Because we are bound to live in the same time loop over and over, Donald Trump is running for president again. Further, those who hate him the most are attempting to take the lead in defeating him.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s a serious discussion to be had about whether Trump is the right person to once again lead the GOP ticket in 2024. For example, any consideration should be accompanied by a realistic path in the general election. Can Trump win Georgia being so at odds with Brian Kemp? Can he win Florida while taking shots at Ron DeSantis? Can he win Arizona given that the state apparently rejects anyone with a major connection to the former president?
Those are real questions that must be asked and answered, not based on personality, but based on electoral reality. If those questions make people upset, that’s alright. The goal is to win because it’s too important not to win.
And yet, you can’t have a serious discussion when those trying to muscle their way to the fore apparently have the strategic foresight of a three-year-old. Case in point? These are the two men trying to muscle their way to the fore.
Why are these two guys at a leadership meeting? What exactly are they leading? Both are not only out of government, but they also have followings that can’t rival the size of your typical Southern family. What is the constituency for this, and how does it accomplish the goal of allowing a real debate to take place over the party’s future? Those questions are rhetorical because we know the answers.
I want you to forget about all the arguments over Trump’s viability in 2024. I could write a piece with pros and cons, backed by data, but that would be missing the point. Rather, the point here is that it doesn’t matter when Mike Pence and Larry Hogan are the establishment’s standard bearers. Heck, we might as well award Trump the nomination now if that’s the plan here.
Pence and Hogan have both made it clear they are going to run for president in 2024. Both also hold the distinction of having no chance and actually being counterproductive in setting up a real choice. Republicans largely can’t stand either man. Hogan has earned that reputation by going on cable news to trash conservatives on a weekly basis. On the other hand, Pence has been more of a victim of circumstance, but that doesn’t change the fact that no one outside the cocktail circuit wants him to run.
Then there’s failed politician and now ABC News talking head Chris Christie. He’s trying to make waves as well.
“It is time to stop being afraid of any one person,” he said. “It is time to stand up for the principles and the beliefs that we have founded this party on and this country on.”
“I was there early, I was there faithfully, and I was there all the way — until election night 2020,” he said.
First of all, if you are going to demand people move on from someone, maybe don’t soften that call with pathetic simping. Christie wasn’t “there all the way” until election night because he liked Trump. He was “there all the way” because he wanted a position in the administration.
Regardless, the issue here isn’t that people have changed their minds about Trump. Reasonable people can do that given that we have a lot more evidence he may not be the best choice to win in 2024. Rather, the issue is that those who are shouting the loudest about going a different direction are actually helping push us in the opposite one.
If it’s Trump vs. Pence, Hogan, and Christie, Trump is going to steamroll them. Yet, these people, mostly looking to run vanity campaigns, can’t put their own egos aside to allow a real primary to play out.
I hate to be overly simplistic because there could be a select few others who emerge, but the main choices are going to be Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis. Those are the only two people in the conservative movement who have delivered enough to earn the trust of the base. If the establishment continues to try to force other options, they will lose and end up with exactly what they claim to oppose. Is that what they want?