by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Six weeks ago, Americans were assured that Donald Trump had left the presidency disgraced and forever ruined politically. …
… Yet six weeks after leaving office, a Phoenix-like Trump brought a crowd at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference to its feet. His 90-minute blistering broadside against Joe Biden’s radical first 40 days of executive orders and hard-left appointments enthused thousands.
Polls show that while he has lost some support in his party, Trump still wins 75 percent approval in the GOP. …
… For all the national outrage at Trump, 95 percent of Republican House members voted against his impeachment. Eighty-six percent of Republican senators voted to acquit him of impeachment charges.
Biden so far has not turned out to be the “good old Joe from Scranton” moderate healer of media and Never Trump fantasies. Instead, his executive orders and appointments are the most radical and polarizing of any recent president.
Getting kicked off social media by Silicon Valley moguls ironically turned out to be a plus for Trump. His once-controversial tweets and posts no longer distract from Biden’s frequent displays of ineptitude. …
… Insiders think that impressive possible 2024 presidential candidates such as Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis, South Dakota’s Governor Kristi Noem, Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, and others might better advance the popular MAGA cause — with the endorsement of Trump himself. The new standard-bearer supposedly would lack Trump’s off-putting manner that alienated swing voters.
That may happen. But for now, no one knows whether Trump’s ability to cut through left-wing platitudes revs up more to vote than it does to turn off others.
Events have radically turned political realities upside down in just six weeks. We should expect far more volatility in the next four years.