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November 12, 2022

On Friday, we featured a reader letter on the future of the Republican Party as it relates to President Trump and the way he’s handling –- or not handling –- this post-election moment. She felt that it’s time for Trump to step back.

Trump has been reacting wildly on social media (Truth Social now instead of Twitter) in the very style that at times has put off even some of his most ardent supporters, and newly incomprehensible as well. He’s coming off as vengeful and bitter, and that’s not a good look if he’s getting ready to announce another run for President.

Certainly the pressure was on him to provide the coattails for the GOP, especially for certain candidates he’d endorsed. And the outcome is turning out to be disappointing and uneven, given the expectations many of us had. Losing the House would have been a disaster in many ways, but at this writing, late Friday, we’re almost sure of taking it. Still, another disappointment has hit, as it was reported Friday that Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly, a reliable Biden rubber-stamper, will keep his seat, with a win over GOP candidate Blake Masters in Arizona.

Note:  In speaking of this apparent win, I’m setting aside for the moment the serious vote-counting issues in Arizona and Nevada, which are addressed elsewhere in the newsletter. On Friday, we also asked questions about the Maricopa County recorder’s office, which it seems has found a loophole in Arizona law to continue taking money from an organization funded by Mark Zuckerberg. There’s no reason to trust the election in Arizona when it’s this partisan and even run by none other than gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs, Kari Lake’s GOP opponent!

But, aside from that, it does appear that there was quite a red wave, much more, I'm sorry to say, than is apparent in the appropriation of actual seats. Aaron Kliegman reported for JUST THE NEWS that according to Cook Political Report, Republican actually won 52.3 percent of the total ballots cast, at least as of late November 10, with the Democrats coming in considerably lower at just 46.2 percent. We checked for an update early November 12, and Republicans were still in the lead, though their margin was a little narrower, 51.8 percent.

This report is updated regularly, so you can check here to see how we’re doing.

Kliegman wrote: “It’s unclear at this point what explains the glaring incongruity between the GOP’s underwhelming performance in terms of winning seats on the one hand and its significant lead in the popular vote on the other.” That’s something to look at, certainly. But those overall percentages are at least something to celebrate --- and they’re no doubt very concerning to Democrats looking ahead to the next election.  Marc Elias must be lying awake nights coming up with more ideas for putting a thumb on the scale in 2024.

Certain races, however, particularly the Senate race in Pennsylvania where Trump-backed Dr. Mehmet Oz lost to cognitively-impaired far-leftist schlub John Fetterman, so irked President Trump that he took to his own social media platform, Truth Social, to say some extremely ill-advised things. The worst of all was his totally nonsensical jab at Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin, which seems as though it might have been posted while Trump was under heavy medication. (One almost hopes we could find out that it was.) In a rant saying Youngkin wouldn’t have been able to win the governor’s race without him, he referred to the name Youngkin –- “Young Kin” –- as “sounding Chinese.”

This comment, seemingly from the planet Saturn, came on the heels of Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears’ remark that with these midterm election results, Trump should leave GOP politics. “A true leader understands when they have become a liability,” she told FOX NEWS on Thursday. “A true leader understands that it’s time to step off the stage, and the voters have given us that very clear message.”
Yes, that comment was surely upsetting fro Trump to hear.  But he reacted early Friday morning by taking that swipe at Youngkin, perhaps unwittingly proving Sears’ point.

Youngkin stayed above this. “Listen, you all know me,” he told reporters. “I do not call people names. I really work hard to bring people together...that’s not the way I roll and not the way I behave.”

The NEW YORK POST spoke to sources who had been around Trump as returns came in, and they didn’t paint a pretty picture. Trump had focused his ire on the increasingly popular GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis when DeSantis had said nothing to provoke him, violating President Reagan’s “11th Commandment” about not speaking ill of others in the party. Trump succeeded only in making Republicans long for someone like Ronald Reagan at the helm of our party instead of what we have. And that makes the more measured DeSantis look even better.

Given what Trump has been put through by his political enemies ever since he first announced he was running for President, it’s amazing he came through it in one piece. He is still standing after attempts on every front to destroy him, and we love him for that. But he needs to demonstrate for us that the saying, “What does not kill us makes us stronger,” is true in his case. (Research has shown that this is not generally true.) Trump needs to be stronger, not flailing. Wiser, not more emotional. More strategic, not more impulsive. If he has been weakened, if he is now more of a political liability, he’ll need to understand that it’s time to embark on another phase of life, outside of politics, for the good of the country he loves.

Given all that the left have done to try to take Trump out, how ironic would it be if they were able to just stand back now and let him do it to himself?

On the other hand, when Dan Bongino addressed this issue during his Friday podcast, he said he’s not worried that a primary contest between Trump and DeSantis will weaken the party. Judging from history, he believes this would strengthen it, no matter how much aggravation and airing of dirty laundry is involved. It’s good, he said, “because by the time you get to the general, all the dirty laundry’s been aired.” He also reminded us how hard Trump campaigned for Ron DeSantis in his first, very close election, saying that’s probably what placed him in the governor’s chair. He credited Trump for Florida’s move to “red.”

But Trump was certainly wrong, Bongino (who lives in Florida) said, to call DeSantis an “average” governor, when he is an excellent governor. “He took what Trump started,” he said, “and ran with it in the state of Florida.”

“The best approach right now is to slow down,” he cautioned. It should be about the party right now, and the races currently at stake. “There’s no rush,” he said; “there’ll be more than enough time to attack each other [on issues].’ He’s confident they’re “not gonna hurt each other” but strongly warns they must NOT make it personal, because voters will be deeply alienated by that. I would say this warning might have come too late for Trump, though, as we’re already seeing him alienate them.

What do you think? Here’s the podcast; his remarks on Trump/DeSantis start about 43 minutes in…

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Comments 1-10 of 403

  • Lydia Kaiser

    11/30/2022 10:18 AM

    We’ll always appreciate what Trump did, especially the SCOTUS appointments, but we need a leader with more self control and civility. I thought maybe he learned the need for this after his first term but apparently his pride makes him unteachable.

  • Alan Dean

    11/29/2022 04:23 PM

    As a Trump supporter, I have to say that Trump’s ego is going to do him in. Instead of sniping at DeSantis, they should be working together to save America, not measuring dicks.

    I have noticed that even Fox News has been trying to jolt Trump supporters away from him with not so subtle messaging that he was ‘losing supporters’ when that was not provable. As a result, my Fox viewing has been limited just to the nighttime discussion shows.

    Additionally, I really enjoy your newsletters. They are well written, and help me sort out the sane news from the lunacy. Thank you!

  • Lyra Deyton

    11/26/2022 07:50 AM

    I read your article with great interest. Will you still be supporting Donald Trump if he "cleans up his act"?

  • Lyra Deyton

    11/26/2022 07:41 AM

    Dear Governor:

    I have long been an admirer of yours and your wonderful daughter. Enjoyed your weekly columns as well. My best always to you and your Great Family.

  • Gillyanne Baker

    11/26/2022 06:52 AM

    I respected YOUR opinion till you started PILL-PUSHING for your supper which eliminates your right to JUDGE Trump, who neither takes SLEEPING PILLS, DRINKS or uses HARD DRUGS. Unless you want to become the POSTER-BOY for the phrase "If you want a friend in politics, GET A DOG", I wish old politicians like you would "curb it" about Trump's behavior. DO WHAT I DO - Email him "privately" to "not engage when it will do no good". Privately engaging makes me MORE DISCREET and HUMANLY DECENT -- and less of an "entitled, pill-pushing" old politician. You're getting OLD and feeling more entitled to personally judge "45's" mental competency to lead. Your own daughter could teach you a few things about LOYALTY and GRATITUDE. If I hear one more GD thing about your publicizing Trump and his "behavior", I'll "stick it to YOU" non-stop on SOCIAL MEDIA about your "pill pushing" and sense of "entitlement" and your ingratitude - every day in every way.

  • PJ Robinson

    11/22/2022 04:38 PM

    What I fear is that DeSantis will win the Republican nomination and Trump will run as an indepedent. That will garauntee a Democrat president.

    I would still like to point out something very important. Thanks to Trump's Supreme Court nominees we no longer have Roe v Wade. Trump did some thing no other Repubican has ever done not ever Ronald Regan. The destruction of Roe v Wade will be Trump's greatest legacy and we need to be forever greatfull for Trump for saving babies' lives. No other Republican put up a fight for consevative justices like Trump. When it comes to Supreme Court nominies I do not think that DeSantis can put up a scrap against the Democrats like TRUMP!

  • Katie Wilsow

    11/16/2022 06:55 PM

    Donald Trump has so horribly damaged the Republican party, I wonder if it will ever recover. He was all about himself decades before he even considered running for office and he will continue to be all about himself. I am devastated to see what the Republican party has become. I am devastated to see how polarized our country is and angry to know how Trump exacerbated that polarization.

  • Stephen Ernest Mitchell

    11/16/2022 08:53 AM

    How dare you blame the lack of a " RED WAVE " on President Trump !! The Republican party is weak , and has allowed the Democrats to cheat and lie their way into office . The Republican party never fully backed President Trump when he was in office , some of the members were stabbing him in the back . You're a bunch of hypocrites ! I can fully understand President Trump's anger and frustration over the way the election came out . I'd vote for him again , and back him in anything he would do for " my COUNTRY " ! President Trump has not divided the Republican party , it's the "SWAMP DWELLERS " within the party that are to blame . Clean up the Republican party !

  • Margaret Elise Bell

    11/15/2022 05:06 PM

    I truly believe the last election was stolen from him. He is one of the greatest Presidents I've ever seen. He did so much for this country and in my opinion set a good stage for Republicans to follow. We owe him a lot. Its because of him that the crookedness and the "swamp" was revealed. For that I am forever grateful! It took someone like him to be able to able to bring the darkness that we are under light. We owe him a lot! But his comments are not helping. People will vote Democrat because they hate Trump cutting down other good Republicans is not in his best interest. I love him and his family. I hate the abuse and treatment they have come through.
    I have always supported Trump but I feel it is not in the best interest of the party for him to run for president. But there are so many other ways/areas he could help.

  • Gary W. Digby

    11/15/2022 03:16 PM

    Trump is too combative, divisive, and erratic. His enemies hate him more than they love this country. I will support DeSantis, Youngton, Pence, or Pompeo before I will support Trump. The future of our country is at stake. Conservatives need a Reagan-like leader, desperately, and that is not Trump.