, 04.04.2023 03:39 PM

My latest: charging Trump legally stupid, possibly politically smart

Charging Donald J. Trump with crimes — as he was, Tuesday, with nearly three dozen offences — was a really, really bad idea.

The prosecutor is a card-carrying Democrat — so the charges look like political payback. And the unprecedented decision to criminally charge a former Republican president, whose career and fortunes were decidedly on the wane until he was indicted, has unified Republicans like never before.

The State of New York vs. Donald J. Trump may well guarantee Trump the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, in fact.

And that’s why — in a dark, dastardly and Machiavellian kind of way — it may be a stroke of political genius. Legally doomed to failure, yes.

But politically brilliant. Here’s why.

Last year, in the lead up to the midterm elections, Democrats were trailing everywhere. President Joe Biden was extremely unpopular, Democrats were fighting amongst themselves in the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the party did not seem to have a clear message on the economy.

And the U.S. economy was not doing well, thanks to surging inflation.

The only group that seem to be more unpopular than the Democrats, in fact, were Trump-affiliated MAGA Republicans.

So, Democrats got to work doing something that had never really been done before out in the open: supporting Republicans who were seen as close to Donald Trump. The ones who denied the 2020 election results, the ones who said the most outrageous things, the ones who embraced the most extreme policies.

As political strategies go, it did not seem very ethical or moral. After all, how can you claim to object to Donald Trump when you are helping out Donald Trump’s closest allies?

But help them they did. In New Hampshire, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois, Arizona, Democrats quietly schemed to fundraise for MAGA Republicans, run ads promoting them, and get their names on the ballot. They spent millions doing so.

Incredibly, the dirty-tricky strategy worked. NPR analyze the results following the midterm elections and concluded: “In high-profile races where Democratic candidates or groups successfully used the strategy during the primaries, all of the Republicans they helped have either lost or are trailing, two days after Election Day.”

Added NPR: “The strategy seems to have paid off.”

Many Dems didn’t care. “It’s dishonorable, and it’s dangerous, and it’s just damn wrong,” said Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips. But the results told a different story: boosting Trump-linked MAGA types in Senate, House and gubernatorial races worked, big time.

And, quietly, Democrats may well be doing it again, with the biggest MAGA Trump Republican of all: Donald Trump himself.

They know that Biden isn’t nearly as popular as they’d like. They know he’s seen as too old by too many voters. They know Biden could lose, badly, to Florida’s Ron DeSantis.

So, they’re putting their Democratic fingers on the scale, and quietly scheming to get their biggest asset back on the presidential ballot.

That is, Donald J. Trump — the guy who will likely win in a court of law.

But who will almost certainly lose in the court of public opinion as a result.


  1. Gilbert says:

    I agree with you.

  2. Martin Dixon says:

    If you believe that a T presidency will end American civilization as we know it, even if there is only a 10% chance that he will win, game theory dictates that this tactic is a terrible idea, mathematically.

  3. Warren,

    This case is a political disrupter and appears to have very little merit as potential felonies. So Dems are fighting the last war and predicting similar results to 2022. Big mistake. This is a whole new ballgame and requires an entirely new game plan to win in ’24. Sure, this prosecution is making Trump stronger, which is never good for Democrats. Trump is solidifying himself as the MAGA “Jesus Christ”. And that in and of itself is extremely dangerous for Democrats in ’24. This is unheard-of territory so electoral predictions are useless. Trump is the right giant killer and is strengthening in force day by day. Democrats need to be cognizant of that. ’24 won’t be a cut-and-paste copy of ’22. And that possibility should be incredibly disturbing for all Democrats and their likely nominee, Biden. In short, Biden needs to be ditched now in favour of a far stronger candidate to increase the odds of winning against Trump. Biden is a weak re-election candidate and therefore should not be the nominee. No way, no how. Democrats have an overdose of hubris going into ’24. That’s simply not enough to win, even against a resurging Trump, if Biden is the nominee.

  4. Sean says:

    I honestly don’t follow why this is too complicated and convoluted. He paid someone to shut up to benefit a campaign and he didn’t record it properly. Apparently this is punishable with jail time in the State of New York. Why is that to complicated for a jury to understand ?

  5. Sean says:

    Today we watched a prosecutor stick to his principles in direct opposition to the popular sentiments of allies and foes alike. In politics and in law… there can never be a more thrilling and satisfying moment. Fiat justitia ruat caelum!

  6. Sean says:

    Further to Warren’s line of thinking – and here’s some Machiavellianism for ya – every f&%king dollar sent to Trumps bullshit legal fund etc… is one dollar not sent to Ron Desantis, Nikki Haley or Mike Pence during the primaries or during the general… This trial is feeding the filthy tumor growing in the Republican body, and preventing it from walking in 2024.

  7. Sean says:

    Don’t think for a moment that the prosecutors in Georgia, New York, Washington and Florida aren’t all coordinated. I think this case is the first because it is the softest and the easiest to prove. They wanted Trump in a court room in the biggest media wasp nest in the world first. NYC. To put it in everyone’s head that this guy can and will face charges. That mental barrier needed to be broken for a lot of people not just in the U. S. but around the world. I think that was one of the main purposes of today’s prosecution.

  8. Warren,

    The other thing that’s off is linking Cohen’s jail time to this case. His testimony here is only tangentially related to his prison sentence. He hit the slammer because he lied to Congress. Perjury charge. Apples and oranges, if you ask me.

    • Ron Benn says:

      RO’D, a witness who has previously been convicted of perjury can/will be presented by the defense attorneys as tainted. Trump’s legal counsel will appeal to the jury (if there is one) to filter Cohen’s testimony through the dual filters of:
      > a person seeking revenge for Trump not pardoning him; and
      > a history of lying under oath.

  9. EsterHazyWasALoser says:

    Too early to tell…a lot can happen between now and the next presidential election. Both Trump and Biden could be rendered medically (or mentally) unfit to stand in 2024. I am not convinced that another Republican challenger can’t win the nomination, although I’m not sure DeSantis wants to throw his hat in the ring this time. IMHO, he would be better to wait. Reagan won two terms, Clinton won two terms, Bush won two terms and Obama won two terms. I would let the Dems self destruct over the next few years, and then clean up in 2024 (but that’s just me).

    • EHWAL,

      Yup, DeSantis must be having serious second thoughts. If he senses that Trump likely will wrap it up early, then DeSantis will quickly suffer from retreating balls. That’s DeSantis in a nutshell.

  10. western view says:

    This strategy could be blindsided by a very, very real external influence: Joe Biden doesn’t seek re-election. Or becomes incapacitated to prompt his retirement.

    If the Democrats are forced to look beyond the geritocracy class to find a presidential nominee, perhaps that will be the catalyst for the GOP to do the same.

    With a few hundred million Americans residents to choose from, surely they can produce a better effort than Biden v. Trump 2.0

  11. Robert White says:

    Biden will be prompted to move over for Robert Kennedy Junior given that he announced he is running in 2024 two days ago.

    RFK Jr. has the best chance of appropriating Trump’s base given he is an adversary of the state on Covid-19 and via vaccines of same.

    He has the chops for POTUS IMHO.

    And I fully agree with the entirety of the article here, Warren.

    P.S. I got banned from Zero Hedge because Trump got indicted and that website’s leadership is antagonistically vindictive to anyone that stands on the left as I do.


    • Robert,

      An anti-vaxxer is a person who doesn’t give a shit if they contract COVID-19 and then pass it on to someone else. For them, doing everything possible to reduce the risk of transmission is not important. They are self-centered delusional narcissists on their best day…and as such, RFK Jr. would never, ever, get my vote. EVIDENTLY, he has no judgment, like so many others.

      • Martin Dixon says:

        I thought I posted this. If so and it got blocked, I apologize for this second attempt. Strikes me that it is a non debatable factual statement.

        Ronald, he may not get your vote but since when is being a self-centred delusional narcissist a barrier to admission? More than 30% of the electorate up here disagree with that view.

      • Robert White says:

        I majored in Personality Theory for my B.A. Honours in Experimental Psychology at Carleton University way back in the 90s. Robert F. Kennedy Junior adheres to the basis of medicine which is Informed Consent legislation
        currently on the books.

        If you can’t adhere to the very basis of medicine via Informed Consent legislation you shouldn’t be practicing medicine, Ronald.

        I respect you far too much as a fighter to actually get in a fight with you, Ronald.

        You can egg me on, but I wasn’t born yesterday, eh.



        • Robert,

          Thanks. Likewise.

          As gentlemen, we will agree to disagree and leave it at that.

          • Martin Dixon says:

            I have no idea what you guys are talking about but it strikes me that one can be an anti-vaxxer and still give a shit if they contract COVID-19 and then pass it on to someone else.

      • Curious V says:

        An anti-vaxxer is a person who is brainwashed, and in the throws of conspiracy theory. Narcissism is a common trait in folks who prescribe to conspiracy theory. Good post Ronald.

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