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The Right Resistance: Super Tuesday marks the start of one 2024 race – and the end of another

It’s safe to say that in the universe of American politics, “Super Tuesday” was meant to contain a greater dose of drama than it does in 2024.

Every campaign cycle has a plethora of lead-up coverage to the so-called early voting states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada (sort of) and South Carolina) where candidates from both parties are shown participating in debates, talking one-on-one to voters, riding buses, getting on and off airplanes, conducting town hall-type meetings, doing multiple appearances on Sunday news shows, sparring with aggressive contrary voters, shaking hands, eating local cuisine and generally acting like they had to do all this stuff because they hope to be president of the United States in short order.


Of course, Donald Trump has done some of these chores, but he’s held himself differently. To claim that he’s one of a kind is no exaggeration. The fact also brings relief to those who don’t take to him. But thus far in the 2024 Republican race, any way you slice it, it’s been all Trump.


In an article titled “How well is Trump doing in the GOP primaries?”, W. James Antle III reported at the Washington Examiner last week:


“What former President Donald Trump is doing is without precedent in the modern primary process. He wants all the benefits of incumbency as he runs his third straight race for the Republican nomination. His last remaining primary opponent, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, wants him to be judged as an incumbent. But Trump is not the sitting president of the United States. So how should his performance in the 2024 GOP presidential primaries be judged?...


“George H.W. Bush finished third in the Iowa caucuses in 1988, losing all 99 counties. Bob Dole lost the New Hampshire primary in 1996, as did George W. Bush in 2000. All were heavy front-runners who eventually won the nomination with relative ease. Trump himself lost 12 states to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) alone in 2016, with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and John Kasich also notching wins.


“If Trump is judged by the standard of an incumbent, he has some work to do. If he is compared to a normal front-runner, he is doing well by historical standards. Either way, his status is unusual.”


Is “unusual” the best way to illustrate Trump’s campaign this year? “Unique”, “Unmatched”, “Incomparable” or “Consummate” might be better terms to describe what the 45th president is accomplishing in his unequalled march to the 2024 Republican nomination. As Antle noted in his piece, Trump is not exactly an incumbent but he carries with him a basket load of the advantages that come with the designation.


Trump’s day-to-day operation appears effortless and, for lack of a better way to put it, “easy”. Only a candidate who seemingly enjoys being criticized and attacked could demonstrate such amazing calm through the relentless political storm. Trump certainly has enjoyed more lives than a cat and second chances are for somebody else. Right now, he’s on his thousandth chance – and the total is still mounting.


State wins keep piling up for Trump, his having added another couple in the latter days of February. It’s gotten to the point where the networks call the races in the first moments of hitting the air, which leaves very little for the poor anchors to talk about apart from showing electronic maps which break down the votes by candidate and provide comparisons with 2020 or 2016.


Trump’s only cause is victory. He doesn’t even talk about his Republican competition any longer. Why should he?


By the same token, if the standard by which we judge party presidential primary candidates is actual wins and delegates, then Nikki Haley has been an unrequited failure. Haley, in her various “concession” speeches – and out on the stump, too – keeps talking and talking about percentages and the supposedly high amount of non-Trump voters who still “need to be heard” in subsequent primary elections, as though these people couldn’t otherwise express their opinions or displeasure with the front-runner in other ways.


Take, for example, this year’s primary here in Virginia, which just wrapped up its early voting period for the Republican and Democrat races. Never really knowing what I’ll be tasked with on any particular day, I cast my vote early so as to avoid the highly remote possibility that I’d be called to travel across the world on Election Day (which is today in the Old Dominion) and thus be forced to forego my right to cast a ballot for my candidate of choice. If you read this column, I think you know who I voted for.


The point being that, once I’d shown my I.D. and recited my home address that my ballot, which contained only Republicans, featured the names of several of this year’s Republican candidates, both those couple still technically in the running and those who’d officially “suspended” their campaigns and are now back doing something productive – or hitting the trail to stump for certain winner Donald J. Trump.


Thus, for those individuals out there, as Haley describes, who desire alternative choices to Trump -- they actually have them. I didn’t stop to count how many candidates there were, but I noted that Vivek Ramaswamy’s and Ron DeSantis’s names were right there in black and white with little bubbles next to their respective designations, and it would’ve been easy and satisfying to choose one of them if I’d been inclined to do so.


I also recall voting for Mike Huckabee in 2008 (when John McCain’s victory was a foregone conclusion) and Ron Paul in 2012 (when Mitt Romney somehow had managed to secure his nomination), neither vote doing much good in the grand scheme of things, but I did participate in the primaries and registered an opinion, correct?


Therefore, Haley’s entire stated rationale for remaining in the race say, beyond New Hampshire, was completely bogus. Nikki-backers, from what I can gather, are mostly Republican establishmentarians (the old Bush coalition), single issue adherents (Oh! She could be the first female Republican nominee!), neoconservative believers in war everywhere who simply obfuscate and say they’re for a “strong national defense” (see Bush voters), John Kasich and Asa Hutchinson-like malcontents who just want to get along, and… a few solid conservatives and Republicans who simply don’t like Trump.


This is also the pool of false Republicans (think Chris Christie) who’d said they couldn’t support a convicted felon if Trump were to be found guilty by one of the Democrat juries judging him. These people admit that the charges against Trump are partisan and illegitimate, yet they place a high value on a possible conviction. How does this make sense?


The dwindled solid conservative anti-Trumper group is probably the hardest to understand, but a primary should be the perfect opportunity for them to get their beef off their chest and then move on to the general election where they’ll still vote for Trump and then vow to concentrate more of their time and energy away from politics pursuing hobbies such as fishing and golf.


Oh yeah – Nikki has a lot of so-called “independent” voters and Democrats who hate Trump so much that they registered as Republicans for the sole purpose of voting for Trump’s party adversary in the GOP primary. This happened a lot in August of 2022 when Liz Cheney was on the primary ballot in Wyoming and actually made a pitch to Democrats to commit party treason and re-register just so they could toss her some bones.


That female dog wouldn’t hunt, however. Cheney lost by over 37 points (to current Rep. Harriet Hageman). Sometimes there just aren’t enough RINOs and Democrats to save the Trump-haters.


Which is precisely what’s happening to Haley now. The signs are everywhere. Her crowds are relatively sparse (at least for a major party candidate who is receiving all of the anti-Trump vote) and not overly enthusiastic, her donors are bailing out and it’s evident that Americans are moving on, pretty much resigned to the rematch between Trump and senile Joe Biden.


Don’t worry, Nikki. As I wrote above, your name will still appear on subsequent state ballots and the haters will still have a “voice” to express their dissatisfaction by voting for you! Here’s thinking Haley will continue getting a decent percentage of the Republican primary favor, even if she’s no longer officially in the race. Why wouldn’t she?


The only remaining mystery, once Haley does bow out, is if she’ll fully explain the genuine reasons why she hung on so long – and if she’ll offer a tepid endorsement of Trump during her capitulation speech. If she were to say nice things about Trump after all this time, her supporters would accuse her of being an opportunist turncoat and suck-up to Trump.


But if Haley doesn’t endorse Trump, it’s likely because she’s reserving her options to run as the “No Labels” candidate. She wouldn’t have a shot at winning in that case, either, but at least there probably would be sufficient campaign donor interest for her to maintain a respectable travel schedule, permit her to tour the country on someone else’s dime and do what she does best – spin a wishy-washy message and continue bashing on both Trump and Biden.


If Haley has a resume, she should state her career objective as: “Running for president or other offices where I don’t have a prayer of success.” It’s my opinion that no one has taken Haley seriously as a real threat to Donald Trump in the Republican Party.


Yet she continues.


This week is an important one in not only the 2024 Republican primary race, but also for the general election – as “Super Tuesday” includes the awarding of a huge number of delegates for each party. Today’s results should expel the final shred of doubt regarding voters’ feelings for Donald Trump -- and Nikki Haley, too. Will Haley finally leave the scene?

  • Joe Biden economy

  • inflation

  • Biden cognitive decline

  • gas prices,

  • Nancy Pelosi

  • Biden senile

  • January 6 Committee

  • Liz Cheney

  • Build Back Better

  • Joe Manchin

  • RINOs

  • Marjorie Taylor Green

  • Kevin McCarthy

  • Mitch McConnell

  • 2022 elections

  • Donald Trump

  • 2024 presidential election

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