A Gift to Trump Challengers

It’s only the top half of the first inning of the Trump indictment game, but his challengers for the GOP nomination have taken the early lead.

The coming indictment from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg was a fastball right down the middle for Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence and Nikki Haley.

DeSantis said it was, “the weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda.”

“I think the unprecedented indictment of a former president of the United States on a campaign finance issue is an outrage,” said Pence.

“This is more about revenge than it is about justice,” was Haley’s comment.

The indictment gives Trump’s challengers the chance to do three things at once. They can rush to the defense of a man still deeply popular with the biggest chunk of Republican voters. At the same time, they don’t have to remind Republicans that Trump faces a myriad of legal troubles (this is just the start) that could make him unelectable in 2024. And finally, because the indictment comes from the Manhattan DA, it gives them an opening to play the culture wars card. These are just New York liberal elites on a witch hunt.

Ron DeSantis can defend Trump while not needing to remind voters that the indictment makes him less electable.

DeSantis wasted no time in going there: “The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is stretching the law to target a political opponent.”

In truth, as a guy who just wants to see Trump go away, I do question the wisdom of this indictment. For all of the horrible things Trump has done, paying hush money to a mistress doesn’t seem to be the worst of them. And actually what he’ll probably be charged with boils down to not reporting the payoff as a campaign expense. We’ll see how this plays out, but right now to use a phrase from a blog from earlier this week, I’m not sure the juice is going to be worth the squeeze.

So far, the only people who have clearly benefited are Trump’s rivals for the nomination.

If you vote in Madison please consider Badri Lankella for school board. He would be a voice of reason to counter the current board majority.


Published by dave cieslewicz

Madison/Upper Peninsula based writer. Mayor of Madison, WI from 2003 to 2011.

3 thoughts on “A Gift to Trump Challengers

  1. None of his defenders has ever claimed that he did not commit a crime because: a) they don’t know what the charges are (yet somehow the charges are ‘vindictive’ and, b) they know in their hearts he probably DID commit crimes.


    1. Yes, and they want Americans to believe he committed crimes even while they defend him. ‘It’s terrible that an American President would be INDICTED for committing FELONIES!’


  2. Not sure I totally agree with you on this. At least at this point, unless/until further, more serious indictments come down, the GOP sure seems to be coalescing around the career criminal. Now, I’m sure that some of that is GOP “performance art” for the sake of his base. But, since so much of his appeal is based around grievance in general, this just adds fuel to the fire.


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