmark politician, but something about hoping for the man’s life to be left in tatters sounds like casual zealotry.
Anyway, Tomasky proceeds to walk through each of Trump’s seven upcoming trials, again, with a tone that sounds manically desperate. The tone harkens to previous attempts to “ruin” Trump, which have been proceeding almost uninterrupted for several years now, i.e., The Access Hollywood tape. The Mueller Report. The Russiagate impeachment. The January 6th impeachment. The House’s January 6th inquiry. The federal government’s COVID response. Trump’s COVID-19 infection. Trump’s 2020 election loss. Trump’s 2022 midterm performance. You get the idea.
I’m no fan of Donald Trump, nor am I comfortable with the idea of a second Trump term, but I can’t join Tomasky in getting excited about trials (some of which feel politically manufactured), or Trump’s ruination – because I’m skeptical that the trials will amount to anything significant, and because I’m not convinced all of the trials are kosher.
With respect to my first point of skepticism, I just can’t bet against Trump at this point. The guy is a human cockroach, a political Rasputin. He will not die. Is there an equivalent? Someone who has survived so many political and personal and legal debacles? Not only has Trump survived, but he feeds off of the chaos. He grows stronger. He is stronger, right now. He has essentially locked down his third consecutive nomination. Could the trials affect Trump’s popularity, or even his legal eligibility to serve as president? Sure, in a technical sense. But again, I’m not willing to hang my hat on any of that at the moment.
Regarding my second point of skepticism, I’m not comfortable implicitly endorsing, through excitement over Trump’s prospective ruination, the way the criminal justice system is being manipulated to persecute Trump. Alvin Bragg’s case against Trump is so thin that even liberals dismissed the case out of hand. The mishandling of classified documents hinges on a technicality that Trump could have unilaterally sidestepped if he’d had the proper wherewithal while still in office. The January 6th prosecution relies upon free speech encroachment, which makes me deeply uncomfortable.
Tomasky concludes his piece with a nod to his conspiracy-fueled optimism, stating that “this is why I’ve always said that come January 2025, there are not just two, but three, places Donald Trump might be living: the White House; Mar-a-Lago; or a dacha on the Black Sea … Or, of course, a federal prison cell. In a suit to match his face.”
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.