George Will: Now the GOP can repent for the Trump era by denying him the nomination


HR King
May 29, 2001
RINO, I know:

Running for president in 1968, Alabama Gov. George Wallace thought he spotted a problem: “We got too much dignity in government.” Thirteen presidential elections later, voters solved that problem. Now they can make amends by closing the Donald Trump parenthesis in U.S. history.

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The first, and almost certainly the last, public service for which he is actually responsible is his decision to run again. This gives the nation an occasion for self-correction. When the Republican nomination is denied to him, as is increasingly probable, he will, of course, pronounce the process rigged. By then, few will care.

Among the Republican nominating electorate, Trump has a floor of forever Trumpers, but the floor is sagging. If his bitter-enders were the questioning sort, they would ask: What states that he previously carried might he lose in 2024, and what states that he previously lost might he conceivably carry in 2024?

His 2016 victory was sealed by wafer-thin margins (a combined 77,744 votes out of 13,940,912 cast) in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. All three just elected Democratic governors, two (Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan and Josh Shapiro in Pennsylvania) by landslides over notably supine Trump grovelers who were out of their depths and perhaps their minds. Trump’s marathon post-2020 tantrum was ignited when he was declared the loser in Arizona, which has just elected a Democratic senator and perhaps governor. Georgia, which Trump won by 211,141 votes out of 4,114,732 cast in 2016, and which he lost by 11,779 votes out of 4,999,960 cast in 2020, just emphatically reelected Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), both of whom Trump reviles because they acknowledged the arithmetic of his 2020 Georgia loss.

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When Mahatma Gandhi was asked what he thought about Western civilization, he supposedly said he thought that would be a good idea. The same can be said of the “Republican establishment.” It — elected officials, donors, influencers — should act as an establishment, working to impede a proliferation of presidential candidates who would allow the Trump rump of the party to prevail.
When at the 2016 Republican convention Trump boasted that “I alone can fix it,” the approving roar obscured the roarers’ vagueness concerning the antecedent of his pronoun: What would he fix? Their gnawing grievances about America’s allocation of social status? Did he? The momentous achievement of Trump’s tenure, the transformation of the federal judiciary, was accomplished by someone whose loathing of Trump exceeds Trump’s loathing of him: Mitch McConnell, establishmentarian.

What handhold can Trump, the entertainer turned bore, now grasp to stop his current slide? He has always been a Potemkin tycoon, parasitic off the superstition that great wealth is somehow symptomatic of other greatness. Hence his tenacious secretiveness regarding his tax returns, which might reveal the fictitiousness of his financial wizardry. New York prosecutors could soon lift the veil.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is as serious about governance as Trump was frivolous, last week assembled an electoral coalition in the nation’s third-most populous state that was broader than Trump ever assembled anywhere. DeSantis is the first, but not the only, plausible claimant to the leadership of the Republican Party. Because DeSantis is sometimes parsimonious with smiles and rhetorical grace notes, he runs the risk of seeming to be a sore winner. He is, however, notably intelligent, a nimble learner and a harbinger of the multiplying hazards Trump faces, including this:
The midterm elections indicate that a growing number of voters seem inclined to make cool-eyed calculations as unenthralled adults: Do not seek the best imaginable political outcome; seek instead to avoid the worst.

Wallace, who was a Trump precursor, had a precursor. Huey Long, architect of a Louisiana police state, was America’s first dangerous demagogue of the era of mass communication, which dawned before television and social media: on radio. Long was Willie Stark in Robert Penn Warren’s 1946 roman à clef, “All the King’s Men.” In it, Warren’s protagonist is advised: “Make ’em cry, or make ‘em laugh … Or make ‘em mad. Even mad at you. Just stir ‘em up … and they’ll love you and come back for more.”
Until, weary of repetitions, they don’t. An assassin prevented Americans from proving, by spurning Long’s presidential pretenses, that they were less easily gulled than Long assumed. Today, the republic deserves, and the Republican Party needs, what Trump Tuesday evening announced: an opportunity for them to prove, by giving him a bruising rendezvous with their repentance, that they are better than he thinks.
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HR Legend
Oct 2, 2009
The establishment, RINO, Elites unfairly and unjustly attacking Trump for being America First, for being an Outsider, for Draining the Swamp?

Sounds like just the kind of thing the deplorables will rally around again.
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