A Trump nomination would bring GOP victories to a screeching halt

A Trump nomination would bring GOP victories to a screeching halt. By Quin Hillyer.

Those who are ambiguous about Trump, generally approving of his policies while deploring his character, often exaggerate his success on the former. But he did not achieve as much as is claimed, especially by him.

Trump never came close to “draining the swamp” or to finishing the border “wall,” never came close to reducing the trade deficit or adding manufacturing jobs, and did not even remotely tame China.

He alienated all the “best people” who agreed through gritted teeth to serve in his first administration. He is left with only third-raters willing to put up with his abuse but who cannot offer any hope that they would rein in his ever-changing directives and destabilizing mood swings….


After narrowly defeating Hillary Clinton, one of the most unappealing candidates ever to run for high office, Trump did several things that any Republican president in 2017 would have done. He signed a pro-growth tax reform that then-Speaker Paul Ryan had spent former President Barack Obama’s years teeing up for just such a moment. Trump likewise nominated judicial conservatives teed up by the Federalist Society. The nation was fortunate that Trump was able to fill the Supreme Court vacancy that happened during the election year, plus two vacancies that occurred during his four years, and he was fortunate that it gave him something substantial to boast about.

He also aggressively undid some of Obama’s executive orders and rule-making. He raised defense spending (again, as any GOP president would have done), and he accelerated the rapprochement between Israel and five Arab or Muslim nations that had been underway since Obama’s capitulation to Iran’s nuclear program, a deal Trump rightly pulled the United States out of.

These are not nothing, but even with the advantage of a Republican Congress, undivided for two years and with Senate control for all four, Trump failed in most legislative endeavors. He, more than anyone else, torpedoed the best chance of substantive rejection of Obamacare, and when Ryan picked up the pieces to send a bill limping to the Senate, appetite for full repeal had evaporated.

Trump grew the biggest government the U.S. had ever seen, even before throwing obscene sums of debt into his botched early response to the coronavirus pandemic. Trump also ruled out reform of so-called entitlements, without which American insolvency is inevitable.

Trump boasted of shutting down the country in the face of the pandemic — Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is attacking him aggressively for that — and praised China for its pandemic response. Under his leadership, the wealthiest nation on Earth experienced the third-highest number of coronavirus deaths per capita of any country in the world.

As for his signature issue, stopping illegal immigration, the record is patchy. In his four years, the 1,980,210 Border Patrol “encounters” of illegal immigrants exceeded those of either Obama’s first term (1,724,443) or second term (1,660,343).

And as for Trump’s boasted negotiating skills? After he shut down the government for 35 days over his demand for $5.7 billion for a border wall, he secured less money for it, just $1.3 billion, than the $1.6 billion Democrats had offered seven weeks earlier. …

Trump’s laziness and incompetence are confirmed by those who were closest to him. When a single disgruntled former staffer hurls accusations at his former boss, such complaints may be dismissed as sour grapes. But when numerous former aides, each of high independent stature, all recount the same serious horror stories of an out-of-control president, reasonable people should believe them. Former Gens. H.R. McMaster, James Mattis, and John Kelly, two-time Attorney General William Barr, and longtime foreign policy leader John Bolton were Trump’s “best men.” But he drove them all away to tell harrowing tales of catastrophes averted only because Trump was so easily distracted that he did not follow through on his worst instincts. …

He enraged the globalist deep state:

Trump’s bad character has stoked left-wing excess and grotesque and unprecedented abuses. He promised to eradicate the “deep state” but instead emboldened it and strengthened its power.

If Trump is so good at defeating it, why is it so successfully running rampant against him and against any voters who don’t kowtow to the Left’s brave new world?

Trump’s idea of getting tough is merely to make loud noise. His histrionics have drowned out more sober, competent efforts to ensure systemic integrity. When Trump keeps pushing the “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen, for example, he helps discredit all other efforts to fight vote fraud, no matter how well founded. …

It really is important for the president, who represents our citizens to the rest of the world and who is the repository of so much institutional trust, to exude propriety and dignity. The founding generation called it “republican virtue.” It is crucial to keeping representative democracy functional rather than so fractious that its fabric rips irreparably.

Trump fails this test more spectacularly than any president before. He denigrates women in private, and he publicly insults the looks of female opponents and of male opponents’ wives. He accuses the father of an opponent of helping assassinate President John F. Kennedy, calls on crowds to “knock the crap” out of silent protesters, and puts White House personnel in danger by keeping them close when he is in the contagious phase of COVID-19. Other presidents could be crass and boorish in private, but Trump’s coarseness and churlishness regularly poison the public square.


Notice how the author is implicitly expressing faith in he system, and believes things would work if only a better person were in charge. He ignores the theme that Trump 2024 is a vote to burn it all down.