The Republican party is at war with itself on multiple fronts two of which I’d like to explore a bit today.
Tuesday night Donald Trump declared his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. If you look at the facts this campaign is much more of a scam than his accidentally winning 2016 campaign was. You really don’t have to probe that far to arrive at that conclusion.
The Tuesday before the red wave failed to materialize and the smart money is primarily blaming Trump. So, a week after you took a bad loss you declare for the presidency. In what world does that make sense?
The news coming out of the Trump camp is that the 2024 campaign will be much smaller than its 2020 version. Remember the 2020 version was a loser. So, if the 2020 version was inadequate to produce a win why would you downsize it if your objective was to win? The answer is that you wouldn’t and the 2024 campaign’s objective is not to win but to filter a lot of money to Trump.
One feature of the 2016 campaign was that a lot of event venues and vendors were Trump owned and thereby the candidate could personally profit from the campaign in a sort of legal money laundering scheme. In simple talk a scam. If Trump is anything he is a master con man/scam artist.
The 2024 campaign is slated to be run out of Mar-a-Lago. This serves two purposes. Foremost is the bill back opportunity so that your campaign donations that can’t be otherwise directed to Trump personally, (more about that below), can be directed to an entity he owns. I’m sure the campaign isn’t being housed there rent free and if they hold an event what are they going to do, go down the street?
Conventional thinking is dominated by Trump announcing to ward off various legal issues. This “defense” may work with Trump’s lowest common denominator base but it holds no legal water. It does however allow Trump to file various frivolous appeals that the courts will reject while keeping the clock running which has always been the core of Trump’s legal defense strategies.
The influence of money in politics is the biggest problem in American politics. One of the issues is that many Super PAC entities are basically unregulated as to spending. Trump can structure things -and he is a master scam artist – so that the funds can be used at his personal discretion. In other words, running for the presidency is a money maker for him.
The 2024 Trump campaign is not designed to win; it is designed to make money for Trump. That is the bottom line. At the moment it also massages Trump’s ego. He is the frontrunner in a field of one.
Now I’d like to spend a bit discussing the Republican Senate caucus. Tuesday Florida Senator Rick “The Fifth” Scott announced he would challenge Mitch McConnell for its leadership. Scott’s latest inside the party assignment was to run the 2022 Republican Senate campaign. As of this writing he is down one seat with a pending runoff in Georgia and no chance of gaining the one net seat he needed to. Let’s just say he’s not exactly riding high at the moment.
McConnell rules his caucus much like Lyndon Johnson ran the Senate Democratic caucus when he was the Leader – via money. Many current Republican senator owe their seats to McConnell controlled money in previous campaigns. McConnell, unlike Scott, is a political genius. Like LBJ he is not one to be crossed. Whether literally or figuratively, he maintains a naughty or nice list. If you are a sitting Republican Senator you don’t want to get on his naughty list because he will cut off funding forever just like LBJ did.
I took my first look at the 2024 Senate elections the other day and wrote an article slated for December 6th publishing. For now, let’s just say that it affords the Republican a chance to take back the Senate. McConnell is up in 2026 and will be 84 on that Election Day. It’s not a given, but this being McConnell’s last term is very possible and you have to assume that he would rather go out as Majority Leader than Minority Leader. Scott is one of the few even slightly vulnerable Republicans up in 2024. Assuming McConnell survives the current challenge -and I’m certainly betting on him! – I wouldn’t count on much national financial help in my 2024 reelection campaign if I was a part of the challenge to his leadership. McConnell can easily justify spending money attacking vulnerable Democrats leaving Scott and others on their own. Florida is an expensive state to run in.
I don’t know who Scott’s co-conspirators are but I’m certain McConnell will assuming this comes to a showdown and vote. They may also find themselves cut off from “Mitch money” if they are up in 2024.
My advise to Scott is simple: If you are going after the king you better be sure you can take him out and I don’t think you can. Republican voters, (especially those gullible enough to donate to Trump), will forget a 2022 challenge to Mitch by 2024 but you can bet he won’t!
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Note: Between posting and publishing a leadership vote was held and Mitch McConnell won it 37-10-1.