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OPINION

The 2024 GOP Primary’s Fredocon Lane

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Julio Cortez

They’re smart, not dumb like everyone says – they’re smart and they want respect. In a time where we need a wartime consigliere, we instead have a bunch of Fredos testing the waters for a presidential run on a tired platform of principled failure. It’s like the last couple decades never happened, like the world never turned upside down and the country we thought we knew turned into something quasi-fascist and full-out freakish. It's like they learned nothing from the election of Donald Trump, except to bury their fat heads in the sand. 

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And it’s not just one guy doing it. It’s a bunch of them, all crowding into the GOP primary’s Fredo lane, ready to divvy up that 2% of the GOP base that reads David French unironically and thinks that if we only turn the other cheek to our commie enemies, all will be well. And they are not talking about the cheeks by their pieholes.

The Fredos are a bunch of dorky white dudes who all suck and who generally suck in the same way. Where is the diversity? Can’t we have just one differently-abled non-binary lesbian Hindu of color who also thinks that as principled conservatives we are morally obligated to submit to serfdom presided over by our feudal cultural and corporate overlords? Because this GOP subset sausage party of mentally defective losers sure thinks we are.

You have Asa Hutchinson, the cornpone clown who never took got told by the Chamber of Commerce to jump without obtaining clarification about exactly how high. Fight back against perverted weirdoes who want to carve up kids to conform the Munchausen delusions of their narcissist mommies? Why no, never! That’s not conservative somehow because of reasons and because the rich heirs who inherited Walmart and therefore Arkansas and therefore Asa want it that way. Yeah, what America is clamoring for right now is a Republican with the courage to stop us from stopping the butchers from mutilating kids.

You wonder who, exactly, is looking Asa in his beady eyes and telling him “America wants you Asa, a man with the guts to stand up to those who would prevent the mutilation of children, a man who is a reliable voice backstabbing Republicans on MSNBC, and a man with a first name that sounds like it belongs to the guy running the chuckwagon on an Old West cattle drive.” Someone is telling him he can be more than a vaguely embarrassing mediocrity, and he’s both dumb and conceited enough to believe it.

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Then there’s Larry Hogan, the do-nothing ex-governor of Maryland who is as smart as he is buffed. This is another guy who has been talked into considering a run with no hope and no point – hey, consultants gotta consult, right? The regime media loves the guy because he’s the perfect Fredocon Republican – totally ineffectual and always willing to sell out the family. In Baltimore, there are dozens of government schools where not a single kid reads at grade level. Not some kids. Not a few. None. As in zero. Yet somehow this gelatinous cube of RINO goo thinks the GOP base is clamoring for him to bring his track record of failure to America as a whole.

The quintessential Larry Hogan moment was when he waddled onto the set with Chuck Todd and proceeded to criticize Ron DeSantis – a governor who does not suck – because DeSantis is not letting the pinkos turn Florida’s public schools into commie indoctrination factories full of CRT and perversions. Larry Einstein’s take on this common-sense policy was that having an elected representative of the people of the state telling the unionized government flunkies running the government schools that they will do so in a manner that the voters wish, not how the functionaries wish, is a “big government” solution. Let that insight ricochet around inside your skull for a moment. It’s “big government” for voters in a constitutional republic to control their own government? Did he go to a Baltimore public school, and if not, what’s his excuse?

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He can claim to be a victim of zombie faux post-Reaganism. It’s like he just repeated some warmed-over cliché from the 2005-era Weekly Standard and spewed it back a couple decades later heedless of the context or any consideration of coherence. “I am against big government, which is why I believe that the voters should not attempt to exert any control over how government governs. This is conservatism. Now, off to my new post as professor of particle physics at the University of College.”

Again, someone, somewhere is telling this lump that he can be president. He’s dumb, incompetent, and caters to the regime media, so I guess he’s as qualified as the current one – but he’s not qualified for anything in the GOP of 2023 except being a cautionary example. 

Then there is Chris Sununu, scion of the family that brought us Justice Souter. He’s been a terrific governor of New Hampshire, if you define “terrific” as capitulating to everything the left wants. He failed to redistrict the state into winnable GOP districts. He digs abortion. He also – like his political doppelganger Hogan’s Hero Sandwich – refused to do something useful and at least try to win us another GOP Senate seat, instead putting self above party so he could entertain his delusion that the GOP might ever nominate him for president. And, of course, he’s down on the dudes who can win.  Sununu is really upset with Donald Trump because oh well I never we’re better than that that’s not who we are blah blah blah. He does not like DeSantis because DeSantis fights and wins instead of surrenders and loses, which is what this Maple Syrup Fredo thinks is the GOP’s role. Remember, true conservatism is losing gently.

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Sununu is one of those principled Republican who never met an alleged principle that kept us from winning that he didn’t like. He thinks that we are required not to use our power – the power of government via our elected officials – to order our society and culture as we see fit. However, he sees nothing wrong with woke corporations using their power – economic, cultural, and governmental as well – to order our society and culture as they and their ESG/diversity directors see fit. The notion that we are somehow morally obligated to forego the only means we have of protecting our interests while the left and its catspaws can do whatever they please is a bizarre notion that we in the base long ago abandoned. But this guy has not moved on. In his mind, we are forever compelled to watch conservatism be defeated in the name of conservatism.

And lastly there is Mike Pence, who is a nice guy but is still stuck in this whole mindset of principle confusion. He’s unhappy with DeSantis too because DeSantis will not take what the woke corporations are dishing out. It’s kind of sad that Pence was right there and saw firsthand exactly what the left and its minions will do to destroy conservative leaders and disenfranchise conservative Americans and yet learned nothing. He has no clue how to fight back. It is as if he has mentally blocked out the truth because he just can’t handle it, and he probably can’t. To accurately appreciate the reality of the situation will require what he and these other political puffballs cannot summon up – the courage to fight. It’s outside their comfort zone. It will require that they draw the ire of the establishment, and they cannot abide that. It’s easier to be popular with the regime media by modeling fecklessness and harmlessness than to be called worse than Hitler for not letting groomer teachers put perverted books in their classrooms. But here’s the punchline – if one of these no-chancers were to defeat Trump or DeSantis (or even Haley, Scott, or Pompeo) and win the nomination, they would instantly become Hitler too. And they are so dense that they would be shocked.

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But their winning is not going to be a problem. Fredo failed because Fredo was stupid and weak, and these jokers will fail because they are stupid and weak. The GOP base of today has been sold out to the enemies of the family far too many time to risk it again. We see the Fredos cavorting with the Johnny Olas of the establishment, and they are nothing to us. They are not bothers, they are not friends. And, soon enough, these Fredocon presidential campaigns will load themselves into a figurative motor boat for that one-way trip out to the middle of the lake.

Follow Kurt on Twitter @KurtSchlichter. Get Inferno, the seventh book in the Kelly Turnbull People's Republic series of conservative action novels set in America after a notional national divorce, as well as his non-fiction book We’ll Be Back: The Fall and Rise of America.

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