Yesterday I took a deep breath and posted a piece with the same basic calculation. Mine was much more an exercise in wiseass bloviating, but with the same serious point.

It’s encouraging to see that I’m on the same wavelength as you on this topic.

When I watch people blithely assume that Trump’s base will ditch him over this, I think I’m watching people who don’t clearly understand the psychology of the Trump voter.

Expand full comment

I agree, nothing will change a large section of Republican voters about Trump. They think he is the second coming and are absolutely immune/blind to the reality of who he is and what he does. As Karl Straub says, there is some very interesting psychology here. But they are neither the majority of Americans nor the majority of the Republicans (I hope).

Expand full comment

Two things pundits underestimate at their own peril: (1) Trump's ability to rise from the dead and resurrect himself. That guy is the comeback king. (2) The abject fear most GOP establishment pols have of him and his ability to cost them their jobs. His hand-picked candidates may not prevail except in the deepest red of the red states but his base of cultists followers will vote out a "RINO" incumbent in favor of a fire-breathing MAGAite nine times out of ten.

Unless the proverbial cheeseburger finally gets him, he's the odds-on favorite to win the GOP nod in 2024. G-d help us.

Expand full comment

Despite his countless weaknesses, Trump has become a totem for many Americans who feel oppressed and ridiculed. Criticism of Trump is constantly blended with scorn for his supporters.

Almost the entire media have been proponents of the evil represented by today's less educated white people whether in the context of BLM, defund the police, "Karens" etc. Identity symbols that were meaningful to the south like confederate flags and civil war statues have been banned or desecrated.

Coastal elites might be right to recognize racist undertones, but I doubt many of the maga crowd consider themselves to be white nationalist. From their perspective, the progressive movement was stealing their American pie. And so, there's bitterness out there. And Trump, maybe as a consequence of being so frequently sullied, is a reflection of their pain, a war hero of sorts, and a f-you to what they see as an authoritarian enemy.

The red hat wearing MAGA crowd clearly don't represent *all* people who would vote for the GOP, but without them I'm not sure that the republicans have any chance of winning in 2024. The big question is whether there's anyone else can keep their vote? I think it's unlikely without Trump's backing.

Expand full comment

Re your piece on don't indict Trump - I would read it but it's paywalled. Agree it would be very bad for the country. But if he's not indicted - IF the the Fulton County DA or the DOJ think they have the goods to get a conviction - that will be very bad for the country too. I think the former does more damage than the latter, so I say indict. Prepare for the violence - IF the majority of law enforcement are not MAGA.

Expand full comment