Removing Trump from the ballot is not helping Biden or Trump’s GOP opponents in the polls as constitutional crisis looms
Attempts to remove former President Donald Trump in Colorado, Maine and other states does not appear to be helping President Joe Biden in the polls, the latest results of the USA Today-Suffolk University poll show, with Trump leading Biden 37 percent to 34 percent in the hypothetical four-way race between Biden, Trump, Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Cornell West.
Similarly, Trump still leads his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination in the same poll following the attempts to remove him from the Colorado and Maine ballots, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, with 62 percent for Trump, 13 percent for Haley and 10 percent for DeSantis.
When USA Today-Suffolk University took the poll in October, Trump was leading his GOP opponents by 46 points. Now he’s leading by 49 points.
This might indicate that voters don’t think too much of the efforts to remove Trump from the ballot under the allegation he had “committed” insurrection by giving the speech at the National Mall on Jan. 6, 2021 preceding the riot at the U.S. Capitol, when he told supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard”. That is, voters are not taking the attempted removals too seriously (perhaps because he neither been charged nor convicted of insurrection and only ever acquitted by the U.S. Senate in 2021 in the shotgun impeachment trial) and perhaps are expecting the Supreme Court to simply overturn it.
Or, it might actually be helping Trump by making his principal opponents, Biden and the Democrats, look like they are abusing the nation’s justice system to prevent the opposition party, the Republicans, from choosing their own nominee and competing in the general election. In other words, they look like tyrants, because suppressing opposition parties is in fact tyrannical.
In 2016, before he ever took office, at the Republican National Convention, Trump initially rejected the convention’s chants of “lock her up” referring to Hillary Clinton’s keeping classified documents on her private server at home and instead implored “Let’s defeat her in November.”
But by the time he got to the second presidential debate against Clinton in Oct. 2016, he threatened to do the same thing to her: “I tell you what, I didn’t think I would say this, but I’m going to and I hate to say it. But if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation. Because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it. And we’re gonna have a special prosecutor.”
Of course, he never did.
In response to Clinton’s own problems, Democrats and other anti-Trump officials in the federal government used the nation’s security apparatus to launch a counterintelligence and then criminal investigation of Trump on false charges conjured by his opponent that he was a Russian who had conspired with Moscow to hack the DNC and John Podesta emails and put them on Wikileaks.
Now, Trump is vowing to fight fire with fire.
Trump told his supporters in Bedminster, N.J. on June 13, 2023 following his arraignment in federal court in Miami, Fla. for alleged violations of the Espionage Act over documents that Trump retained following his presidency that he says he declassified that he would in turn appoint a special prosecutor to go after Biden, whom he blamed for the indictment, “In addition to closing the border and removing all of the criminal elements that have illegally invaded our country, making America energy independent and even dominant again, and immediately ending the war between Russia and Ukraine — I will have it ended in 24 hours — I will appoint a real special prosecutor to go after the most corrupt president in the history of the United States of America, Joe Biden, and the entire Biden crime family, name a special prosecutor, and all others involved with the destruction of our elections, our borders and our country itself.”
Trump said that a line had been crossed that never should have been, stating, “Now that the seal is broken, so important… the seal is broken by what they’ve done, they should never have done this. This was an unwritten rule: you just don’t, unless it’s really bad, but you just don’t. But the seal’s now broken.”
Underscoring the issue, on TruthSocial.com on Jan. 1, Trump reiterated that prosecutions can go in both directions, warning the same could be done Biden, too, stating, “REMEMBER, if I don’t have Presidential Immunity, then Crooked Joe Biden doesn’t have it either, and he would certainly be Prosecuted for his many ACTUAL CRIMES, including illegally receiving massive amounts of money from foreign countries, including China, Ukraine, and Russia, paying off Ukraine to fire an unfriendly prosecutor, allowing millions of people to illegally Enter and Destroy our Country, SURRENDERING in Afghanistan, with Hundreds Dead, many Americans Left Behind, and handing over Billions of Dollars Worth of the Best Military Equipment anywhere on Earth, the Decimation of American Wealth through the Green New Scam, and so much more.”
The difference, at the moment, is that Biden is in office and his Justice Department is actively pursuing prosecutions of Trump, whereas Trump is the outsider running for president who cannot presently do the same thing. The situation would be put to the test, politically, if Trump were to return in kind the weaponization of government.
Put another way, if Trump had attempted to prosecute Clinton in 2017, it might be just about as popular as Biden now attempting to prosecute Trump. Which is to say, not at all.
That is the constitutional and political crisis we find ourselves in, in a nutshell. For the rest of the country that does not want to see the country spiral towards civil conflict, the American people had better hope that locking up your political opponents remains deeply unpopular, or we’ve got much larger problems on our hands.
The options appear to be to somehow restore the civil society, or to lose it potentially forever — and time is running out.
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.