The Republican Party is the weakest it has been in decades. It doesn’t seem to be getting any stronger, either. The recent failure by the GOP to secure what was expected to be a decisive electoral victory in the 2022 midterm elections, coupled with the embarrassing display on the House Floor in January over Kevin McCarthy’s nomination as Speaker of the House, underscores how fraught the present moment is for America’s only organized opposition to Joe Biden and the Democratic Party’s tyranny.
Taking to the podium earlier this week, Joe Biden stammered, yelled, and slurred through the talking points dutifully written by his ideological handlers—the real power behind this president. Despite a shabby presentation that was a product of the man’s advanced age, Biden delivered a message of economic populism.
It is the same message that got Donald Trump elected in 2016. The failure of the Republican Party to recognize this explains why the GOP has lost every election since 2018.
And for all the jokes about Biden’s senility, the harebrained octogenarian president managed to trick his intransigent Republican opponents into booing Biden’s calls to save Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—just weeks after former President Donald Trump, the de facto leader of the GOP, publicly told Republicans to fight to preserve the popular New Deal-era program.
This boorish behavior made Republicans looked like the villains they are often portrayed in the press to be; whereas Biden and the Democrats were able to pretend, yet again, to be the real champions of the little guy (even though that little guy, for the Democratic Party, is really just Pfizer, the deep state, and the Chinese Communist Party).
Not Enough Winning
Otto von Bismarck once quipped that “politics is the art of the possible.” While true, politics is also the sum of a series of events—opportunities taken or missed—that culminates in the decisive electoral moment. Time, therefore, is finite for the opposition party to make its case for why the ruling clique should be shoved aside.
The GOP has wasted much time. It should be spending its limited time proposing legislation that will benefit the greatest number of Americans—such as saving Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—and investigating Democratic Party corruption.
Instead, Republicans shamelessly are booing calls to save popular social programs and are threatening, like madmen, to take the country’s economy off the financial cliff in the coming debt ceiling vote.
We are still getting over the disruptions caused by the Wuhan virus and are in the throes of possibly a third world war with Russia over Ukraine. Voters want less crazy and more stability. But the GOP cannot seem to stop presenting itself as an extreme counterpoint to the seemingly more sensible Democrats (when, in truth, the Democrats are not sensible at all).
Republicans booing Biden’s calls to save Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid during the recent State of the Union was just the tip of the iceberg in displays of insanity that will harm the Right in the coming 2024 election. That’s a clip that every Democratic candidate for higher office in 2024 will be playing on a loop against the Republicans.
Speaking of 2024 . . .
Beyond the House GOP, it doesn’t look much better for the Republicans going into the 2024 presidential election. There is yet another divisive primary slated to begin on the Republican side in the next year.
Donald Trump has already announced his bid for reelection. It is widely anticipated that Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis will make his announcement also.
Beyond those two men, former Trump Administration ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, former Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Trump Vice President Mike Pence, and former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan have all expressed interest in running for the 2024 GOP nomination.
Only Trump and DeSantis stand any real chance at being nominated.
Yet, the more candidates in the field in 2024, as in 2016, the more likely that Trump can divide them, isolate them, and defeat all of them.
But, at what cost?
Trump is an inherently divisive figure to most moderate voters in the American electorate. He can win the primary—at a cost—but can he defeat a Democratic candidate, such as Joe Biden, who appears to most Americans to be the more stable and sane figure? (After all, Biden managed to defeat Trump by hook or by crook once before).
Trump has already begun to tear at DeSantis by insinuating that the successful Florida governor is a Jeffrey Epstein-like “groomer” for having partied with 18-year-old high school students when DeSantis was their 23-year-old teacher (power dynamics notwithstanding, there’s nothing illegal in this behavior).
DeSantis has thus far refused to respond.
It is still early enough in the process for DeSantis to ignore these attacks. The nearer we move to 2024, though, Governor DeSantis will have to have prepared a defense—and counterattack—against Trump’s mad bomber schtick if he plans on running in 2024.
Clearly, this kind of assault is going to become the norm between Trump and DeSantis. The closer we get to the primary election and the more voters pay attention to the gladiatorial bloodsport that will have been unfolding, the less DeSantis will be able to ignore Trump’s schtick without weakening himself.
DeSantis easily could have responded to Trump’s accusation by simply posting the infamous picture of Trump partying with Jeffrey Epstein. It may yet come to that.
Of course, if DeSantis stoops to Trump’s level, then he just feeds that beast and shows himself to be unable to beat Trump in a race to the bottom. DeSantis will, therefore, quickly go from being the next Ronald Reagan to becoming Jeb (!) Bush—which is precisely what Trump wants.
As this occurs, the Democrats—specifically, Sleepy Joe—watch with glee as the Republican circular firing squad forms to destroy whatever chances at victory might have existed in 2024. Biden and his party will yet again appear to many concerned and fickle moderate voters as being the more stable party worthy of reelection.
What’s the Plan?
First, Republicans in the House need to present a comprehensive plan to save Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Second, they need to drop calls to crash the economy over the debt ceiling in June. Third, the Republican National Committee (RNC) needs to come to terms with the fact that both Trump and DeSantis will be running—and Ronna McDaniel, as the head of the RNC, should change the rules to bar all other candidates besides DeSantis and Trump from running.
Republican voters deserve a clean race between the two heavyweights of Trump and DeSantis. The presence of these other minor candidates will only serve to protract the struggle and give the Democrats soundbites they need of a Republican Party in disarray. There will be no avoiding a nasty primary fight, but there’s no reason to prolong it just for the Left’s benefit.
Fact is, if the Republicans keep failing the way they’ve been doing; if they continue appearing to be the party of crazy people; and if Biden keeps stumbling his way to a marketable economic populism as he has been, the Republicans can anticipate being the permanent minority party for the next several decades.
Under present conditions, Biden is going to handily beat whoever is the Republican nominee in 2024 and then the country is finished as a major power. Failure to heed this advice will only serve to ensure that Joe Biden and his party finish America off as they’ve been trying to do since at least the 1960s.