The WSJ editorialists opine on Donald Trump’s Presidential Rerun.
These columns believe in democracy, which means trusting the decisions of voters. Even when they make mistakes, our constitutional system allows for checks and corrections. We warned about Mr. Trump’s character in 2016, but once he was elected we covered him like any other President. We owed that to readers, and he had many policy successes: taxes and deregulation, energy security, judges, the Abraham Accords, correcting illusions about Iran, among others.
But his character flaws—narcissism, lack of self-control, abusive treatment of advisers, his puerile vendettas—interfered with that success. Before Covid he was headed for re-election. But the damage from his shutdown of the economy combined with his erratic behavior in that crisis gave Joe Biden the opening to campaign for normalcy. Mr. Trump lost a winnable election.
That's mild criticism compared to…
The National Review editorialists just say No.
To his credit, Trump killed off the Clinton dynasty in 2016, nominated and got confirmed three constitutionalist justices, reformed taxes, pushed deregulation, got control of the border, significantly degraded ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and cinched normalization deals between Israel and the Gulf states, among other things. These are achievements that even his conservative doubters and critics — including NR — can acknowledge and applaud.
That said, the Trump administration was chaotic even on its best days because of his erratic nature and lack of seriousness. He often acted as if he were a commentator on his own presidency, and issued orders on Twitter and in other off-the-cuff statements that were ignored. He repeatedly had to be talked out of disastrous ideas by his advisers and Republican elected officials. He turned on cabinet officials and aides on a dime. Trump had a limited understanding of our constitutional system, and at the end of the day, little respect for it. His inability to approximate the conduct that the public expects of a president undermined him from beginning to end.
I wish I'd been shunted to one of those multiple universes where Mitch Daniels was president.
Good advice for the GOP, if they'll only take it, from Veronique de Rugy: Republicans Need an Economic Growth Agenda.
After disappointing midterm election results for Republicans, many understandably pin blame on corrosive figures like former president Donald Trump. His losing record is impressive considering his cultlike persona appeal with MAGA voters. If Republicans finally learn to shed Trump and his ilk it will be a good thing. However, there's another looming issue for Republicans: their policy agenda (if this mishmash deserves such a name).
Let's face it, these last few elections weren't contests over conflicting policy visions. Instead, each party did little more than tell voters that they aren't as awful as the other party. Pointing that out is OK but doing so isn't a substantive agenda. Republicans, for instance, were all about how Democrats created inflation and how inflation was terrible for the American people. But Republicans themselves offered no plan to tame inflation. Where are the GOP's plans to control spending? Such control is necessary at the very least for the government to meet its debt-servicing obligations — which are rising with interest rates — without fueling inflation further.
I think Vero was born in France, which would make her ineligible for President. Still, maybe a President DeSantis could make her an economic advisor.