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Profiles in Non-Courage

Republicans and Democrats are hiding, in different ways, from different things. Few have the courage to speak.
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Democrats in Hiding2

Moderates Democrats Hide Behind Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema

WSJ writer Kimberley A. Strassel accurately comments On Reconciliation Bill, Senate Moderates Hide Behind Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema

This Senate Democratic caucus isn’t divided into liberals or moderates as much as into doers and hiders. In the former camp are progressives, Mr. Manchin, and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, all doing pitched battle over the biggest proposed alteration to U.S. government reach in decades. In the latter are several of the most vulnerable Democrats whose seats are up in 2022—skulking in corners, happy to let their fellow “centrists” take the slings and arrows involved in making the bill less bad.

Compare and contrast the Arizona delegation’s members. Ms. Sinema is getting harassed by activists and facing threats of a 2024 primary challenge over her demands that the bill be reduced in size and stripped of onerous tax hikes. She is daily pummeled for not being more “open” about her requirements. Meantime, Sen. Mark Kelly, up for re-election next year, has yet to muster a concrete public position on most anything concerning the bill’s size, shape or timing.

Nevada’s Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto was among the “centrists” invited to the White House in October to discuss the bill. Yet her contribution appears to begin and end with her successful killing of a small provision to establish a new royalty on hardrock mining. This “moderate” otherwise appears to be good with . . . whatever. Three and a half trillion? Sure. Half that? Sure. Paid family leave? Sure. No paid family leave? Sure.

The skulkers’ political bet is that they can get through this ugly fight with the minimum of fuss, and then campaign on the most popular provisions and their other bipartisan achievements. They are counting on the press to continue giving them a pass—in aid of their re-election—and that’s certainly worked so far.

Will He or Won't He?

That's actually a dual question. Replace "He" once with Manchin and once again with Trump. First things first. 

Will Manchin Kill the Bill?

I find that doubtful, although its possible, perhaps a 15% chance. However, it is very likely he will insist on some changes that Progressives will be mad as hornets over.

Unfortunately, with Pelosi backing down and passing the infrastructure bill first, the Progressives will want to salvage something out of this mess. 

So even if the Senate kicks the bill back to the House, expect the House to vote for it. 

Will Trump Run?

Nearly everyone I talk to believes he will. I believe that if he does, will find an excuse later (health or personal reasons) to back out. 

Virginia and New Jersey show that Trump is best forgotten. Trump's age and health will come into play. 

Fox News has discussion of the topic including quotes from Trump. 

Former President Donald Trump, in an exclusive interview with Fox News, said he will "probably" wait until after the 2022 midterm elections to formally announce whether he will run for president in 2024.

"I am certainly thinking about it and we’ll see," Trump said. "I think a lot of people will be very happy, frankly, with the decision, and probably will announce that after the midterms."

The former president said that timeline was "probably appropriate."

"It doesn’t mean I will," Trump said of whether he will stick to that timeline. "It’s probably appropriate, but a lot of people are waiting for that decision to be made."

The former president said that "a lot of great people who are thinking about running are waiting for that decision, because they’re not going to run if I run." 

"We have a lot, they’re all very well named," he said of the GOP White House hopefuls. "But almost all of them said if I run, they’ll never run."

The Republican Party’s dilemma over Donald Trump

A close friend of mine believes Trump will run. For his take, please see The Republican Party’s dilemma over Donald Trump

But we do agree on many key points including the following dilemma:

Republicans face a dilemma. Politics is not just about winning elections, but also about governing. A president whose strategy is to win with a minority of the popular vote and while in office is then content playing only for applause from his committed base is a threat to a party with an electorate shrinking demographically. In pursuing a policy agenda, the goal should be to try to convince those who did not vote for you to support your initiatives. However, Trump is so polarizing that it makes this almost impossible as it leads one open to the charge of being “like Trump.”

Trump is also scorched earth even among his supporters if they do not fall into line. That person will be vilified and face the prospect of being primaried with some significant percentage of the 74 million who voted for Trump ready to deliver his vindictive judgment. This hardened core of support is the source of his power over the party. Now Trump is now calling for Republicans not to vote in 2022 and 2024 if he does not get his way.

While Trump looks backward fueled by grievance, Ronald Reagan spoke with optimism of “morning in America” and the potential of the “city upon a hill.” With Trump winning is entirely personal. To Ike and Reagan victory was to advance principles. In his ascent Trump hijacked the “party of Reagan.” While Trump properly focused attention on many critical issues that had been ignored by establishment elites, his embrace of those issues sought polarization, rather than to build consensus.

Waiting Game

For starters, none of what Trump says is believable. In recently told OAN he still believes the 2020 election will be decertified.

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Trump discredits himself with such nonsense, and he does it all the time.

Has everyone agreed to back out if Trump decides to run? Color me skeptical. He will say anything to feed his own ego. 

A big waiting game is in progress. No one wants to announce before Trump and have Trump steal their thunder. 

Trump wants to drag out his announcement as long as possible. 

"A lot of people will be happy with the decision," is certainly a true statement by Trump. It holds true whether he announces to run or not. 

However, 3 years is a long time. So is two+ years when primaries start. Lots of things can happen in the next two years even if Trump announces before Thanksgiving that he will run. 

Things can easily change. 

Profiles In Courage and Non-Courage

Polarization is too intense already and all Trump can do is make matters worse with another round of nonsensical tariffs and trade wars on top of it.

As my friend said, the nation needs to look forward, not backward, out of revenge. Enough of the "I won big" lie. 

Trump lost, and like Hillary looks everywhere else but himsel for the reason. 

Hillary blames Russia, Trump says the election was stolen. Both are egomaniac lies. 

If nothing else, Republicans ought to have the decency and courage to stand up to obvious lies. 

Profiles in Courage and Non-Courage applies not only to the Senate, but to the next presidential election as well

The Virginia election proves that distancing from Trump is the smart thing to do. 

But if Trump runs, distancing will no longer be possible. Republicans will be forced into a decision to challenge him, or not. 

Some will have the courage. Others would rather suck up and shy away. It could get messy.

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