Two days ago, Donald Trump said Mehmet Oz should simply “declare himself the winner” in the Pennsylvania Republican Senate primary because it would make it harder to slip away. Yesterday, Trump posted an order to Truth Social: “Stop finding votes!” and “Manipulated?” in all capital letters. Today, with Oz a tenth of a percent ahead of Dave McCormick and about 15,000 votes to be counted, the Wall Street Journal editors shamed Trump for his interference and made the self-serving argument that Trump could be giving up a winable seat to the Democrats. The big picture, the horror of where this belongs, whether this country can even hold elections with MAGA candidates and voters, is ignored.
As Pennsylvania’s count drags on, the feud within the GOP between the “moderates” and the MAGA wing continues to bubble to the surface, and The Wall Street Journal effectively told Trump to shut up for the greater good, which both valuable as well as offensive:
The votes in Pennsylvania aren’t all counted yet, and President Trump is already hinting he could howl at cheating if his supported candidate falls behind. On Wednesday, his Senate pick, television doctor Mehmet Oz, led the GOP primary by about 2,500 votes. But about 105,000 absentee ballots from both parties still had to be counted…
… “If [Oz opponent David] McCormick wins final count, will Mr. Trump frame him as an election thief? Would GOP voters believe this nonsense? Pennsylvania closed the primary, so anyone who voted for Mr. Oz or Mr. McCormick must be registered as a Republican,” the editors added, adding that the former president could cripple Republican voting efforts when the November midterm elections arrive .
Would GOP voters believe this nonsense? It seems the Journal’s editors need to get out of the Financial District a bit. MAGA voters have believed it for two years. But the fact that Trump says it could happen within the Republican Party itself (as opposed to the general election) makes it ridiculous? No, it’s unbearable for the WSJ because Trump’s fascist instincts could end up hurting a Republican (McCormick) and the GOP itself, which is what makes this so dangerous. The editors have a feeling of déjà vu and mention Georgia in 2020.
The Journal the writes a synopsis that is both embarrassingly serious and shockingly irresponsible:
“Don’t bet what’s left of your 401(k) on whether Mr. Trump has learned his lesson. His advice to Mr. Oz is also a warning of how Doug Mastriano, the GOP gubernatorial candidate, might react to a fall loss. Mr. Mastriano is the underdog against Democrat Josh Shapiro. If Mr. Mastriano falls short, will he and Mr. Trump then claim that this is due to some kind of massive coordinated cheating scheme that amazingly cannot be proven?” They speculated, before adding that the candidate Oz — other than Trump – should accept his loss if voters so choose.
“GOP candidates are understandably eager to win Mr Trump’s support, but it could come with pressure to yell cheating when there’s no evidence to support it. Winning or losing, Mr. Oz would be doing his country a service if he publicly opposed this turn to conspiracy politics.
What? Trump’s endorsement could come with the unwanted duty of agreeing that American electoral legitimacy must be sacrificed at the altar of MAGA? And if so, would it be better if Trump stayed out? If The Wall Street Journal wanted to bolster faith in democracy and stand up against Trump’s continued recklessness, the editors should do so with the necessary force and candor, and not water it down with an almost offensive statement that Trump is learning lessons and letting voters decide would. The Journal has been emphatic about Trump’s dangerousness on January 6th.
But it’s an election year and the Journal is addressing Trump’s troubles ahead of a November vote that will settle control of Congress, leaving the “moderate WSJ editors” to go only so far as waving the finger at Trump . After all, this is a winnable spot. They don’t mean to be rude or anything.
Jason Miciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, columnist, author and lawyer. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teens and college days in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. Today he enjoys life as a single father to a young girl and writes on the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves making his flower pots, cooking, and dabbling in scientific philosophy, religion, and the non-mathematical principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please do not hesitate to contact us for lectures or other concerns.