’22 Could Determine ’24

There is an element in this country that thinks mid-term elections are unimportant. They are incorrect and perhaps nevermore so than in 2022!

I am convinced that as long as he is alive Donald Trump will be the 2024 presidential nominee of the Republican party coming out of its 2024 convention. That sentence is somewhat carefully worded because I think there is a long way between the convention and the election. More about that below. On the Democratic side my crystal ball is much cloudier!

If the Republicans take back the House in the 2022 elections (which is very possible) Trump will claim credit for it. In any event I see the next House Republican caucus being even nuttier (read: aligned with Trump) than the present one. It is imperative to keep them out of the majority.

If the Republicans take over that means they will chair all House committees along with the chamber itself. Along with that control comes agenda setting power. Since they seem to lack any real policies – except for lowering taxes on the rich and eliminating or not enforcing regulations on their largest financiers along with rigging elections in their favor – I expect most of their time will be taken up by investigating President Biden (for who knows what) and then impeaching him (again, for who knows what).

In that event I would not be surprised if Biden, sensing he might be a weakened candidate announced that he would not seek a second term, ala LBJ. That might, but not necessarily stop an impeachment. In any event there is no way the Senate will get the 67 votes to remove him from office.

The question then becomes who will be the Democratic nominee in 2024. The heir apparent is Vice President Kamala Harris but I’m not sure it will be that clear cut. The Republican will continue to smear the Biden administration with her now serving as their primary target. She also lacks clear confidence within the party and I could see any number of challengers, some more serious than others. While I could support a plethora of them, very much including Harris, none of them have ever beaten Trump before – Biden has (and you can bet that is in the back of both men’s minds).

On the Republican side while I am sure that Trump will be the nominee, I am less certain that he will be the final candidate in November. I think there is a lot to Jonathan Karl’s theory that if he feels he will lose Trump will drop out. Among the reasons Trump will want to be the nominee is that he will want to name the vice presidential nominee who would have the inside track on being a late replacement. Politically (and I’m tailoring the use of that word to Trump) only two things motivate the only twice impeached president in American history: ego and money (or more specifically the opportunity to scam it). Trump’s ego will want him to be the kingmaker. A campaign, even one cut short, is a marvelous chance for a man like Trump to enrich himself.

I don’t think I am engaging in hyperbole when I say that American democracy will hang in the balance in 2024 and 2022 will determine the top of the “starting lineups”. Trump or a loyalist – Trump next pick will certainly be one – will be the end of the America I’ve known. This isn’t just about policy; it is about country!

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