A nightmare scenario looms over the Republican primaries
Tribune Content Agency March 9, 2023
PARIS (Tribune News Service) — With the next U.S. presidential election just over a year and a half away, candidates are already jockeying for pole position. Well, at least on the Republican side. The Democrats are still wrestling over whether to cling to 80-year-old Joe Biden for another four years or try to find someone else who would actually stand a chance against the GOP.
What about banking on current Vice President Kamala Harris, you might be one of the rare few to ask. On average, 7% more voters now disapprove of Harris’ job performance than approve of it — a figure that has been rising since September 2021. Although the incumbent vice president is typically a shoo-in to succeed the boss in the event that they don’t stand for re-election, Harris is an exception. At the rate that her popularity continues to tank, the GOP could run a houseplant against a Harris candidacy and win. And the houseplant at least produces oxygen while Harris tends to suck it out of the room on the rare occasions when she’s even visible.
Perhaps there’s a strategy at play not to overshadow Biden or make it look like she was biding her time until he was gone. But no one really knows what kind of leader Harris would actually be. Her recent showing at the Munich Security Conference last month was reduced to belting out the greatest hits of the Washington bureaucrats. The talking points were delivered with all the finesse of a Big Mac combo tossed through a car window at the drive-thru.
The Democrats’ shallow bench is the Republican Party’s strength. What they do with the golden opportunity is another matter. Former President Donald Trump has still “got it” in the sense that there’s still an affinity for his ideas. If only he could get out of his own way with the accompanying drama.
No president has ever taken the bureaucracy to task the way that Trump has — and is still doing from the sidelines. “World War III has never been closer than it is right now,” he said in a recent online video vowing to “clean house of all of the warmongers and America’s last globalists.” Then Trump unleashed a truth bomb that’s almost unthinkable coming from a former American president. “For decades, we’ve had the very same people, such as (current Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs) Victoria Nuland and many others just like her obsessed with pushing Ukraine toward NATO, not to mention the State Department support for uprisings in Ukraine,” Trump said. This should have been front-page news everywhere: “Former US president acknowledges deep state role in fomenting foreign regime change in Ukraine.”
Trump isn’t wrong. Even NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg alluded recently to the fact that the Ukraine conflict didn’t start when many think that it did. “And the war in Ukraine did not start last February. It started in 2014. With Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the attacks in Eastern Ukraine,” he said.
Of course, Russia’s intervention in Russophone Crimea followed the Western-backed overthrow of the Ukraine government — which is exactly what Trump alluded to in his remarks.
Trump knows where the establishment’s skeletons are buried, and is the only president in recent history not to have started a war while in office. It’s no wonder that they want to stop him from returning at all costs. There would be a serious risk of peace breaking out. Which explains why John “Bomb Iran” Bolton announced that he’s running.
Former South Carolina Gov. and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is another neocon in the same mold as Bolton who has announced a run. It’s impossible to differentiate Haley’s statements from Biden’s or Bolton’s on foreign policy.
Enter Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has almost all of Trump’s attributes without the propensity to swing from the chandeliers — or whatever the social media equivalent would be. DeSantis once criticized Trump on several fronts, including foreign policy, but hasn’t been afraid to evolve. “I don’t think it’s in our interest to be getting into a proxy war with China, getting involved over things like the borderlands or over Crimea,” he said recently.
When it comes to holding back the tsunami of leftist social engineering that risks flooding Western society, both Trump and DeSantis tick the same boxes.
But what if Trump and DeSantis split like-minded GOP primary voters, creating a pathway to victory for a more establishment-friendly neocon like Bolton or Haley? DeSantis and Trump are on the same team, whether they know it or not. It’s time for them to start acting like it for the sake of the country’s future.
Rachel Marsden is a columnist, political strategist and host of independently produced talk shows in French and English. Her website can be found at http://www.rachelmarsden.com.