Opinion: Donald Trump to the Democrats’ rescue

photo by: Contributed

Froma Harrop

Donald Trump will not go away. Not quietly. Not at all. For that, Democrats should send him roses.

Things were looking dim for them. Even the Jan. 6 outrage at the Capitol, downplayed by the Republican leadership, failed to nauseate enough voters to send the GOP’s poll numbers south. For a while, the toxic Trump was fading into the past. Many Americans, meanwhile, were not taking seriously the attempt to rig past and future elections, though they should have.

At the same time, Democratic leaders proved themselves short on charm. President Joe Biden was too busy doing his job to entertain the media. Inflation commandeered the headlines as did culture war baubles of little consequence.

Then the U.S. Supreme Court took away the right to an abortion. That was of consequence. (Justice Clarence Thomas helpfully opined that the same thinking could apply to contraception.) And so voters in conservative Kansas spoke up, crushing an effort to nearly ban abortion in their state.

Then the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago to retrieve boxes of classified documents that Trump lied about hiding in this country club. Some are so top-secret, even the investigators need clearance to look at them. Then Trump and other leading Republicans started issuing threats to America and the FBI agents tasked with protecting it. There would be riots in the streets, they said, if Trump wasn’t allowed to do whatever he intended to do with his illegal trove of national secrets.

All those “thens” are tied to the man who lost the 2020 election — we can’t say this enough — by 7 million votes. Trump is back in our faces, big time. He’s raising money doing it, which means he’s not going to stop.

Those earlier grim predictions for Democrats in the midterms counted out Biden. No one underestimates him as much as Democrats do. During the 2020 presidential primaries, Biden was dismissed as too unexciting, too old, too conservative for the young base. Then after a couple of contests he started sweeping the flashy lefties aside and easily won the nomination. Once he was in office, they complained that he hadn’t gotten any major pieces of legislation passed. Then major pieces of legislation passed.

Biden’s approval rating remains a low 40%, according to a Quinnipiac University poll. But Trump’s is a dismal 34%. Thanks to Trump, the midterms are now less a referendum on how Biden is doing than a choice between Trump and all he represents.

Trump correctly noted that the Supreme Court decision on abortion would be bad for Republicans. But three members of the court who made that decision possible were put there by him.

Biden has been addressing the nation about the dangers of Trumpian extremism. You see him flanked by Marines. You see police officers seated in his audience. You hear him denouncing Republican demands to defund the FBI, tying it to nonsense about defunding the police. He smartly includes non-MAGA Republicans in his vision of a silent majority appalled by the violence and apparent criminality of Trump world. Biden is normal.

Democrats have recently won some special congressional elections in swing districts. It would appear that banning abortion and demonizing law enforcement is not the path to the electorate’s heart. Some Republican candidates — Adam Laxalt in Nevada and Ted Budd in North Carolina, for example — are now downplaying their Trump endorsements. Others are fudging previous stances against abortion.

No, Trump is not going to give up his massive spotlight, not for the good of the party, much less America. It’s Trump to the rescue for Democrats, though. That could finally pull the plug on him.

— Froma Harrop is a syndicated columnist with Creators.

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