It's Only Sensical For the Nonsense
In modern American history, most presidents serve two terms. It is unusual for a president to lose a second term. Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and Donald Trump all stand in sharp juxtaposition to Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, the other Bush, and Obama. For each, it was the economy.
After Franklin D. Roosevelt, the constitution was changed to limit presidents to eight total years of two full 4 year terms with an exception for vice presidents who take office halfway through their president’s term. They get two full terms, plus the two years.
Given that modern American presidents tend to win a second term, it would be silly for Republicans to restore President Trump to office wherein he could only stay four years. Republicans would be giving up the historic default of eight years for one man to serve two separate four year presidencies. The 2028 primary would begin before the 2024 presidential cycle even concluded. He’d be the lamest of ducks.
It would also be silly for the GOP to put in office a man who’d be no younger than Joe Biden is now. The GOP has a remarkable bench with deep experience. Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley, Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Doug Ducey, Kristi Noem, Ron DeSantis, and Mike Pence all have tremendous experience and all are younger than either President Trump or President Biden. Regardless of what you think about any of them individually, it would be a bit nuts to give up a potential eight years for any one of them for no more than four years for a second Trump term.
In fact, though polling shows about sixty percent of Republicans really want a second Trump term, that number keeps declining. I suspect a good portion of it is people who have Trump’s back when the pollsters call but who aren’t literally committed to another Trump tenure. Yes, these are the serious, not literal supporters.
What I find more interesting than all of this are two data points.
First, with Trump gone and Biden in charge, the American public is bullish on the GOP again. According to Gallup, more Americans now identify as Republican than Democrat. It is almost a complete reversal from the beginning of 2021. Biden is causing the Democrats to sour. The public is building to a big GOP wave in 2022.
Second, as the percentage of Americans who favor the GOP rises, the loudest voices against Donald Trump are the ones most likely to keep him in the forefront of conversations.
Over the weekend, Trump had a rally in Arizona. I would not have known about it, except on social media the Trump haters made sure everyone knew. Everyone else was focused on football playoffs, life, and other matters. But the pundits and reporters and news networks that made their money on Trump hatred are determined to keep cashing in. Despite all their bellyaching about Trump being a threat to democracy, they sure are committed to keeping him popular with the GOP base through their nonsensical coverage.
Conservative news networks have moved on. Conservative talk shows have moved on. But the headline writers at CNN’s website and the pontificators on MSNBC just can’t let go. Many an online site would die overnight if the writers therein could not write about Trump.
President Trump will always have a highly committed, very vocal, band of loyalists who will abide no other candidate. They may destroy the GOP in Georgia and get Stacey Abrams elected. They may block the GOP from gaining control of the Senate. But every day there seems to be less of them as the party looks forward to the future. You’d just never know that from Twitter or news networks, however.