WATCH LIVE: President Obama Delivers Remarks On The Affordable Care Act
October 30 | 2013
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Well, the big news is that after a couple of days of even more expert analysis, nothing’s going to save us. Certainly not the Supreme Court. They’re in the tank for Donald Trump, full stop. It doesn’t matter which way they will eventually rule on his claim of absolute immunity, hell, it doesn’t even matter whether they’ll rule at all. They’re going to toss the 14th Amendment’s insurrectionist ban in the garbage, and then they’re going to dilly dally until presidential immunity is a moot point.
But even if the Supreme Court were to hurry up the case and rule against Trump’s claim of immunity, that wouldn’t save us, either. Even Jack Smith getting a conviction before Election Day wouldn’t save us.
Donald Trump has to be beaten at the ballot box, and beaten badly, and we can do it.
Trump’s performance in the Republican primaries so far has been abysmal. In three of the primaries, 40 percent of the voters in his own party didn’t vote for him. In the fourth, about 30 percent didn’t want him. Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, and significant numbers of Republican voters have rejected him every chance they’ve gotten. This can’t be emphasized enough. Those were Republican votes he didn’t get.
Every time you read a story about Trump, the political pundits are saying he has remade the Republican Party in his own image, he’s turned it into the MAGA party, he owns the party’s base. Really? Trump wasn’t running against Joe Biden in those primaries. With the likes of Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley on the primary ballot, Trump didn’t have an opponent that anybody in his party thought could actually win the nomination. Those weren’t votes for DeSantis or Haley as much as they were protest votes against Trump.
I’m not making an argument that those Republicans who voted against Trump in the primaries are going to vote for Biden in November. A few of them might, and most of them will vote for the Republican nominee, who will be Donald Trump, because that’s what Republicans do. But some of them are going to stay home.
That means Donald Trump is beatable. It won’t be easy, it will be closer than it should be, but he is not going to get as large a share of the popular vote as he got last time.
Sure, the MAGA people love him, they buy the red hats and they fly the flags from their pickup trucks and some of them turn out for his rallies. But not as many as in 2020, and certainly not as many as in 2016.
He’s bleeding. His fund raising is in the basement. A massive percentage of the money he’s raised through Super Pacs has gone to pay for his legal defense in the trials he has already faced and lost in New York and will face again in three weeks, and to the lawyers he’s hired to file the flurry of appeals briefs they’ve been cranking out. The New York Times reported last week that Trump committees had spent $50 million on legal expenses last year, “and those costs are likely to balloon as he prepares for potential trials this year.”
Why isn’t this a bigger story? Why has so much of the political coverage of Trump emphasized how he “trounced” his opponents in the primaries, when he lost between 30 and 40 percent of the vote in each of them? Reading the coverage of Joe Biden’s win in Michigan, you’d have thought that 80 percent of the vote was a loss, and a 13 percent vote for “uncommitted” was a disaster. President Obama got an 11 percent uncommitted vote when he was running for reelection. Where was that number in the mainstream coverage of the Michigan primary?
The Washington Post reported on Thursday that an analysis of Republican primary results showed that “voters 65 or older were the age group most likely to support Trump in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. They made up more than a third of his voters, increasing from a quarter eight years ago.” How is that good news for Donald Trump? It’s not.
I’m going to keep reporting on Trump’s legal woes because it’s an important story and because I just love it that he is finally being held to account for at least some of the crimes he has committed. But what I’m going to be paying the most attention to is the nuts and bolts of beating his sorry ass in November.
We can do it. The first thing we’ve got to do is get over the idea that this is somehow a different country than it has been because Donald Trump is running for president again. It’s not. He’s not a superman. Owning a corrupt Supreme Court does not give him the political power to win an election that depends on the votes of American citizens.
With abortion and IVF scaring the shit out of voters all over the country, we know we’ve got the issues. We know there are more of us than there are of them. What we’ve got to do is turn out and vote.
Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.
A bill that will allow Louisiana residents to carry a concealed firearm without a permit is headed to the desk of Republican Gov. Jeff Landry. The bill would also remove current requirements for new gun owners to have their fingerprints taken and attend a training course on firearm safety. Landry has already indicated he intends to sign this bill into law.
The Republican governor is also set to sign a new batch of “tough on crime” bills authored and approved by a GOP-dominated state Legislature. These bills increase the number of crimes that are subject to prison sentences and lengthen sentences for existing crimes.
Louisiana currently has the second-highest incarceration rate in the nation. It also has the second-highest firearm mortality rate and the second-highest homicide rate. How are Republican legislators addressing these issues? By putting more people in prison and increasing potential gun violence.
When you add in people held in local jails, Louisiana has the nation’s highest overall rate of imprisonment. Thanks to relatively low spending per prisoner, it doesn’t make the top 10 when it comes to the overall cost of incarceration. However, it still manages to blow through better than $1 billion per year on correctional facilities.
The new legislation would add 60 crimes to the list of those ineligible for probation or a suspended sentence, ensuring that every conviction results in prison time. It would also increase the time prisoners must serve before they are eligible for parole.
The new legislation also makes juvenile court records public, even though they are typically sealed to protect minors. That means even a crime committed as a juvenile will now be visible to potential employers and others for the rest of a young offender’s life.
Meanwhile, the state Legislature is also pushing through a permitless concealed carry law that dumps the state’s previous requirements for training. An 11-state study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health showed that dropping training requirements for those carrying concealed weapons resulted in an average of 21 additional gun assaults per 100,000 population.
Considering how closely Louisiana trails Mississippi for the top spot in gun deaths (28.6 gun deaths per 100,000 population in Mississippi vs. 26.3 per 100,000 in Louisiana) this seems like just the ticket to move the Bayou State to the top of the chart.
For comparison, Louisiana’s rate of gun deaths is three times greater than California's and almost five times greater than New York’s. But then, those states both require permits.
Meanwhile, as it prepares to spend more money on prisons, Louisiana turned down federal funds to feed 594,000 hungry children this summer and falls 20% below the national average on spending for education.
Still, Landry is looking at one cost-cutting move to shorten some prison sentences: The governor reportedly wants to add hydrogen gas as a death row execution method and make electrocutions a thing again.
Maybe he’ll try using both at once. Oh, the humanity.
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.