It’s Time for a Family Conversation, GOP

 

Dear fellow Republicans – especially those of you who remain loyal and ardently supportive of former President Donald Trump. We need to have a serious and frank family conversation.

I’m no “never Trumper.” I voted for Trump twice. Reluctantly the first time since I’d strongly supported my friend and former US Senator Rick Santorum’s (R-PA) candidacy for the GOP nomination, followed by US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), and then finally a vote in the Pennsylvania GOP primary in 2016 for US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). Still, there was no way I was voting to help elect Hillary Clinton. Trump got my vote in 2016, Access Hollywood tape and all.

In 2020, I enthusiastically supported Trump. His mostly stellar conservative record as President, capstoned with three impressive Supreme Court confirmations (thanks in no small part to Mitch McConnell), was enough for me. No wars, low inflation, and a booming economy (until Covid) were icing on the cake.

So I’m not here as a “never Trumper.” If he runs and is our nominee in 2024, I’ll vote for him. But we must discuss that in light of the profoundly disappointing 2020 midterm elections. The GOP may win control of the House and Senate, but that is highly uncertain and far less than GOP officials predicted. A GOP majority of 1 – 219 seats – in the House is possible. Talk about no margin for error.

Trump may be a primary reason behind turning a “red wave” into barely a nod.

The problem appears to be with independent voters, which according to one exit poll, broke +2 percent for Democrats, breaking the historic norms for ordinary midterm elections. In midterm elections over the past decade, independents broke for one party or another between 12 to 18 percent, usually the party not in control of the White House. Not so this year. Why? Not sure. Subsequent polling may tell us, but exit polling and speculation suggest Trump’s late machinations over an impending announcement of his 2024 candidacy and the abortion issue, which ranked second to inflation in voters’ minds. Gen Z voters broke heavily for Democrats.

Hear me out. I acknowledge and respect your reasons for supporting him, starting with the grotesquely unfair manner in which he’s been treated by congressional Democrats, the mainstream media, federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and even some fellow Republicans. I get your fascination and focus on the threat of “globalism” and elitist “deep state” dominance and Trump’s threat to it.

But he’s become too toxic. It’s time to cut our losses and move on. Trump, who will turn 80 in 2024 and would only be able to serve one term if elected, cost us House and Senate seats and increasingly looks unelectable. Democrats salivate for him to run again and serve as the GOP nominee. They were relieved when he raised his orange head with taunts of a presidential campaign announcement at rallies in Ohio, Pennsylvania (how did that work out?), and elsewhere just before the election.

Consider the evidence. Let’s start with the election results. Which Republicans romped, which ones lost, and why?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was the election season’s big winner with a nearly 20-point romp over former GOP-turned-Democrat former Gov. Charlie Crist. His margin helped the GOP capture four new US House seats and aided Rubio in his landslide over Democratic US Rep. Val Demmings. Just four years ago, DeSantis won a tight and even surprising 30,000-vote win over Andrew Gillum.

DeSantis enjoyed no support from Trump this election. Shortly before the election, Trump attacked DeSantis at one of his rallies, calling him “Ron DeSanctimonious.” It didn’t seem to hurt, did it?

And then there’s New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, who also ran without Trump’s support or blessing. He won by 17 points. The Granite State’s congressional candidates all ran as pro-Trump Republicans, including the estimable General Don Bolduc for US Senate. Nearly 20 percent of Sununu’s vote went to Democratic incumbent Maggie Hassan. The two GOP House candidates, including a former Trump White House staffer, also lost decisively.

Democrats spent millions in the GOP primary to promote Bolduc’s candidacy over former St. Sen. President Chuck Morse. It worked. Could Morse have defeated Hassan? We’ll never know, but he was more aligned with Sununu than Trump or Bolduc.

Overall, Democrats spent an estimated $46 million in GOP primaries to promote the most pro-Trump candidates, including Darren Bailey for Governor of Illinois (he lost), Bolduc, and several House candidates, many of whom in competitive races lost, especially the Trump-endorsed John Gibbs in Michigan’s previously GOP-held Third Congressional district. Gibbs defeated incumbent Rep. Peter Meijer in the GOP primary, then lost the general election by 13 points.

Georgia’s incumbent Governor, Brian Kemp, also cruised to reelection over his 2018 opponent, election denier Stacey Abrams. In May, Trump endorsed his primary opponent, former US Senator David Perdue (defeated in the 2020 Georgia Senate runoff). Kemp demolished Perdue with 71% of the GOP primary vote. On the other hand, Trump-endorsed US Senate nominee Herschel Walker ran at least five points behind Kemp and now is headed to a December runoff that may decide which party controls the US Senate.

Last is incumbent Governor Mike DeWine’s 25-point romp to reelection in the Buckeye State. While Trump’s late endorsement in Ohio’s US Senate primary catapulted author (Hillbilly Elegy) JD Vance to the nomination, he won his election by just 7 points. Three GOP candidates for state Supreme Court seats fared better, all with double-digit victories. Former Marine and Yale Law-educated Vance kept his distance from Trump in the general election. JD Vance is now Senator-elect.

Vance may owe his nomination to Trump, but that endorsement was a burden. His margin of victory mirrored Trump’s Ohio win two years ago.

Arizona remains a mystery, given the vagueries of its bizarre election counting system. Both gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake and Senate nominee Blake Masters – endorsed by Trump and embracing him in return – are trailing at this stage. Democratic nominee and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs was singularly the worst candidate of the 2022 election. And she may win.

In Pennsylvania, Trump’s endorsement of New Jersey transplant and celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz propelled him to a narrow GOP primary election win. His late endorsement of GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano helped seal his primary win. How did those candidates fare? I think you know. Trump now reportedly blames his wife for his endorsement of Oz. Wow. Don’t try that at home.

Want more evidence? How about a poll conducted in a “red” part of Florida (what part isn’t red anymore?) by a pollster and their client, whose names I will protect.

QUESTION  *. WOULD YOU BE MORE OR LESS LIKELY TO VOTE FOR A CANDIDATE WHO IS A DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER? 

                       1.    Much More          24%

                       2.    Somewhat more    9%   

                       3.    Somewhat less      4%

                       4.    Much less             43% 

                       5.    No difference       15%

                      6.   Not sure                 6%

It doesn’t take a math genius to realize that there is a 14-point difference between those somewhat or more likely to support Trump candidates (33%) and those less inclined (47%). And pay attention to the intensity – 43% are “much less” likely. That is yuge, as Trump might say.

I know what some of you are saying. “The GOP can’t win without us,” extol fervent Trump supporters, citing polls showing him as the clear favorite for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024. For now. But midterm election polls and results also show that more voters are lost than gained by Trump’s embrace.

I also know the popular MAGA argument for Trump, as shared in this interesting American Thinker post by J.B. Shurk.

There are videos making the rounds showing President Trump standing on stage in Miami’s pouring rain while imploring Americans to get out and vote.  The metaphor is striking.  There’s Trump, battling the elements, lively as ever, refusing to give up, insisting on finishing what he’s started.  Citizen Free Press appropriately notes that “President Trump is truly a force of nature.”

I know that the months ahead will make for some spirited political debate among friends, but I encourage you to cement in your minds this quintessential image of Trump unbroken and unbowed.  Whatever else can be said about the man (and there is plenty), he remains the only leader in our times unafraid to stand alone.  When other self-proclaimed allies run the other way or look for somewhere safe to weather the approaching storm, Trump stands inside the tempest, demanding that it give up and surrender.  That’s something that will forever separate him from those who pretend to be him.

It has become normal to deconstruct Trump’s public appeal to something as basic as he fights!  Yet it is not just that Trump fights; it is why he fights that has attracted such a diverse voting coalition unlike any other political movement today.

I get all that. Ardent Trumpers also cite support for DeSantis from alleged “globalists,” including major GOP financiers like Ken Griffin. Funny, DeSantis hasn’t behaved like one. And DeSantis, for his part, has never criticized Donald Trump. Some thanks he gets, being called “Ron DeSanctimonious.” Trump’s name-calling schtick is getting a bit old and lame.

The problem is this: Unfairly or not, Trump is toxic. Charles C.W. Cooke, editor of the National Review opines:

I’m not being cute: Trump is the Republican establishment now. He’s the default, the Man, the swamp. It is Trump who is widely considered the front-runner for the party’s nomination in 2024. It is Trump whose endorsements are treated as if they were official edicts. It is Trump to whom the press and the public tend to link all GOP nominees. And, judging by the squeals that emanated from his allies yesterday, Trump’s machine intends to do everything it can to keep it that way, and to thus ensure that he wins the next primary election and loses the next presidential election. With the country in its present state, Republicans simply cannot afford that sort of frivolous, low-energy, old-boys-club complacency. GOPe, you’re on notice.

A few days ago, Trump started criticizing Ron DeSantis. A day or two later, Trump started threatening DeSantis. “I think if he runs,” Trump said, “he could hurt himself very badly. I really believe he could hurt himself badly. I don’t think it would be good for the party.” Upping the ante, Trump then pretended that he knew “things” about DeSantis “that won’t be very flattering,” and promised to reveal them if DeSantis even considered challenging him in 2024.

This is classic establishment gate-keeping. It is also richly undeserved. Trump is a loser. He squeaked past the most unpopular woman in America in 2016, he presided over a blue wave in 2018, he lost to a barely breathing Joe Biden in 2020, and he hand-picked a bevy of losing Republican nominees in 2022. Ron DeSantis is a winner. He beat the Democratic wave in 2018, he got the biggest challenge of the last four years — the Covid-19 pandemic — almost exactly right, and he won reelection by the largest margin achieved by any Republican gubernatorial nominee in Florida’s 177-year-history. Perhaps, on the internet, “loser lambasts winner” is an interesting story. In the real world, it is not.

And conservative Twitter might have already moved on.

Voters also are not interested in relitigating the 2020 election or putting up with so-called “election deniers,” even though Trump has strong cases that election irregularities and even fraud played a significant role. The scourge of “vote by mail” fueled by Democrats during the pandemic is a curse on our election system and invites corruption and distrust in the integrity of our elections. But that ship has sailed. The need here is not airing grievances but fixing laws at the state level.

This is no endorsement of DeSantis, someone I’ve never met. There will be several strong candidates in the race, especially if Trump bows out to play “senior statesman.” I won’t name them – you know. And while Trump may still have the pole position as we advance, we need to be blunt. Our country needs a strong leader after the Biden-Harris debacle, but Trump is the likely major GOP candidate least likely to recapture the presidency and course-correct the nation. And we cannot afford another Democratic presidency.

The Democrats’ best hope to retain power is a Trump nomination in 2024. He helped deliver them a mild midterm election.

Let’s not give it to them. This is not being “never Trump.” It is being “over Trump.”

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  1. Underground Conservative Coolidge
    Underground Conservative
    @UndergroundConservative

    Time to move on. 

    • #1
  2. Black Prince Inactive
    Black Prince
    @BlackPrince

    Yeah, I’m totally over Trump too—he’s dead to me now. The Republic has failed and it doesn’t matter who’s in charge. We’ve sown the wind for decades, now it’s time to reap the whirlwind. Better buckle up—it’s going to be a rough ride.

    • #2
  3. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    The weird thing is that Trump was not on the ballot.  Was not on Twitter and single white women moved harder to the Dems.   I get that he is old and outputting, but there is something else going on.  Women and soy-boys really want the Dems to govern them harder.  It might be the estrogen in the water supply.

    ps.  Maggie Haberman lies for a money. 

    • #3
  4. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    All of this pontificating on thrusting DeSantis onto the national stage when he has a full term of governorship feels so much like putting the cart before the horse.

    If all of you are wrong about DeSantis running in 2024, WHO ELSE IS THERE.

    Because throwing another limp noodle like Romney is a loser.

    What you don’t get is that there isn’t a DeSantis replacement, either.

    • #4
  5. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Trump may or not run in the 2024 presidential election. If he does run, you can not vote for him in the primary. Or vote for him, depending on his opponent.

    The only thing I know for certain is that Trump is going to do what Trump is going to do, and it doesn’t matter one damn what you or I think he should do.

    Based upon what you’ve written, he regrets taking the advice that Melania gave . So even she holds no sway.

    I’ll check back in a day or two before the California primary in a couple of years.

    • #5
  6. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    The weird thing is that Trump was not on the ballot. Was not on Twitter and single white women moved harder to the Dems. I get that he is old and outputting, but there is something else going on. Women and soy-boys really want the Dems to govern them harder. It might be the estrogen in the water supply.

    ps. Maggie Haberman lies for a money.

    Something about all the political analysis focusing on Trump seems very shallow and narrow.

    I have no problem supporting someone else who actively promotes America first, demands reciprocity from our Allies, that uncontrolled immigration harms the fabric of our nation, and can figure out that unilateral “free” trade has losers (oh… and that government deregulation requires government action). But good luck finding anyone like that. They don’t exist.

    I am done. This isn’t worth my time, energy, and effort. America thinks 2016-2019 was SO BAD that they would double down on this, there’s something seriously broken in this country and it isn’t Trump.

    • #6
  7. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    Kelly D Johnston:

    The problem is this: Unfairly or not, Trump is toxic. Charles C.W. Cooke, editor of the National Review opines:

    A few days ago, Trump started criticizing Ron DeSantis. A day or two later, Trump started threatening DeSantis. “I think if he runs,” Trump said, “he could hurt himself very badly. I really believe he could hurt himself badly. I don’t think it would be good for the party.” Upping the ante, Trump then pretended that he knew “things” about DeSantis “that won’t be very flattering,” and promised to reveal them if DeSantis even considered challenging him in 2024.

     

    It would be interesting to know if your Florida poll came before or after Trump’s malicious shots at the most successful “MAGAy” politician in the 2022 midterms. I hope Herschel is able to get it together and win his runoff and save the republic, and Cooke is a real piece of work in his own right, but his shots on Trump’s vindictiveness against successful republican candidates who fail to kiss his ring and fawn over him land solidly on target. Trump must make amends and quickly if he ever hopes to carry bright red and MAGAy Florida in 2024.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a piping hot mug of Liberal tears over the dethroning of the Pelosi.

    • #7
  8. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Trump bungled his re-election.  He just needed to act Presidential and talk clearly about the great things he had done, and he would have won.   Won beyond the margin of fraud.  The democrats pursued a great strategy of getting out their own vote and just letting Trump talk and tweet.

    For the 2022 elections,  Trump did not focus on the benefit to the country.  Trump did not focus on helping either conservatives or the republican party.    Trump focused  on helping those who would bend the knee,  and punishing those who would not bend the knee.   Neither conservatism, nor the republican party,  nor America is all about Trump.    Conservatism, the republican party, and America should be all be about America,  conservatism and the republican party winning , and Trump is not about that and does not care about that.    We may be useful to Trump.  Trump is no longer useful to us.

    • #8
  9. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Reluctantly agree.

    I will follow the Buckley rule, as I always do.  So if Trump runs and wins the primary, he’ll get my vote in the general.  But I am now hoping his coming announcement is to not run.

    • #9
  10. Quintus Sertorius Coolidge
    Quintus Sertorius
    @BillGollier

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Trump bungled his re-election. He just needed to act Presidential and talk clearly about the great things he had done, and he would have won. Won beyond the margin of fraud. The democrats pursued a great strategy of getting out their own vote and just letting Trump talk and tweet.

    For the 2022 elections, Trump did not focus on the benefit to the country. Trump did not focus on helping either conservatives or the republican party. Trump focused on helping those who would bend the knee, and punishing those who would not bend the knee. Neither conservatism, nor the republican party, nor America is all about Trump. Conservatism, the republican party, and America should be all be about America, conservatism and the republican party winning , and Trump is not about that and does not care about that. We may be useful to Trump. Trump is no longer useful to us.

    This is spot on…..as I and many have argued Donal Trump should be lauded ( even though one could argue it was not planned by him) for showing the Republican Party and the Conservative movement a new coalition that was both viable and a winner……this is a coalition that the party and conservative movement of Romney, Dole, Bush, Dispatch, even Regan would never have attempted to cultivate……he even if inadvertently has shown a new coalition  of Hispanic, Black, Working Class socially conservative and even economically conservative voters……but now and probably always it is all about him…..even standing in the rain it is about him……time to find those leaders who will take this coalition and reshape America. 

    • #10
  11. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    People who blame Donald Trump for yesterday’s losses are vastly underestimating the difference between the Democrats’ and Republicans’ worldviews.

    If Republicans prefer Ron DeSantis now, that’s fine. But unless he can convince the Democrats to see things from our point of view, he won’t get any further in Washington than Donald Trump did in building the wall along the southern border.

    I have Democrats in my family, and most of my friends and professional acquaintances are Democrats. We can’t even mention politics because we are so far apart on the issues.

    • #11
  12. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Kelly D Johnston: But he’s become too toxic. It’s time to cut our losses and move on.

    I’ll support DeSantis, but what happens when DeSantis too “has become too toxic,” because he is the man in front?

    Remembering that the party split is not about Trump, pre-dates him, and will outlast him, we still have the basic problem — the base is fed up with milquetoast democrat-lite pretenders and will not show up for them (edit: anymore).  The base has proven its bonafides in 2010 and 2016, notably.

    How are we to get around the fact that the GOP is still making war against the Tea Party?  Where’s the wall?  Where’s the repeal of ObamaCare?  Why did Paul Ryan throw in with the democrats and sabotage the House instead of doing his job?  We had it all — House, Senate, White House, and arguably SCOTUS.  And what happened?  The GOP types joined the Democrats.

    The base gave everything to the party once again, and once again, the party stuffed us.  So the problem very much remains.  Wait until DeSantis is in the lead.  If Trump is already gone by then, the GOP will not support him.  Bogeyman Trump is what makes DeSantis work.

    “Putting Trump behind us” is just hiding a voodoo doll that the party blames for its problems.

    • #12
  13. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Kelly D Johnston: Dear fellow Republicans – especially those of you who remain loyal and ardently supportive of former President Donald Trump.

    I really have to ask this question.  Why does every Democrat politician, newsman and pundit have to say “former President Trump”?  I saw here on Ricochet a youtube video of a rally hosting both President Biden and President 0bama, and it didn’t refer to “former” President 0bama.  No one ever referred to President Bush as “former” President Bush.

    I saw a snippet of a Sunday morning talk show in which the host referred to Trump as “Presi– former President Trump” and I thought this was strange, and propagandistic: not PC, to call him President Trump, you know.

    Have so many on the right merely had the propaganda that President Trump is somehow in the minds of some of the populace still president beaten into their thinking?  Are they yielding to the courtesy of singling out Trump as a former president when every other past president is simply referred to an President So-and so?  Or are they so bushwhacked by the propaganda Press that they fear they will lose all credibility within the Republican Party if they don’t uselessly point out that he is no longer president?

    Or it a conscious effort to undercut and excise President Trump from the public consciousness?

    Move on, move on.

    No one who might attempt to do what President Trump attempted to do will ever get a break from the CIA-mediated, Democrat-run, progressive media machine and be allowed to accomplish more than Trump was allowed in his (functionally speaking) half term.

    And no one will attempt to do even half of what Trump attempted to do if he will always have the stigmatizing asterisk of “former” appended to his name.  What disdain.

    Yeah, Trump is probably gone, but at least we still have the memory of President Reagan to revere.

    Or should he too be referred to as former President Reagan.

    • #13
  14. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    TL, DR.

    If your final conclusion after Tuesday is “Dump Trump!” you think as a child thinks, and there’s no point in having this conversation at all.

    If Trump wins the 2024 primary and the response from some of you “Republicans” is to clutch your pearls and vote for the Democrat (or stay home) then really? Go away. We don’t want you in the party because you are an emotional child and we can’t afford to waste time catering to your needs.

    • #14
  15. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    .

    • #15
  16. MDHahn Coolidge
    MDHahn
    @MDHahn

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    TL, DR.

    If your final conclusion after Tuesday is “Dump Trump!” you think as a child thinks, and there’s no point in having this conversation at all.

    If Trump wins the 2024 primary and the response from some of you “Republicans” is to clutch your pearls and vote for the Democrat (or stay home) then really? Go away. We don’t want you in the party because you are an emotional child and we can’t afford to waste time catering to your needs.

    Good job completely missing the point of the post. Kelly does a good job laying out that Trump is toxic to the swing voters that we need to actually win elections. It’s not about party purity, just the cold reality that if the GOP continues to nominate Trump, then it will lose.

    Complain about it all you want, but it makes no sense to continue to follow Trump and his endorsements when guys like DeSantis and Kemp proved they can win and expand their reach. Surely those two aren’t rino squishes.

    • #16
  17. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    MDHahn (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    TL, DR.

    If your final conclusion after Tuesday is “Dump Trump!” you think as a child thinks, and there’s no point in having this conversation at all.

    If Trump wins the 2024 primary and the response from some of you “Republicans” is to clutch your pearls and vote for the Democrat (or stay home) then really? Go away. We don’t want you in the party because you are an emotional child and we can’t afford to waste time catering to your needs.

    Good job completely missing the point of the post. Kelly does a good job laying out that Trump is toxic to the swing voters that we need to actually win elections. It’s not about party purity, just the cold reality that if the GOP continues to nominate Trump, then it will lose.

    Complain about it all you want, but it makes no sense to continue to follow Trump and his endorsements when guys like DeSantis and Kemp proved they can win and expand their reach. Surely those two aren’t rino squishes.

    Thinking that all we have to do to fix the party is “dump Trump” is a child’s analysis. There is so much about the GOP that needs fixing. “Dump Trump” is symbolic but empty.

    • #17
  18. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    MDHahn (View Comment):
    Complain about it all you want, but it makes no sense to continue to follow Trump and his endorsements when guys like DeSantis and Kemp proved they can win and expand their reach. Surely those two aren’t rino squishes.

    Kemp certainly is. His performance was pretty underwhelming as well.

    The problem Kelly and evidently you don’t understand is that Trump turns out people that other Republicans don’t. Only DeSantis comes close.

    Democrats have the machinery in place to harvest their ballots and voters. Republicans don’t. Instead, they spend their money on advertising with a list of McConnell- or McCarthy-approved, rather unsuccessful DC campaign consultants who don’t understand their audience. Money would be far better spent on a much-improved ground game, but then the DC consultants wouldn’t make money.

    And besides, thanks to the lack of effort by that nincompoop Gov. Ducey of Arizona and his refusal to spend any money in battleground governor’s races in the upper midwest, it doesn’t matter who Republicans nominate in 2024. The election machinery is in the hands of Democrat governors in the upper midwest, one of whom is likely to be on the Democrat ticket, and that is lethal to GOP chances in 2024.

    Trump has lots of problems and there are very valid reasons to criticize him – he had far too many neocons like Bolton and Pompeo in key positions; he deferred far too much to military “experts” who show time and again they are losers; he made terrible appointments; he took terrible advice from the wrong places, especially on Covid; he really cares what the New York Times thinks (unlike De Santis); he is egotistical; he doesn’t realize who his friends and enemies are – but he is the best marketer around. If he is eased out, it will matter very much HOW he is eased out because whoever eases him out may not get the votes of working-class voters who don’t trust Republicans to do anything other than stab them in the back, the way Republican leadership systematically does. By trying to be an upper-middle-class party, Republicans will lose – and badly.

    • #18
  19. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    I agree but Trump won’t go away on his own- he will have to be voted out in the primary  – this means we cannot have 15 candidates that split the vote

    • #19
  20. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Where are your facts, Kelly? You are always inciteful and I value your opinion, so I am asking for the numbers. How many of the Trump-endorsed candidates lost and how many won? Of those that lost, how many received support from the RNC, and how many, if any, had support withdrawn or minimalized? I remembered Mitch McConnell stating publicly that they wouldn’t win the Senate because their candidates were terrible. He said this easily four months ago. Nobody seems to be blaming him for anything. Do you think that was a smart thing for him to have said? Lyndsey Graham, in September. came out publicly stating that if Republicans win the House and Senate, he would introduce a National anti-abortion law. I, personally thought that Graham is not that stupid. He said that to intentionally undermine the Republican election hopes by adding fuel to the pro-abortion forces. It was insanely bad timing, at best.

    I think President  Trump will be too old to serve another term. I hope he joins forces with DeSantis (should DeSantis decide he wants it) to figure out a way to unite our party under the America First  Freedom agenda. But I am concerned that too many people are so willing to  throw Trump, the man who is the face and heart of MAGA, under the bus.

    • #20
  21. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Secretary of State Katie Hobbs was singularly the worst candidate of the 2022 election.

    Fetterwoman says “Hold my beer.”

    • #21
  22. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    cdor (View Comment):
    But I am concerned that too many people are so willing to  throw Trump, the man who is the face and heart of MAGA, under the bus.

    The party wants a scapegoat. Otherwise they’ll have to blame themselves for not offering an actual agenda or plan to voters (per McConnell’s wishes).

    • #22
  23. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    The weird thing is that Trump was not on the ballot.

    Democrats pushed hard to make this  election about Trump.  That lame strategy would have not have worked if Republicans just ignored it.  However, many Republican candidates proudly extolled their allegiance to Trump and some of his  nuttier ideas and rhetoric.  This went right along with the democrats desperate strategy and apparently subdued the expected Red Wave.

    • #23
  24. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Stina (View Comment):

    All of this pontificating on thrusting DeSantis onto the national stage when he has a full term of governorship feels so much like putting the cart before the horse.

    If all of you are wrong about DeSantis running in 2024, WHO ELSE IS THERE.

    Because throwing another limp noodle like Romney is a loser.

    What you don’t get is that there isn’t a DeSantis replacement, either.

    What is wrong with Ted Cruz or Rand Paul?

    • #24
  25. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):
    But I am concerned that too many people are so willing to throw Trump, the man who is the face and heart of MAGA, under the bus.

    The party wants a scapegoat. Otherwise they’ll have to blame themselves for not offering an actual agenda or plan to voters (per McConnell’s wishes).

    It’s natural for everyone to want a scapegoat. But it does no good to blame the wrong thing for one’s mistakes.

    • #25
  26. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Kelly D Johnston: Dear fellow Republicans – especially those of you who remain loyal and ardently supportive of former President Donald Trump.

    I really have to ask this question. Why does every Democrat politician, newsman and pundit have to say “former President Trump”? I saw here on Ricochet a youtube video of a rally hosting both President Biden and President 0bama, and it didn’t refer to “former” President 0bama. No one ever referred to President Bush as “former” President Bush.

    Good point!  I hadn’t noticed it before, but since you mention it I think back and you are right.

    • #26
  27. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Hang On (View Comment):

    MDHahn (View Comment):
    Complain about it all you want, but it makes no sense to continue to follow Trump and his endorsements when guys like DeSantis and Kemp proved they can win and expand their reach. Surely those two aren’t rino squishes.

    The problem Kelly and evidently you don’t understand is that Trump turns out people that other Republicans don’t.

    This may be true, but at the same time, Trump turns away more people who  would have otherwise voted Republican.

    • #27
  28. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    MDHahn (View Comment):
    Complain about it all you want, but it makes no sense to continue to follow Trump and his endorsements when guys like DeSantis and Kemp proved they can win and expand their reach. Surely those two aren’t rino squishes.

    The problem Kelly and evidently you don’t understand is that Trump turns out people that other Republicans don’t.

    This may be true, but at the same time, Trump turns away more people who would have otherwise voted Republican.

    [Citation needed.]

    I mean, can you cite anyone who, in these midterms, said “Well, I wanted to vote for the Republican, but . . . you know . . . Trump.

    Someone who has reasoning beyond the level of a child, I mean.

    What we’re seeing here is Republicans desperately searching for a scapegoat for their own failures.

    • #28
  29. Chris O Coolidge
    Chris O
    @ChrisO

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    The weird thing is that Trump was not on the ballot. Was not on Twitter and single white women moved harder to the Dems. I get that he is old and outputting, but there is something else going on. Women and soy-boys really want the Dems to govern them harder. It might be the estrogen in the water supply.

    ps. Maggie Haberman lies for a money.

    I know you guys aren’t going to want to consider this, but single women in a major shift?

    Moralize about it all day, I very likely agree, but this is about availability of abortion. I don’t think there are more than a few young weirdos who actually want one, availability is something else and the D’s seemed to have been successful at creating a fear of loss of access.

    More generally, consider that Trump is the only one to have gathered the new coalition and he was not on the ballot. The call to move on is premature. I’m not discounting it, but this is a knee-jerk reaction and it is unsurprising this would be Kelly’s first thought. An anonymous poll is not convincing.

    We’ve tried to have the family discussion for some time now, but another version involved dumping McConnell, of whom Kelly has been a consistent apologist until this past week. I’m certainly far from alone in advocating this. $7 million for Murkowski. Wow. His bad-mouthing of candidates likely shut down fundraising channels.

    Most damaging was his refusal to offer any sort of agenda, vision, or any coherent message on what would happen with a GOP Senate majority. That’s damaging because it allows the D’s to define what a Republican agenda would be (“Anti-woman! Anti-minority!” Etc.). He’s never had any vision other than envisioning himself in power, so it’s hardly a surprise. Lack of national message? That should be 101 stuff.

    • #29
  30. No Caesar Thatcher
    No Caesar
    @NoCaesar

    I have long said that I do not want Trump in 2024, I want him to tease and then not run.  If he ran and won the primary I would definitely vote for him.  But I think he is more likely to lose than win in a general election.  After Tuesday night, that certainty is well north of 50%.   I voted reluctantly for him in 2016, and happily in 2020.  But Trump World is over.

    I am remain very pro-DeSantis, but open to others.  Also, I am convinced that we need a “squish” in the VP seat.  Nikki Haley was up here in NH stumping for Sununu and Buldoc and continues to be a top prospect for Veep in my estimation.  Sununu romped to victory, because he was seen as like Brian Kemp in GA, although in governing he’s as conservative as you can be in the new NH.  But Buldoc lost because he was successfully tagged as a Trump acolyte and was too late in trying to broaden that image.   

    Tuesday’s debacle adds to that.  In piecing together data I’ve seen in various places it it clear that “Election Denier” = “Trump” = “Crazy/Unstable” in a key part of the electorate.   There are two data points that combine to point to Trump’s Achilles heel.  First, 37% of single women broke Dem.  All other demographics – Married Men, Married Women, single men — all broke Republican to lesser, but strong degrees.  Secondly, Gen Z broke heavily Dem, and they showed up this time.  

    The Democrats’ analysts targeted their savior demographic and played them like violins.  Young Millenial/Early Gen Z females loath Trump by wide margins.  The fact is that he triggers the “yuck” factor for them.  They also think killing babies and mutilating genitals should be protected, perhaps even promoted.  The former ain’t gonna change (Trump=yuck), the latter will over time.  This is not about fairness, or justice, or revenge, or January 6.  This about winning 2024, then 2026, then 2028, and so on.   That is the only way Trump will ever see vindication, from the sidelines as an Andrew Jackson to DeSantis’ (or similar) Polk.

    Trump is the past.  We need to look to the future.  He did a great thing disrupting DC and revealing the rot.  But he’s not going to fix it.  It will not be fixed by big showy set-piece show-downs.  It will be fixed by personnel.  Quiet, brutal, slogs through the bureaucracy.  Lots of subtle lawfare and bureaucratic knife-fighting, subterfuge and fake smiles.  

    Also the Karl Rove election playbook is played out.  You may recall that he revolutionized General Campaigns in 2000 with the focus on turning out your base and not worrying about the middle.  That is played out.  One can argue that it has helped to create the highly divisive atmosphere we have now (along with the threat of Socialism).  A new approach combining the sharp line distinction with a muddling in the middle – at least in tone and style — is what’s needed to win in the future.  This doesn’t mean go soft in policy, it means avoiding red meat rhetoric for the base.  Using micro-targeting on social media for that.

    The war with the Left will never end, it is a forever war that must be fought.  The smashing success of the Federalist Society in the judiciary shows that intelligent work can reap long term benefits.  This is not about one person, it’s about institutions that are Restorationist (as Jon Gabriel argued recently).

    Apologies if this is scattered and  cursory.  I am developing more comprehensive thoughts for a post, as time allows.

    • #30
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