Republicans Stuck Between Trump and a Hard Place

Explaining the continuing cowardice of GOP Senators.

Congressional Republicans are ever-so-slowly acknowledging the reality that Joe Biden will be our next President. But few are willing to risk crossing the loser sitting in the Oval Office.

POLITICO (“Republicans start to relent: ‘It looks like it will be President Biden’“):

The Republican Party is in an increasingly untenable position — how much longer can it really refuse to recognize Joe Biden as the president-elect?

Nearly two weeks after the election, there are signs that Republicans are starting to accept reality.

President Donald Trump’s legal campaign to reverse his election loss is crumbling all around him and there’s no mathematical possibility that he can reverse margins of 10,000 or more votes in the five states he won in 2016 but lost to Biden. Meanwhile, the Biden transition is stuck in molasses, and Trump is barely addressing the coronavirus spikes across the country, let alone cooperating with the incoming administration on vaccine distribution efforts.

Most Republicans have been reluctant to contradict Trump’s claim that he can still hold the White House, but there’s been a steady trickle of GOP lawmakers defecting from Trump’s false contention that he was robbed by fraudsters. After Trump tweeted Monday, “I won the election,” Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) told reporters, “I wouldn’t have advised he put it that way.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Trump can and should continue his legal challenges but has “every confidence on Jan. 20 we’re going to inaugurate a president. And it will probably be Joe Biden.”

“It grows increasingly unlikely that a remedy would involve overturning the election,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), who said he nonetheless supports Trump’s goals of exposing even small cases of malfeasance on ballots. “Vice President Biden ought to be getting briefings and the transition ought to be in the works so that there’s an infrastructure for that. And if he ends up winning, as it seems likely he will, that he won’t have to get caught up on one day in January.”

Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, referred to Biden as the president-elect unprompted, saying “that’s what the results, the preliminary results, seem to indicate, and we certainly have to anticipate that that’s the highest likelihood at this point.”

“We have to assume right now, based upon the current electoral count, that we are getting closer to the point where the facts on the ground will bear that out,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said when asked about Trump’s lawsuits fizzling in court. “Right now, it looks like it will be President Biden. We understand that.”

Yet acknowledging the fact that Biden will soon be president risks angering Trump and his legion of supporters — including those the GOP needs to turn out in a pair of Georgia runoffs to determine Senate control. Most Republican leaders still won’t do anything to push Trump to accept the inevitable.

An NPR report (“Sen. Rubio Joins Small Group Of Republican Senators Calling Biden ‘President-Elect‘”) notes that Rubio is one of very few who has gone all the way in publicly acknowledging reality:

Rubio joins a club of only four other Republican senators who have acknowledged Biden’s win. They are Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who have all also congratulated Biden for clinching the White House.

This, despite real worry that Trump is dragging down the two Republicans trying to keep their Senate seats in the Georgia runoffs. WaPo (“Republicans sound alarm on Georgia Senate runoffs as they privately weigh Trump’s influence“):

Republican leaders are increasingly alarmed about the party’s ability to stave off Democratic challengers in Georgia’s two Senate runoff elections — and they privately described President Trump on a recent conference call as a political burden who despite his false claims of victory was the likely loser of the 2020 election.

Those blunt assessments, which capture a Republican Party in turmoil as Trump refuses to concede to President-elect Joe Biden, were made on a Nov. 10 call with donors hosted by the National Republican Senatorial Committee. It featured Georgia’s embattled GOP incumbents, Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, and Karl Rove, a veteran strategist who is coordinating fundraising for the Jan. 5 runoffs.

Why would politicians risk their own careers and the ability to forestall complete Democratic control of the elected branches of government over a loser? One possible explanation is in another POLITICO report (“4 more years: Trump freezes 2024 presidential field“):

Kevin Cramer called Donald Trump last week to convey his support for the president’s efforts to contest the election results when Trump dropped a casual aside that snapped the North Dakota senator to attention.

“If this doesn’t work out, I’ll just run again in four years,” Trump said.

Cramer could only chuckle at the president musing about the next presidential race while he’s still in office. But to the lineup of Republican hopefuls with their eyes on becoming the GOP’s post-Trump standard bearer, the president’s remark was no laughing matter.

While Trump’s loss was supposed to trigger a Republican Party reset, his flirtation with a 2024 bid ensures he’ll remain the dominant force in the party and cast a shadow over anyone looking to succeed him. Even the possibility of Trump running again will impede other Republicans from laying groundwork for their own bids — lest they upset Trump and his tens of millions of supporters, many of whom are convinced the election was stolen.

“Of course it makes it more difficult for people who might want to run,” Cramer said, before adding: “It’s not up to him to make it easy for other people to run.”

Those who’ve worked for Trump — Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley — are in perhaps the toughest spot of all. Each would have to maneuver around the soon-to-be-former president after spending the last four years aligning themselves with him.

But some argue the three would benefit from the president freezing the 2024 field. Pence, Pompeo and Haley have used their roles in the administration to establish national profiles, build donor networks and deepen their ties to conservative activists. In the event Trump eventually decides not to run, they would start out a primary with advantages over others who are further behind organizationally.

Whether an obese 74-year-old will be a viable candidate four years from now is a question for a later time. The Republicans haven’t given a losing nominee a second bite at the apple since Richard Nixon in 1968 and the Democrats haven’t done it since Adlai Stevenson in 1956.

Given that he’s never been able to win the popular vote and has done a demonstrably lousy job of actually governing—and has stopped even pretending to do so since losing the election—one would hope the party would be able to find a better candidate. But Trump is obviously still quite popular with the base.

Regardless, fear that Trump will continue to dominate the party would certainly explain why Senators still fear crossing a demonstrable loser.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, Campaign 2024, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Scott says:

    Trump may be corrupt, incompetent, and malevolent but, to his supporters, he wasn’t a weasel.

    Rubio, Cruz, Pence, Pompeo are all conniving, insincere weasels who will not attract the numbers that Trump did.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    That sound you hear is the world’s tiniest violin playing a funeral dirge for these profiles in courage.

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  3. Joe says:

    I am fascinated by the idea that Republicans think they can keep this election in question charade up long enough to keep the base engaged for a January run off. In a few weeks, states will start certifying their votes and then the good ole EC is going to convene and cast its 306 for Biden. Then what? Does Emily Murphy still say she’s not sure who won? That’s just early/mid December. If the presidential election is the issue in Georgia, it will be forgotten by January.

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  4. mattbernius says:

    This, despite real worry that Trump is dragging down the two Republicans trying to keep their Senate seats in the Georgia runoffs.

    If only Senators and other elected federal officials shared this concern. Maybe then they wouldn’t be using Trumpian* techniques to try and throw out legally cast votes:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/brad-raffensperger-georgia-vote/2020/11/16/6b6cb2f4-283e-11eb-8fa2-06e7cbb145c0_story.html?tid=ss_tw

    * – By Trumpian, I mean never directly asking for that, but asking a lot of questions that, mob boss style, suggest what they actually want you to do if you’re loyal to “the family.”

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  5. Argon says:

    Given that to their strategy was to nurture and feed rabid racoons is anyone surprised they’re being overrun with rabid raccoons?

    And now Charles Koch says he feels bad about buying so much Purina Raccoon Chow…

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  6. Sleeping Dog says:

    It is bizarre to me that Rs, particularly Senators who just were reelected continue to kowtow to the soon to be ex-president. By fall of 2023, even cult45 will be asking Donald who? Or thinking you are referring to junior.

    @Joe: is right on this. The attempt at keeping Cult45 engaged now is just as likely to suppress their vote once they realize that their hero is through. It would be best to let them grieve now and rev them up again in December for the new enemy.

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  7. Michael Reynolds says:

    For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

    Cowardice quickly becomes a habit. They do something craven, they’re laughed at, but they keep the job, and keeping the job is a much higher priority than integrity or dignity. A scumbag like Marco Rubio or Lindsay Graham has no interest in anything but keeping his job and, he hopes, getting promoted to the White House where his job would once again be to simply keep his job.

    I don’t understand how a man can be this weak and not simply collapse from shame. What do people like this tell themselves in that last half hour before sleep? I did some excellent groveling today? I am the world champion toady? Does anyone doubt that any one of these Republican Senators would pull a Stannis Baratheon and burn their own child alive to hold onto their tiny slice of significance?

    Weak men are dangerous, including the King of Fragile Masculinity hiding in the White House.

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  8. KM says:

    The longer this goes on, the stupider Republicans looks to the general public.

    Think about it like this – that Bills-Cardinal game with that last second Hail Mary? It looked like the Bills were going to win and BAM! TD outta nowhere – they lose. Bills fans could scream it’s an illegal play and demand review after review, insisting something is wrong and it invalidates the win. However, once official and unofficial reviews show it was legal they *still* scream the game’s not over and they’ve won for weeks!

    That’s what it must look like to MAGAts. I can…. sympathise with their denial and outrage since they thought they had it in the bag and nobody likes losing a “sure thing”. After a while though, unless you’re a rabid Bills fan, you come to accept the loss. You can be angry about it, feel it’s unfair but you understand the reality that the Bills did not win that game. If the team kept yelling they won and it’s not over well into December, people would be looking at them weird. Can you imagine the looks they’d get if before every new game, they’d announce on the field the last one was ongoing till all the reviews were done? How many causal Bills fans would be turned off by the team insisting on a mass delusion instead of the normal “damnit we should have won that!” grumble?

    That’s where the GOP is now. The MAGAts and QAnon may still hold the faith but it’s getting clearer and clearer to the base GOP voter their leaders are being weird. They’ve never intended to consider Biden “their President” but they can’t deny he *is* President. Why can’t they just do what they did against Obama who was not “their President” for 8 years? Every day they keep towing the line, the more the base is going to question WTF to themselves. There’s precedent for this – why make fools of themselves?

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  9. Scott F. says:

    If I were Nikki Haley and I had read the second Politico piece, I’d see a very powerful incentive to (surreptitiously, of course) provide evidence that would aid in the indictment of Donald Trump on obstruction of justice and tax fraud charges. Trump would likely drag Pence and Pompeo down with him, while the big MAGA campaign rallies would become impossible with Trump in prison or under house arrest.

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  10. Michael Reynolds says:

    @KM:

    The MAGAts and QAnon may still hold the faith but it’s getting clearer and clearer to the base GOP voter their leaders are being weird.

    I doubt this. They voted for Trump knowing what he was. If four years of Trump didn’t faze them, why would this latest idiocy?

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  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: You give the MAGA heads way too much credit.

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  12. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    What do people like this tell themselves in that last half hour before sleep?

    “Was that enough Ambien and booze?”

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  13. drj says:

    Republicans Stuck Between Trump and a Hard Place

    So fucking what?

    It’s not like we would ever come up similar, quasi-excusing headlines when the Democrat refused to concede because 80,000 votes in three crucial swing states went the other way (despite winning the popular vote by 3 million or so).

    Republicans are pre-emptively screwing the next administration (as well as the country). I’m not sure (to say the least) that offering rationalizations for this behavior is the kind of response that is warranted here.

    “Andrew beat up his wife again. She had to go to the ER.”

    “Well, she was making him look bad in front of his buddies. I’m not saying it’s right, but, you know, he was stuck between looking weak and a hard place.”

    “Oh, OK. That explains it then.”

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  14. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    And it is not like Butters Graham or Liddle Marco would be consigned to possible poverty if they were forced from political office. Financially both would likely be better off.

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  15. KM says:

    @Michael Reynolds @OzarkHillbilly:
    Ah, I said “leaders”, not Trump. He’ll always get the benefit of their adoration. People like Graham and Perdue don’t command that kind of cultish loyalty; they’re the ones who are starting to get ridiculed for not delivering. You can’t keep saying “WE WON!” only to not win – someone has to take the fall for failing to give them what they promised and it ain’t gonna be the Donald. Remember the MAGAts chanting “FOX sucks!”? The Fuhrer cannot fail, only be failed.

    The devout will remain devout and delusional. You will never convince QAnon this election wasn’t stolen. However, the average conservative voter will retreat back into resentment at having a Dem POTUS and cast side-eye at the people who couldn’t save their Lord. Doesn’t mean they won’t vote for them but they’re not as delusional as their MAGAt brethren. One of the reasons we were able to steal away some Repub votes is precisely this kind of thing – it’s too ridiculous and extra for even them to tolerate.

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  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: You said,

    The MAGAts and QAnon may still hold the faith but it’s getting clearer and clearer to the base GOP voter their leaders are being weird.

    To me that sounds like a distinction without a difference at this point in time. 2 years from now? Maybe, but not now.

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  17. CSK says:

    @KM:
    Speaking of “Fox sucks,” the Trumpkins are beginning to frown on Breitbart. It seems Breitbart spends too much time talking about Obama, Covid-19, and Antifa and not enough praising Trump.

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  18. KM says:

    @OzarkHillbilly :
    Hmmm. I meant someone like our esteemed host when I said “base GOP voter” – someone who’s instincts are to vote conservative but looks at these antics with disdain. We may consider it a functional distinction without a difference but @James will certainly beg to differ.

    My red neighborhood has both types. All but one “Trump 2020 – No More Bullshit” flags have come down and many are pissed but accepting. It has the same sense of post-Obama election feel – “F that guy. He’s not my President even if he’s the one in power”. They’re not questioning that he won, only it’s “fairness”. Meanwhile, they’re contemptuous of the lone QAnon hold out and think he’s embarrassing them. He’s getting shunned when people walk by with their dogs – nobody wants to chat about the latest wacko theory of how President Trump will pull it off. As he’s only 2 houses down, I can hear him yell in frustration when even the other Trump flag flyers aren’t engaging anymore. They’ll talk about how “FOX isn’t the same as it used to be” but won’t let him do his Drunk Guy at the Bar routine. Around here, the stink of loser needs to be shed fast and Trump’s lost. Continuing to pretend otherwise makes *you* a loser and thus need to be cast off. I imagine this scenario is playing out quietly in hundreds of neighborhoods as the subtle realignment takes place – losers in the back and STFU, you’re embarrassing us.

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  19. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Good. Let them keep it up. And when the authorities in New York get their mittens on Trump and his family of parasites and he’s too, um, pre-occupied in Manhattan with his legal troubles, then they can come up with even more rationales for their loyalties. Which will never be enough for the Trump Chumps in the base; once the lawsuits end and they can’t blame the judges anymore, they’ll blame the GOP congresscritters for somehow not preventing Biden from being sworn in. We are in for some hilarious interpretations of the constitution and federal law in February and March!

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  20. Jen says:

    Financially both would likely be better off.

    This is true, and it’s so interesting to me that people would rather cling to power–which, in this environment is fleeting and frustrating–than move off the stage and cash in.

    I think John Boehner finally figured this out.

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  21. inhumans99 says:

    Republicans need to figure out a way to prevent Trump from cock-blocking them at the 2024 ballot box rather quickly, as I think most would agree with me that it is quite ridiculous to give in to Trump’s demand to keep the playing field clear for him until 2024 rolls around. That is a crazy big ask and the GOP’s answer should be hell no to this request.

    If the GOP does not have anyone behind the scenes who has the skill-set to work to quickly marginalize Trump then they need to outsource this job and find someone who can do the job.

    Whether that person is someone from the opposing team (a Democrat), a savvy individual from India or Bangladesh, or wherever is here nor there, but I like to think the GOP blanched when Trump tried to poison the 2024 well by saying he might run again.

    Clearing the playing field for an unpopular President who has twice lost the popular vote, along with the EC vote this go round, and never cracked 50% popularity for more than a handful of days (if that) this far in advance is political malfeasance and the GOP knows this.

    Also, Trump will be older and crankier than Biden in 2024. If the GOP really wants to let Trump drag them to the bottom of the ocean months before Biden has even been sworn in than that is on them and they can’t say they have not been warned.

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  22. gVOR08 says:

    @KM: In the letters column of my local semi-pro newspaper this morning I got two letters bemoaning that socialism is taking over the country and we’ll be just like Venezuela in months, along with this,

    What I have learned form (sic) the election is that a person should not listen to the majority of news networks. This of course includes you but you have great company NBC, CNN, ABC, MSNBC and now FOX News. Thank God I have One American News, The Epoch Times National Review and the Washington Examiner to find out what is really going on in this country.

    One suspects under Poe’s Law that this might be parody, but given the local readership, I fear it’s entirely sincere. FYI the paper leans over backward to accommodate their conservative readership. On the other hand, today we didn’t get any of the “the election was fraudulent because everyone just knows the election was fraudulent” letters.

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  23. Sleeping Dog says:

    @inhumans99:

    Trump’s demand to keep the playing field clear for him until 2024 rolls around. That is a crazy big ask and the GOP’s answer should be hell no to this request.

    The real risk to the party in not shedding Trump is not that he’ll run, but that he’ll have kept the field open for, most likely, Junior or the Princess.

    If the GOP does not have anyone behind the scenes who has the skill-set to work to quickly marginalize Trump then they need to outsource this job and find someone who can do the job.

    Actually that job should/could be accomplished by R leaders who don’t fancy themselves to be president. McConnell, senior Rs in the house and senate. They have little fear of retribution from Trump and can make the case that the emperor has no clothes. Their not doing so can destroy the parties ambitions for 2024.

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  24. gVOR08 says:

    @inhumans99:

    Republicans need to figure out a way to prevent Trump from cock-blocking them at the 2024 ballot box rather quickly

    I may well be wrong, but I expect Trump to do a Palin, make a lot of noise for a year or so then fade away because he’ll be too lazy and incompetent to make it work. And the other GOPs expect him to go away, but in the meantime they still have to suck up to the base. And hedge their bets in case he does manage to maintain an audience.

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  25. MarkedMan says:

    @mattbernius: Thinking of this as “Trumpian” is dangerous. This is Klan Governance, something that the South practiced up until the Voting Rights Act and the pre-clearance requirement was passed in 1965. As someone recently pointed out here, Kansas and (I think) Tennessee had similar populations before the VRA but Tennessee had something like 1/8th of the voting participation. Klan Governance means keeping power over the majority by several methods, but an important one is to make it difficult to vote but proportionally easier to vote in your strongholds.

    Under the VRA and pre-clearance, participation in general and minority participation in particular increased steadily, until the Republican justices sided with their party bosses and tossed pre-clearance in the trash. Since that time the Republicans have endeavored to move Klan Governance across the nation, and had been succeeding long before President Trump was so much as a zit on the ass of the nation.

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  26. inhumans99 says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I forgot about his craven family members. A loss for a family member in 2024 would be considered a loss for Trump and he will not accept that. The GOP really needs to say screw it and repudiate Trump now and risk the wrath of MAGA now with the hope that it burns itself out by 2022. They have this window of opportunity to disentangle themselves from Trump and hope to begin their climb back to the top of the mountain in 2022 but they need to let go of Trump now.

    That they are not ready to rip off the band-aid at this moment is technically okay, they still have a bit of time to gather their courage and tell Trump to shove off and the GOP does not get behind losers. If they wait until 12 months or less before the next election to do this they may be stuck with Trump for decades to come (we all have fun with Trump’s eating habits and his weight but many folks with similar habits have lived to ripe old ages)…they may never be rid of the guy!

    Short term-power or long term relevance if they toss Trump overboard, right now my bet is that the GOP is not seeing what is right in front of their noses and will continue to placate Trump and his followers.

    They have a chance to speak now or forever hold their peace.

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  27. Pete S says:

    @gVOR08:

    I don’t know about him going away in a year. Unless he decides that staying in the spotlight is drawing too much attention from legal authorities he will have toadies like Pompeo, Graham and his own offspring doing the heavy lifting. None of them can afford his active opposition when they try to step in as his successor.

    Assuming he does go the route of establishing a media company I would think he prefers to be called “Future President” rather than “Discarded President”. I cannot imagine he runs again but I am sure there is more money in it for him pretending he will right up to the filing deadline. He will only stop when it gets to be hard work, or when he has to start taking on expenses above what he can con form his supporters.

    Any Republican stuck between Trump and a hard place is like a moron who drives a 14 foot high truck under a clearly labelled 13 foot high bridge. It is hard to feel sorry for any damage they cause themselves.

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  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM:

    I meant someone like our esteemed host when I said “base GOP voter”

    I don’t think of James as a GOP voter, because he hasn’t voted GOP in at least 3 election cycles. I think of him as an independent or a conservative DEM.

    They’re not questioning that he won, only it’s “fairness”. Meanwhile, they’re contemptuous of the lone QAnon hold out and think he’s embarrassing them.

    Not that way around here, not yet anyway. They won’t get there until Jan 20 and even then they are going to insist trump was the greatest president ever, and come 2024 they are going to vote for whoever promises most sincerely to make America a shithole again.

    Really, I could care less about their fealty to trump, it’s the “ideals” of trump they embrace that bothers me and that hasn’t changed one bit.

    YMMV.

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  29. Michael Cain says:

    I think Trump will fade from view much more quickly than anyone suspects now. There’s something like $400M in debt that he has personally guaranteed coming due this year. Deutsche Bank has indicated they have no interest in doing business with him any more. Banks in the US haven’t been willing to touch him for years. Something sketchy is likely to go on with that debt. The State of New York seems inclined to pursue tax, fraud, and perhaps money laundering charges against both the Trump Organization and the family. He and Javanka are going to be up to their eyebrows keeping the family businesses intact.

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  30. Michael Reynolds says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I’ve said many times it wasn’t Trump that scared me in 2016, it was my fellow Americans. Whatever faith I had in the American character died on election day 2016. The only demographic change that has potential to save this country is the generational 0ne, and I’m not that confident in the youths – they don’t understand winning, compromise or alliances.

    I may still have to GTFO of this country. I’m not sure that the Portuguese or Spaniards are better people, but they aren’t my people. There are vast swathes of this country whose inhabitants I so despise that I won’t travel there. I’m much more comfortable in Lisbon, Barcelona, Edinburgh, London, Paris, Amsterdam. . . Better by far to be an outsider than to be part of something diseased.

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  31. de stijl says:

    @Jen:

    Boehner figured out he could day drink all the red wine he wants anytime he wants and does not have to deal with cannibalistic jackals hourly.

    Win-win!

    I have dealt with enough high functioning alcoholics with to know one I see one. Those eyes, that face, that stumble-bumble vocal tic. Drunky, dead on. Maybe not before 5, but hard after that.

    Boehner is a lot less stressed now.

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  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I hear ya. I told my sons that if Biden lost they should GTFO while they could. Considering how the GOP fared outside of trump, I’m still nervous.

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  33. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    An American style BBQ joint in Christchurch or Reykjavik could do big business. Memphis or KC or both. A little Texas brisket. Some burnt ends.

    Do it well and treat ’em well and you earn repeats.

    Iceland has closer access to Danish pigs. NZ to ozzie beef.

    Kiwis speaks English (or a close approximation), but Icelandic women are so amazing.

    I have fantasized about opening an expat bar.

    I am a small minority investor in a local company that owns and runs 7 bars / restaurants. Until March it was a great investment.

    To those folks and all of the staff 2020 was apocalyptic to their livelihood. Curbside is a tiny fraction of pre-pandemic income. To me it was fun money and a chance to flex and rationally unify disparate systems and build out a unified one. To them it is bread and butter. I am fairly good at risk analysis, but the depth and longevity of an extended pandemic totally escaped me. Guys are going to lose their houses. The goose is no longer laying golden eggs.

    I know five seasoned folks dying to replicate past success.

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  34. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    The profiles in cowardice that remain in the Republican party (I’ll give Romney a very grudging partial exception) will do what they always do: nothing, while hoping someone else (probably the state of NY) deals with their Trump problem. I suspect McConnell is the happiest man in politics these days (and that includes Biden and Harris): get rid of Trump as President and open him up to prosecution by state authorities, AND keep his Senate majority?!?!? That evil rat-b****** is probably giggling with glee.

    I’m honestly undecided if I would prefer to see Trump and his org go down hard (bankruptcy and prison, both well deserved), OR if I would prefer to watch him go after Fox with his own media empire. Over the last 30 years I think the right wing propaganda machine (which does exist and Hillary was right) is responsible for creating the ignorance and resentment that created Trump, so is it better to see their influence reduced as evil continues to cannibalize itself (Fox opinion hosts and Breitbart being referred to as RINO’s will make me fall off my chair laughing)? Or see their figurehead go down in the most humiliating way?

    If only I could have both…

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  35. JohnSF says:

    @Argon:
    “I never expected the leopard to eat my face…”

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  36. JohnSF says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican:

    I suspect McConnell is the happiest man in politics these days

    Dunno.
    He might if Georgia were done and won; but for now I’d reckon there’s far too much chance of Trump poking that pup than McConnell can be comfortable with.

    Not to mention that if Trump hangs around in politics and/or media there is a fair chance of his dumping in the punch in 2022, 2024 or even after.

    If I were McConnell and thinking of Trump, I’d be channeling those wise words from English history, “Stone dead hath no fellow” and phoning Big Rupe for a conspiratorial chinwag.

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  37. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican:

    You may have both. It’ll be a year before any the court cases, civil or criminal come to trial (alliteration!) giving him time to launch is media corner store. Howard Stern was bloviating today that if he tries media, he’ll fail within a year.

    So there you go, your cake and you can eat it!

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  38. An Interested Party says:

    It would be in the best interests of Democrats, and the country as a whole, to keep Republicans stuck between Trump and a hard place…if they actually give in to his wish to keep the playing field clear for him in 2024, that would severely hurt their chances of retaking the White House…

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  39. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @MarkedMan: Yeah well Klan governance is going to be met with Whoop-Dat-Ass remedies in 2020. These local Republicans aren’t risking taking any smoke for Graham, Giuliani, or Trump who will be miles away with hookers and blow while they are getting that ass dragged. Come throw out the votes yourself.

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  40. Gustopher says:

    Is it really cowardice? Or have they simply been freed to act out their worst impulses? I think it’s like calling McConnell a hypocrite — it assumes a lot of things that just don’t apply.

    They aren’t cowards or hypocrites, they are opportunists. And Trump has shown them that they have an opportunity.

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