For Joe Biden and Donald Trump, An Autumn of Discontents
For all of his talk about the “fake,” “biased,” “dishonest,” “corrupt,” and “left-wing” media, I know Donald Trump loves us. He really does. He feeds off of our attention. His insults are just his way of showing his love.
Or maybe that’s just my jolly journalist’s view of his recent venture into what sounded eyelash-close to an endorsement of Democratic icon Stacey Abrams to replace Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.
“Having her, I think, might be better than having your existing governor, if you want to know what I think,” Trump told a MAGA crowd in Perry, Georgia, that for a moment sounded unsure of whether to boo, cheer or laugh. He had to be kidding, right?
But, no, he underscored his supposed seriousness with, “Stacey, would you like to take his place? It’s OK with me.”
Right. Abrams is a former state legislator who lost a close gubernatorial race in 2018, when she was roundly slammed by Trump. For the record, she is not even in the race this time.
But this speech offered a moment of Trumpian justice. Kemp, whom Trump roundly endorsed in 2018, has since committed the unpardonable sin in Trump World of refusing to assist Trump’s unsuccessful attempt to overturn the Peach State’s 2020 election returns, which did not go Trump’s way.
Trump may be particularly upset that some Georgia GOP operatives are telling reporters that Kemp’s boldly conservative positions on culture war and “election integrity” issues, which Abrams’ side calls “voter suppression,” have kept him in good favor with his supporters.
If Kemp survives politically, his endurance in the face of Trump ire could serve as a model for other embattled Republicans such as Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney or Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who face tough headwinds in the Grand Old Party after voting with eight other Republicans for Trump’s impeachment.
But on the Democratic side, with apologies to Shakespeare, this looks even more like an autumn of discontents.
Fissures between Democratic moderates and progressives are as openly exposed as the Grand Canyon.