Our long national nightmare continues….
Apology for stealing and twisting President Ford’s famous 1974 line that Nixon’s nightmare was finally over.
Trump’s nightmare still bothers us, disgorging the negativity of the self-centered and giving us no respite from its division.
But it is now the nightmare of the Republican Party more than that of the Democrats.
For pro Democrats, Donald Trump’s announcement of a new presidential candidacy is a dream come true. He may be the weakest candidate the GOP could field in 2024.
And even Republicans are showing signs of waking up from their restless slumber by the midterm elections that fell far short of their expectations and left Trump a three-time loser.
The first defeat came in 2018, when Democrats turned GOP congressional candidates into the unpopular president and took over the US House, winning 40 Republican seats nationwide, including seven in California.
The second blow came in 2020, when Trump lost the White House – and became the first US president to lie without grace saying the election was stolen. The GOP also lost the Senate.
Then came Nov. 8, when many of the leading candidates endorsed by Trump were rejected by voters, a shocking setback for a party that had expected a red wave to sweep through it in solid control of the House of Commons. United States and the seizure of the Senate. He only got a very small majority in the House. The Democrats occupied the Senate.
This despite optimal political conditions for a Republican party out of power, including scary inflation, an unchecked border and an unpopular Democratic president.
As I wrote after the election, Democrats have two people to thank: Trump and Samuel A. Alito Jr. The Supreme Court justice penned the extreme ruling that killed the national abortion right and motivated millions of Democrats and independents to vote against the GOP.
Trump, with his despicable behavior, including whining and lying, cast an ugly mark on the GOP and its candidates.
In California, there doesn’t seem to be much support among pro Republicans for another Trump candidacy. No one at California Republican Party headquarters even wanted to talk about him last week.
The party “does not endorse the presidential primaries and will remain neutral,” spokeswoman Ellie Hockenbury said in a statement. “We would be lucky to have one of the outstanding Republican leaders who might choose to run.”
Most pros would love for Trump to get lost on his golf course, but the core faithful are cheering him on and that’s what he craves. He is addicted to attention.
I called Republican pros in California after Trump’s announcement speech lasted over an hour last week.
Is the party ready to let go of the twice-indicted president who is in a lot of legal trouble on multiple fronts?
“The professional class and the establishment are, but I don’t think the base is,” said GOP consultant Mike Madrid, long a never-Trumper.
“The party cannot win with him or without him. If he works, there is a hard core of the group that accompanies him. He will not go quietly. Anyone who thinks he’s losing the nomination and walking away didn’t pay attention on Jan. 6. He will destroy the party. … They need his constituents.
Madrid added: “Grassroots voters don’t care about winning. They care about justice.
Former Republican state chairman Ron Nehring, who was the national spokesperson for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign, said “the party does best when it reflects a positive and turned Reaganian optimism. to the future”.
“That was lost this year because too many candidates confused running for office with running a Twitter account. A campaign isn’t about being provocative for its own sake. It’s about building a broader coalition.
He added: “The Reagan formula of combining optimism and dignity with conservative solutions is the winning formula. We need to move forward – beyond 2020 and 2022 – and back to the Reaganite model.
But Ronald Reagans are extremely rare. And there’s none there that I’ve heard of.
As for Trump being the GOP frontrunner, Nehring said, “He’s no more assured of being the Republican nominee than Jeb Bush was in 2016. The 2024 race is wide open.”
Republican consultant Rob Stutzman, another never-Trumper, said “two dynamics seem to be creating new headwinds for Trump. First, he turned out to be a chronic loser. Republicans are tired of losing.
“Secondly, in [Florida Gov.] Ron DeSantis, for the first time there is an alternative to Trump that can appeal to MAGA voters, mainstream Republicans and independents. He is a winner who seems to be the scalpel that can start the boil that is Trump.
Republican State Congresswoman Suzette Valladares of Santa Clarita tweeted after Trump’s announcement, “I’ve seen this show before and it’s NO for me. The ugliness and toxicity must stop. From all sides. We need a great unifier. Someone young. Someone with empathy. Someone new.”
I called her.
“I know families who don’t talk to each other because of the wickedness of politics,” she said. “People are fed up. … It’s not about loving or hating Trump and not necessarily about his politics. They are just people who want to get away from its divisions.
Republican strategist Tim Rosales said: “Parties are bigger than anyone and need to move on. This does not mean that anyone should set aside their conservative values. It’s a matter of personality. Donald Trump is a negative lightning rod.
“The party’s progress in the future would be much better if he decided to focus on his golf game.”
There he could lie and change the scores – and be nothing but his playing partners’ nightmare.
California Daily Newspapers