Thursday, January 24, 2019


John Kasich? Jeff Flake? Mitt Romney? Larry Hogan? Forget it -- none of those guys has even a tiny chance of beating Donald Trump in the 2020 Republican primaries.

Is there anyone who might? I said this on Twitter a couple of weeks ago:

And now look what's happening:
A political action committee that pushes for stricter immigration controls said Thursday it is launching a campaign to draft conservative writer Ann Coulter to challenge President Trump.

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC has been among those most critical of Mr. Trump’s latest immigration proposal that includes temporary legal status for some 700,000 illegal immigrant “Dreamers” now protected by the Obama-era DACA program.

ALIPAC, which had been a backer of Mr. Trump’s in the 2016 election, says it’s lost faith and is now seeking a new champion.

“I hope Ann Coulter will give serious consideration to running against Trump in the primary and run on a MAGA platform offering conservative voters a pledge to keep her promises ... unlike Trump!” said William Gheen, president of ALIPAC.

He said he hoped such a bid would at least convince Mr. Trump to worry about his base voters as he prepared for re-election, and perhaps force him to abandon his latest immigration plans.
ALIPAC broke with Trump in the spring of 2017, at a time when he seemed to be softening on DACA, but the group endorsed him early in 2016 (when the primaries were still under way). And Coulter, of course, was once so delighted with Trump that she wrote an entire book called In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome!

Obviously, this is just one very far right PAC making an unsolicited plea to Coulter. There's no evidence that Coulter would agree to do this or that the GOP electorate would go along. But that's partly because much of the GOP base thinks Trump is shrewdly practicing the Art of the Deal and will eventually win. If he doesn't...?

I'm convinced that this is the only kind of challenge that could possibly work. The GOP electorate went all in for Trump in 2016. It's been all in ever since. Why would these voters suddenly decide to back a candidate who thinks they've been idiots for the past two years plus?

Also, why do we believe that a Fox-addled, ever more enraged Republican electorate will suddenly crave a Kumbaya candidate in 2020? Remember that Trump didn't come out of nowhere. Republican voters came close to nominating Newt Gingrich and then Rick Santorum in 2012 (and the man they did pick, Mitt Romney, was really angry as a candidate, even if no one remembers that). A primary process that ended with John McCain's nomination in 2008 didn't thrill the base, but Sarah Palin being added to the ticket sure did. And there were a lot of Tea Party extremists on a lot of ballots from 2010 through 2014, many of whom won. And it's still the case that there's nothing any GOP officeholder fears more than a primary challenge from the right. So why on earth would Republican voters suddenly decide that their next standard-bearer should be, say, a moderate Maryland governor who's well liked in his blue state?

The GOP electorate still wants a non-diverse, intolerant America. The electorate also wants to bathe daily in a deep pool of liberal tears. Thus, sure, there may not be much call for a primary challenger right now, but if Trump fails to get the wall, a Coulter candidacy, or a bid by someone from the same wing of the party -- possibly another media loudmouth -- is much more plausible than a #NeverTrumper challenge.


UPDATE: And yes, I know -- over the weekend I noted that Trumpers were sticking with Trump and rejecting Coulter. But that's because they think he's playing 11-dimensional chess and will get the wall in the end. But if they ever stop believing that....

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