Are Republicans Finally Starting to Figure This Out?
The Short-Term Risk to the Country in Trump’s Intransigence
Much has been highlighted by others about the dangers of a delayed or blocked transition. The three highest risks are:
(1) Poor coordination and execution at the start of the COVID inoculations.
(2) The risk of the new Administration facing a surprise foreign crisis, that could have been forewarned.
(3) Someone deciding to launch such a crisis specifically because the seams are visible in our national leadership.
By the way, there is an actual federal law that sets out what a transition should look like. The fellow in charge of Bill Clinton’s transition had a letter hand delivered to him the day after the election at 9 AM. It advised that all transition assets were at his disposal immediately. He went directly to the relevant government office that morning. He was met by someone with keys, passwords and a request to let them know what he needed at any time. That is how you do it. Kudos for George Bush, Sr. for having the class to do it right, for America.
The Long-Term Risk to the Republicans in Trump’s Intransigence
Republicans have to decide how long they want the tail that is now Trump to wag the dog that is their party. The longer they indulge him, the more they will be held responsible. Responsible for what follows politically and governmentally.
The Republicans did better in this election than many expected. But not among people who are actually looking for a party that can govern. Indulging Trump digs that hole ever deeper.
The Republicans Have an Opportunity. Will They Take It?
Trump apparently has big plans to be a media presence in the future. This is most likely with an online set up (he lacks the resources for a broadcast empire). He may well succeed at setting this up, with subscribers to underwrite costs. You don’t expect him to spend his own money on this, do you? The same people that regularly send money to evangelicals who fly around in private jets will surely send Trump a few bucks a month.
But I am betting that reach may run out of gas. Even if he declares he or a blood heir will run in 2024, his presence can be minimized. If the networks have any brains, they will increasingly ignore him. Second, past time for Facebook and Twitter to ban him. He’s not president anymore. Why put up with all these lies and provocations?
Third, he is going to be exceptionally busy with debt management (a new concept for him) and a host of legal woes. Between potential criminal charges and multiple law suits, his plate will be full.
Other Republicans don’t necessarily have to be mean to Trump. They just need to ignore him. They need to decide if they want to build another house of cards on his increasingly extreme base. Do they really want to continue with the usual suspects claiming his mantle? Or might they move on to a more adult posture, with some new leaders getting exposure? I have zero confidence that they have the foresight to choose the latter, but we can all hope.
Why Should the Rest of Us Care?
First, all those concerns raised at the start of this blog are very real. We need a smooth transition, now. Second, the norms of civilized and decent conduct should be welcomed back. The transition is an excellent place to start. And finally, we really do need a responsible center right party in this country.
Tied to all that is the need to bury the ugliness that Trump fostered among us. Getting him consigned to the back pages of the media and history is a splendid resolution for the New Year.
Some Good News, at Last
Nothing is ever for sure with Trump. But indications have begun leaking out that Trump finally is recognizing the jig is up. Others are saying so out more loudly. It appears at least some of the transition process may be starting up shortly, but we shall see. Not a minute too soon, but most welcome.
May we be fortunate enough to have a robust transition underway before Thanksgiving. May this be the beginning of the end of Trump and his way of “leading.”
Pay no attention to the little man behind the curtain….
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