President Trump went on Fox News with Maria Bartiromo yesterday for a newsworthy interview. It was his first real sit down since the election, and the president was able to express some of his frustrations with how things have gone. To a large extent, he’s justified. The sketchiness of huge 3am dumps of almost exclusively Biden votes in places like Michigan and Wisconsin should not be overlooked. The fact that some major blue areas in critical swing states still can’t manage to get all their votes counted many days, and in some cases weeks after the election is unacceptable and diminishes faith in our voting system. These are things that need to be ridiculed, and even if there were unequivocal evidence that everything was on the up and up, we can not continue to operate this way and expect people to not be suspicious. For my part, I don’t think things were on the up and up across the board though.
Regardless, we also have to inhabit the reality handed to us, and this is hardly the first time Republicans have been screwed. Now, the balance of the Senate hinges on two Senate races in Georgia, of which a loss would be absolutely disastrous for the GOP’s ability to hold the line the next 2-4 years (my assumption is they retake the House in 2022 fairly easily).
With all of that said, I think the President is making a mistake with his latest outrage.
FOX NEWS: President Trump says he’s ‘ashamed’ he endorsed Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) November 29, 2020
If you’ll recall, Kemp has been a stalwart Trump supporter in a state that doesn’t necessarily reward being a stalwart Trump supporter. Where other purple state governors have kept their distance, Kemp has always been there to speak well of the administration. He didn’t shy away from Trump when he was running against Stacey Abrams either. I say that to say this. It is absolutely nuts to suspect that Kemp is actually part of some conspiracy to deny Trump a victory.
Two things can be true. There can be a lot of questionable behavior in the voting in Georgia, especially around late reporting Atlanta precincts, while at the same time there simply not being much Kemp can do. Was Kemp supposed to just step in as a dictator and throw the election to Trump? By what authority could he have even stopped the vote tallies in Fulton County? And if he could, by what authority could he invalidate the votes long term? That authority simply doesn’t exist. So what exactly is Trump mad about?
Look, I can stand by a lot of what Trump has said and done over the years. I don’t care about the tweets. I don’t care about his moral failings over a decade ago. I care about policy and getting things done, and I believe most of our readers feel the same. To that extent, he’s been the most successful Republican president in many decades, and I’ve happily supported him throughout his term. What I can’t stand behind is kneecapping crucial Senate races that can decide the direction of the country by dividing Republicans for no good reason. Trump is a bigger than life character, but he’s not bigger than this. We can all acknowledge the rightful anger over the presidential election, but that anger can not take precedence over things that will affect millions of people going forward.
Trump needs to re-calibrate and hit the ground running to help win these seats. We can not be divided during this crucial time, and if he wants a shot in 2024 (rumors are already flying he’s going to run), he can not have hanging around his neck that he didn’t do everything he can to keep Biden at bay.
(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)