They Can Write Books, But They Cannot Govern

Cartoonist Scott Stantis writes that …

“When I started working in Republican campaigns, the party I signed up for had allegiance to a set of principles and ideals. Lower taxes, fewer regulations and, mostly, adherence to the rule of law. Now we see a bizarro party where right is wrong, wrong is right and a strictly enforced allegiance, not to principles, but to a deeply flawed individual.”

He is, I believe, spot-on.  The ‘GOP’ perhaps should be re-named the ‘DOP’ — Decayed Old Party.  Frank Bruni’s newsletter today further cements Stantis’ view of today’s Republican Party …

Josh Hawley’s manhood, Mike Pompeo’s midriff and other 2024 teases

By Frank Bruni

11 August 2022

Josh Hawley has a book about manhood coming out next year. Nikki Haley has a book about womanhood coming out in two months.

Mike Pompeo has lost so much weight that he’s barely recognizable. Mike Pence has grown so much spine that he’s almost a vertebrate.

Don’t tell them Donald Trump is the Republican Party’s inevitable 2024 presidential nominee. If that’s foreordained, then a whole lot of literary, cardiovascular and orthopedic effort has gone to waste.

The news media is lousy of late with articles about the various Democrats potentially waiting in the wings if President Biden decides against a second term, to the point where he’s sometimes treated as more of a 2024 question mark than Trump is.

Maybe that’s right. In a straw poll of Republicans at the Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend, Trump was the top choice to run for president, winning 69 percent of the vote. Second place went to Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, with just 24 percent, and third went to Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, with a measly 2 percent.

But Trump is no spring chicken, and by the looks of things, he pays much less heed to his health than Biden does. A year from now he could be unfit for office in more ways than he already is.

He could be in handcuffs! OK, that’s probably just a happy fantasy. But maybe less of one since the F.B.I. raided Mar-a-Lago on Monday? He’s the subject of investigations civil and criminal, federal and state.

Or he could finally wear out his Republican welcome. “It is a sign of weakness, not strength, that Team Trump has been reduced to touting straw-poll results from events that most Americans, and indeed the vast majority of Republicans, know nothing about,” Isaac Schorr wrote in National Review early this week, adding that CPAC had in fact “been repurposed into an appeal to the former president’s vanity.”

The Republicans eager to take his place at the helm of the party know all that. And they don’t have to be quite as discreet and demure in their positioning as Democrats interested in standing in for Biden do. Trump’s not the incumbent president, at least not in the world beyond his and his supplicants’ delusions.

That positioning, once you recognize it, is a hoot. Everyone’s after a kind of branding that rivals won’t copy, a moment in the spotlight that competitors can’t match, an angle, an edge.

DeSantis’s action-figure approach to his role as governor of Florida is in part about the fact that Cruz, Hawley and others don’t have the executive authority that he does and can’t make things happen as unilaterally or as quickly. They’re would-be MAGA superheroes bereft of their red capes.

So a week ago, DeSantis didn’t merely suspend the top Tampa Bay area prosecutor, who said that he would never consider abortion a crime. DeSantis also peacocked to that part of the state and, surrounded by a flock of law enforcement officials, crowed about his decision during a news conference.

Cruz and Hawley were such hams during the confirmation hearings for Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson because, as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, they had a stage that DeSantis, Pence, Pompeo and others didn’t. Might as well pig out on the opportunity.

Haley’s forthcoming book, “If You Want Something Done: Leadership Lessons From Bold Women,” is one that Cruz, Hawley, Pence and Pompeo would have an awkward time pulling off, and it beats voters over the head with the fact that she’s a trailblazer in ways that they can’t be.

But does she or any other Republican love the Lord with Pence’s ardor? That’s a question he obviously wants to put in voters’ minds with his memoir, “So Help Me God,” to be released about a month after “If You Want Something Done.”

Pompeo is doing a prep-for-the-presidency twofer. According to The New York Post, he shed 90 pounds in six months after his stint as Trump’s secretary of state was over. And he’s apparently putting the finishing touches on a memoir of his own, “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love,” which Broadside Books is scheduled to publish in January.

Its crowded company includes not only Haley’s and Pence’s books but also one by Cruz, “Justice Corrupted: How the Left Weaponized Our Legal System,” which is due in late October, and, of course, Hawley’s testosterone treatise, “Manhood: The Masculine Virtues America Needs,” which has surely become a more risible sell in the wake of those images of him sprinting for the Capitol exit on Jan. 6, 2021.

Here, for your delectation, is a snippet of the promotional copy for Hawley’s book: “No republic has ever survived without men of character to defend what is just and true. Starting with the wisdom of the ancients, from the Greek and Roman philosophers to Jesus of Nazareth, and drawing on the lessons of American history, Hawley identifies the defining strengths of men, including responsibility, bravery, fidelity and leadership.” I have goose bumps.

Lest “Manhood” fail to persuade you of Hawley’s nonpareil virility, he summoned boundless courage last week to stand up to … Finland and Sweden. He was the only senator to vote against their admission to NATO.

David Von Drehle sized it up correctly in a column in The Washington Post: “In search of a position that would set him apart from his rivals among the Senate’s young conservatives, Hawley arrived at the cockeyed notion that adding two robust military powers with vibrant economies would somehow increase NATO’s burden on U.S. resources.”

Cockeyed? No! Cocksure — and undoubtedly weighing which fearsome and dastardly global actor he’ll unleash the full force of his manliness on next. The citizens of New Zealand tremble. The people of Andorra quiver.

15 thoughts on “They Can Write Books, But They Cannot Govern

  1. This just still showed, how the thirst of power corrupts, and there’s no way of avoiding that, and people are still left with voting for the lesser of two evils every single time election time rolled around…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well here is the latest…it’s about nuclear documents

    Nuclear documents he refused to return after a subpoena, so a Search warrant had to be issued. Trump made sure the world knew of the warrant and could have released the information himself. Republicans demand the warrant be made public. Garland obliges, now trump will block the warrant’s release.

    A lot more to this than Jan 6th insurrection…like state secrets and dirty deals to who know who

    Liked by 3 people

    • At this point, the fact that there were documents about our nuclear capabilities is speculative, so tread lightly. Some say he was planning to sell our nuclear ‘secrets’ but again … it’s speculation, for no official word has been released, nor is it likely to be anytime soon.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ooooohhhh … I think I like your idea of Christie vs Booker! I’ve long said that sometime in the future I can see Booker running for … and perhaps winning … president. And Christie … well, despite Bridgegate and a few other faux pas, I think he’s a decent guy, so even if he won, I could live with the outcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Keith, I was really hoping the raid was tied to evidence directly linking Trump to the Jan 6th insurrection. Merrick Garland announced today that he approved the search warrant based upon “probable cause” that Trump may destroy physical paperwork belonging to the National Archives.
    This seems to be a procedural dispute and not actually revealing the smoking gun that would put #45 behind bars, I’m kinda bummed there wasn’t more to the raid, it all seemed a bit sensationalistic, superficial and over-dramatized.
    What does it take to put Trump in jail?! The Jan 6 committee showed all the evidence in the world, Trump is guilty as sin, WHY is the DoJ not using that to indict is beyond me.
    Can anyone help me to understand what the hell is going on???

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jill, only 15% of Republicans believe the FBI raid was due to pursuing an alleged crime. Fortunately, 49% of voters do with another percentage which is not sure. I was glad Merrick Garland said he made the call and the FBI is made up of honorable and diligent people. Sadly, too many Republicans are taking their cues from opinion hosts who like to stir up conflict.

    The GOP needs leaders who will tell their constituents to cool their jets and let the justice department to do their job. As you noted a few weeks ago, Hawley wants to be manly, but the most masculine acting leader in the GOP is a woman named Liz Cheney.

    If the GOP wants to get back between the white lines, they need to value their truth tellers. Trump, Paul, Cruz, DeSantis, Hawley, McCarthy do not set the example they need. Of the group you mentioned, Nikki Haley has the most veritas, but she is not perfect either. Pence was too much of a yes man until he finally stood up to the seditious president. He could have rid us all of this Trump mess if he did not rescind his resignation as VP candidate in October, 2016 after Trump’s bragging of his impunity to grope women in public. The fact that people bought his “this just locker room talk” shows how gullible they are. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • I wonder what the percentage of Republicans who believe in the legitimacy of the search warrant would be if they didn’t listen to Fox and right-wing social media people? It seems they clean out their minds of facts to make more room for the lies and conspiracy theories. The proof will be, as they say, in the pudding. I have no doubt that the FBI and the DOJ had enough evidence to believe that a crime either had been or was about to be committed, and I have no doubt that Merrick Garland and Christopher Wray weighed the decision heavily before they acted. I, too, was pleased to see Merrick Garland step forward tonight, but as you say, it won’t quell the fires being stoked by the talking heads.

      The GOP needs many things: leaders and integrity being among them. I don’t know what happened to them, but it is no longer a viable political party in this nation.

      I used to respect Nikki Haley when she was Governor of South Carolina, but since then, she’s lost my respect. The others — Hawley, DeSantis, Cruz — never had my respect. Respect is earned, and these people have proven time and time again that they are not FOR THE PEOPLE of this country. They are bigots and greedy bastards (sorry, but it fits) whose hands I would not even shake if I met them face to face. Sigh. Where are the good guys???

      Liked by 2 people

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