Sunday, October 17, 2021

More Than A Temper Tantrum

In a piece in The New Republic, Donald Trump's outspoken niece, Mary L. Trump, recognizes the media

are so invested in the horse race that they fail repeatedly to inform Americans what is at stake—specifically, in this case, about the very real dangers facing American democracy—and instead speculate about whether a twice-impeached, two-time popular vote losing wannabe autocrat is going to run again in 2024. And if that is, indeed, the most important question they believe they should be asking, then perhaps they could, at the very least, explain why his doing so would be so dangerous to this country’s survival.

Ms. Trump refers to uncle Donald's statement on Wednesday in which he wrote

If we don't solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented) Republicans will not be voting in '22 or '24. It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do.

Perhaps attributable to Ms. Trump's training as a clinical psychologist, she unfortunately believes that this

most recent threat, delivered via that Wednesday statement, is just another temper tantrum designed to coerce the Republican Party not simply to conduct “audits” in all states but to protect his terribly fragile ego. His compulsion to punish those who fail or refuse to support his delusions overwhelms his ability to think strategically. In order to get Donald to stop holding voters hostage in the next two elections, his party is going to have to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. At this point, it’s a sucker’s bet to assume they won’t at least try in order to assuage him. But trying won’t be enough for their perpetually enabled leader. They’ll have to succeed.

But the former President knows the math. In order to overturn the results of the 2020 election, results would have to be reversed in Pennsylvania and Michigan; or in Pennsylvania and Georgia; or in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Nevada.  It would take more than one state. It's not going to happen, and he knows it.

ABC News' Chief Washington correspondent, though not specifically speculating on Trump's motive, notes the 2020 loser "helped Republicans lose two Georgia Senate seats in January. Now he seems ready to try it again in the midterms."

That's central to understanding the likely reason Trump is trying, by emphasizing "election fraud of 2020,"  to depress the vote in 2022. He knows the presidential election won't be overturned and promises Republicans therefore "will not be voting in '22 or '24."

If Republicans stay home, Democrats would retain control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. It's not as if Trump hasn't gone this route before.

In 2016 he successfully targeted blacks, evidently successfully, to discourage them from casting a vote for President that November. He attacked Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and the state of American culture and society generally, in his inauguration speech giving it the name "American carnage."  He called the US Senate races in January in Georgia "illegal and invalid," a charge which kept GOP turnout down, which consequently delivered victory to Democrats Warnock and Ossoff.


It's a strategy of discouraging voting, and it's in Trump's interests for Republicans to stay home in November of 2022, also. If Democrats thereby retain control of the House and the Senate, the ex-President would be well positioned in the primary contest and the general election to ridicule Democrats specifically and American government and life generally. 

Harry Truman was famously elected in 1948 by attacking the GOP "do nothing" Congress. But Democratic and Republican presidential candidates alike have profited handsomely from criticizing a congress controlled by the other party. For Donald Trump especially, that would be electoral gold. He is the favorite to win the nomination is 2024 but might need need a Democratic Congress to get elected, delusions and fragile ego aside.

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