Sunday, November 27, 2022


Once a year, Maureen Dowd lets her right-wing brother Kevin take over her column. In this year's edition, his views of the top 2024 GOP presidential candidates are exactly in alignment with Rupert Murdoch's. Ron DeSantis is the bee's knees:
Republican hopes for 2024 must rest with their new superstar, Ron DeSantis, who won almost 60 percent of the vote in his race to be re-elected governor of Florida, paving the way for four new G.O.P. House members. His handling of Hurricane Ian was only his latest feat, building on his popular defense of parental rights in education, his support of the police and his fight against wokeism.
A Florida governor "handling" a hurricane isn't a "feat"; it's a minimum requirement of the job. If a taxi driver successfully negotiates a left turn, you wouldn't call it a "feat" -- the ability to do that is part of the minimum skill set needed for the job. But Kevin is in love with DeSantis, as all Republicans are expected to be.

Kevin is also totally over Donald Trump. All Reublicans are expected to share this perspective as well, though the GOP Establishment is having a harder time selling it, according to the polls. But Kevin is completely on board with GOP elite opinion:
Donald Trump is radioactive. His insistence on picking candidates based on their loyalty to him cost Republicans control of the Senate in consecutive elections, and his attacks on other Republicans are despicable. Historians will judge his presidency in more generous terms than the media does now, and we will be forever in his debt for saving the country and the Supreme Court from Hillary Clinton, but his effectiveness has passed.

His announcement that he will run again was greeted with resounding silence from Republicans the next day. Rupert Murdoch stripped Trump of the formidable Fox defenses. Trump’s isolation was made plain at his announcement party, where the only member of Congress in sight was Madison Cawthorn, who lost his own primary.

A third Trump run will simply settle old scores with political enemies and the press and ignore the repair work that the G.O.P. needs to be done.
Trump's biggest sin? Not the racism, the deadly downplaying of the pandemic, or the mancrush on Vladimir Putin -- and certainly not January 6. None of those are mentioned. Trump is bad, according to Kevin, primarily because he loses elections for the GOP. (If you ever ask yourself, "What does the GOP stand for?," the answer is "The GOP stands for the GOP winning elections.")

Kevin is happy about GOP gains in the House, and he leads us to believe that it's for policy reasons:
Republicans have won the House and ended the torturous reign of Nancy Pelosi. With that victory come the purse strings, which should put Democratic profligacy on the skids.
He then writes:
Republicans’ first order of business should be ...
Should be what? Proposing a non-"profligate" budget? Nahhh:
Republicans’ first order of business should be impeaching the odious Alejandro Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary, who has presided over the disgraceful situation at the border, wearing incompetence like a badge of honor.
Yeah, that ought to get spending under control!

I told you a few days ago that Mayorkas was more likely to be impeached than Joe Biden, and Kevin is completely on board. As for a Biden impeachment, tellingly, he doesn't even mention the possibility; instead he predicts that Biden will run again in 2024. He's internalized what I believe is the party elite's view, that a Biden impeachment followed by an inevitable acquittal in the Senate would just garner sympathy for him, and might help him get reelected, but a Mayorkas impeachment is lower risk (very few voters have warm feelings regarding Mayorkas, or any feelings at all), and maybe a few Democratic senators, especially the ones up for reelection in 2024 in red or purple states, would vote to convict. Also, allowing a Mayorkas impeachment takes some of the pressure off Kevin McCarthy to greenlight a Biden impeachment.

So yes, I think it's going to happen. I think Kevin Dowd is reciting the party line.

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