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How Come the GOP Is Afraid of Trump?

Yesterday I saw part of the CNN interview with Mike Pence. Now here’s a guy who is racking up 3% of the GOP primary votes in Iowa at the moment, who was ordered to commit a felony by his boss on January 6th, and he’s still afraid to say anything particularly negative about Donald Trump.

In fact, he happens to be doing exactly what almost all the GOP Presidential wannabes are doing in Iowa and elsewhere, namely, going out of the way to avoid saying anything in the slightest bit nasty or even reproachful about Trump. Meanwhile, Trump right now is getting 44% of the GOP primary polling in Iowa, which means that more than half the voters don’t want Trump to be running in 2024.

And it’s not as if the majority of the Iowa GOP don’t know enough about Trump to make up their minds about whether he should be on the national ticket again. It’s all the other candidates whom they may not know all that much about, but at least a solid majority know they don’t want Trump.

Incidentally, going all the way back to the beginning of July, when Iowa polls first began to appear, Trump has never scored above 45%.

Now it’s true that right now, the national GOP polls have Trump at around 55%. But not only is that a pretty slim majority for a former President who hasn’t stopped campaigning for re-election since the day he left office in 2021, but what that number probably reflects more than anything else is that (to quote my former boss Stanley Fink) no other GOP candidate except Christie has been leaning on Trump and nationally speaking, the 2024 primary campaign really hasn’t begun.

That being the case, if almost half the GOP voters in the United States are no longer buying Trump’s bullshit, then what’s everyone so worried about? After all, when you’re the only guy out there whom everyone knows, your numbers aren’t going to go up as the voters become more familiar with what you say – your numbers are going to go down.

If you read just a little bit between the lines, the real problem in Iowa, according to the Failing New York Times, is not so much that Trump’s numbers in the Hawkeye State are lagging behind his national numbers, but that after seven years of cursing, insults, and racist remarks which together form the entire galaxy of Trump’s world views, nobody else on the GOP side has emerged who represents anything other than a pale imitation of Donald Trump.

On the other hand, let’s stop for a moment and consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the mainstream GOP and MAGA is now, for all practical purposes, one and the same thing. Because more than anything else, the Fake News has always been afraid of political extremes, or at least what they consider to be the extremes in political terms.

It took the Fake News sixteen years, from 1964 to 1980, to recognize that Barry Goldwater’s warnings about the ‘threat’ posed by the federal government against so-called ‘states rights’ was not just the rantings of the lunatic fringe. It took this same Fake News ten years, from 1964 to 1974, to realize that we should never have been in Viet Nam.

To give credit where credit is due, however, at least the Democrat(ic) Party has unofficially cut itself into two parts, with the so-called ‘progressive’ wing pretending to be a valid alternative to the Biden brand, when it’s really nothing more than the leftover remnants of Bernie’s email list.

The GOP, on the other hand (I’m beginning to sound like an Eisenhower ‘on the one hand this, on the other hand that’ press conference) still has to decide whether the alternative to Trump is something even further to the right like Marjorie Taylor Greene and some of the other blowjobs who believe that Christian nationalism is the way to go.

As a lifelong yellow-dog Democrat who wouldn’t know how to pull a GOP voting lever if my life depended on it, I hope the GOP decides that the future political alignment in America requires their party to embrace the most antediluvian ideology possible so they can continue to embrace the values and desires of real Americans who, after all, understand what will not only make, but keep America great again.

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