As a policy guy, I find the four active criminal cases against Donald Trump a boring distraction, but it affects the country since nearly half the GOP inexplicably wants to run a man who espouses lunacy and continues to help Democrats win at all levels.
In her racketeering case around Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia, Fulton County DA Fani Willis noted alleged crimes, such as building a rival slate of state electors and attempts to breach voting machines in a rural county.The former president’s pathetic January 2021 phone call trying to bully the Peach State’s noble secretary of state into “finding” enough votes to reverse Georgia’s results is also on the long list.
This occurs as Joe Biden remains unpopular, venal, and Republicans should cruise to retaking the White House. But we don’t live in sane times.
Trump wants to be the nominee of a party he effectively disdains for a third consecutive time and is propagating lies and grievances to his supporters. This does not help the country.
Republican-led audits of the results continuously found that Biden won the election, as it did in other swing states. Courts also shot down all of Trump’s baseless claims of widespread fraud. However, like a petulant child who only cares about himself, Trump incoherently quadruples down on his nonsense and won’t admit the truth.
His personality cult is now excited by Monday’s “Irrefutable REPORT,” supposedly proving election fraud. It may appease sycophants on cable news, who will make money off ratings, and grifters like Steve Bannon, Charlie Kirk, and Trump’s unhinged campaign proxy Vivek Ramaswamy — who also will make money and build email lists —but America is desperate to move on from Trump. Ironically, they also want to move on from the equally unpopular Biden.
Democrats are ruthless and cater to the fringes, yet they also are united. Trump deepens America’s divisions with his “stolen election” balderdash. He’d be in better shape for 2024 if he accepted his 2020 defeat like an adult.
Next year’s presidential race should be about policy, but with two octogenarian numbskulls, it could be re-litigation and courtroom antics. The world’s greatest nation surely deserves better.
“A majority of Americans don’t like Trump, they see January 6 as a national embarrassment, scandal, and disgrace, and they are unlikely to be persuaded that Trump is an innocent victim who broke no laws and who is being framed by malevolent prosecutors,” Jim Geraghty wrote Tuesday at National Review:
“Those who contended the 2020 presidential election was stolen lost just about every competitive race in the 2022 midterms; those who won were either well-known incumbents or in safely GOP states or districts. In the races for governor, secretary of state, and U.S. Senate, in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Michigan and Nevada, voters heard the stolen election arguments and rejected the candidates making them. It is exceptionally unlikely that sometime between now and November 2024, many Americans change their minds about Trump.”
Moments after the new indictment this week, Georgia’s popular Republican Gov. Brian Kemp didn’t gloat but rehashed the reality, tweeting:
“The 2020 election in Georgia was not stolen. For nearly three years now, anyone with evidence of fraud has failed to come forward—under oath—and prove anything in a court of law. Our elections in Georgia are secure, accessible, and fair and will continue to be as long as I am governor. The future of our country is at stake in 2024 and that must be our focus.”
Are they ever going to let this go? The Republican Party of Georgia, which runs all the statewide offices, rigged the election on behalf of the Democrats? And they gave these people many opportunities to prove these theories and they never provide evidence. https://t.co/rElheIcVzQ
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) August 15, 2023
Kemp is predictably taking abuse from vacuous hacks, but he deserves credit for speaking truth to power again. Kemp is a proven winner, re-elected in a state where Trump and Trump-endorsed candidates lost. If GOP voters want to lose again next fall, they’ll dive into nonsensical conspiracies instead of facing reality and, most importantly, choosing a better nominee.
Ari Kaufman is a correspondent for several U.S. newspapers and magazines from Minnesota and Ohio to Tennessee and Virginia. He taught school and served as a military historian before beginning his journalism career. He is the author of three books, a frequent guest on radio programs, and a regular contributor here at The Lid.