If In order to accurately quote former President Donald Trump I have used a phrase that violates my PG rating.
I’m getting way ahead of myself today but I want to speculate on the 2024 GOP presidential primary contest. Despite rhetoric and maneuvering to the contrary I don’t see Donald Trump as a contestant. I think his current activity is simply part of his continuing organized criminal enterprise activity aimed at scamming as many people as possible and pocketing as many dollars as he can. I see a “two lane” primary: the second coming of Trump lane and the return to true conservative, small government lane.
This past weekend Trump coerced the RNC (which to a large degree he still controls) to moving part of a large fundraiser to Mar-a-Lago and having him serve as the keynote speaker. During his speech he called Mitch McConnell, “A dumb son-of-a-bitch” and challenged Mike Pence’s courage.
McConnell is a lot of negative things but from a political standpoint at least he is certainly not dumb! McConnell was in DC before Trump and, as I predicted years ago, has outlasted him. He is a master of the Senate the likes of which we have not seen since Lyndon Johnson was the Democrats’ leader.
Sticking with my two lane assumption, Mike Pence presents an interesting case. I have little doubt that Pence is interested in a 2024 run and if he has any support will make one. The Trump base hates him because they feel he somehow should have prevented congressional certification of Biden’s win. Laws and reality matter not at all to the Trump base. Pence is a lifelong Republican so that would ordinarily open up a spot in the “Not Trump Lane” for him. However, how does he shed the Trump stench when he was his Vice President and a pretty loyal one at that?
I will give Trump some points for his depicting Pence as lacking courage. If you asked me to describe Mike Pence, courageous would not be one of the adjectives I’d use. Trump’s example of Pence not defending him on 1/6 is all wrong. I’m not sure I’d call his actions courageous; the phrase “law abiding” comes to mind first.
If you asked me who the nation’s best Republican Governor is – something I haven’t given any real thought to for good reason – I’d probably reply Larry Hogan of Maryland. Last week he proved that even the GOP’s probable best is simply not good enough. The Maryland legislature passed a law revoking the state’s “Police Bill of Rights”. Hogan vetoed it. The Democrats have a super majority in both chambers and overrode Hogan’s veto. Hogan believes the police don’t have to obey the laws of the state of Maryland and should be afforded special protection in court. I believe all citizens should be responsible for their actions and the repercussions of said actions. (That’s a pretty conservative value come to think of it.) Police officers obeying criminal law – what a concept.
There are tons of people that I expect to throw their hats into the 2024 Republican ring and I certainly won’t try to name them all today. I also expect – and this Venn diagram will have significant overlap – a plethora of nutcases. Pence and Hogan will probably be two; McConnell will not join the field. Baring the unlikely (at this point) but increasingly seemingly inevitable split of the Republican Party I certainly expect a two lane primary – the Trumpers and the anti-Trumpers.
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