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Trump Will Burn It All Down
"I won't be ignored, GOP."
Trump Restoration Day dawns bright and partly sunny at Mar-a-Lago except, of course, for this:
The Empress of Trollistan, the Queen of MAGA, the heir of Trumpistan, First Of Her Name…. joins Trump himself on the loser dump. And a thousands of hot takes were instantly incinerated.
Naturally, she’s taking it well, tweeting out one of the greatest self-owns of all time.
Please enjoy responsibly.
And there’s more… Donald Trump’s erstwhile friends at the Club for Growth decided to celebrate his big Coming Back Day by releasing a poll showing him getting shellacked by his Florida nemesis, “Ron DeSanctimonious”.
According to the polling memo, which is based on survey data conducted Nov. 11-13, DeSantis leads Trump by 11 percentage points in Iowa and by 15 points in New Hampshire. Those numbers represent an improvement for DeSantis since August, when previous Club for Growth’s polling found Trump with a 15-point lead in Iowa, while the two were tied in New Hampshire.
The memo also says that DeSantis leads Trump by 26 points in Florida and 20 points in Georgia. In August, DeSantis led Trump by 7 percent in Florida and 6 percent in Georgia. The polls, conducted by Republican firm WPA Intelligence, surveyed likely GOP voters.
Yes, the Club is redolent with rank hackery, and they have multiple axes to grind, so take this for what it’s worth. But it tracks with last week’s Yougov poll, and with this:
Someone also might want to drop this in the TFG’s in-box:
But Trump is determined to plow ahead with his announcement.
Via Puck: “After leading the Republicans to brutal losses in the midterms, Trump is launching his campaign at a penultimate low, perhaps second only to his standing in the week after January 6. Republicans, many of whom were endorsed by Trump for their re-elections, are going to have to quickly undergo a gut-check on who is the future of the party, and how to align themselves.”
Ahh, the GOP gut-check. We know how that usually goes, don’t we?
Later today, I’ll have a new piece over at MSNBC Daily that highlights the GOP’s dilemma: After years of appeasement, surrender, rationalization, and enabling, the GOP is about to find that it has no way out of the Trumpian nightmare. Here’s a preview of what I wrote:
[Above] all, Trump has to (1) change the narrative, and (2) reassert his dominance.
He has done it before.
For years, Trump has taken the measure of his fellow Republicans. He remembers the outrage and opposition he encountered in 2015-16, and how it collapsed. He remembers how he brought the GOP back to heel after January 6.
Donald Trump looks at the Republican universe — pundits, hacks, donors, lobbyists, consultants, elected officials — and says, “These are weak people. I have crushed them in the past. And they will cave to me. They have done it in the past and they will do it again.”
And this is the importance of this weekend’s meltdown. Trump is making it clear that he will destroy the Florida governor if he has to. “I think if he runs he could hurt himself very badly,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal. “I will tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering. I know more about him than anybody other than perhaps his wife, who is really running his campaign.”
But, asks Christian Vanderbrouk in the Bulwark, “is DeSantis actually willing to destroy Trump, to see him ruined or even imprisoned?” That would cost him millions of votes. And this, writes Vanderbrouk, is the “asymmetry which drives the GOP’s cycle of dysfunction.”:
“Trump can destroy the party whenever he wants,” he notes. “Yet the party can’t destroy him without also risking its own crack-up.”
So, once again, Trump is playing to the GOP’s darkest fears. As I told MSNBC’s own Stephanie Ruhle the other night, his unhinged rants in Mar-a-Lago send the signal that he doesn’t care who he hurts. And he is ready to light his own house on fire if anyone dares to stand in his way. “I don’t care who I hurt. If you do not nominate me, I will burn the house down. I will destroy and attack any other Republican that comes against me.”
Plus, Trump knows that he can still count on around 30 percent of the GOP electorate to follow him through the gates of Hell. The GOP’s gnawing fear? Even if someone like DeSantis could somehow wrest the nomination from Trump, no one imagines that the former presidential will graciously concede or go quietly into political obscurity. Could he take that 30 percent with him? Or a big enough chunk to destroy his enemies?
Trump is already fomenting a bitter civil war in the Senate GOP caucus and may demand a Red Wedding in the House GOP caucus as well. This evening (pending multiple possible indictments) he will make his presidential restoration campaign official.
And there is not much the GOP can do about it. Republicans now know that they cannot win with Trump; but they also know that if he torches everything in sight, they can’t win without him either.
They have trapped themselves in a political prison of their own making.
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Kevin’s political hell
We never promised you a rose garden, Kevin McCarthy. Via NBC: “Conservatives warn McCarthy: You don't have the votes for speaker.”
“Nobody has 218,” Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., told reporters before conservatives met to discuss rules changes they want from GOP leadership. “And somebody is going to run tomorrow” against McCarthy, he added.
It turns out that somebody is Biggs himself. The former Freedom Caucus chairman confirmed Monday night that he will be challenging McCarthy for the top job.
Time for a popcorn run?
Meanwhile…. who had MTG vs. Matt Gaetz on their scorecards?
1. The Real Reason Trump Runs
Pride and profit are more important factors than policy, writes Dennis Aftergut but there’s an even bigger reason.
For all the merit of those explanations, though, they pale in comparison to another: He’s scared witless at the possibility of prosecution. It seems likely that indictments are on their way from Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis (over Trump’s interference in the 2020 election in Georgia) and from Attorney General Merrick Garland (over Trump’s purloined national security secrets taken to Mar-a-Lago).
2. Election Deniers: Down But Not Yet Out
MAGA Republicans pay a price for denying reality, writes Bill Lueders. But they didn’t lose everywhere, and they’re not going away.
Across the nation, extreme right candidates backed by the disgraced former president went down in flames, prompting GOP pollster Whit Ayres to air his wit to the Associated Press: “It turns out that trying to overturn an election is not wildly popular with the American people.”
But in fact, a number of election deniers were elected to Congress, and others took key state offices including governor, secretary of state, and attorney general. According to the New York Times, more than 220 of the 370 key candidates the paper previously identified as being deniers or skeptics won their races last week. This includes more than 30 Republicans who “explicitly denied the results of the 2020 election.” Of this latter group, “Most are incumbents, and all were favored to win.”