Thursday, January 21, 2021

Whither Donald Trump

“I shall return” General Douglas MacArthur’s epic statement in escaping the Philippines ahead of the Japanese Army in World War II. “We will be back in some form” President Donald Trump in leaving Washington, D.C. ahead of the Biden Inauguration. Not as stirring as General MacArthur. The former President is facing an unknown future. Not totally unknown! He is facing large legal fees. The House impeachment is hanging over his head in a Senate trial. Then comes Cyrus Vance, Jr., Manhattan District Attorney, and New York Attorney General Letitia James. They want to indict him on tax evasion charges once they get ahold of his New York tax returns. Normally improper deductions will be handled with fines and interest. However, as with Leona Helmsley, the Queen of Mean, prosecutorial discretion can result in criminal prosecutions. She married New York City hotel magnate Harry Helmsley. She could be “frugal” or generous, and mistreated employees. A housekeeper testified Leona said “We don’t pay taxes; only the little people pay taxes.” That quote became her mantra. She served 19 months. Ironies of ironies. The federal prosecutor was Rudy Giuliani, and her attorney on appeal was Alan Dershowitz. Attorney General James wants to indict him om anything. All the while his businesses are hurting with a multi-million dollar debt load coming due. The “Trump” name has little cachet, goodwill or value on buildings today. Existing Trump hotels and golf courses were hemorrhaging money due to Covid lockdowns, like most hotels, restaurants, and golf courses, prior to January 6. Donald Trump has a future; he will be back – once he figures out what it is, especially if exonerated, healthy, financially solvent, and possesses a media outlet for his views. It won’t be running for Congress or the Senate. He’s tasted the White House and bully pulpit. He may run again for President, but his only chance of winning is if the Biden-Harris Presidency screws up, and a young Republican hasn’t learn how to appeal to the Trump constituency without the baggage. President Trump’s rumored to be mulling over establishing a new parry, perhaps the Patriot Party or even the MAGA Party. He would be fooling himself. 74 million Americans voted for him for reelection. They weren’t voting for him personally, but for what he believes and accomplished. Most of his voters held their nose and voted for him. Almost all would jump off the Trump Bus if a reasonable alternative arrives. Donald Trump in 2016 laid out the roadmap for Republican electoral success. A different candidate can win with it in 2024. The Republicans don’t want him back. They know he cost them the Senate. They know, as Senator Mitch McConnell said, he provoked the January 6 riots. They want him gone. The Republicans neither need nor want him. He needs the Republicans. A new minority party would ensure a Democratic victory, just as Theodore Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party in 1912 handed the Presidency to Woodrow Wilson. President Roosevelt was always more popular than President Trump. He has a diehard following, many of whom are facing prosecution for storming the Capitol on January 6. His hardcore followers will not win the primaries for him unlike 2016. Of course, the Democrats can turn Donald Trump into a martyr. The smartest thing they could do is never mention his name again. Deny him any publicity. Keep him off the air. Drop the impeachment. Always remember the classic President Obama opinion of his Vice President Joe Biden: “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck up.” Don’t give ex-President Donald Trump a pulpit when President Biden is mucking up. The people will compare and contrast with a different result than the 2020 election. Remember another General MacArthur momorable quote: OLd soldiers never die; they just fade away." President should just fade away.

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