Monday, November 7, 2016

Could A Trump Defeat Be Better For The Future Of The GOP Than A Trump Win?

Lanhee Chen
One of my favorite political analysts is Lanhee Chen, a research fellow at the Hoover Institute, political contributor on CNN and frequent guest on the Hugh Hewitt radio show.  He is not just one of my favorites because I agree with him most of the time, but because he always gives his opinions in an intelligent, measured, thoughtful way. Earlier this year I believe I saw him on Meet The Press and the discussion turned to Donald Trump and the Republican Party and I will never forget Lanhee Chen saying, "It's important not just to think about this election but it's also important to think about the long term picture for the Republican Party."

That got me to thinking as we approach election day, while most life long Republicans would almost surely have a "feel good" visceral reaction to hear Hillary Clinton have to give a concession speech in defeat on November 8, would a Donald Trump presidency with Donald Trump becoming the voice of the Republican Party for almost a decade be the best result for the Republican Party for the "long term picture"?

Think about this.  If Donald Trump wins it will be by the slimmest of margins and he will go into office as the most disliked and distrusted president elects in the history of this country.  That means there will be no mandate, no honeymoon period.  Because the U.S. Senate will be so close, the Democrats, even in the minority as I believe they will be, will have no qualms about blocking [filibustering] every program or bill offered by the GOP that does not have bi-partisan support.  It also means, I really believe, that Trump will not get a conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice through.  The Democrats will be able to use the GOP blocking president Obama's pick as a precedent saying that Trump is basically a lame duck president like Obama is in his last year.  Also, if Trump wins he will almost surely be a one term president [which could lead to an extended Democrat control of the White House] because he would not have the advantage of such a weak, distrusted candidate as Hillary Clinton when he runs for re-election.  This also means that it could be the new Democrat president elected in 2020 that will determine the shape of the Supreme Court for generations. But worse than any of this for the Republican Party, for almost a decade, Donald Trump [and his most fervent supporters that includes the disgusting alt-right] would be the voice of the Republican Party-the spokesman of the Republican Party, because even if he would lose for re-election, the outgoing president is always thought of as the voice of the party until there is a new nominee.  So, let me repeat that.  For almost a decade, Donald Trump would be the voice of the Republican Party if he wins in 2016.  Really GOP, really?

Now what happens though if Hillary Clinton wins?  Like Donald Trump, she would go in as the most disliked and least trusted president-elects in history.  There would be no mandate and no honeymoon period.  More than likely she will be up against a Republican congress [Senate and House] which means she will have to work with Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republicans to get anything done.  There is no way she can get an extreme left wing policy through.  Also, many in the GOP senate are already talking that they will not vote for any liberal Supreme Court Justice she nominates.  Also, she would almost surely be a one-term president [as a president Trump would be] because in 2020 she won't have the advantage of running against a person even more un-liked and unfit for president than she is, as happened in this election.  This means that it would be the Republican President elected in 2020 that could determine the future of the Supreme Court for generations.  

So, for the long term picture regarding the viability and health of the Republican Party, is it better for Donald Trump to win in 2016 and become the voice of a very divided party for almost a decade, or is it better for the Republican Party if a weak, distrusted and disapproved Hillary Clinton wins, with a Republican congress to counter a liberal agenda she would propose, and then almost surely take back the White House in 2020?  

Tales poses the question, you decide. 

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