I saw this headline on three different devices and I was inclined to come in here and say: "NO. This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions."

Start here with Cotinetti: "In retrospect, the 2016 election should be viewed less as a victory for Donald Trump than a loss for Hillary Clinton."

Hillary won the popular vote. Trump lost it. As he did in 2020. As did Mitt Romney. As did John McCain. The 2016 election should be seen as a victory for Republican-adjacent FBI election meddling. That Trump has run around afterwards complaining about the FBI is simply attempting to create public distance between him and his benefactors - and also an attempt to discipline the agency into not doing the same thing to him, which sorta worked in 2018.

I'd say the same thing about J6 - while it was organized by the Republican lawyer complex, it seems pretty clear that various bad actors in the security organs (and in the military) were up to no good, this time apparently centered in the Secret Service. That remains the main danger to both democracy and republicanism (old school meaning) in the US and has been since 9/11. (Biden apparently denied the other General Flynn a fourth star. At a minimum I'd have posted him to an airbase in Japan - which is right next to Siberia.)

We have a problem here, and I can't imagine anyone actually steeped in Revolutionary War ideals (as opposed to Confederate ideals) not being extremely wary of the current situation. Even if you think NATO is great and the CCP and Vladimir Putin suck swamp water (as I absolutely do!).

Right, back to the fun stuff - Chait: "DeSantis has the advantage of a unified conservative-movement apparatus behind him, which Trump’s rotating cast of 2016 opponents never enjoyed…."

August 2015 - 'Trump can't lose'. February 2016 - 'Trump is finished after he lost to Ted Cruz.' February 2016: Trump wins in New Hampshire. Trump is popular with the base, not Republican party elites and as far as I can tell that's always been true. Maybe if said elites decided to ban all parties presidential primaries and just have a star chamber, sure.

"‘Nobody thinks the path for DeSantis is taking Trump head-on at this point,’ the aide said, expecting Trump would ‘run the party to the ground.’” That sounds like there needs to be another cycle or two for Trump’s grip on the party to truly weaken."

In my teenage years, the discourse, after hearing this description of DeSantis, would have described him as a 'total pussy'. Excuse me, I correct myself: 'a total fucking pussy'. In sum, the theory is that Trump is going to win, but elites have chosen DeSantis (has this actually occurred, or is this just New York media types?) and he'll win by not challenging Donald Trump when Trump runs. That is some serious Underwear Gnome Thought Leading right there.

"If the GOP finally decided to push Trump aside, it allows for the possibility of the Grand Old Party looking more like a traditional party and less like Hezbollah."

Man, if you flip the dictionary open to the word 'schmuck' you will find a picture of Ron DeSantis. Nominating him would be committing to get Joe Biden re-elected (which would be fine with ME). Of course, nominating Trump would be committing to get Joe Biden re-elected, and that's a bad problem for the Republican party and that makes me very very NOT SAD at all.

Aside from that, the faces change but nothing is any different than 2012: the Republican party donor class and political elites remain committed to one-party plutocratic oligarchy, and anybody they put up is just going to be the same old asshole. Nothing has changed there, so nothing has changed at all.

(This entire exercise is interesting as a blame-shifting exercise by New York R types to keep NYC media types convinced that what 'the country' really wants is the destruction of Social Security and Medicare and lower taxes for rich people. I know that isn't true, even for run of the mill Qfreaks, so none of this is going to matter.)


if they keep going with this line of bs, though, i am going to have ten thousand questions

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History appears to be rhyming again. I agree, If Trump can stay out of jail he will be the nominee again in 24.

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Mr Drezner speaks sense. Would the Republican party be better off without Trump as the candidate? Certainly if he would go easily. Will he go easily? I can't see it. Is his hold on the Republican base strong enough to win the nomination? That is almost certainly true. Will he nominate? It would be a big surprise if he didn't. Trump loves campaigning in front of adoring crowds and like any tyrant he's surrounded himself with people who tell him what he wants to hear. All told I can't see Trump not nominating and I can't see Trump not winning if he nominates. The Republicans have a big problem with Trump and it's not going away.

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