Friday, January 8, 2021

Trump Erases His Legacy

From Kim Strassel, at WSJ, "He also destroyed any chance of a political future, all on a single Wednesday afternoon":

A politician has to work hard to destroy a legacy and a future in a single day. President Donald J. Trump managed it.

By this Wednesday afternoon, media outlets had called both Georgia Senate runoffs for the Democratic candidates, handing Sen. Chuck Schumer the keys to that chamber. We now have a Democrat-controlled Washington. The Georgia news came as a mob of Trump supporters—egged on by the president himself—occupied the U.S. Capitol building. Now four people are dead, while aides and officials run for the exits.

It didn’t have to be this way. The president had every right—even an obligation, given the ad hoc changes to voting rules—to challenge state election results in court. But when those challenges failed (which every one did, completely), he had the opportunity to embrace his legacy, cement his accomplishments, and continue to play a powerful role in GOP politics.

Mr. Trump could have reveled in the mantle of the one-term disrupter—the man the electorate sent to Washington to deliver the message that it was tired of business as usual. He could have pointed out just how successful he was in that mission by stacking his cabinet with reformers, busting convention, and overseeing policy changes that astounded (and delighted) even many warrior conservatives.

The withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and the Iranian deal. The greatest tax simplification and reduction since Reagan. The largest deregulatory effort since—well, ever. Three Supreme Court justices and 54 appellate court judges. Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. The Jerusalem embassy. Criminal-justice reform. Opportunity zones. He could have noted that the greatest proof of just how much Democrats and the establishment feared his mission were the five years of investigations, hysterical allegations and “deep state” sabotage — which he survived...

You prolly can't read the rest, as it's behind the paywall. (I was able to RTWT on my phone.)

Strassel goes on to argue that Trump needed to fully invest himself in Georgia: "Every day needed to be about fundraising, rallying the troops, making clear to his supporters that the only way to preserve his legacy was to keep the Senate in GOP hands. ... This isn't what happened..."

And you know the rest: While popular (even in this household), Trump's demands for a $2,000 stimulus check, "his veto of a defense authorization bill that provided pay raises and support for Georgia's military bases," and his hopeless denial of the results of the presidential election "energized Democrats and depressed Republicans."

With that cluster of a political miscalculation, Charles Schumer, the incoming Senate Majority Leaders, "will now methodically erase ... [Trump's phenomenal] policy legacy." 


Folks, I voted to reelect President Trump, but I too am feeling betrayed by his personal selfishness. Millions of people have supported him over the years, and literally 74 million Americans pulled the lever to send him back for another term. And for what? Death and destruction on Capitol Hill? 

And hold off on your, "But, but, what about the ..."

Trump screwed the pooch and snatched congressional defeat from the jaws of victory. It's really sad. And now just this morning we learn that the radical left is making urgent (perhaps hysterical) demands that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer retire to make way for a younger (more ideologically polarizing) leftist replacement, ideally a black woman. (See Politico for that, "Liberals to Breyer: Time to Retire.")

So, it's all crashing down. 

Andrew McCarthy was on Fox News with Sandra Smith earlier, and he said the next two years are going to be "explosive." 

Gird your loins, people.