By now we’ve all seen the horrific pictures of mobs charging into the US Capitol building in a vain attempt to stop the final nail in their hero’s political coffin – congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory over the Toddler-In-Chief Donald Trump.
The question is what happens now? How do the Democrats react to this unexpected gift from their favorite hate figure? Where do the Republicans, in particular the Republican Party, go from here? How far can the party disassociate itself from its disgraced leader? Does it even want to disassociate itself from him? And what of Trump himself and the rest of his family? Do they fade into the darkness of swamp they brought to Washington? Or do they carry on with their delusions of power and popularity?
|This is Trump's so-called base?!|
First things first. The country will heal and prosper as it always has after major shocks like Pearl Harbor, the assassinations and convulsions of the 1960s, 9/11, and now this mayhem. In this task Biden is the perfect Anti-Trump non-drama leader. No ranting, no raving. Just a calm, experienced voice telling us all to take a deep breath and calm down.
|The perfect antidote to the lunatics|
The Democrats, of course, are jubilant at the prospect of jamming through their favorite legislation now that they control the White House and both branches of Congress – albeit by the narrowest of margins. After Wednesday’s riot many congressional Republicans – not all by any means – are in shock and in no mood to vigorously oppose Biden. He could probably get Che Guevara confirmed as Secretary of Defence at this point. But the Democrats need to be careful not to make the same mistake the Republicans made by overplaying their partisan dominance. They could play a much stronger long game by showing a little of Biden’s most popular word – bipartisanship. Giving a little now will gain them the moral high ground for a long time as unifiers and healers instead of mere partisan warriors out for blood. That gets old very fast.
As for the Republican Party itself, well, one has to ask what Republican Party? Will it continue to be party of Trump and his acolytes or will it rebuild itself along the Reagan/Bush axis? Will Trump try to form his own party? I doubt that very much. For one thing it is a very expensive process and Trump has an aversion to spending his own money. Second, and more important, third parties have a very difficult time in the American election system. All he would do is split the Republican vote and ensure Democratic domination for a long time. The only reason I could see him doing it is to spite the Republicans for failing to go along with his lies about the election.
His family is now so politically toxic it’s extremely doubtful that his two loudmouthed sons have much of a future in democratic (small ‘d’) politics. Maybe in places like Belarus or North Korea but not so much in the United States. His daughter Ivanka may have had visions of representing major luxury brands but now she has about as much chance of doing that as I do of becoming the next James Bond. It’s amazing to see how fast corporations that once fawned over Trump and his family are now back-peddling. ‘Trump? Trump who? Never heard of the guy.’
|Rapid trip from First Family to Forgotten Family|
The same goes for the two senators, Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, who led the anti-certification charge. These are by no means stupid men. Cruz went to Harvard Law School and Hawley went to Yale Law School. Both served as clerks to Supreme Court justices. But both are – or were – consumed by presidential ambitions and probably practiced Hail To The Chief in front of the bathroom mirror. They hoped to capture Trump’s ‘base’ by challenging congressional certification of Biden’s victory in the name of ‘protecting the integrity of elections’ – as if numerous judicial decisions and recounts had not already accomplished this. They watched their presidential ambitions crumble as the mobs assaulted the Capitol. They may get elected again in their respective states but their national aspirations are over.
And what about the media organizations who lavished such praise on Trump for the past four years? Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal and the New York Post – to their credit – repudiated Trump’s election fantasies and are now calling for him to resign. Even Fox News is no longer merely a Trump mouthpiece. Many conservative websites like City Journal have columns that sound like third-rate Mafioso in their back-handed criticism of Trump. ‘The schmuck was worse than criminal. He was stupid.’ They are furious at Trump’s meddling in Georgia – not because it verged on the criminal but because it backfired and resulted in two Democrats winning and giving Democrats control of the Senate. According to these columns this opens the floodgates for hated ‘liberal’ legislation like tax hikes, health care, and – God forbid! – easier immigration. The hysteria of these, and other conservative commentators, is misplaced. With a 50/50 Senate split it would be extremely difficult for the far left to push through much of its desired legislation. More important is that Biden has not expressed the slightest interest in the extreme legislation favored by the far left wing of the party. And he has chosen a cabinet that reflects his own moderate views. Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary. Merrick Garland as Attorney General. Pete Buttigieg at Transportation. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as Labor Secretary. The extremely capable Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo as Commerce Secretary. Anthony Blinken as Secretary of State. No flame throwers there.
Maybe the upside of the mess that Trump left behind is that the grown-ups now have a chance to get down to the business of actually legislating and getting something done without the Master of Disaster bombarding everyone with his school-yard tirades all day, every day.