George Will: Donald Trump a ‘Practitioner of Crybaby Conservatism’ Whose Presidency Will End as He ‘Slinks Away Pouting’
George Will, a conservative intellectual who left the Republican Party in 2016 after Donald Trump clinched the party’s nomination for president, predicted in a Wednesday editorial in The Washington Post that Trump will lose his reelection bid and schluff away sulking.
“As the Donald Trump parenthesis in the republic’s history closes, he is opening the sluices on his reservoir of invectives and self-pity. A practitioner of crybaby conservatism — no one, he thinks, has suffered so much since Job lost his camels and acquired boils — and ever a weakling, Trump will end his presidency as he began it: whining,” wrote will, who recalled how Trump began his first term arguing over the size of his inauguration crowd.
Trump’s “wallow in self-pity probably will end in ignominy when he slinks away pouting, trailing clouds of recriminations,” said Will.
Compare that to how Republican presidential candidate John McCain handled his blowout loss to then-Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic victor, in 2008:
Sen. [Barack] Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day — though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her Creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise. . . . And my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude . . . to the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Sen. Obama and my old friend, Sen. Joe Biden, should have the honor of leading us for the next four years.
Will also blasted the GOP for collapsing into a Trump political cult – for which, Will predicts, it will pay dearly at the polls.
In the 12 years since the country overwhelmingly elected its first black president, “the Republican Party has eagerly surrendered its self-respect. And having hitched its wagon to a plummeting cinder, the party is about to have a rendezvous with a surly electorate wielding a truncheon,” Will said. “The party picked a bad year to invite a mugging, a year ending in zero: Approximately 80 percent of state legislative seats will be filled this year, and next year the occupants, many of them Democrats wafted into office by a wave election, will redraw congressional districts based on the 2020 Census.”
Thanks to Trump, and the historical shellacking the incumbent president’s party typically takes in the midterms, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden “can become the first candidate in 32 years to capture more than 400 electoral votes (George H.W. Bush, 426 in 1988),” Will explained. “He can do this by carrying some Trump 2016 states where Biden is either leading or within the margin of polling error — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio and Texas.”
A Trump defeat in Texas with its 38 electoral votes and 40-year streak of going red would be catastrophic for the GOP, Will said, adding that the party’s desperate attempts at voter suppression – the manifestations of a dwindling movement – are likely to backfire.
“The GOP’s desire — demonstrated in myriad measures in many states — for low voter turnout is prudent: As the nation becomes more urban, suburban, diverse and secular, the Republican Party becomes more fixated on rural and small- town White voters. Thirty-six percent of Americans lived in rural areas in 1950; in 1990, 25 percent did; today, 17.5 percent do. Now, the rural population, 60 million, is about what it was in 1945. Since then, the urban population has almost tripled,” Will noted.
“Analyst Charlie Cook asks: ‘In 2016, 87 percent of Trump’s vote came from whites. For congressional Republicans in the 2018 midterms, it was 86 percent. Is this sustainable?'” Will posits. “You have to admire Republicans’ jaunty, if suicidal, wager that it is,” Will concluded.