Have Donald Trump’s presidential aspirations gone south? The failure of Herschel Walker to become the next senator from Georgia has further dented Trump’s image as the omniscient grandmaster of the GOP.
One after another, his candidates in the midterm elections, ranging from Kari Lake to Doug Mastriano, from Dr. Oz to Blake Masters, have proved to be losers. The indictment of the Trump Organization on no less than 17 counts on Tuesday does not help Trump’s image either. Nor does Special Counsel Jack Smith who is relentlessly amassing evidence about Trump’s serial crimes as the leader of the January 6 failed coup and his illegal retention of top secret documents.
As Trump thrashes about, he’s forming a pleasant backdrop for Joe Biden, who is starting to look like a political genius, chalking up both political wins and legislative accomplishments.
Some in MAGA world, such as Laura Ingraham of Fox News, appear reluctant to point the finger at Trump himself. Instead, Ingraham waxed wroth last night about the failings of the Republican establishment, asking why Ronna McDaniel, she of the Romney clan, remains head of the RNC. It couldn’t be that Trump is the culprit. No, sirree.
Then there are Trump’s adversaries such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is cautiously raising doubts about Trump. On Tuesday, referring to Trump’s recent call to terminate the Constitution, McConnell stated, “Anyone seeking the presidency who thinks that the Constitution could somehow be suspended or not followed, it seems to me would have a very hard time being sworn in as president of the United States.” Still, he refused to respond when reporters asked whether he would support Trump if he were the Republican nominee in 2024.
Perhaps the most telling sign that Trump is starting to lose his purchase comes in the form of a Washington Post column by Marc Thiessen about the damage that the former guy is inflicting upon the GOP. Like McConnell, Thiessen zeroed in on Trump’s constitutional animadversions but with tarter language. Thiessen, who enjoys the conservative Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, suggested that Trump had made “historic” accomplishments during his presidency. Once he exited the White House, though, he went off the rails, or, as Thiessen put it, “bat-guano crazy.”
That Thiessen’s observations are actually fairly conciliatory — what, pray tell, were Trump’s great innovations other than holding White House meetings where his cabinet officials were supposed to fawn over him publicly? — is a measure of the former president’s loopiness. Trump’s meeting of the minds with Nick Fuentes and Kanye West at Mar-a-Lago was no new development. He met with West when he was in the White House and listened to his confused lucubrations without comment. He said there were “very fine people” among the Charlottesville neo-Nazis. Sorry, Marc. The real problem with Trump isn’t simply that he’s nuts but that he’s dangerous.
In this regard, recent events in Germany, where 3,000 police have just arrested 25 coup plotters, including one of its ringleaders, an elderly tweed-jacketed aristocrat named Heinrich XIII, Prince of Reuss, are quite instructive. They are apparently adherents of the QAnon belief that a deep state controls Germany. They wanted to storm the Reichstag, among other things, to return Germany back to its incarnation in 1871, when Bismarck unified the country by defeating Napoleon III. They want to make Germany great again.
Heinrich’s family is dismissing him as “a confused old man caught up in conspiracy theories.” When will Jared or Ivanka publicly declare the same about Trump?