Trump makes sound endorsements in GOP primaries
I received a great deal of response to last week’s column outlining Donald Trump’s successes (and excesses), so I thought I’d stay on the theme and respond to some of the criticisms and suggestions by News-Press and Substack (jimb.substack.com) readers.
There were those who, though they voted for Mr. Trump and admire his accomplishments, feel that he “has become a malevolent force in the Republican Party.” Many have bought into the media narrative that if Mr. Trump’s endorsed candidates are defeated, he’d be responsible for snatching “defeat from the jaws of victory.” What they are suggesting, instead, is that Republicans should be nominating candidates “who can win,” regardless of any steadfast fealty to Republican ideals.
Nearly all of Trump’s endorsements were chosen for sound reasons, at least as near as I can tell. Is there a stinker or two among the hundreds? Probably, but let’s ask a further question: what good does it do for the Republican Party to have a Lisa Murkowski, a Mitt Romney, an Adam Kinzinger, or a Liz Cheney in office? Oh sure, they’ll mostly vote with the Republican Party… when it suits them.
But, if the going gets tough, are they dependable?
The answer surely is “No, they aren’t.” Any Republican who says he or she gets along better and would rather work with her Democrat colleagues, as Ms. Cheney has done recently, is a Republican only because she’d lose if she ran as a Democrat. No Democrat is going to win a Congressional or Senate seat in Wyoming. So, candidates such as Liz Cheney give lip service to Republican voters, but their true loyalty is to themselves. Sixty-six-plus percent of Republican voters in Wyoming chose her opponent, Harriet Hageman, even though Cheney is a long-established and respected name in that state. Her decision to join the one-sided Democrat-dominated January 6th Commission cost her that seat, not her conflict with Trump.
We have a $31 trillion deficit because elected members of Congress from all sides continue to overspend and borrow other people’s money. Here’s how it goes: Democrats will propose a one-trillion-dollar spending bill. Republicans feign outrage at such spending and after much groaning and whining, “compromise” on an $850 billion package. Then, they’ll pat themselves on the back and proclaim they’ve pared the $150 billion in the name of “fiscal responsibility.”
That game has been played for so long in Washington, D.C. that even the most fiscally responsible among them no longer believes the spending can ever find a balance between income and outgo.
If President Trump had a failing (in addition to his midnight tweets), it was that he too – and he admits this openly – loves “other people’s money.” But my bet is – especially after having watched him for the past seven years – if he came around to espouse the desirability and necessity of a balanced budget, he’d have the wherewithal, the perseverance and the ability to make that happen. He gives a little tilt in that direction in many of his rallies and speeches, but he doesn’t stress it and it’s not a priority. After all, he and his family built their fortune on other people’s money or borrowed money, so it’ll take some convincing that things have gone too far. But, if he can be persuaded of the necessity of reining in spending and if he added a balanced budget proposal to his agenda and won, we’d have a better chance of reaching that goal than with anybody else.
Another stated reason for abandoning Trump by many who would otherwise support him is that “it’s hard to elect Republicans in purple states if they are forced to agree with Trump that the election was stolen.” Maybe, but most Republicans believe it was stolen, at least in the literal sense, by Democrat lawyers changing voting rules at the last minute, particularly in the “swing” states, allowing for uncontested and unvetted mail-in ballots harvested over a month-long (and longer) period.
It’s not a “lie” if Trump feels the election was rigged. And, in fairness, it’s not a “lie” when Stacey Abrams says her election for governor of Georgia was rigged. It may not be true, but it’s not a lie, which is, by definition, a statement made by someone who knows what he or she is saying is untrue. If this is explained to a purple state’s electorate, most will understand the distinction and vote accordingly.
Those who believe that choosing Republicans who will stand up for Republicanism’s fetish with smaller government, more personal freedom and less spending but with a lesser chance of winning, is counterproductive, I suggest analyzing Mitt Romney. He is good for one thing: choosing a majority leader. But if the Senate were split evenly again (in 2024) he’s the one guy who could and would “reach across the aisle” and vote against some particularly nettlesome bill that would solidify Republican policy and repudiate Democratic wishes.
So, who needs him, or Senators like him?
I don’t believe any Senate seats will be lost because of Trump’s choices or his insistence that his election was stolen. I believe JD Vance wins easily in Ohio. Dr. Oz has a tougher job in Pennsylvania, but I believe he’ll win by a small percentage, as will Herschel Walker in Georgia, as will other candidates the media is attempting to portray as “out of the mainstream” and/or “dangerous to democracy” or some such crap.
The above three candidates are apparently not polling well, and the fear is they’ll lose, and that the Senate will remain in Democrat hands. My guess is that the polls are purposely skewed (rigged?) and that the Senate goes Republican.
I agree with Trump’s detractors regarding only one race, and that is for governor of Georgia. Brian Kemp fell afoul of Donald Trump after the 2020 election, and Trump has turned his back on one of the best Republican governors in the nation (Kemp comes in third after DeSantis in Florida and Youngkin in Virginia). But Gov. Kemp is going to wipe the floor with Abrams, no matter how much money she raises, so don’t worry about that outcome.
See you next week, when we’ll examine and correct the various and myriad untruths, lies and misinformation spinning around the Internet about President Trump.
James Buckley is a longtime Montecito resident. He welcomes questions or comments at email@example.com. Readers are invited to visit jimb.substack.com, where Jim’s Journals are on file. He also invites people to subscribe to Jim’s Journal.