The GOP vs. Trump 2024 case
With help from Joanne Kenen
LOSS LEADER — For former President Donald Trump, the last two days have been a slow bleed. He has been given a healthy share of the blame for the GOP’s disappointing midterm results, exposing him to unaccustomed intra-party criticism as he prepares for the 2024 election.
That turned the post-election period into the 2024 GOP primaries — contests that will shape the race long before early state voting. That will determine which candidates challenge him — if any — and what messages they use to make their case.
Trump, of course, still has an iron grip on the party’s base. Its ability to generate energy at a basic level is unmatched. But the Republican case against his reappointment is strong, given his reputation. The Republican Party lost the House, the Senate and the White House on their watch. This year, his endorsement has saddled the party with a collection of misfit candidates who have seized golden opportunities for GOP gains. The issue of “candidate quality” that has Republicans wringing their hands? It’s basically a euphemism for Trump-backed candidates.
Former ally Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey, this is how he framed it to the Associated Press: “We lost in ’18. We lost ’20. We lost in ’21 at Georgia. And now in ’22 we’re going to lose governorships, we’re not going to pick up the number of House seats we thought we would and we may not win the Senate despite a president who has a 40% job approval rating,” Christie said. “There’s only one person to blame for that, and that’s Donald Trump.”
GOP Sen. Pat Toomey called the losses in Pennsylvania and elsewhere as “a debacle for which he is partly responsible.” Former GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan echoed similar sentiments, referring to Trump on Wednesday as “withdrawing our ticket.” Even the newly elected Republican congressman told CNN today the Republican Party needs to “move on” from Trump.
Tuesday’s data did not show much support for another Trump bid, especially in states that will matter most in 2024. Exit polls in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania put his unfavorable rating at 58 percent — making him even less popular than Joe Biden, who I myself was under water in those states. In Michigan — the third state of the Rust Belt trifecta that fueled Trump’s 2016 election — voters rejected Trump’s proxies up and down as part of the Democratic tussle.
Even in Florida, a state Trump carried twice and the site of a stunningly strong GOP performance in the midterms, voters showed little interest in seeing the former president run again. When asked if they want Trump to run again in 202460 percent said no, compared to 33 percent who said yes.
Trump has been in this position before. The question is whether this moment is playing out according to a familiar script — like the Access Hollywood scandal or the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, both of which sparked a spasm of GOP criticism followed by a party-wide capitulation — or something different.
The rise of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who led the electoral charge at the top of Florida’s slate in the state by 30 electoral votes, complicates Trump’s ability to navigate his current predicament. already betting and prediction the markets assessed the situation and made a snap decision, shifting their 2024 presidential outlook from Trump as the front-runner for the GOP nomination to DeSantis.
— Musk’s Twitter mayhem brings a stark warning from the FTC: Elon Musk’s Twitter came under sudden and unusual fire from the Federal Trade Commission in Washington today, after a chaotic 24 hours in which new subscription rules triggered a flurry of fake “verified” accounts and key privacy and security executives quit their jobs. The introduction of a new policy Wednesday night in which Twitter users can buy “blue check” verification for $8 a month has unleashed a wave of fake accounts, each bearing a blue “verified” check, impersonating a range of public figures — Trump, George W. Bush, Rudy Giuliani, Biden.
— Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wins Montana House race: Trump Administration Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will represent Montana in Congress next year, returning to Washington four years after his scandal-plagued tenure as cabinet secretary ended in resignation. Zinke will represent Montana’s 1st Congressional District, which covers the western half of the state, thanks to his victory over Democrat Monica Tranel. The district, which Montana won this year after redistricting based on the 2020 Census, was considered the more competitive of the two state representative races.
— On January 6, the accused who published violent swear words was released before trial: Federal judge today ordered the release of defendant Ryan Nichols on Jan. 6, whose violent tirades amid the mob and use of OC spray against police have landed him in pretrial detention for the past 20 months. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan — who originally ordered and has repeatedly upheld Nichols’ jailing — said he still considers Nichols a danger to the community, which is why he ordered him locked up in the first place. But he said Nichols’ current confinement at a detention facility in Rappahannock, Va., has prevented him from accessing digital evidence in the case, which is set to go to trial next year.
ALL ABOUT MONEY — The head of NATO predicted that Great Britain would continue to “lead by example” on defense spending, even as Britain grapples with a crisis in its public finances, he writes Cristina Gallardo.
Speaking to reporters during a visit to 10 Downing Street on Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg praised new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his government for their “strong support” for the transatlantic alliance.
Sunak’s predecessor, Liz Truss, pledged to increase defense spending to 3 percent of GDP by 2030. But Sunak – whose government took office facing an economic crisis and a multibillion-pound black hole in the public finances – has not said whether he will stick to it. of that promise while his ministers seek austerity.
Asked by POLITICO if he felt reassured by the UK’s defense spending plans amid fears that the government could reduce its commitments, Stoltenberg said he was “absolutely confident that the UK will continue to lead by example” in this area.
SAFE HARBOR — What in the world is a mastodon? As Twitter goes through turmoil, some users are abandoning the app and I am looking for a new home. Mastodon couldn’t possibly be that place – what could it be? John Herrman reports for New York Magazine.
ACIN’S QUIET SUCCESS — The enrollment season for the Affordable Care Act began on November 1st. And you may have heard little or nothing about it, Joanne KenenCommonwealth Fund reporter-in-residence at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, emails Nightly.
Out of nowhere, in a last-minute promise to repeal Obamacare by Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (and governors can’t repeal Obamacare, not that it really matters here), the long-controversial health care law of 2010 is now . .. not controversial. It’s just part of American health care.
The Biden administration strengthened it, expanding eligibility for subsidies and making it more affordable for low-income people. Four out of five people can find an option for less than $10 a month, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs the ACA.
And — even if many of us don’t see or hear much about open enrollment — multimedia, multilingual outreach is underway with people who are covered or who don’t currently get an ACA plan but are eligible for coverage, said Ellen Montz, who runs the CMS office that oversees the ACA. In addition, CMS is investing nearly $100 million to expand “navigator” services — as it sounds, helping people trying to find the best health plan option for them, especially in underserved communities. The Trump administration has cut those aid programs.
Insurers participating in the Obamacare marketplaces must now also offer a “standardized” option — meaning it’s easier for people to understand and comparison shop. And of course, HealthCare.gov, the shaky website that nearly destroyed then-President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement in 2014, ran smoothly for several years.
Like we said – big yawn.
But about 14 million people are now covered by ACA plans (and another 21 million in the ACA Medicaid expansion). And in uncertain economic times—if a recession is indeed in our future—people who lose their jobs (and their insurance) will have a way to cover themselves. Maybe it’s not so boring after all.
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