“Do you miss me yet?”
Former President Donald Trump began his 2021 CPAC speech that seemed like a continuation of his farewell speech given at Joint Base Andrews before he boarded Air Force One for the last time.
“We began it together four years ago and it is far from being over. And you know what this is?” Trump continued. “The hardest working people, hard working American patriots, it’s just getting started and in the end we will win. We will win. We’ve been doing a lot of winning.”
No. We’ve been doing a whole lot of losing. We lost the House in 2018. We lost the White House and the Senate in 2020. But Trump is sticking with the awful fantasy that these elections were “stolen.” There’s nothing new here. It’s the same old song and dance, given to the same partakers in the St. Vitus Dance before the golden idol of Trumpism.
“I am not starting a new party. That was fake news, fake news. No.” Trump was just winding up.
“Wouldn’t that be brilliant? Let’s start a new party and let’s divide our vote so that you can never win. No, we’re not interested in that. Mr. McLaughlin just gave me numbers that nobody’s ever heard of before, more popular than anybody.”
Reality has clearly not yet soaked in.
The reality is this: David Perdue was so damaged by his proximity to Trump, despite being a rather popular senator in Georgia, that he has declined to run again for his seat against a Democrat, Sen. Raphael Warnock, a newcomer to politics. Quoted in the AJC earlier in February:
“The Republican Party in Georgia right now is like a Jenga game where someone has pulled out the wrong block,” said Martha Zoller, a conservative commentator and former GOP congressional candidate. “It’s unstable and a mess.”
Trump, outside of his magic bubble, is not popular. In fact he’s toxic. As time progresses, his toxicity will only increase, and it’s clear that Trump has no intention of popping his own bubble, or letting it take its natural course as he fades. The huckster wants to ride his marks to the end, and to play his angle, flex his power, and flash his cash until there’s no more angle, power, or cash left (except what he walks away with).
The reality is also this: Voters are happier with President Biden’s muddled, low-expectation, and low-key approach to coronavirus (which largely mimics Trump’s vaccine policy), than Trump’s bravado and circus show. Even in Texas, according to a University of Texas poll, Biden’s approval rating surpassed Trump’s, and even Gov. Greg Abbott’s.
After four exhausting years, we will have little break before the 2022 election cycle begins. In fact, it’s pretty much begun. Instead of playing offense, Republicans nationwide are playing defense. They are caught between the Scylla of suburban educated classical Republicans who value economic stewardship, business-friendly policy, and small government, and the Charybdis of Trump’s coalition of working-class families, and other Trumpists who listen to his siren song.
The song and dance have not changed.
“Joe Biden has had the most disastrous first month of any President in modern history, that’s true,” Trump rolled, nearly nine minutes in. “Already the Biden administration has proved that they are anti-jobs, anti-family anti-borders, anti-energy, anti-women, and anti-science.”
Disastrous? No. I’d say Biden’s first month has been rather subdued, with one likely failed nomination of Neera Tanden to run OMB, and one in danger (which, frankly, should be voted down), Xavier Becerra as head of HHS. Major nominations at Defense, State, and in national security posts have mostly sailed through in bipartisan agreement, including Merrick Garland as Attorney General.
Biden has signaled that he isn’t going to let Iran completely bully American policy by bombing some of its proxies in Syria. And despite some really terrible legislation disguised as the so-called COVID Relief bill, and the absolutely constitution-trashing Equality Act, Biden has offered about what we can expect from a Democrat in the White House. There will be no “reaching across” party lines unless Republicans show some backbone.
Democrats are playing for 2022, and Trump is playing his own game. He is singing the same old tune of immigration, the border wall, and a new one of masks or no masks, and Biden’s media confusion of school opening policies.
“It’s a scandal of the highest order and one of the most graven acts by any president in our lifetimes. It’s the teacher’s union, it’s the votes and it shouldn’t happen,” Trump said. “And I have, nobody has more respect for teachers than I do. And I’ll bet you a lot of the people within that union, they agree with everything I’m saying. Even the New York Times is calling out the Democrats.”
Most damaging, Trump is still hawking the lie that the election he lost was rigged. And people are buying it.
Donald Trump: (01:04:02)
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.
You won. You won. You won. You won. You won. You won. You won. You won. You won. You won. You won. You won. You won. You won. You won. You won. You won. You won. You won. You won.
Donald Trump: (01:04:12)
You won. You won. You won. You won. You won.
Some of the policies on election security Trump mentioned are doable and even useful. Chain of custody protections, proof of citizenship requirements, signature matching are all good policy. During the pandemic, many of these policies were not followed, or were dispensed with to deal with the problems associated with massive mail-in voting. Legislatures are now dealing with that. But Trump is still pushing outright falsehoods.
“We have a little problem adjusting in Detroit. We seem to have more votes than we have people, a lot more votes, and election changing number,” Trump was a little over an hour into his speech. “We’re not talking about a number where you can’t … no, these aren’t election changing numbers. In Pennsylvania, they had hundreds of thousands of more votes than they had people voting. What’s that all about? What’s that all about? Cheating they say. Yeah, I’d say so.”
I’d say no. The sixty lawsuits, all lost, the lack of evidence, the threat of massive libel suits by Dominion Voting Systems, the retreat of media like Fox News, Newsmax and OANN over Trump’s claims, are pretty good indications that what Trump said in his CPAC speech is just more noxious, burning garbage.
Finally, Trump named names within the GOP. He was an hour and seventeen minutes in.
The Democrats don’t have grand-standers like Mitt Romney, little Ben Sasse, Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Pat Toomey; and in the House, Tom Rice, South Carolina, Adam Kinzinger, Dan Newhouse, Anthony Gonzalez. That’s another beauty. Fred Upton, Jamie Herrera Butler, Peter Meyer, John Katko, David Valadeo. And of course the warmonger, a person that loves seeing our troops fighting, Liz Cheney. How about that? The good news is in her state, she’s been censured. And in her state, her poll numbers have dropped faster than any human being I’ve ever seen. So hopefully, they’ll get rid of her with the next election. Get rid of them all.
Then Trump made his ask.
“If you want to help us take back the future of our country, go to donaldjtrump dot com. I don’t do this. I’ve never done this,” Trump said, hinting at his next thing. “But it’s time that we have to put forces together because these people with their big tech and the fake news media right back there.”
Mark those words. Trump is going to get into media, just like I thought he would.
Trump closed with the same practiced plea to get-rich-quick he’s used for decades. Just tell them what they want to hear. It’s the same old song and dance.
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.
Absent some disruption beyond my (or anyone’s) ability to predict, it won’t be him. But he may take the GOP down the hole he has dug.
Do I miss him? No.
Let’s move on.
On climate change and Bill Gates
Last Thursday, I listened to a Zoom call with Kristen Welker interviewing Bill Gates on his book tour promoting “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need” (available on Amazon, where you can no longer buy “When Harry Became Sally” by the eminent scholar Ryan T. Anderson).
I must say Gates is uncomfortable as a book promoter, but gives a compelling story of his reasons behind writing the book. I have always been skeptical of climate change activists with the same eye that secular humanists have towards the Christian church. Gates made many of my primary objections less weighty: political self interest, grifters, wild-eyed emotional appeals to youth, opposition to all the benefits of modern life by those who reap those benefits, and an elitist snobbery.
Bill Gates displays none of these motivations. He’s a geeky software engineer with a compassionate streak for those who have little, or nothing at all. I dare say that Gates, through his foundation, has done more for sub-Saharan Africa than many American Christians who worry daily on social media about “muh liberty!” This, despite the same Christians claiming to represent Christ, who had a particular penchant for calling out the rich and comfortable. Gates’ concern for man-caused climate change was born of his desire to help those in undeveloped nations.
I am reading his book with particular care and will review it in this blog as I wind my way through it.
One thing I already learned is that the company I wrote about in my piece about decades of anti-nuclear lies, TerraPower, which is partnering with the DOE and the Southern Company (owner of Georgia Power) to build a next-gen nuclear molten chloride fast reactor (MCFR), is funded and was founded by none other than Bill Gates. I suppose I should have looked that up, since it’s right on their website, and Gates serves as Chairman of the Board.
The fact that Gates isn’t a “rabid vegan save-the-whales greenie,” that he still eats burgers, flies private jets, and enjoys the conveniences of modern life, and wishes that more people could have those advantages, makes me more comfortable hearing him out. He doesn’t disclaim or hide these things, and is transparent about his reasons for buying “offsets” for his admittedly enormous carbon footprint.
Like with Christian leaders, I wish climate change activists would have this kind of integrity and transparency (they, in general, don’t). Of course, some people still believe Gates is the anti-Christ, wanting to inject us all with nanites and the mark of the beast via a COVID vaccine. I don’t think these people would believe anyone’s argument about climate change, even if the cows themselves farted a message in the sky.
And by the way, for no particular reason, I found Gates’ first use of the word “fart” appeared on page 38.
More to come…
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My apologies for starting this way, but there is a point to be made here. How many Steve Berman's are there across the United States? By that i mean; how many principled republican's who are conservative to the core and are well grounded in their beliefs. How may who have watched the pathetic attempts to deal with the pandemic and then even more horrified by the "big lie" and the nightmare of January 6?
My guess is more than you can reasonably count. We know any number have left the GOP and become Independents. And to be clear, i'm not talking about never-trumpers, i mean died-in-the-wool conservatives. I mean Reagan Republican's who loved their party.
The point is pretty well summed up in your article Steve; the con-man is still running the long con game. They can't win with him, they can only continue to feed the beast as he sucks the life out of the party and the would be hangers-on hope that when he drops out and off the radar screen they become the anointed one.
A fools game for fools gold. djt has never been a conservative and never will be. Sure he attracts the miscreants who love nationalism and white supremacy but those numbers will never replace the Steve Bermans' of the world who believe in doing the right things.
Just my take on following you for a couple of years now. If i am wrong, feel free to tell me so and in 4 years you could vote for the trump so we could relive the craziness that came with his leadership.
"I’d say no. The sixty lawsuits, all lost, the lack of evidence, the threat of massive libel suits by Dominion Voting Systems, the retreat of media like Fox News, Newsmax and OANN over Trump’s claims, are pretty good indications that what Trump said in his CPAC speech is just more noxious, burning garbage."
I can't wait for the day that Citizen Trump slips up himself and has his own $2.7 billion dollar lawsuit to contend with as well.