Though Democrats pulled out every conceivable stop in order to ensure the defeat of their "Bad Orange" arch-nemesis, they aren’t crowing about it quite like you’d expect. If President Trump were Satan himself or even "literally Hitler," as we’ve been told for years, one might expect his removal to be met with the level of jubilation appropriate for such a monumental accomplishment, no? Sure, there’s been some (pretty bad) dancing in the streets, but for the most part, the response from media figures and Democratic politicians has been quite muted, if not a bit depressed, as if they’d lost something in their "victory."
The reason is obvious, of course. In the end, this was never about Trump. It was about power, and the ability to dominate the lives of people they disagree with ideologically. And instead of the "blue wave" the left was hoping for that would have allowed them to parlay their victory into irreversible power grabs that would have ensured their hegemony forever, they got more of a blue trickle, even WITH what many considered super-suspicious shenanigans, if not full-on election fraud. The result? A Biden "victory," yes, but also a likely GOP Senate hold, unexpected GOP gains in the House that had Democrats backbiting at each other, GOP gains at the State legislature level, and hurt feelz from Van Jones and Joy Reid.
Though the Trump team is hanging by every possible thread, sadly the fat lady has sung. Still, it’s good that Republicans are attempting to expose shenanigans where they happen, if only to maybe make them think twice in the future. Special elections in Georgia will decide who controls the Senate, but Republicans are historically good at special elections, and I think America overall is pretty cool with divided government. So both should - minus anything crazy - stay red. Democratic donors dumped hundreds of millions of dollars into failed Senate campaigns in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Kentucky only to see their hoped-for ‘blue wave’ turn into a ‘blue mirage.’ Hopefully, a similar pattern will play out in the Peach State. That means no court-packing, no end to the Senate filibuster, no new states, no Green New Deal, no Medicare-for-all, and no crazy tax hikes. No, a Democrat in the White House is never good, but it won’t be nearly as bad as it could have been. And now, assuming Perdue or Loeffler can hold on, the Murder Turtle himself says he’s going to help Biden pick his cabinet. How ‘bout them apples?
All this is pretty much what I expected when I wrote “Four Silver Linings To A Trump Defeat” last week. It was meant to make the argument that, while Trump has done a LOT of good, his exit from the White House wouldn’t be the end of the world. I got hammered pretty hard for that one by many who I suspect never even bothered to read the post. Some told me to stay in my lane (don’t worry, I’ll be getting back to the ‘ro very soon). Others who had quite obviously never read anything I’ve ever written called me a (gasp) “Never Trumper.” If I’m completely honest, that one stung a bit, especially considering how much grief I’ve given real Never Trumpers over the years. Yet here we are, staring down the barrel at four years of a Harris/Biden, I mean, Biden/Harris presidency. Hey, when silver linings are all you’ve got, it’s probably a good idea not to look a gift horse in the mouth.
I know this is a tough pill to swallow, and I’m as disappointed as anyone, but the reality for conservatives is - to use a football analogy - it's 4th and 30, and we're on our own 30-yard line. It’s time to punt, play defense, and live to fight another day. But don’t forget to look on the bright side, because there is one. Thanks to Donald Trump and the movement he started, the GOP is in a prime position to take the House in 2022 and, with the right candidate, take the whole bag in 2024.
But what kind of GOP will this be? If the Never Trumpers and the neocons think we’re going back to the days of support for outsourcing manufacturing, foreign wars, endless immigration, and stabbing the American middle class in the heart, they’re sorely, sorely mistaken. After two straight losses, Donald Trump showed us how to WIN in 2016 in the only way possible, by appealing to ordinary, middle-class working Americans and breaking the blue wall. The problem, as we’ve always known, is his many strengths also came with many weaknesses, weaknesses that turned off millions of voters, particularly suburban moms in swing states he needed to repeat his victory in 2020. Yes, more people turned out to vote for Donald J. Trump last week than for any Republican in U.S. election history, but it was largely Trump’s POLICIES that scored the accomplishment.
However, the other side of that coin also applies. We all know about Trump’s rough edges, so I won’t belabor them here except to say that it was arguably Trump himself who was also largely responsible for turning out the most votes cast AGAINST a Republican in U.S. election history. Think I’m wrong? C’mon, man! Other than the dead folks and bogus "harvested" ballots, do you really think Sleepy Joe drove that kind of turnout by hiding in his basement?
And yet, compared to how bleak things looked in 2016 when we were on the verge of losing the Supreme Court for at least a generation, I would take now over then anytime. I would also take now over exactly 12 years ago, when Democrats added the presidency (365-173), eight (!!) Senate seats, and 21 House seats. For a while there, the filibuster didn’t even matter because Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority. As far as things looking bleak went, THAT looked bleak. Yes, losing is hard, but perspective is important.
For all his faults, Donald Trump finally showed conservatives how to win, and it’s up to us to make sure they don’t forget it. A candidate WITH Trump’s winning policies but WITHOUT his personality drawbacks could quite possibly skate to victory in 2024. (Hey, Pence, Noem anyone?) Just as much as they know they got nothing even remotely close to a mandate this election, the left also knows this, and I believe that’s why their gleeful cackling isn’t quite as obnoxious as it otherwise might have been.
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