First things first: I’m not gonna lie to you—that’s what my journal’s for—the American midterms pissed me off.
Conditions could not have been much better for Republicans to take a huge majority in the House and a safe majority in the Senate, thereby putting a brake on the Democrats’ insane agenda. They did neither. As things stand right now, in fact, they may not take a majority in either chamber.
My annoyance alternates between disappointment and anger, but those are just emotions. They’re irrelevant. They’ll pass.
It’s hard to think lucidly when your emotions are flying around and so are everyone else’s and there’s endless data bouncing around in every direction, but that’s also when it’s most important. If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs… and all that, right?
I’ve given it about as much thought as I’m capable of, and it seems to me that the midterms have created a new reality in which each of the two American parties has a very big problem they need to work through before they can organize themselves effectively for the 2024 campaign (which is obviously now underway).
The Democrats have to figure out what the hell to do about Biden and the Republicans have to figure out what the hell to about Trump.
And by “what the hell to do with them,” I mean “how the hell to get rid of them.”
Both men have served their purposes:
Trump smashed the establishment and opened a lot of eyes to the endemic corruption of the governing class in Washingon DC. He was the hammer that the Republican grassroots of America had been aching to throw into the wretched machinery of Washington for decades. Smash! Mission accomplished.
Biden’s job was easier: win the presidency to dislodge Trump. Bada bing. Mission accomplished, and there’s plenty of time left over for naps.
Now both parties are stuck with an angry old man who’s outlasted his usefulness.
Those angry old men have also both outlived average American life expectancy.
Also, they’re just men. Individuals. They can be replaced. The cemeteries of the world are still full of “indispensable” men—and are ready to swallow up a whole lot more.
If I’m reading the tea leaves correctly, Republicans are largely grateful for everything Trump has done for their party and, more importantly, their cause—but also recognize that he’s played out the string and is now more a liability than an asset.
Ditto for Biden’s standing among Democrats.
The Republicans’ problem is that Donald Trump still commands an almost pathologically committed base without whose support not a single Republican stands a chance of winning the presidency in 2024.
The Democrats’ problem is the same problem plaguing all Americans: Joe Biden is President. Getting rid of him before 2024 would mean handing the presidency to Kamala Harris, but nobody wants that cackling idiot in the Oval Office—nobody. Meaning Democrats have to somehow keep Biden alive and in office for two whole years while also preventing him from seeking a second term.
There are simple solutions to both problems: Republicans just need to get Trump to decline a 2024 run, endorse DeSantis, and work like hell to get him into the White House. Democrats just need to persuade Biden not to run, and to focus instead of promoting the next generation of Democrats. (Josh Shapiro’s getting a lot of buzz right now, and he’s not even fifty.)
Simple, right? But far from easy.
Biden and Trump are two of the biggest narcissists on the planet: the idea that either of them might be persuaded to step aside for the greater good of their party and nation is therefore what coders might call “elegant but flawed.”
I myself don’t want the Democrats to solve their problem because I believe Democrats are a bigger problem for America than Biden is for Democrats.
But I very badly want the Republicans to solve their problem because another six years of leftist insanity is unthinkable.
I’m sympathetic to Trump supporters. I understand their feeling that Trump is owed another term. But he’s never going to get one. Ever. Not because he’ll never bring the Never Trumpers around—they’re all Democrats at this point anyway—but because the Independents and Democrats who broke for him in 2016 are now lost to him, and because the media will ensure that any Trump candidacy is about grabbing pussies, Russian collusion, “very fine people,” injecting bleach, and whatever new lies they can come up with, and as regrettable as it may be, no amount of fact-checking by a Musk-owned Twitter is going to push that stuff into the background. A Trump candidacy is going to be the same old Trump Show, and to far too many Americans the Trump Show is a shit show and they don’t want any part of it.
But that hardly makes him irrelevant. Far from it. There is no political figure on the American right who’s more relevant right now. (In case you weren’t paying attention earlier, that’s precisely why he’s such a problem.) Republicans can’t recapture the White House with Trump, but neither can they take it without his supporters.
That’s going to be a tough needle to thread because it can only be done with his consent and active participation. That’s not going to come easy—or cheap.
But it has to be done before he completely befouls the playing field with stuff like this:
“I don’t know if (DeSantis) is running. I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly. I really believe he could hurt himself badly,” Trump said. “I think he would be making a mistake, I think the base would not like it — I don’t think it would be good for the party.”
“Any of that stuff is not good — you have other people that possibly will run, I guess,” he added. “I don’t know if he runs. If he runs, he runs.”
Trump did say that if DeSantis does run, “I would tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering — I know more about him than anybody — other than, perhaps, his wife.”
Whoops—too late: he already befouled the playing field.
Think what he’s done: if DeSantis doesn’t run, it looks like Trump really does have some dirt on him. If DeSantis does run, the narrative of the whole campaign will be: when is Trump going to drop his dirt bomb?
But think what he could do with his “big announcement” on the 15th:
Thanks for coming here tonight, you beautiful Americans. I mean that. You’re really beautiful. Really. The most beautiful people in the world, some think. Not just me, a lot of people. Really.
But I know why you came here tonight: I know why people are watching from home, why the fake media’s watching. Look at them over there, the fake media. Tonight I answer the question everyone’s been dying to know. Everyone, really, it’s the number one question on Google, it broke all the records.
So now I’ll tell you. Here it comes. Ready?
And the answer is… God, can you feel the excitement? It’s very exciting, right, this moment? Maybe the most exciting moment ever. One of them, anyway. The tension, oh my God—you can feel the tension, right? I mean, I hope the ladies on The View have some medics around, because they’re not so young, those ladies, and not in very good shape, if you know what I mean, they’re not very nice to me, not very nice at all, but I wouldn’t want Joy Behar or Whoopi Goldberg to have a heart attack—no, no, I wouldn’t wish that on them.
But here’s the answer, right now: the answer is—you know, a lot of people, they’d make a joke here, you know, just to break the tension or something. Some people would do that, maybe most people. I’m not gonna do that.
A lot of people wonder why I ever ran for president in the first place. They were all Donald, Donald, you’ve got it all, you’re rich, successful, you’ve got a beautiful wife—isn’t she beautiful? and so smart! Come out here Melania, come on out, look at this woman everyone, the most beautiful first lady America ever had, makes Jackie Onassis look like dog food, am I right?—They say Donald, you’ve got it all, politics is dirty, they’ll come at you with lies and gossip and it’s gonna be horrible and why put yourself through that? And I always told them, you can ask, I told them all: I said: but I love this country, I couldn’t have had the success I had in any other country, ever, nowhere else on earth, I love this country, and it needs me, so I have no choice.
And really, I had no choice. No choice.
And I still love this country, and it still needs me, it needs to me to help it be itself again, its great amazing wonderful self, and so I’m here to announce that we all know what America needs in 2024: a new president. We need to get rid of Biden and all these crazy people who are making such a mess out of everything, and we need to—you know what we need to do, right, say it with me, come on, ready? What do we need to do?
Make. America. Great. Again.
But let me tell you something. Let’s be serious for a minute. I don’t like to be too serious, but sometimes you’ve gotta be. This is important stuff, the most important stuff of all, we need to be serious. I’m 76 right now. I don’t look it, I know, and I’ve still got all my energy, but look at Sleepy Joe Biden: that’s what time’ll do to a guy. And it’s a shame. It’s terrible, really. I’ll be 78 in January 2025.
So I’m here to tell you, all you beautiful people, you fantastic Americans who I just love, I love all of you, I mean that—I’m here to tell you, I’m going to dedicate every single moment of the next two years doing everything I can to make sure our next president is… Ron DeSantis.
And the crowd had damn well better go wild.
Then Trump has two years to revel in the glory of his role as America’s savior. To hear and read about the nobility of his sacrifice—instead of more bullshit about his hiring whores to piss on beds that Joe Biden probably already pissed on anyway, the doddering old incontinent.
It’s the closest thing to a win-win-win-win I can come up with.
Will it happen? I doubt it.
But damn would I love to be surprised.
Yeah, that ain’t gonna happen.
It would be a beautiful thing to see and it would basically elevate Donald Trump to sainthood among the half the American population that does not think he is OMG11!!!11Hitler!!!.
But I don’t see it. He just followed up his attack on DeSantis with another attack on DeSantis. He is showing his age, and like other old men, at some point, once an idea takes hold in his head (like the idea that he is owed the 2nd term that failed to materialize in 2020) it becomes practically impossible to get it out again.
The election result make it fairly clear that Trump’s touch turns purple into blue, and hence it is not much consolation that a lot of his preferred candidates won in already red districts.
The hardcore Trump supporters may very well end up gluing themselves to him and thus refusing to support any other R candidate, at which point the Democrats win in 2024, even if they nominate Fetterman’s monster (thanks to the Babylon Bee for pointing out that Fetterman is actually the doctor who created the behemoth, not the monster itself).
On the other hand, given that the Democrats managed to avoid a massacre, it seems a very safe bet that they are not going to learn anything at all, and will see the result as a clear message to keep on doing what they have been doing, because it works.
There seems to be a real surge of opposition to Trump rising from former supporters, some of them because he’s firing at his fellow Republicans (violating Reagan’s first commandment of Republican politics), some of them because (like me) they’ve concluded he can no longer win anything, and some of them because they’re just utterly exhausted by his constantly putting his foot in his mouth. That’s all fine, but most of them are overlooking the real problem: his die-hard supporters. So far I’ve only seen Bill Whittle address that, and I thought he gave it the seriousness it deserved.
I certainly hope that behind the scenes movers and shakers are approaching Trump and asking him his price… and bracing to pay it.
Whatever it takes to get him not to make any kind of presidential run, and to pledge his 100% support for whoever gets the nomination, it will surely be worth it.
“So long and thanks for all the judges” indeed.