I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there’s no other way to put it: Tuesday was a terrible day for Republicans, for former President Trump, and for America in general in the long run.
The biggest story was in Georgia, where once again, Democrat Raphael Warnock won a narrow victory in a Senate run-off election. Only this time, it wasn’t just to give the Democrats a Senate tie but to give them control by 51-49. Any Republicans who didn’t vote (and there were more than enough to change the outcome) should be ashamed. This gives Chuck Schumer full control of Senate Committees, takes away the braking power of Sen. Joe Manchin (the only moderate left in the Democrat Party), and makes it easier for the Senate to change long standing rules and confirm Biden’s radical nominees.
Today’s Democrat leaders having no ethics other than the situational kind, we can expect to hear that the Republicans’ slim 9-vote House majority means they need to share power, compromise and not push their agenda, while the Democrats’ 1-vote Senate majority is a mandate to shove their most radical agenda items and nominees down America’s throat.
I don’t want to say that Herschel Walker was a loser in that race because he deserves respect for being a political novice who ran a good race against overwhelming opposition, lowball attacks and piles of out-of-state money and still lost by less than 2%. But it’s another coat of tarnish for former President Trump. Walker was one of his hand-picked candidates, most of whom won their primaries but cost Republicans seats in the general election. Trump is facing growing concerns that while his popularity is strong with the GOP base, he’s just too radioactive to attract swing voters who are needed to win general elections. In that regard, Ron DeSantis may be as big a winner in that race as Warnock.
Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media offers a different take, arguing that the GOP has much deeper problems that can’t be blamed on Trump.
Trump also suffered a big defeat in a New York courtroom, where a jury found the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corp, two entities under the Trump Organization umbrella, guilty on 17 counts of tax evasion and liable for a $1.6 million fine. It’s actually not as bad as it sounds: the case was based on testimony from former CFO Allen Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty to charges that he manipulated the company’s books and his own compensation package to illegally reduce his taxes, through things like not declaring the value of some of his benefits as income. You know, the type of thing that countless Wall Street executives do and never get prosecuted for it.
For Trump, it mostly amounts to a PR defeat. Weisselberg took full responsibility and did not implicate Trump or any of his family members (despite what I’m sure was extreme pressure to do so.) Even the New York Times admitted that the companies “largely perform back-office functions, employing and paying top executives, so they do not hold any loans, liquor licenses or other privileges that might slip away in the wake of the conviction.” And $1.6 million sounds like a lot, but to Trump, it’s precisely the amount of his total Presidential salary that this alleged “greedy, selfish crook” donated back to the Treasury. (FYI: Biden keeps his entire salary, but of course, he deserves it. Just look at the results!)
That link has more details, including Trump’s response. He said he will appeal the verdict, calling it part of the continuing witch hunt against him, and noted that the charges involved no monetary benefit to his companies and were entirely the actions of his ex-employee and his accountants. He also said that despite record high violent crime in New York City, the prosecutors spent all their time and effort on an unprecedented prosecution of his company over "fringe benefits" when no murder cases have come to trial in six years.
I can’t argue with that. But while I don’t want to appear to be trying to excuse cheating on your taxes, I do have to point out that the tax code is so incomprehensible even to the IRS that vindictive prosecutors could probably go after anyone over disagreements on how to interpret something like “contract worker or employee.” The real verdict that Americans should reach from this case is that we need to scrap the tax code and replace it with the Fair Tax, which would eliminate both tax cheating and partisan prosecutions over tax disputes.
Trump will also have to worry about the House January 6th Kangaroo Kommittee’s announcement that it intends to include criminal referrals as part of its report. They didn’t say whom they want to prosecute, but since it’s obvious that they’re as obsessed with “getting Trump'' as Captain Ahab was with Moby Dick, you can bet that they’ll recommend the DOJ prosecute Trump despite them failing to produce evidence that he committed any crimes.
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And as Bonchie at Redstate.com points out, this is bad news for Trump because between the Biden DOJ and DC juries, the lack of evidence of any crime will in no way prevent Trump from being prosecuted or convicted. As we saw with the raid on Trump’s home to seize his own Presidential documents, we’re already deep into banana republic territory.
Finally, in the last piece of bad news for Republicans, Trump and America, the Supreme Court rejected without comment a lawsuit alleging that Dominion Voting Machines and Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg had an undue influence over the 2020 election. The plaintiffs argued that the Founders intended elections to be run by the people’s representatives in the states, not by private individuals whose money is used to influence the outcome.
The lower court threw out the suit not on its merits but on the controversial dodge that the plaintiffs didn’t have “standing” to sue because they couldn’t show that they suffered specific damages worse than every other voter suffered. Seems pretty weasely to shirk the court’s responsibility to ensure we have honest elections just because every American was harmed and not just the ones who brought the case, but that was the court’s excuse.