Trump, Musk, Putin, and the power of spite
Three different people, same crappy emotion?
Trump has been an electoral liability for the Republican party for at least the last 3 elections, and possibly 4 (depending on what you think would have happened in 2016 without Trump). So far, his power over MAGA voters and his spitefulness – his evident willingness to tear down Republicans who show disloyalty – has kept Republican elites largely in line.
But some Republicans are beginning to argue that he is bad for the party and should not be the 2024 nominee. The challenge for the party – and for DeSantis – is that Trump may well decide to take the party down with him if he does not win the 2024 nomination. This could involve badmouthing the Republican nominee, or even mounting a third-party run. Some polls show DeSantis with more support than Trump among Republican voters, but I suspect DeSantis is worried that Trump will sabotage his presidential campaign if he gets the nod. I would not be surprised if DeSantis decides not to challenge Trump.
Next up, Elon Musk and Twitter. Musk substantially overpaid for Twitter and it appears that bankruptcy is a real possibility. It is well-known that companies on the edge of insolvency have an incentive to take imprudent risks. Perhaps mass layoffs and big strategy changes will enable Musk to pull a rabbit out of a hat and avoid bankruptcy. If he ends up destroying Twitter, that’s not his problem, because it was heading towards bankruptcy anyway. But it’s hard to look at what he’s doing – especially the chaotic nature of the layoffs and the unpopular, erratic, thumb-in-your-eye policy changes – and not wonder if he is happy to burn Twitter down rather than turn the keys over to a new owner who can make a clean start and turn it into a successful company. Finally, consider the war in Ukraine. Ukraine may well clear Russian troops from most or all of its territory. If it succeeds and gets financial support to rebuild it may have a bright, democratic future. But reaching a settlement will be difficult, and if Putin bears a grudge against Zelensky or believes the virulent anti-Ukraine rhetoric being spewed out by his state media lackeys it may be difficult to bring a close to hostilities. A spiteful and defeated Putin might continue to shoot drones and missiles at Ukraine, which would make it difficult for Ukraine to begin its economic recovery.
How much of this is due to the SCOTUS decision in Citizen’s United?
Basically, wealth brings media power, and SCOTUS decided that it must be unfettered.
Helps the rich get richer, as it turns out.
It would be interesting to see what would be had the Dems not chosen in 2016 to run an exceptionally controversial candidate because it was their turn and thus Trump’s campaign would have been nothing more than it was intended to be: a publicity stunt.
We have to stop giving the Republican party a scapegoat. Lying and cheating, violent speech has always been a part of the Republican party’s personality thus strategy. The only problem for the Republicans is that Trump made their personality blatantly evident. Now there are some that believe DeSantis can do the lies, cheat and violent speech without it being blatant.
They can sideline Trump, but they will still be the personality exemplified by Trump. The only difference between MAGA, Freedom Caucus and Tea Party is that Freedom and Tea had no idol to worship.
Which party tries to suppress voting? Which party relies on cultural issues rather than policy? Which party appeals to grievance and the thought that someone might be getting something they are not? Which party is supported by foreign misinformation? Which party draws most of its support from the least educated? The GOP only competes with smoke and mirrors. It is not a winning message to argue that allowing the rich to prey on everyone else free of government regulation is the best way forward.
that’s why they don’t say that. Trump did release the pent up hate (and stupidity) of half the American people, but that hate and stupidity was always there. D’s are perfectly capable of playing the same game, but it turns out the memes they have chosen don’t usually motivate as many voters. and even the poor “minority” groups are getting tired of symbolic victories that don’t change anything.
The D’s have the usual non-voters to thank for this near-victory. They will disappoint them, and we will be back to 1980..if the R’s haven’t figured out how to run the table by then.