In 2012, the Republicans were on a roll. In 2010, Tea Party candidates had enlarged the Republican coalition enough to win a majority in the House and break the Democratic supermajority in the Senate.
Even so, in all quarters other than the third quarter of 2011, donors weighed in by pouring most of their funding into Mitt Romney’s campaign.
But Romney had an Achilles heel. A Massachusetts progressive, Romney, far and away more tainted than any others in the Republican primary field, had championed “Romneycare,” the pilot program for Obamacare. Romney would not diminish his signature achievement by attacking Obamacare.
Specifics change, but themes repeat.
In 2024, the Republicans will be moving again. In 2022, Freedom Caucus candidates enlarged the Republican coalition enough to win a majority in the House.
For 2024, fortunately, donors are giving more funding to Ron DeSantis and less to Donald Trump.
Trump has his own Achilles heel. A New York progressive, Trump led the federal government as it rolled out massive deprivations in the form of “covidcare.”
Covidcare’s most destructive elements included lockdowns, huge inflation caused by stimulus money, and vaccine mandates. When all elements are combined, covidcare emerges as the only serious contender for having caused massive rises, domestically and worldwide, in excess deaths and injuries — including some injuries that will likely shorten people’s lives.
As Herbert Hoover pioneered substantially all of the policy infrastructure that Franklin Roosevelt then continued, and George W. Bush pioneered substantially all of the policy infrastructure that Barack Obama then continued, so too Trump pioneered substantially all of the policy infrastructure that Joe Biden has now continued.
Will Trump win the 2024 GOP nomination?
No presidential candidate — Republican, Democrat or otherwise, and not even Mike Pence or Biden — is weighed down by nearly as much covidcare baggage as Trump as the president who ratcheted up the health coercion state.
Given this fact, it’s unremarkable that Trump won’t own up and promise to do differently in the future. That would undercut his supporters’ denial or excuses, weaken the energy behind his campaign, and decrease the total number of voters who would at least lean toward him. And it could not credibly raise expectations that Trump would be the best candidate whom voters could elect.
Republican progressives don’t fix problems. When they can get in early, they create problems. When they get in the game later, they reframe problems as their own accomplishments.
In 2024, voters won’t buy what Trump is selling.
DeSantis might not have the support from swing state executives or judges to overcome the Democrats’ one-two punch of fraud-prone election laws in states where Democrats control the legislatures, plus executive defiance of election laws in states where Republicans control the legislatures. Pools of votes contaminated by unverifiable ballots in urban precincts may well allow Democrats to swing elections until voters someday strip swing states’ Republican coalitions of the Republican progressives camouflaged as usual by conservative talk.
But DeSantis, some other Republican or some Mises Caucus libertarian would at least force Democrats to mobilize their well-honed election law defiance once again.
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