Economic Crisis


MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from The Hill – April 22, 2021

The “invisible” 2024 primary to win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination is in high gear with a mini-bus full of wannabees not named Donald Trump. They are raising money, appearing on Fox News, speaking at GOP events — all the usual rituals expected from potential candidates in the permanent campaign more than three years from Election Day.

However, there are uniquely historic circumstances surrounding this election cycle due to a question with multi-dimensional answers that every player is forced to contemplate: If the former president runs again, should I drop out or challenge him in a primary fight that could jeopardize my political career?

One high-profile contender was quick to answer. On April 12, Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina governor, announced, “I would not run if President Trump ran, and I would talk to him about it.” Does “it” mean Haley would interview to be his running mate? Probably yes, since Trump would strategically benefit from having a distinguished woman of color on his ticket. 

For now, the rest of the field ignores “the question,” turning the early horse race into an unprecedented, bizarre waiting game. Yet, the 2024 field is forced to acquiesce while a defeated, elderly, twice-impeached former president who presided over the GOP losing control of the White House and Capitol Hill decides whether to run again. (Sounds more like the lead character from a political comedy series imagined by a scriptwriting team at the cannabis café.) 

Meanwhile, Trump’s “unscripted reality show” aired on Fox News this week. The former president, continuing to play his 2024 teasing game, told Sean Hannity’s viewers, “So I say this, I am looking at it very seriously, beyond seriously.” But beyond the audience and aimed at the ears of presidential hopefuls, Trump is really saying, “I’m in total control of this race.” And he will be as long as GOP leaders continue to kneel at his throne.

If Trump decides to run, he is likely to officially announce after the 2022 midterm elections (especially if the GOP wins back control of the House and or Senate) while claiming as much credit as politically feasible.

Conversely, as a master spinner, Trump could even leverage a losing midterm outcome to bolster his campaign message, saying, “The GOP failed to win back Congress because I am not in the White House!”

The GOP’s quandary is if Trump runs, will Republican leadership decide to surrender and “coronate” him? Well before Trump announces, the party must discuss that complex problem knowing full well his decision could hinge on their answer.

We can practically hear some party leaders and other presidential hopefuls on cable news shows saying, “Republicans don’t coronate. Trump must earn the nomination as he did in 2016. His strength with the base must be tested in primaries.”

Undoubtedly, after Trump has been the leader of the free world, it is hard to imagine him trudging through Iowa debating Ted Cruz at the Des Moines Rotary Club. More awkward is Trump slogging through New Hampshire snow to speak at town hall candidate events next to his former VP Mike Pence and former Sec. of State Mike Pompeo.  

Hence why many political prognosticators believe that Trump is only flirting with a 2024 run to stay relevant in order to maintain his power position as king of the Republican Party.

Alternatively, other party leaders might argue, “Trump won a record 74 million voters in 2020. Let’s build on that base, continue to raise millions, and not waste time and resources with presidential primaries. Trump rallies will be the new primaries, so forget about debates and small ball retail politics.”

Conceivably, any remaining candidates who were bold enough to challenge Trump are strongly encouraged to drop out, and Trump is de facto coronated one rally at a time. Then, when not at rallies, he campaigns on Fox News and other Trump-friendly media platforms that gladly welcome his ratings boost.

But that rosy scenario is way too easy.

There exists the strong possibility that a Trump run fails to meet expectations. What if polls show that the GOP base yearns for a new, younger face with Trump-like fighting qualities? Is there someone who embraces “Trumpism” without all the baggage?

That sentiment appears to be on display at PredictIt — the political prediction “stock market” where shares are bought and sold based on the outcome of political events.

At this writing, the prediction market for the GOP 2024 presidential nominee shows Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis leading trading at 23 cents, with Trump at 22 cents. (A 23 percent probability that DeSantis comes out on top.) Far behind is Nikki Haley, trading at 10 cents, while Mike Pence, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), Pompeo and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) trade even lower. (And now former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is rumored to be considering a run with or without Trump, so watch his trading value.)  

You might ask, “How did PredictIt predict the 2020 presidential election?” On Nov. 2Joe Biden’s shares traded at 64 cents, with Trump at 42 cents.

PredictIt is an excellent indicator for gauging candidate strength, and Trump nearly tied with DeSantis signals that Trump is not a shoo-in. Ultimately, perhaps Trump will offer a grand excuse not to run or bow out if the going gets tough to save face and not show weakness, which he is known to loathe.

No modern former president has ever positioned himself into the upcoming elections as much as Trump is doing now and will over the next two to four years. But if Trump is forced into the 2024 background, we can bet that his behavior will launch another fascinating reality show and new problems for the GOP. Until then, coronate or primary is the question.

Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor. She served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.


MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from The Hill – April 8, 2021

BY MYRA ADAMS, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR

Never before has the Republican Party’s present and future been so dominated by leaders from one state. Currently, four Florida politicians are in line to influence the results of the 2022 midterm elections and the 2024 presidential contest, making Florida, not Capitol Hill, the GOP’s real national headquarters.

Furthermore, due to population growth, the Sunshine State is likely to add two congressional seats to its delegation in 2022, increasing its Electoral College votes from 29 to 31. That means, even more, that Florida is the red state presidential prize, upping the stakes for the four men intertwined in a web of power and ambition.

At the web’s hub is the entangler-in-chief ensnaring the other three.

Former President Donald J. Trump

Exiled to Mar-a-Lago, ruling over “The Office of Donald J. Trump,” the 45th president is occupied with four missions. The first is to act powerful and stay relevant in the midterm election cycle. Then, take full credit if the GOP regains control of Congress. Second, seek revenge against officeholders who voted to impeach him and voted on Jan. 6, 2021 to certify Joe Biden the 46th president. Third, continue molding the GOP into the MAGA Party in his image. Fourth, work towards coronating himself as the 2024 Republican presidential nominee without a primary. (“Think of all the money and time we save!”)

The success of these four missions hinges on four factors, and the first is Trump’s ability to continue raising barrels of cash. Second, ensure that MAGA candidates continue visiting Mar-a-Lago to “kiss his ring” — seeking an endorsement or contribution. Factors three and four are linked: Trump maintains his power through fear while using fear to freeze the field of 2024 presidential wannabees – three of whom are Florida officeholders. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis

DeSantis won his title in 2018 thanks to President Trump. Then DeSantis emerged as the runaway 2024 frontrunner – Trump’s “heir apparent” – a dangerous title after dominating the CPAC poll without Trump in the race. (CPAC moved to Florida, of course.)

Republicans already perceived DeSantis as the new Trump, “fighting” against the liberal establishment. However, this week he enhanced his reputation by engaging in a high-profile media brawl with CBS over his controversial “60 Minutes” interview. DeSantis is now the new hero, earning accolades from the conservative media. That makes him a national target and his 2022 reelection more challenging. A poll in March against the leading Florida Democrat showed him virtually tied, but after “60 Minutes,” everything changed.

DeSantis’s reelection mission is to win big and emerge as the uncontested 2024 frontrunner not named Trump. Then, once reelected, DeSantis dreams of Trump kissing his Harvard Law School ring, while the former president anoints him the GOP’s “MAGA approved” 2024 candidate.

Conversely, an inevitable Trump vs. DeSantis showdown could turn into a “who blinks first” drama. The young governor, born in 1978, has White House time on his side. But in politics, timing is everything.

Ultimately, Trump and DeSantis are politically joined at the hip, and Trump will either be a blessing or a curse for DeSantis’s reelection and his presumed 2024 presidential bid.

Another Florida officeholder closely aligned with DeSantis has recently become a curse. His name is Matt Gaetz. How closely aligned? After DeSantis was elected in 2018, FloridaPolitics wrote, “Gaetz is one of four co-chairs of DeSantis’ transition team. He was also one of the earliest and most outspoken backers of DeSantis’ underdog bid for Florida Governor.”

No doubt that Trump and Gaetz’s longstanding alliances with DeSantis will provide ammunition for Democrats who desperately want to defeat the Florida governor before he gets near the White House.

Two more Florida men’s national political fates are also tied to Trump and DeSantis.

Sen. Marco Rubio

When Rubio ran for president in 2016, he “crashed and burned.” Then he quickly backtracked, filing for Senate reelection just days before the June deadline. (Coincidentally, DeSantis was running for Rubio’s open seat. Rubio’s change of heart caused DeSantis to drop out and run for reelection to Congress.)

Fast forward to a January 2021 radio show, when Rubio said, “When you’re running for reelection in the Senate, you’re signing a six-year contract.” Still, he dreams of being the first Hispanic/Cuban president.

Rubio has yet to declare his reelection intentions, but laughingly, Matt Gaetz decided against a primary challenge, as did Ivanka Trump. In January, The Hill listed Rubio on “Seven Senate Races to watch in 2022,” citing his closeness to the party’s “Trump wing” as problematic. Then in March, CNN ranked Rubio among “10 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022.”

What role will Trump play in helping or hurting Rubio’s reelection? Will DeSantis have coattails? For the GOP, retaining Rubio’s seat is a foregone conclusion while trying to win back control of the Senate — the job of another Floridian.

Sen. Rick Scott

The former Florida governor-turned-senator in 2018 is not up for reelection until 2024. Then, it is widely presumed he will run for president while appearing at the top of every 2024 “Most Vulnerable Senators” list. Now for the 2022 midterm cycle, Scott relishes his role as chairman of the NRSC (National Republican Senatorial Committee). The organization is responsible for recapturing the Senate while providing Scott with an opportunity to raise his national profile and earn IOU’s for 2024.

The tangled web of Scott vs. DeSantis vs. Trump (with Rubio dreaming) makes Florida the 2024 GOP presidential epicenter and the state to watch in 2022, while Florida basks in its golden age of Republican dominance. 

Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and writes a Sunday Bible study on Townhall. She served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.

TAGS DONALD J TRUMPRON DESANTISRICK SCOTTMATT GAETZMARCO RUBIODONALD TRUMPIVANKA TRUMPJOE BIDENFLORIDA REPUBLICANSREPUBLICAN PARTY OF FLORIDA2022 ELECTION2024 CAMPAIGN


MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from RealClearPolitics – April 1, 2021

By Myra Adams – RCP Contributor

As a political observer and loyal Republican for nearly a half-century, I know well the GOP’s dependence on senior voters heading toward the 2022 midterm elections. But is it an over-dependence?

Over the last four presidential elections, the Republican candidate won 65-plus voters by an average marginal difference of eight percentage points – consistently the highest among the four standard voter age groups. Yet the 2020 election yielded the GOP’s smallest senior margin of victory when Donald Trump won only 52% compared to 47% for Joe Biden.

Even more concerning, those five percentage points were Trump’s largest victory margin among any age group. In second place were 45-to-64-year-old voters, whom he won by one percentage point, 50%-49%. Far behind were voters ages 30 to 44, whom Biden won by six percentage points, and he won 18-to-29-year-olds by a whopping 24 percentage points.  

Nonetheless, my analysis last month for RealClearPolitics included some good news for seniors and the GOP: “In 2020, 65-plus were 22% of voters, while only 17% of the U.S. population, meaning seniors are ‘fighting above their weight’ by five percentage points.”

That fact prompted an email from Saul Anuzis, the president of “60 Plus” — an organization positioned as the conservative policy alternative to AARP, the political behemoth that tilts Democratic.

Anuzis, a former Michigan Republican Party chairman, activist, and strategist, wrote, “Older voters are key for Republicans not just in the presidential, but in taking back the Senate and the House in 2022.”

Do the facts support that assumption? Let’s examine data from the last midterm election and recent RealClear Opinion Research polling to glean insight into seniors’ voting behavior.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2018 midterm election saw record turnout with 53.4% of the voting-age population casting ballots compared to 41.9% in 2014. The general consensus was anti-Trump sentiment drove the 11.5-percentage-point increase that dramatically flipped the House of Representatives to the Democrats (while Republicans maintained control of the Senate). 

It is too early to predict if the 2022 midterms will generate a similar voter surge, but Republican leaders counting on seniors to help win back Congress should pay close attention to 2018 exit polls. Data shows 65-plus voters accounted for 26% of the electorate even though they were only 16.1% of the population. But (and this is a big “but”) only 50% of seniors voted Republican compared to 48% who supported Democrats. That two-percentage-point difference indicates that higher senior turnout alone does not proportionally equate to more Republican votes. Moreover, data showing seniors’ voting by race and party reveals a familiar GOP problem:

  • Whites 65-plus voted 56% for Republicans, 43% for Democrats, and were 22% of voters.
  • Blacks 65-plus voted 88% for Democrats, 11% Republican, and were 2% of voters. 
  • Hispanics 65-plus voted 71% Democrat, 25% Republican, and were 2% of voters.

Hence, if a record number of seniors turn out in the 2022 midterms, expect the impact of white GOP senior voters to be diminished due to increased numbers of white and non-white Democratic-voting seniors.

Republican leaders dream of a more “normal” 2014 midterm election with its low 41.9% turnout. Voters 65-plus were 22% of the electorate that year; 57% voted for Republicans and 41% for Democrats. The 2014 election cycle saw much backlash against President Obama, resulting in the GOP retaining the House and winning control of the Senate. Ah, the good old days.

Anuzis’ optimism about 2022 stems from an elemental tendency: “Seniors are the most loyal voting demographic in America, and they tend to vote conservative.” All true, and the 65-plus voter group is also growing by 0.4% annually — from 17% of the population in 2020 to a projected 21% by 2030.

Anuzis will try to leverage these demographics. “Many underestimate the power of the senior vote,” he says, “while others assume they are predominately liberal and only interested in government handouts. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Anuzis also cites a difference between the 2018 and 2022 midterms: “In 2018, the GOP had the political power, now the Democrats do and will have to own all of the disastrous policies leading up to the election.”

Whether seniors consider Biden’s policies “disastrous” remains to be seen, but surely they will turn out to vote in numbers greater than their percentage of the population. The new survey by RealClear Opinion Research  found that 77% of 65-plus voters said they “definitely will be voting” in 2022, with 11% saying they “probably will be voting.” If these extraordinarily high turnout numbers hold, seniors will either be a blessing or a curse for Republicans eager to take back Congress.

Even though President Biden will not be on the ballot in the midterms, his popularity will significantly impact the outcome. At the early stages of the new administration, the RealClear survey found that 49% of 65-plus voters view Biden favorably and 50% unfavorably. But his job approval rating with seniors was slightly lower, with a net 47% saying “good” and net 52% “not so good.”

Seniors are apparently tougher on Biden than all voters because the RCP poll average has him with a 53.5% approval vs. 42.5% disapproval. By comparison, at this time in Donald Trump’s presidency, his RCP average poll rating was 41.1% approving with 52.6% disapproving. 

Anuzis calls Trump “the wild card” in the 2022 election, but other, unforeseen ones are likely to emerge. For example, RCP’s Susan Crabtree last week wrote, “As of February, some 43 state legislatures had proposed more than 250 bills aimed at overhauling election laws” to counter Democrats’ efforts to expand mail-in voting. It would be ironic if new voting laws wind up subverting GOP midterm turnout among seniors, many of whom relish the convenience of absentee voting.

Ultimately, the Republican Party is waging a battle against Father Time by depending on predominantly white 65-plus voters to tilt elections in their favor. Those days are going, going, almost gone, since the 2018 midterms saw 18-to-29-year-olds vote Democratic by a 35-percentage-point difference and 30-to-44-year-olds by a 19-point difference.

Republicans were “saved” in 2018 after narrowly winning the more mature 45-to-64-year-olds by one percentage point. These middle-agers were the largest demographic group, 39% of the electorate — one point more than in the 2020 election that saw the same single-point GOP margin of victory.  

Unless current voting trends change and a large chunk of 45-to-64-year-olds have a Republican conversion, the GOP may be relegated to minority status in Washington for the foreseeable future.

Related Topics: Senior CitizensJoe BidenRealClear Opinion ResearchPoliticsElection 2022Republican PartyOlder Voters


MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from RealClearPolitics – March 19, 2021

In 2020 the Republican Party broke its own record by losing the presidential popular vote for the fourth consecutive election. The previous GOP record was three elections beginning in 1992 when Bill Clinton defeated President George H.W. Bush and ending in 2004 when President George W. Bush won reelection.

Yes, “Dubya” in 2000 and Donald J. Trump in 2016 were elected because an Electoral College win overrides the popular vote total. Nonetheless, a president or candidate popular enough to win both the people’s vote and the Electoral College symbolizes and idealizes how Americans think the system should work without the “quirk” in the Constitution.

The fact is that after landslide Republican victories in 1980, 1984, and a sizable win in 1988, five GOP presidential nominees and two incumbents lost the popular vote in seven of the next eight quadrennial elections.

Why that happened involves a complicated set of variables including rapid social, cultural, religious, educational, demographic, and political change occurring on a grand national scale since 1992.  

How that happened can be seen in voter data over the last four presidential elections from four age groups: 18 to 29, 30 to 44, 45 to 64, and 65 plus. All the data shown for the years 2008-2016 is from the Roper Center’s “How Groups Voted” compilation. For 2020 I used CNN and NBC exit polls with matching age group voting data. (Roper not available.)

Examining the data will help determine if the GOP is on track to lose the popular vote for the fifth consecutive time in 2024. But before we explore these revealing percentages, here is a quick decades-old conversation summarizing a Republican mindset that has permeated GOP policy and philosophy.

After Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection, a veteran GOP strategist told me that unless the party can attract the youth vote, winning the White House again would be problematic. The strategist was alarmed that 18-to-29-year-old voters accounted for 17% of those casting ballots, and Bill Clinton won them by 20 percentage points. Then the strategist shared his hope for future GOP wins: “When the kids grow up and start paying lots of taxes, they will vote Republican.”  

Did that happen? The answer is a mixed bag, with increased GOP margins for older voters, though not large enough margins to win the national popular vote. It takes time to undo youthful Democratic voting habits that turn into established middle-aged behavior.

What follows are 18-to-29-year-olds voting percentages over the last four presidential elections (when the GOP lost the popular vote). Their share of the voting electorate is shown in parentheses.

2020: Biden 60% – Trump 36% (17%)

2016: Clinton 55% – Trump 36% (19%)

2012: Obama 60% – Romney 37% (19%)

2008: Obama 66% – McCain 32% (18%)

With 18-to-29-year-olds, the average marginal difference favors Democrats by 25 percentage points over the last 16 years.

In 2020, Joe Biden walloping Trump with under-30 voters by 24 percentage points meant that Trump had to make up the difference with older voters. As shown below, the 30-to-44-year-old’s were acting somewhat according to the GOP’s plan of “growing up and voting Republican,” but Democrats still prevailed. Again, voter electorate totals are in parentheses.

2020: Biden 52% – Trump 46% (23%)

2016: Clinton 51% – Trump 41% (25%)

2012: Obama 52% – Romney 45% (27%)

2008: Obama 52% – McCain 46% (29%)

For 30-to-44-year-olds, the average marginal difference favoring Democrats falls to only 7.25 percentage points – a dramatic decrease from the Democrat’s 25-point average marginal difference garnered from the 18-to-29-year-olds.

The next, largest, and most hotly contested voter group are 45-to-64-year olds. Republicans gained ground, but not enough to win the overall popular vote.

2020: Biden 49% – Trump 50% (38%)

2016: Clinton 44% – Trump 52% (40%)

2012: Obama 47% – Romney 51% (38%)

2008: Obama 50% – McCain 49% (37%)

The average marginal difference favoring Republicans is three percentage points for this all-important group. This is a pitiful percentage in what should be the GOP’s most fertile age demographic during their peak earning and taxpaying years.

In 2020 this enormous group comprising 38% of voters decreased their support for Trump from 2016, contributing to Biden’s 51.4% to 46.9% national popular vote win over the incumbent president.

At last, and shown below, is some good news for Republicans. The 65-plus age group is increasing in number and will continue to grow when the youngest of the 1946-to-1964-born baby boom generation reaches age 65 in 2029. Seniors traditionally are the most loyal Republican voters. In 2020, 65-plus were 22% of voters while only 17% of the U.S. population, meaning seniors are “fighting above their weight” by five percentage points.

2020: Biden 47% – Trump 52% (22%)

2016: Clinton 45% – Trump 52% (16%)

2012: Obama 44% – Romney 56% (16%)

2008: Obama 45% – McCain 53% (16%)

Republicans won seniors with an average marginal difference of eight percentage points in the last 16 years. Again, not good enough for the GOP to win the popular vote. Trump won 65-plus voters but did not increase his winning percentage from 2016. Meanwhile, Biden increased the losing margin by two percentage points over Hillary Clinton in 2016, giving him an edge to win in states such as Arizona and the Rust Belt with their large concentration of older white voters. 

Unfortunately for the GOP, it appears that the four age groups have well-established voting behaviors. Therefore, it would take an unforeseen set of factors for voters to suddenly favor the Republican nominee in numbers large enough to win the popular vote in 2024.

Not that winning the popular vote couldn’t happen, since, in politics, anything can and does occur. However, suppose in 2024 that the party loses the popular vote for the fifth consecutive election. Then Republicans will need lightning to strike a third time, delivering an Electoral College win. Statistically improbable, but nothing is impossible.


Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida — Credit: Myra Adams

MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from Medium on March 12, 2021

Donald J. Trump’s White House reality show was officially canceled on Jan. 20, but he is highly motived to retain his loyal audience and stage a comeback from his “set” in Palm Beach, Florida.

Driving Trump’s new “act” are the primal behaviors of flirting and warring — performance art perfected to accomplish his goal of winning the 2022 and 2024 elections.

As the undisputed Republican Party kingmaker for the midterm elections, the former president is on a political fantasy mission that either begins or ends on Nov. 8, 2022. Meanwhile, he wields absolute power with millions of dollars to spend on candidates loyal to him. If the GOP happens to wins back control of the House, Senate, or both, Trump will claim all the credit.

Then it’s time for Trump’s second fantasy — declaring himself the 2024 presidential nominee. And if that were to happen, the question is how many GOP leaders and 2024 hopefuls would accept that declaration and agree to forgo a primary candidacy for the sake of party unity (and stay out of Trump’s line of fire).

Conversely, if Trump’s 2022 charge on Capitol Hill resembles Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, Trump could spend 2024 charging electric golf carts.

Although in political dog years 2022 is decades away, what follows are examples of Trump’s recent statements illustrating the “flirting and warring” chapter in his power playbook.

Flirting: “Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun.” — Feb. 13, after the Senate acquitted him in his second impeachment trial.

Warring: “We have a very sick and corrupt electoral process that must be fixed immediately. This election was rigged, and the Supreme Court and other courts didn’t want to do anything about it.”– his first post-presidential speech at CPAC, Feb. 28.

Flirting: “CPAC, do you miss me yet? Do you miss me?”… “We did even better in the second election than we did in the first. I won the first. We won the second. We did much better. Sort of strange, right?” — CPAC speech.

Warring: “Now more than ever is the time for tough, strong, and energetic Republican leaders who have spines of steel. … There’s only one way to contribute to our efforts, to elect America First Republican conservatives. And in turn, to make America great again. And that’s through Save America PAC and DonaldJTrump.com” — CPAC.

Flirting: “I am not starting a new party. That was fake news, fake news. No. Wouldn’t that be brilliant? Let’s start a new party and let’s divide our vote so that you can never win.” — CPAC.

Warring: On March 5, Trump’s lawyers sent “cease-and-desist” letters demanding that the three major Republican Party campaign organizations of the House, Senate, and Republican National Committee, stop using his name and likeness for fundraising.

Flirting: “Actually, as you know, they [Democrats] just lost the White House. But it’s one of those things. But who knows, who knows? I may even decide to beat them for a third time. Okay? For a third time. True…

“The Republican party defends the social economic and cultural interests and values of working American families of every race, color, and creed. That’s why the party is growing so rapidly and is becoming a different party. And it’s becoming a party of love.” — CPAC

Warring: “No more money for RINOS [Republicans in Name Only]. They do nothing but hurt the Republican Party and our great voting base — they will never lead us to Greatness. … Send your donation to Save America PAC at DonaldJTrump.com. … We will bring it all back stronger than ever before!” — Trump statement on March 8.

“I do not support RINOs and fools, and it is not their right to use my likeness or image to raise funds” –Trump statement on March 9.

Flirting: “It has just been stated that President Trump’s endorsement is the most powerful asset in politics. You believe that? Who would’ve thought that was going to happen?” — CPAC.

Warring: On March 1, a Wall Street Journal editorial was headlined “The Grievances of Trump Past” with the subhead “If he was so great politically for the GOP, why is the party now out of power?” Trump responded in part:

Mitch McConnell, the most unpopular politician in the country, who only won in Kentucky because President Trump endorsed him. He would have lost badly without this endorsement.” (McConnel won by 20 percentage points.)

The WSJfollowedwith a March 4 editorial headlined: “Donald Trump’s Georgia Rewrite.”

Trump responded: “Fortunately, nobody cares much about The Wall Street Journal editorial anymore.”

WSJ responded: “For someone who says we don’t matter, he sure spends a lot of time reading and responding to us. Thanks for the attention.”

Flirting: “With your help, we will take back the House. We will win the Senate. And then a Republican president will make a triumphant return to the White House. And I wonder who that will be? I wonder who that will be. Who, who will that be? I wonder.” — CPAC.

Warring: “I will not be endorsing, under any circumstances, the failed candidate from the great State of Alaska, Lisa Murkowski. She represents her state badly and her country even worse.” — Trump statement on March 6.

Conclusion: Trump’s mission is clear: Seek and destroy anyone or anything in his path for either 2022 or 2024. His post-presidential political style alternates between bravado flirting and vengeful warring against (RINO) GOP leaders who failed to show total loyalty during a series of controversial events between Nov. 3, 2020 and Jan. 20, 2021.

Analyzing and categorizing Trump’s recent behaviors through these binary communication styles may prompt political pundits to comparatively observe Vice President Kamala Harris’ actions and ask, “Will she be flirting and warring to become the 2024 Democratic nominee?”

Stay tuned!


CPAC 2021 attendee bowing to the Trump statue

MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from MEDIUM – March 3, 2021

Dear Matt:

Congratulations, CPAC 2021 was a huge success. The gathering is now history, but here are a few thoughts for you to ponder.

On Sunday, before introducing the 45th President to the uber-enthusiastic MAGA-hat-wearing crowd, you said, “the world was watching.” Yet, as millions of global and domestic eyeballs watched, they laughed at and were appalled by aspects of your three-day idol-worshipping spectacle.

You are likely to dismiss that observation as the rant of some angry Democrat, but I am a former loyal Republican who regularly attended CPAC starting in the mid-1990s. In recent years, we greeted each other and exchanged pleasantries. Last year after I complimented CPAC’s “America vs. Socialism” theme as sharp, “us vs. them,” war-like branding that crystalized Trump’s reelection year message, you thanked me saying, the theme was your idea.

But this year, I was nauseated at the thought of attending and stayed home.

That queasy feeling began at CPAC 2019 when the theme and Trump’s “Keep America Great” reelection slogan officially merged, and unofficially CPAC became “T-PAC.” When writing about the event, I quoted a GOP strategist who said, “ ‘CPAC might as well be the 2020 RNC convention.’ ” And Matt, with all your family and business ties to Trump in 2019that was no coincidence.

Then at CPAC 2020, the hero worship began, literally. Amidst truckloads of merchandise bearing his likeness was a funny-looking, eight-foot-tall Trump “superman” statue constructed from nails.

Author at CPAC 2020 with Trump statue made of nails

However, this year’s statue was not funny.

Wheeled down the corridor of the Orlando Hyatt Hotel — where management is now wrestling with CPAC fallout — was a gold-headed Trump statue. Naturally, it grabbed the media’s attention since it symbolized CPAC’s worship of the living golden-haired idol who you had invited to speak. Politico Playbook reported that Tommy Zegan, the sculptor, “managed to cart it through the conference” with “no CPAC credential.”

Matt, since you are a man of great faith, when did you first learn that this graven image was going viral with the “golden calf” Biblical reference? Were you proud that the statue visually confirmed CPAC as a Trump-cult gathering? That is the same reason I recently abandoned the Republican Party after having been a loyal member since 1975 — albeit not to join the Democrats. Instead, I will float in the political ether until I recognize the party I first joined.

And then there is the irony swirling around your 2021 theme, “America UnCanceled.” Was that your idea too? If so, an unfortunate choice considering the list of elected Republican leaders, topics, branches of government, election results, honesty, Democracy itself — and any GOP future that does not involve Trump — were all “canceled” by the speakers, especially the golden-haired one.

Surely you remember the big “Republican tent” of diverse ideas and candidates? This year you presided over a CPAC gathering of singular thought representing the party which toppled its tent and drenched it with gasoline while Trump held the blow torch.

I ask you, where do Republicans like me fit in? Millions of “formers” who put love of country before party and believe Trump hi-jacked the GOP. We still believe in conservative culture, rule of law, separation of powers, truth, justice, and American ideals. Instead, my former party enabled Trump to create his own version of the truth while defining justice as anything he can get away with. Then on Jan. 6, he showed us his “American ideals” by inciting an insurrection during the constitutionally mandated Electoral College certification by Congress.

Matt, all anyone needs to know about the man you worship is the report that Trump refused to address CPAC if his former vice president attended. You were painfully aware that if Pence had spoken, he would have been embarrassingly booed in the ballroom. Why? Because the leader you proudly introduced with the “world watching” is an angry narcissist forever furious that his ever-loyal vice president resisted his demands to “overturn” the presidential election and name Donald J. Trump as the winner. Of course, Pence was powerless to do so, but such action was demanded by the man depicted in the golden statue, holding a magic wand.

What the world saw displayed on Jan. 6 was Trump’s version of loyalty — gallows constructed for Mike Pence on Capitol Hill by MAGA militias.

Let’s get real. Trump is a disgraced twice-impeached one-term president who, in two elections, failed to win the popular vote. Today he clings to power as king and kingmaker of the Republican Party because people like you give him a platform. Thank God that golden wand was powerless against American patriots like Mike Pence and other leaders who defended the Constitution after their lives were threatened.

Matt, looking forward to CPAC 2022, here are my recommendations: Show the crowd hours of Capitol Attack video from Jan. 6, 2021. Afterward, and unlike this year, you and other GOP officials should give honest speeches about what happened that day and name the man responsible for the carnage. That is how you can bring people like me back to CPAC, and my former party can have a brighter future.

Although one more action is needed. Chronicled in the Bible’s book of Exodus, Aaron (ironically, your middle name) led the Israelites to build and worship the golden calf statue. Mirroring Moses (Aaron’s brother) you too must destroy CPAC’s statue. Here are the Biblical instructions per Moses: “And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.”

There are no coincidences with names and statues in the Bible or politics.

Respectfully,

Myra Kahn Adams


MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from RealClearPolitics Feb. 26, 2021

Politically speaking, this is the best and worst of times to be Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Let’s start with best: Midway through his first term, the Sunshine State governor’s local and national trajectory aligns with a SpaceX rocket launched from Florida’s Space Coast — with enough energy to reach 2024 apogee without a crash and burn.  

Hailing from the nation’s third most populous state – one expected to increase its Electoral College votes from 29 to 31 after redistricting — DeSantis is currently among America’s most high-profile governors. And he’s popular too. According to a recent statewide poll of likely voters, DeSantis has a healthy 64% job approval rating and 24% disapproval. Unusual for a Republican, DeSantis garners high marks from 62% of Hispanics and 40% of African American voters while being applauded by 68% of whites in an ethnically diverse state — one that reflects a national electorate that was 33% non-white in 2020.

Florida Republicans are especially bullish on DeSantis, giving him an 85% job approval rating. He also earns an eye-popping 60% among independents and a respectful 46% from Democrats. In today’s highly polarized climate, swing-state approval ratings don’t get any better.

With his no-nonsense attitude and “Don’t Mess With Florida” leadership style, DeSantis appears to have weathered Hurricane COVID. This week it was reported that the seven-day average for new cases has been steadily declining there since Jan. 8. Although Democrats and the mainstream media have singled him out for constant criticism and vilification throughout the pandemic and other issues, his long-haul success has injected him into the national conversation about higher office — and a place in the 2024 betting odds.

Check out PredictIt, the popular betting site with “trading” on who will win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. At this writing, DeSantis ranks second with 12-cents. But he lags well behind the 33-cent position held by the former/possibly future president. That potential and formidable candidate – golf-loving, orange-tanned, angry, and with scores to settle – happens to be a recent full-time Palm Beach resident to whom the governor is indebted for his own current title. Which brings us to the “worst time” to be young Ron DeSantis.

A myriad of Donald Trump-related obstacles await this smart, ambitious up-and-comer, a Florida native who envisions breathing the rarefied Oval Office air by 2025 at age 46. (And then there’s the potential challenge posed by his equally ambitious fellow Floridian, Sen. Marco Rubio.) But first, let’s establish why DeSantis has the bandwidth to attempt to conquer MAGA World and topple its king. How about a resume that checks every box for a traditional presidential candidate?

Take a look: DeSantis is a Yale and Harvard Law School graduate. A U.S. Navy officer who served on active duty in Iraq as a legal adviser to the SEALs. He earned a Bronze Star and a few other medals and currently holds the rank of lieutenant commander in the Naval Reserve.

DeSantis has never lost an election, including a Republican congressional primary (2012), three congressional races (2012-2016), one gubernatorial primary, and one gubernatorial campaign.

At the same time, DeSantis is not a warm and fuzzy kind of guy who feels your pain. Some say he is detached and does not connect well with voters on the trail. If not for Trump’s zealous endorsements and DeSantis’ seemingly continuous Fox News presence, the outcome in his poorly managed and messaged 2018 races would likely have been different. As it was, DeSantis barely defeated Andrew Gillum, his Democratic gubernatorial opponent, by less than a hair’s breadth, 49.59% to 49.19%.  

All you need to know about how much DeSantis owes his 2018 victories to Donald Trump is to watch this over-the-top Trump-love TV spot. The ad is guaranteed to haunt DeSantis should he make his national break from Trump and, after that, perhaps for the rest of his career. The truth is that DeSantis and Trump used each other in 2018 because Trump desperately wanted an uber-loyal Republican governor to deliver the state’s electoral votes for his 2020 reelection. Mission accomplished on both fronts since Trump won Florida by 3.3 percentage points, up from 1.2 points in 2016. 

That said, DeSantis will be up for reelection in what promises to be an expensive, ruthless and nasty 2022 campaign, which will resemble a national race because the outcome is of national consequence.

Democrats want to crush and eliminate DeSantis as a 2024 contender, but as yet they have no major player to deploy against him. Perhaps Nikki Fried, the state’s agriculture commissioner and highest elected Democratic officeholder, can succeed in raising her profile. Otherwise, DeSantis looks like he will easily win reelection. (Then, again, this is the state where anything can — and often does — happen.)

But how much does the former/future president really want to support DeSantis knowing that a decisive 2022 victory sets up the governor to be his leading 2024 primary challenger? More reason why the DeSantis/Trump power play/dance will be enthralling to watch. If DeSantis wins reelection without Trump in the presidential running, he catapults into the 2024 primaries as a young, two-term governor from a large, influential state that has never had a native son in the White House. DeSantis would be MAGA World-ready to carry the conservative battle flag against those “socialist” Democrats. And with proper campaign management, he has the chops to be successful. Never forget that Trump won 74 million votes, and a large percentage would transfer to DeSantis, the Trump acolyte. (Watch that 2018 TV spot!)

However, that means Trump must step aside, but only losers do that. DeSantis’ worst nightmare could be seeking the nomination after the former president sets himself up as the presumptive nominee over the next three years.

The governor would argue that he is a more viable national candidate. In his (assumed)  2022 reelection, he could point to how he won independents, suburban women, and voters of color — especially Hispanics, who would be about 15% of the national electorate in 2024. (They were 13% in 2020.)  

Like it or not, Trump and DeSantis are tied together for 2022 and 2024. Unofficially, the kickoff for the Republicans to take back Washington begins Friday at CPAC – in Florida, of course! DeSantis is the first speaker, and Trump closes the gathering (more like a Trump rally) on Sunday. Is there some “first and last” symbolism there?

All we know for sure is that Trump is a fighter, and DeSantis is an intellectual Ivy League warrior who served as the legal adviser to SEAL Team One in Fallujah, Iraq. Expect an epic battle, starting now.

Myra Adams is a media producer and writer with numerous national credits. She served on the McCain Ad Council during the GOP nominee’s 2008 campaign and on the 2004 Bush campaign creative team. She can be reached at MyraAdams01@gmail.com or @MyraKAdams on Twitter. Related Topics: FloridaElection 2024CPACRon DeSantisPolitics


Photo Credit: © Greg Nash

MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from The Hill – Feb.16, 2021

The logo accompanying the Jan. 25 statement announcing “The Office of the Former President” illustrates both visually and figuratively how Donald Trump’s post-presidency  deviates from norms set by his predecessors. This was painfully obvious on Saturday when the Senate acquitted Trump for the second time. Immediately thereafter, “Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States” – under the logo doubling as his battle emblem – issued a defiant statement, including, “Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun.” This rallying cry proves that the (still) angry man behind the faux presidential seal logo is further emboldened to exercise power and seek revenge.  

It is no graphic design coincidence that Trump’s newly-minted logo resembles the authentic Presidential Seal — albeit with enough subtle differences to fend off legal action. Displayed in curved words, “THE OFFICE OF” tops the circular, slightly altered presidential seal, with “DONALD J. TRUMP” at the bottom in larger, straight type. The overall effect conveys power and action in real-time, without a hint of “former.”

The authoritative-looking logo symbolizes Trump’s post-presidential mission — an unquenchable desire to continue wielding power over the Republican Party, either real or imagined.

Currently, it’s real — with 75 percent of Republicans wanting to see “Trump play a prominent role in their party,” according to a newly released Quinnipiac University poll. Trump supporters are the Republican Party and the reason why all except seven Senate Republicans acquitted him on the charge of inciting an insurrection.

Trump’s intention to remain politically active is precisely what graphically distinguishes his logo from those of former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. Let’s compare the designs.

On Obama’s website homepage, his small unobtrusive post-presidential office logo tops the left column and also appears on the bottom of the page. The logo is set on a black background with no outline shape. The white type reads, “THE OFFICE OF BARACK AND MICHELLE OBAMA” under a white presidential-looking eagle. Obama’s logo conveys dignified, non-aggressive power with no design fanfare.

Notably absent is the need to mimic the round presidential seal that screams, “clinging to presidential power” — subconsciously broadcasted by Trump’s seal. Also telling is how Obama’s logo officially and graciously shares power with his “better half.”

The logo atop George W. Bush’s website is equally dignified. The iconic gold presidential eagle floats on a white background and underneath, in blue type, reads: “Office of George W. Bush.” Absent again is any hint of the circular presidential seal. Is there is an unwritten rule that former presidents should avoid using the round seal shape? After all, the seal is revered, respected and only associated with the current White House occupant, until recently hijacked and remodeled by Trump. But at least the twice-impeached former president is consistent — choosing to ignore the seal-logo “rule” after breaking or ignoring dozens of traditional rules while in office.

On Bill Clinton’s and Jimmy Carter’s websites, no presidential logos are displayed. After being out of power for decades, a presidential logo might have looked dated. Instead, Clinton’s and Carter’s sites focus on their domestic and global philanthropy efforts.

Now let’s further examine Trump’s post-presidential office announcement and seal logo debut along with his Feb. 13 statement. At this writing on the official URL, 45office.com,  the logo is the only content. That’s proof that words are non-essential when the logo is your message. (And be thankful that the logo does not read “The Real President” under his name.)

The Jan. 25 press release chronicled how Trump intends to stay in the spotlight:

The Office “will advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump Administration through advocacy, organizing, and public activism.” The last sentence read: “President Trump will always and forever be a champion for the American People.”

The Feb. 13 statement heralds more aggressive future action. Besides stating that the MAGA movement “has only just begun,” it reads “We have so much work ahead of us and soon will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant and limitless American future.”

Gone are the days when former presidents laid low, wrote their memoirs, planned their library and played golf. Instead, Trump’s edicts sound like mandates, as though he were newly inaugurated with less time for golf. And of course, topping his agenda will be punishing Republican officeholders who voted for impeachment or conviction or anyone deemed “disloyal.” It’s a grand departure from normal post-presidential activity.

Meanwhile, between his Save America PAC and Make America Great Again Committee, Trump has at least $70 million to weaponize his actions without social media.

Republicans, by acquitting Trump, ensured that he will be the most disruptive, vindictive, attention-grabbing and powerful former president in history — while flirting with a comeback to stay in the headlines.

Most important, “The Office of Donald J. Trump” has an overarching mission embodied in its logo and first commandment — “Thou Shall Not Be Ignored.”

Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and writes a Sunday Bible study on Townhall. She served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.


© Getty Images

MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from The Hill – Feb. 4, 2021

Once a major party that elected two presidents, the Whigs dissolved in 1856 over the issue of slavery. From the ashes arose what became the anti-slavery Republican Party.

Today, 165 years later – plagued with deep ruptures – it’s possible the Republican Party could dissolve in a decade or two. The critical question: Is Trump adoration by the GOP base akin to the Whig’s splintering over slavery?  

Although an overused political cliché, here are five reasons the Republican Party could “go the way of the Whigs.”

Voters are abandoning the GOP for diametrically opposed reasons

Last week, after writing about why I left the “Trumplican Party,” I was deluged with two types of emails. First, long-time Republican friends and readers of The Hill applauded my “bold” and “brave” declaration of independence after doing the same.

Second were messages from (now) ex-friends leaving the party for “totally different reasons than you listed.” Their “disappointment” stems from “so-called Republicans that failed to support Trump and defend him.” One wrote that I am “part of the problem with the Republican Party,” and another stated how “no longer would we break bread.”

Rising passions resulting in double subtraction generates a political equation with GOP decline as the answer.

“Cancer for the Republican Party”

During the June 1973 Senate Watergate Committee hearings, White House Counsel John Dean testified that he had told President Nixon of a “cancer growing on the presidency.” Nixon eventually resigned but left the Republican Party severely damaged. Recovery, in the form of a political savior, came in 1980 when Ronald Reagan was elected president.

On Monday, the cancer analogy dramatically resurfaced. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) alluded to how Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is contaminating the entire party with “loony lies and conspiracy theories,” warning of “cancer for the Republican Party.” 

Unfortunately, whatever treatment plan McConnell and GOP House leaders put into motion, it’s too late. Greene’s “cancer” has metastasized into the Republican label, and she is the brand’s angry new face. Worse, Greene stating that Trump “supports me 100 percent” highlights her face with professional make-up. Unless eradicated, cancer is often deadly for people and political parties. Now the party is suffering in a white nationalist ICU bed with stage 4 cancer — thanks to Trump and Greene.

Republican identity crisis

Given the “cancer” diagnosis, corporate and major donors are fleeing. And why would average Americans want to identify as Republicans? Soon, they must defend a party that acquitted their president after he incited a deadly insurrection to overturn a certified election based on his “Big Lie.” The Republican identity crisis is defined by its new “membership card slogan” reading, “We stand for shredding the Constitution’s impeachment clause and nullifying lost elections.”

Leadership crisis

Here is an easily defined problem that sticks to the party like Super Glue: “Are you with Trump or against Trump?”

In a recent interview, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel made a laughable assessment, saying, “.. if we don’t keep our party united and focused on 2022, we will lose.” But “united and focused” around who? Mar-a-Lago is currently the Republican headquarters. Its occupant – a twice-impeached former president who in one term led his party to lose control of the White House, Senate and House while inciting a horrific attack on the Capitol – is the undisputed party leader. Any senators or representatives who want to purge Trump by voting for impeachment and conviction will face agonizing reelections or choose to step down. Conversely, watch if Trump acolyte Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson dares to run for reelection.

While the party’s future is viewed through the Trump lens, a strong new prescription is needed to see and eradicate the “Big Lie.” Sadly, according to one poll, 76 percent of Republicans believe Trump defeated Joe Biden. But this week, a ray of hope surfaced when  Trump campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio released a campaign autopsy showing that the former president lost “largely because of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.” Moreover, his data show that Trump “lost ground among key demographic groups.”

Armed with Fabrizio’s autopsy, all GOP leaders (but especially 2024 presidential hopefuls) must undo Trump’s Big Lie about the stolen election. If they collectively fail to do so, there is no uniting, no future, and the party deserves not just to lose but to dissolve.

Demographics

Sixty-seven percent of the 2020 electorate was white, down from 70 percent in 2016. Trump won 58 percent of this shrinking majority, compared to 41 percent for Biden. But the growing non-white vote was 33 percent, which Biden won 71 percent to Trump’s 26 percent.

On the bright side, Trump increased his percentage of Hispanic voters from 28 percent to 32 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of Hispanics in the electorate rose to 13 percent, from 11 percent in 2016. Trump also won more Black voters, 12 percent compared to 8 percent in 2016. Still, the Republican Party has a lot of catching up to do with non-white voters. Are demographics destiny? Yes, when combined with the all reasons above. For if the GOP goes “the way of the Whigs,” demographics would accelerate the demise already in motion.

Ultimately, the one saving grace that could keep the GOP in business is Democratic overreach —  liberalism gone wild, political correctness run amok and tanking the economy with progressive policies. And all that will start happening in 3, 2, 1.

Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and writes a Sunday Bible study on Townhall. She served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.


MYRA’S COMPLETE ARCHIVE IS HERE

Reposted from The Hill on Jan. 29, 2021

Forty-six years have passed since I first joined College Republicans. Sadly, after decades of embracing (and often defending) my Republican identity, I am re-registering as an independent voter. Psychologically this action equates to a painful divorce, leaving me disheartened, discouraged and alone.

But I am not alone. There are tens of thousands, perhaps even millions, of former Republicans newly estranged from the “Trumplican” Party — aptly named for the man who highjacked what used to be a “big tent” party. That’s the Republican Party I remember joining when those with diverse opinions were still welcomed.

In the Trumplican-era, RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), including those who worked for either of the President Bushes, Sens. John McCain and Mitt Romney, have been routinely demeaned, marginalized and branded with the most “despised” moniker — “Never Trumpers.”

Starting in mid-2016 after Trump won the presidential nomination, the old Grand Old Party whittled away, and the “big tent” was exclusively used for MAGA rallies. Rising from the passion was party leadership with cult-like allegiance to Donald J. Trump.

Organically starting at the county level, the adoration virus spread to the state parties and infected the Republican National Committee. Then came a historic political transformation: After decades of idolizing Ronald Reagan, the faithful started believing President Donald Trump was greater than Reagan. The shift was intolerant and arrogant, and it was not uncommon to hear that Trump was the “best president ever,” even better than Lincoln.

A friend from a swing state who served in Republican club leadership positions grew disgusted by the “blind” Trumplican allegiance. Yesterday in an email, she wrote, “I am saddened by the Republican Party. Donald Trump turned the values of the party upside down and pitted people against each other. He was never a true Republican but a divider who wanted to control it all.”

The notion of “pitting people against each other” eventually turned deadly, turning off some long-time GOP voters. This week, unprompted, a non-political professional told me he has left the Republican Party, as have his associates after holding Trump responsible for the Capitol attack.

Indeed it is comforting to know other former Republicans, but the question is: Where do we go? Certainly not to the Democratic Party, after reading President Biden’s initial avalanche of predictable liberal-leaning executive orders. Among them are controversial “transgender protections” that may effectively end some female sports by allowing biological males to compete on the same playing field. For a newly-minted president who championed and campaigned on unity, many of Biden’s executive orders have inflamed Republicans.

Amazingly, in his inaugural address, Biden asked the nation to “end this uncivil war” with Civil War-era levels of polarization resulting in what he called “a broken land.”  

Meanwhile, over at my broken former party, a new civil war has begun between Trump supporters and those who know the party can never win another national election with Trump as the king or kingmaker. Ironically, during the 2020 campaign, the GOP had never been so unified. Such lock-step solidarity was easily explained: Trump ruled by fear, especially with elected officials terrified they would be subject to tyrannical tweets with threats of being “primaried.”

Then came Nov. 3, followed by two months of Trump perpetuating the “Big Lie” that the election was stolen and that he had won in a landslide. On Jan. 6, the day after the GOP blamed Trump for losing the Senate, he incited a deadly insurrection to overturn the Electoral College certification. A week later, the House of Representatives impeached Trump for a second time, and homeless Republicans thought, “now everything will change.”

But never underestimate the power of a cult of personality. This week after a preliminary vote, it became clear that an overwhelming majority of Republican senators still fear the former president and would not vote to convict. Why not erase the Constitution’s impeachment clause at the same time? God forbid if a future president uses Trump as a governing role model.

While many Republicans shamelessly cower to Trump and his loyal base, an inevitable Senate acquittal will further embolden him and his elected acolytes to inflict pain upon GOP leaders who voted for impeachment and conviction. It is ludicrous that Trump threatened to start a third party while he controls a party that chiefly exists to serve and defend him. In the foreseeable future, Trump’s iron rule will continue to squelch any rebel voices of reason.

Ultimately, Republicans can’t live with or without Trump. I can’t live with the Democrats, so for now I live in my tent, politically homeless.

Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and writes a Sunday Bible study on Townhall. She served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.TAGS 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONGOPREPUBLICAN PARTYDONALD TRUMPMITT ROMNEYJOHN MCCAINPOLITICS OF THE UNITED STATESNEVER TRUMP MOVEMENTCAPITOL ATTACKS