Democrats and Republicans Agree: Better To Lose Than To Shut Up
"When you surround an army," Sun Tzu counseled in "The Art of War," "leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard." Partisans on both sides of America's everything-looks-like-a-hammer politics have forgotten this basic tenet of strategy -- and are likely to pay for it.
Donald Trump announced that he expects to be arrested in New York and indicted in connection with charges that media reports say are about to be filed by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Democrats greeted the news with characteristic gloating.
"(Trump) cannot hide from his violations of the law, disrespect for our elections and incitements to violence," tweeted former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The New York charges concern the allegation that he misappropriated campaign funds in order to pay hush money to Stormy Daniels, who says she had sex with the former president. They have nothing to do with denying the result of the 2020 election or the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann tweeted: "ARREST TRUMP TODAY! ARREST TRUMP TOMORROW! ARREST TRUMP FOREVER!"
"I'll throw a watch party when it happens," Alyssa Farah Griffin said on ABC's The View. "Lock him up! Lock him up!" Joy Behar responded, echoing the anti-Hillary chant at Trump's rallies.
Schadenfreude is wicked fun, but gleeful Trump-bashers might want to consider the consequences: Grievance-mongering is one of Trump's main political schticks. Revel in the T-shirt of the presidential mugshot but remember, MAGA nation will use it to rile up the GOP base -- and bring back some 2016 Trump voters who became Never Trumpers as well. In a Trump perp walk (I'd advise him to demand one), conservatives will see maddening injustice where liberals see just desserts.
Indeed, even Trump's primary challengers are coming to his defense. What doesn't kill Trump makes him stronger; an arrest coupled with liberal gloating thereabout plays into his narrative that he receives unfair and disproportionate opprobrium while swampy mainstream pols get away with murder, hardens his supporters' resolve, and increases his chances of being restored to power. "If this happens, Trump will be re-elected in a landslide victory," Elon Musk predicted.
Meanwhile, Republicans are overplaying their hand on abortion.
Pro-lifers have launched a novel legal challenge to Food and Drug Administration authorization of the abortion drug mifepristone in a federal court in Texas, a case that will probably be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Wyoming recently banned medication abortion. A South Carolina bill would define abortion as murder punishable by life in prison or capital punishment. Considering that 85% of voters favor legal abortion in all or some circumstances -- a record high since 1976 -- they might ask themselves whether they've blown up a bridge too far.
One-third of American women now live in a state where abortion is illegal due to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Most abortion-ban states have exceptions for rape, incest and the life of mother on their books, but in practice very few exceptions are ever granted. A lawsuit filed by five women in Texas who nearly died because they were denied abortions to which state law said they were entitled highlights that reality.
Copyright 2023 Creators Syndicate, Inc.