Donald Trump Has Passed His Expiration Date

 

This post is a cobbling together of various points I’ve made on posts concerning Donald Trump’s effect on the midterm election.

Upfront, I want to say that I am not a Never-Trumper. I have voted for him twice, praised him during his presidency, defended him from unfair attacks, and will vote for him again if he is our nominee. I am also not an Always-Trumper. When reality hits you in the face, you must address it.

It goes without saying the results of this election were a letdown. All the indicators (economy, crime, direction of the country, etc.) were on our side, and we get this? This is the most mind-boggling midterm election of my lifetime. I don’t understand it. We are not seeing something. I hope this election is a reality check for all conservatives. Humility is the first step to correction.

Now Donald Trump is not the only factor for the negative results. This could be a generational change. The young socialists could finally be coming into power. Or perhaps abortion was that big a deal to people. But I think enough analysis is out there now to show that Trump did have a negative effect. His personally picked candidates generally lost, but more importantly the Democrats ran against Trump and nationalized Trump. He became the brand of the Party, he was the face of the Party, and his persona colored the electorate’s decision-making process.

The Trump negative effect was multi-faceted. Not only was he a drag as a person, but this helped the Dems by (1) fundraising and (2) constantly instilling the negative news of Jan 6th into the election dialogue, and (3) splitting off the Republicans and Independents that would have voted against the direction of the Biden administration. The Democrats certainly played games in our primaries to match up against Trump enthusiasts, and that apparently worked. But more importantly, by nationalizing Trump, they were able to offset Biden’s national negative likability. Trump’s aura hung over the election.

Every politician gets trashed by the other side. It’s a question of whether it sticks. No matter how hard they tried, it didn’t stick to Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately, it sticks pretty easily, rightly or wrongly, to Trump. There are reasons why it sticks to Trump. For one, he comes across as an angry man, and angry men can be characterized in a negative way. Another, he’s a very polarizing person. He sets it up that way, like it or not. You’re either in with him or you’re not. Sure, you might like that, but it excludes, and that is not coalition building. Another is his post-2020 election histrionics. If he had been a gracious loser, he might have had a higher ceiling.

Before yesterday’s election, I said if he runs he’s either a 50 +1 candidate or a 50-1 candidate. It’s a flip of a coin on how things break. That was his history in 2016 and in 2020. It broke his way in 2016. It didn’t in 2020. And familiarity doesn’t change that dynamic. Everyone now has an opinion on Donald Trump. No one is changing their minds.

But after this election, I now see him at best as a 40-45% candidate. It’s clear he’s lost ground. Familiarity in politics, especially with politicians with idiosyncrasies, and Trump certainly has those, tends to bring a decline in popularity. In addition, Trump’s constant presence in the news has quickened the decline of his political capital.

Political capital goes down with familiarity. There’s a reason why most President’s approvals go down in second terms. Even Ronald Reagan’s did. The more familiar you are with a politician’s negatives, the less appealing he becomes. Trump has run out of positive capital and at this point, unless you’re a die-hard, the only reason to vote for him is to avoid the other guy.

There is an expiration date on politicians. This is less so for legislative politicians since they can blend back into the mass group of other legislators, but not so for the executive leaders, and especially the President of the United States or whether one wants to be President. Like it or not, and it may be unfortunate, Donald Trump has passed his expiration. I take no glee in it. I will vote for him again if he wins the primary, but I sure hope he doesn’t.

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  1. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Might as well join in the scapegoating, eh? It’s certainly easier for the party than . . . self-reflection.

    • #1
  2. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Might as well join in the scapegoating, eh? It’s certainly easier for the party than . . . self-reflection.

    It’s not scapegoating.  It’s the truth Drew. 

    • #2
  3. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Manny, shouldn’t the post title read “….Has Passed His Expiration…”? Or maybe “…Is Past His…”?

    (Sorry. Former college paper copyeditor coming out.)

    • #3
  4. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Manny (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Might as well join in the scapegoating, eh? It’s certainly easier for the party than . . . self-reflection.

    It’s not scapegoating. It’s the truth Drew.

    Er, it’s your opinion. And apparently the opinion of all the establishment rags today.

    And several Feedposts.

    And all of them seem to be ignoring the Elephant in the room.

    I won’t repeat myself a 47th time, but the problem with the GOP is not Trump. The problem with the GOP is the GOP and their lack of any sort of agenda. Trump is their convenient scapegoat, and attempt to avoid any sort of self-reflection. I will not let them avoid it.

    The GOP sucks. Dump McConnell. Dump McCarthy. Trump did not cause the failure on Tuesday.

    • #4
  5. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    “Passed”?

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I think you’ve summed the situation up pretty well. I don’t think it’s scapegoating. 

    I saw KellyAnne Conway, and she said she didn’t know if and when Trump would announce, but that she hoped that he’d wait until the election was over; it’s not over until all the ballots are counted. So she hopes he’ll delay announcing until after Nov. 15, the date he gave, so that he can work to help Walker in Georgia. (Of course, he’s already postponed announcing once, from what I’ve heard.) I doubt very much that he’ll wait. He’s already chomping at the bit. It’s all about him, after all.

    • #6
  7. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Manny, shouldn’t the post title read “….Has Passed His Expiration…”? Or maybe “…Is Past His…”?

    (Sorry. Former college paper copyeditor coming out.)

    Yes, thank you.  Fixed it.

    • #7
  8. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Might as well join in the scapegoating, eh? It’s certainly easier for the party than . . . self-reflection.

    It’s not scapegoating. It’s the truth Drew.

    Er, it’s your opinion. And apparently the opinion of all the establishment rags today.

    And several Feedposts.

    And all of them seem to be ignoring the Elephant in the room.

    I won’t repeat myself a 47th time, but the problem with the GOP is not Trump. The problem with the GOP is the GOP and their lack of any sort of agenda. Trump is their convenient scapegoat, and attempt to avoid any sort of self-reflection. I will not let them avoid it.

    The GOP sucks. Dump McConnell. Dump McCarthy. Trump did not cause the failure on Tuesday.

    McConnell criticized Rick Scott for trying to put forth an agenda and said he’d wait until after the mid-terms to state his own. He also vomited up the usual stuff about working across the aisle. The Dims have their senile old fools; we have ours. Or is he actually on our side? 

    • #8
  9. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Might as well join in the scapegoating, eh? It’s certainly easier for the party than . . . self-reflection.

    It’s not scapegoating. It’s the truth Drew.

    Er, it’s your opinion. And apparently the opinion of all the establishment rags today.

    And several Feedposts.

    And all of them seem to be ignoring the Elephant in the room.

    I won’t repeat myself a 47th time, but the problem with the GOP is not Trump. The problem with the GOP is the GOP and their lack of any sort of agenda. Trump is their convenient scapegoat, and attempt to avoid any sort of self-reflection. I will not let them avoid it.

    The GOP sucks. Dump McConnell. Dump McCarthy. Trump did not cause the failure on Tuesday.

    Yes, I have complained about the GOP and the only agenda they can agree to is cutting taxes.  But when the Dems are over seeing this horrible time and pretty much getting the blame, they didn’t need an agenda to blow this election out.  The Dems nationalized the election with Trump and it offset Biden’s horrible performance.  The people at work I speak to who are not political but vote, do not like Trump.  His unlikability is front and center.

    • #9
  10. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Let me be clear. I think Trump’s time has passed, too, but I find the scapegoating of the last two days to be little more than an attempt to place blame anywhere except where it really belongs: on the GOP leadership which failed to give voters any reason to vote for them. Since the leadership all hates Trump, Trump was going to be their obvious scapegoat. But that’s because they will point their crooked fingers anywhere except at themselves and their refusal to present any kind of agenda for the midterms. They are still the Country Club Party, and they want nothing more than to be rid of Trump and the voters he brought in.

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Might as well join in the scapegoating, eh? It’s certainly easier for the party than . . . self-reflection.

    It’s not scapegoating. It’s the truth Drew.

    Er, it’s your opinion. And apparently the opinion of all the establishment rags today.

    And several Feedposts.

    And all of them seem to be ignoring the Elephant in the room.

    I won’t repeat myself a 47th time, but the problem with the GOP is not Trump. The problem with the GOP is the GOP and their lack of any sort of agenda. Trump is their convenient scapegoat, and attempt to avoid any sort of self-reflection. I will not let them avoid it.

    The GOP sucks. Dump McConnell. Dump McCarthy. Trump did not cause the failure on Tuesday.

    Drew, you and I mostly agree. But if the Left blasts and demonizes Trump repeatedly, and his behavior frequently makes that easy to do, and if he’s included with the rant that the Republicans will destroy democracy, some of it falls on him. It’s a limited amount, but to completely deny that he had a role in the election results doesn’t work for me. Yes, there’s plenty of blame to pass around.

    • #11
  12. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Manny (View Comment):
    But when the Dems are over seeing this horrible time and pretty much getting the blame, they didn’t need an agenda to blow this election out. 

    Yes they did, because failure to present an agenda means that Democrats were able to set the GOP agenda for them: “Election Deniers!” “Fascists!” “Democracy is on the Ballot!”

    The Dems nationalized the election with Trump and it offset Biden’s horrible performance.

    Because the Republicans did NOT nationalize the election, and they should have. They allowed Democrats to tell voters what the GOP stood for. And the GOP just let them.

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):
    But when the Dems are over seeing this horrible time and pretty much getting the blame, they didn’t need an agenda to blow this election out.

    Yes they did, because failure to present an agenda means that Democrats were able to set the GOP agenda for them: “Election Deniers!” “Fascists!” “Democracy is on the Ballot!”

    The Dems nationalized the election with Trump and it offset Biden’s horrible performance.

    Because the Republicans did NOT nationalize the election, and they should have. They allowed Democrats to tell voters what the GOP stood for. And the GOP just let them.

    I can’t help noticing that I’m probably going to agree with every point you make on all the screw ups the leadership made. I’m just not willing to let Trump off the hook.

    • #13
  14. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Might as well join in the scapegoating, eh? It’s certainly easier for the party than . . . self-reflection.

    It’s not scapegoating. It’s the truth Drew.

    Er, it’s your opinion. And apparently the opinion of all the establishment rags today.

    And several Feedposts.

    And all of them seem to be ignoring the Elephant in the room.

    I won’t repeat myself a 47th time, but the problem with the GOP is not Trump. The problem with the GOP is the GOP and their lack of any sort of agenda. Trump is their convenient scapegoat, and attempt to avoid any sort of self-reflection. I will not let them avoid it.

    The GOP sucks. Dump McConnell. Dump McCarthy. Trump did not cause the failure on Tuesday.

    The GOP certainly has its problems, but yes, Trump is the big one. I believe he is responsible for the GOP losing the two Georgia Senate seats by his and his surrogates telling people that everything was rigged, everything was corrupted, so why vote? If the GOP had won those two seats, then no gazillion-dollar spending sprees. If he hadn’t decided to go after people who weren’t willing to kiss his ring and buy his stolen election narrative, then the Senate seat in Pennsylvania wouldn’t have been an open seat. Toomey would have crushed Fetterman. 

    I was ready to vote for him again (holding my nose, to be sure), but after his attacks on DeSantis, I’m not so sure. I would never vote for any Democrat, but I’ll leave that slot blank. The sooner he’s out of the picture, the sooner the GOP can address its other problems. To vote for him now is to prolong the illness.

    • #14
  15. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Let me be clear. I think Trump’s time has passed, too, but I find the scapegoating of the last two days to be little more than an attempt to place blame anywhere except where it really belongs: on the GOP leadership which failed to give voters any reason to vote for them. Since the leadership all hates Trump, Trump was going to be their obvious scapegoat. But that’s because they will point their crooked fingers anywhere except at themselves and their refusal to present any kind of agenda for the midterms. They are still the Country Club Party, and they want nothing more than to be rid of Trump and the voters he brought in.

    Drew this discussion has to happen within the party.  We’re small potatoes here at Ricochet but it will be discussed and we should add to it if possible.  I’ll vote for him again if he wins the primary but it’s not wise to nominate him again.

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

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Might as well join in the scapegoating, eh? It’s certainly easier for the party than . . . self-reflection.

    It’s not scapegoating. It’s the truth Drew.

    Er, it’s your opinion. And apparently the opinion of all the establishment rags today.

    And several Feedposts.

    And all of them seem to be ignoring the Elephant in the room.

    I won’t repeat myself a 47th time, but the problem with the GOP is not Trump. The problem with the GOP is the GOP and their lack of any sort of agenda. Trump is their convenient scapegoat, and attempt to avoid any sort of self-reflection. I will not let them avoid it.

    The GOP sucks. Dump McConnell. Dump McCarthy. Trump did not cause the failure on Tuesday.

    The GOP certainly has its problems, but yes, Trump is the big one. I believe he is responsible for the GOP losing the two Georgia Senate seats by his and his surrogates telling people that everything was rigged, everything was corrupted, so why vote?

    He didn’t, but the myth persists.

    It was these two grifters who did that.

     

    • #16
  17. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    I think that it is unwise to focus on one person in politics – good or bad. Obama was an example of this focus on one political person as a ‘savior’ or ‘the one that we all have been waiting for’. It was BS and nauseating. I think that the fixation on President Donald Trump is the exact same thing, only in reverse. He is the scapegoat, the cause of all things wrong. This is wrong and nauseating in a different way.

    The focus on the single individual (angel or demon) is what the democrats do. They look for their Hollywood central casting Emporer. It’s all about appearance over substance.

    Too many Republicans get caught up in this too and are led by the media to exaggerate this single-minded focus on a person rather than policy/ideology/message. The media led all of us to view the victory was only in the form of a large Red Wave. This was not a realistic assumption, but our hearts and minds felt that it should be true.

    However, elections in America 2022 is not about minds or logic. Just look at PA where they elected not one, but two, dead people. There is no logic that can explain that. And to leap to the simple-minded conclusion that it was all Donald Trump’s fault is exactly what the Left wants you to do and why they helped lead you to being disappointed in this election.

    Find cheer in the fact that Nancy Pelosi’s tenure as our Speaker of the House is nearing its end. That alone is something to cheer and raise your glasses in a collective toast.

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Columbo (View Comment):
    And to leap to the simple-minded conclusion that it was all Donald Trump’s fault is exactly what the Left wants you to do and why they helped lead you to being disappointed in this election.

    I promise I will only say this one more time (here), but I haven’t said, won’t say, refuse to say, that it’s all Trump’s fault (although someone else did).

    • #18
  19. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):
    And to leap to the simple-minded conclusion that it was all Donald Trump’s fault is exactly what the Left wants you to do and why they helped lead you to being disappointed in this election.

    I promise I will only say this one more time (here), but I haven’t said, won’t say, refuse to say, that it’s all Trump’s fault (although someone else did).

    Aside from the usual suspects doing their usual whining about “candidate quality”, has anyone compared the primary winners who were endorsed by Trump with the other candidates, that is, the ones who lost? Has anyone studied whether Trump’s endorsements in the primary phase was the determining factor in the races? And, as I asked in another thread, what are the factors determining candidate quality? Aside from not being Trump’s choice.

    And looking at people such as Ryan, K. Rove, The Turtle, that idiot W, slugs like Hogan, don’t you guys get a fair share of the blame for not supporting GOP candidates in the general elections even if they weren’t your first choice? 

    • #19
  20. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    FWIW: What Did Trump Do With All the ‘Save America’ Money? (townhall.com)

     

    • #20
  21. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):
    And to leap to the simple-minded conclusion that it was all Donald Trump’s fault is exactly what the Left wants you to do and why they helped lead you to being disappointed in this election.

    I promise I will only say this one more time (here), but I haven’t said, won’t say, refuse to say, that it’s all Trump’s fault (although someone else did).

    Not that it needs to be said either, but Donald Trump has flaws, like I do and all of us do. I say this because one of the strawmen of his detractors is that his supporters think he can do no wrong. BZZZZ. Wrong. His flaws are public and exaggerated for all to see. The democrat/media industrial complex declared all-out war on him because he defeated their heroine and political ‘savior’. The sheer weight of this media onslaught over many years has wearied the electorate and it is relatively easy for the media to continue to kick President Trump now.  I won’t jump into this beatdown, even if I do believe that he had his part in the disappointing election results.

    If the gOp actually wants to be an opposing party and win elections in the future, it will have to make peace with its electorate. And blaming all of its ills on President Trump is a losing proposition. They need to make amends with him and jointly strategize on how to beat the democrats. Part of that is not beating each other up in the primaries. This is on petty Mitch McConnell more than the former President. Mitch went out of his way to harm the chances of any “MAGA” candidates that came out of the primaries. Suck it up Cocaine. Quit being such a petty loser when the country is at stake.

     

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

    Columbo (View Comment):

    If the gOp actually wants to be an opposing party and win elections in the future, it will have to make peace with its electorate. And blaming all of its ills on President Trump is a losing proposition. They need to make amends with him and jointly strategize on how to beat the democrats. Part of that is not beating each other up in the primaries. This is on petty Mitch McConnell more than the former President. Mitch went out of his way to harm the chances of any “MAGA” candidates that came out of the primaries. Suck it up Cocaine. Quit being such a petty loser when the country is at stake.

    I’d settle for him leaving Washington and going back home. That’s China, right?

    • #22
  23. Franco Inactive
    Franco
    @Franco

    The Trumps time has passed trope is being promoted and celebrated by Democrats. Ask yourself why.

     

    • #23
  24. Franco Inactive
    Franco
    @Franco

    Come to think of it, scapegoating Trump – even if partially valid – is the exactly wrong approach to getting  the 2024 election right.

    As usual the GOPe wants to distract from the real reasons and deflect from where they screwed up. It’s the equivalent of blaming the quarterback for a loss when it was the offensive line, the coaching, the defense and the special teams.

    You think Trump was the problem and think you can erase him. That’s not going to be easy. That will result in more pain.

    What would help matters is if you look at the whole team. Otherwise you have no hope of ever winning, and why those who supported Trump stopped taking your (plural) coaching advice long ago.

    • #24
  25. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Franco (View Comment):

    The Trumps time has passed trope is being promoted and celebrated by Democrats. Ask yourself why.

    Democrats are giddy as can be if Trump runs again. Their strategy of getting Trump enthusiasts to win their primary worked. They actually spent Dem money to get Trump candidates to win the primaries. Let that sink in.

    • #25
  26. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):
    on the GOP leadership which failed to give voters any reason to vote for them.

    And the wack-a-doo GOP candidates that ran in many places.  A few “establishment” candidates would probably have done better.  Of course, it also didn’t help to have Dem’s voting in open primaries for the wack-a-doo GOP candidates.

    • #26
  27. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    Franco (View Comment):

    Come to think of it, scapegoating Trump – even if partially valid – is the exactly wrong approach to getting the 2024 election right.

    As usual the GOPe wants to distract from the real reasons and deflect from where they screwed up. It’s the equivalent of blaming the quarterback for a loss when it was the offensive line, the coaching, the defense and the special teams.

    You think Trump was the problem and think you can erase him. That’s not going to be easy. That will result in more pain.

    What would help matters is if you look at the whole team. Otherwise you have no hope of ever winning, and why those who supported Trump stopped taking your (plural) coaching advice long ago.

    Who is the GOPe here on ricochet?  That’s a straw man argument. This is way more than establishment operatives. 

    • #27
  28. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    Django (View Comment):

    FWIW: What Did Trump Do With All the ‘Save America’ Money? (townhall.com)

     

    That’s why I NEVER give to PACs.  I give directly to candidates that I support and only the candidates.

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

    EB (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):
    on the GOP leadership which failed to give voters any reason to vote for them.

    And the wack-a-doo GOP candidates that ran in many places.

    These candidates were chosen by their primary voters.

    I’ll note that when we’re offered “whack-a-doo RINOs” we’re commanded by the establishment/elitists to vote for them “because it’s a binary choice.” But the elitists won’t return the favor if they don’t get their chosen whack-a-doos nominated. Why not?

    • #29
  30. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Manny, you may be right, but I’m skeptical, for a couple of reasons.

    First of all, I don’t think that the attacks will go away if Trump is not on the ballot.  An alternative candidate will be tied to Trump, and vilified anyway.  If the alternative candidate repudiates Trump, he will lose Trump supporters.

    Second of all, we may be witnessing an internal battle between the relatively few anti-Trump Republicans, and the larger number of pro-Trump Republicans.  My impression is that Trump’s support among Republicans is around 80%.  There is some percentage of self-identified Republicans who, like Gary Robbins, oppose Trump and “Trumpy” candidates, but still consider themselves Republicans.  I don’t know how many.  Let’s say that they’re 3-5% of the total electorate.

    This would explain the gap between, say, DeWine and Vance in Ohio.  The pro-Trump Republicans voted for both DeWine and Vance, but the anti-Trump Republicans wouldn’t vote for Vance.  (There were doubtless some independents in this category, too.) 

    One way of looking at things is that a small number of anti-Trump Republicans have backstabbed the party and undermined what would have been a Red Wave, in order to remove Trump and all things Trump from the party.  Are the rest of us going to let them get away with it?

    I’d like to be reconciled with the anti-Trump Republicans, but I think that we’re in the vast majority.  I think that they have to come back to the rest of us.  Otherwise, we’re going to get McCain and Romney 2.0.  That wasn’t a winning strategy, either.

    • #30
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