Many Never Trump conservatives have been delighted over former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent surge in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, from the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough to just about anyone who writes for The Bulwark — including the site’s co-founder Bill Kristol, formerly of the now defunct Weekly Standard. Kristol and his colleagues have made it clear that they would much rather see Biden receive the nomination than Sen. Bernie Sanders — and would much rather see Biden in the White House in 2021 than President Donald Trump. Yet Kristol, in a March 19 listicle, offers three reasons why Trump — despite his abysmal handling of the coronavirus pandemic — might win reelection in November.
“Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic has confirmed for many of us — re-confirmed, for the umpteenth time — that Donald Trump does not deserve a second term,” Kristol asserts. “The country deserves competent and responsible leadership, and so, for the country’s sake, Trump should lose in November. He probably will lose. But this is by no means inevitable. So we can’t be complacent.”
Kristol goes on to list three reasons why Trump might win a second term. The first is “incumbency.”
“Incumbents usually win,” Kristol explains. “The last three incumbents have. It’s been a generation since an incumbent president was defeated — and President George H. W. Bush’s campaign was, in effect, an attempt to win a fourth term for Reagan-Bush, which would have been tough anyway.”
The second of the three, according to Kristol, is “hyper-partisanship.”
“Over the last 20 years, neither party has won less than 45.7% of the vote in a presidential election,” Kristol observes. “This means Trump begins with a high enough baseline that, if he adds just a few percentage points, he can win. Those extra points could be due to a lucky break that changes the dynamic of the race at the last minute. Or to a real-world event. Or an October surprise engineered by a foreign power.”
The third and final reason Kristol offers in his listicle is what he describes as “the rally-’round the-flag effect.”
“In a crisis,” the conservative journalist notes, “Americans have a pronounced tendency to rally to the incumbent president. This often happens even if the crisis is partly the president’s fault or he hasn’t handled it particularly well.”
Kristol asserts that Trump’s “terrible” handling of coronavirus won’t necessarily doom his chance to win a second term; some Americans, shaken by the horrors of coronavirus, might rally around him simply because he’s the president rather than taking a chance on the Democratic nominee.
“Most people I’ve spoken with figure that his terrible handling of the pandemic, plus the now-inevitable recession, have doomed Trump,” the conservative journalist explains. “But look at Trump’s numbers now. His job approval is barely down at all. His poll numbers are still pretty much where they were three months ago, when the virus was still officially confined to China and the U.S. economy was, at least superficially, strong.”
Kristol concludes his piece by stressing that no matter how badly Trump bungled the coronavirus nightmare, Democrats can take nothing for granted going into November.
“We can’t count on events defeating Trump,” Kristol writes. “He needs to be defeated by voters who understand why he deserves to lose. God knows, he does. But as John F. Kennedy reminded us, here on earth, God’s work must truly be our own.”
Biden demands Trump put aside ‘pettiness and ideology’ and reopen Obamacare exchanges to fight coronavirus
On Friday, The Daily Beast reported that former Vice President Joe Biden is calling on President Donald Trump to end the "pettiness and ideology" and reopen Obamacare's health insurance marketplaces so uninsured Americans can obtain coverage and protect themselves against the coronavirus pandemic.
“During this outbreak, when health care coverage is more important than ever, Donald Trump is refusing to give those who have been uninsured access to the best resource we have: the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces,” Biden told the Beast. “This is no time to put pettiness and ideology above helping those who are in the greatest need.”
Trump’s path to re-election ‘smashed to splinters’ as his only achievement is swallowed up by the pandemic: report
In a piece for Politico, Ben White writes that Donald Trump was going into November's election with only one achievement under his belt -- a healthy economy -- and now he has nothing left to run if he wants to be re-elected.
With all of the gains made in the stock market long gone due to the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of oil prices, White claims that the president's campaign strategy lies in tatters.
"The fundamental pillars of Donald Trump’s presidency — a hot economy, strong job growth and a rocking stock market — are all being smashed to splinters by the ravaging coronavirus, which has shuttered much of the nation and now officially ended a streak of 113 months of job gains dating back to the end of the Great Recession a decade ago," he wrote before noting the explosion of unemployment claims -- over ten million so far -- that has the country reeling.
Anti-science Christians who went ‘all in’ for Trump bear responsibility for COVID-19 crisis: religious extremism expert
Appearing on MSNBC with host Ayman Mohyeldin, the author of a widely shared New York Times article on the dangerous rise of religious nationalism lambasted religious leaders who are still holding public services when the government is advising social isolation and claimed they are making things worse for the rest of the country.
Speaking with the host, Katherine Stewart, who is also the author of the book "The Power Worshipers," explained that years of anti-science rhetoric from the predominately rightwing evangelical movement is a contributing factor as to why the country is in the throes of a deadly pandemic that may lead to over 250,000 deaths.