Look at me, Mitch.
“In his first post-presidential appearance, Donald Trump plans to send the message next weekend that he is Republicans’ “presumptive 2024 nominee” with a vise grip on the party’s base, top Trump allies tell Axios.
What to watch: A longtime adviser called Trump’s speech a “show of force,” and said the message will be: “I may not have Twitter or the Oval Office, but I’m still in charge.” Payback is his chief obsession. …
Look for Trump to lay into “the swamp” and Beltway insiders in a big way.”
I’m of two minds on this.
First, while everyone knows what I think about Donald Trump, he is the lesser of two evils in the Republican Party. Remember, the reason we backed him so strongly in the first place in 2016 was because we wanted him to be a bulldozer who would demolish Conservatism, Inc. and the GOP establishment. This was what attracted us to Trump in 2016. We became disillusioned with him because HE DID NOT DO THIS. Instead, he embraced Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and pushed their toxic agenda. It was a political albatross for Trump and the Republican Party which should have leaned into populism.
Second, if Trump wants to focus on electing an ideologically vetted Trumpist Congress now instead of just endorsing every True Cons establishment candidate (he endorsed Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell and Ben Sasse), this would be a welcome change. He did not try to change the party in 2018 and 2020. At the same time, we know from experience in Alabama that Donald Trump has a knack for backing people who are not ideologically compatible with his agenda as when he went out of his way to destroy Jeff Sessions who could otherwise be in the Senate right now leading the fight against Neoliberal Joe’s immigration agenda.
So, what is it going to be? Is Trump going to back loyalists who are flatterers who mouth the right slogans or people who are actually ideologically on board with his agenda? The Trump presidency was a disaster because there weren’t enough of the latter in the White House and Congress. The 2020 campaign was a disaster because Jared Kushner was running it. Kushner is the ultimate example of someone who was loyal to Trump, but who had no clue what he was doing and was a massive political liability.
Note: I’m proud of all my takes in the archives. They have stood up well whether it was “monitoring the situation” on tech censorship or spending the political capital on tax cuts or getting bogged down on Paul Ryan’s unpopular health care bill or COVID or conspiratards and “Stop the Steal.”