Recent polls show that Republicans overwhelmingly, want Trump as their nominee in 2024-- and that he would lose to Biden by an even greater margin than he did in 2020. Just yesterday, a poll by YouGov for The Economist showed that 66% of Republicans want Trump as their nominee, while just 30% of Americans want Trump as their president. But before dawn today, Politico reported that Trump is confiding in allies that as long as his health stands up he intends to run again in 2024 but that "some Republicans who supported him consistently during his presidency have mixed opinions about the possibility of a Trump 2024 campaign... Multiple Republicans... say Trump’s appeal can be replicated by someone without the baggage of two impeachments, a Capitol riot he stoked, groundless challenges to his election loss and a barrage of inflammatory statements. Those GOP lawmakers believe their party is more competitive than it was five years ago but that Trump himself may no longer be the best standard-bearer. Of course, most of them would sooner retire than attach their names to that opinion... Of course, some conservatives argue that if 2024 candidates are going to just replicate his platform, why not go with the man himself? Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), one of Trump’s fiercest allies, said: 'I’m for Trump, period. I don't care who else is running.'"
Another early morning report from Politico today, claims many DC Republicans dread Trump going on the road again early next month with all the attendant chaos and controversy, "predicting his rallies will cause a major headache for the party as it mounts a bid to take back Congress in 2022... GOP lawmakers are privately relieved he no longer has those [Twitter and Facebook] megaphones. But the resumption of rallies gives Trump a new platform to spout conspiracy theories about the election and air his grievances-- at the same time most Republicans are desperate to move on and talk about the Biden agenda. 'If we win the majority back in 17 months, it's going to be in spite of Trump-- not because of Trump.' said one senior House Republican aide for a lawmaker considered one of Trump’s top supporters on Capitol Hill. 'He will totally take credit if we win the House back-- but it won’t be because of him. This guy is a disaster.'"
Still in Trump's thrall, Senate Republicans are expected to use the filibuster to block the sedition commission today. Most normal Americans, particularly independents and swing voters-- and by very wide margins-- want to see the commission established and get to the bottom of the failed coup attempt.
Punchbowl News' big contribution to the early morning buzz was an advance copy of the speech Paul Ryan plans to give at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley tonight where he will take aim at... Señor Trumpanzee. Excerpts:
"Once again, we conservatives find ourselves at a crossroads. And here’s one reality we have to face. If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of one personality, or on second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere. Voters looking for Republican leaders want to see independence and mettle...
"We win majorities by directing our loyalty and respect to voters, and by staying faithful to the conservative principles that unite us. This was true even when the person leading our movement was as impressive, polished, and agreeable as they come...
"In 2020, the country wanted a nice guy who would move to the center and depolarize our politics. Instead, we got a nice guy pursuing an agenda more leftist than any president in my lifetime. These policies might have the full approval of his progressive supporters, but they break faith with the middle-of-the-road folks who made the difference for him on Election Day.
"For conservatives, this painful existence as the opposition can actually be an opportunity. Out of these years can come a healthy, growing, and united conservative movement, a movement that speaks again to the heart of a great nation…
"As the left gets more 'woke,' the rest of America is getting weary. It’s exhausting. And we conservatives have to be careful not to get caught up in every little cultural battle. Sometimes these skirmishes are just creations of outrage peddlers, detached from reality and not worth anybody’s time. They draw attention away from the far more important case we must make to the American people.
Culture matters, yes, but our party must be defined by more than a tussle over the latest grievance or perceived slight. We must not let them take priority over solutions-- grounded in principle-- to improve people’s lives."
Does Ryan speak for the mainstream of the Republican Party? Not by a long shot. The GOP base has wandered so far from any semblence of mainstream that today the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) reported that "A nontrivial 15% of Americans agree with the sweeping QAnon allegation that 'the government, media, and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation,' while the vast majority of Americans (82%) disagree with this statement. Republicans (23%) are significantly more likely than independents (14%) and Democrats (8%) to agree that the government, media, and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation." What would Paul Ryan have to say to this fine folks in his party?