Former President Donald Trump faces two political challenges outside his control that are unlike anything he's faced since he first announced his candidacy for president, according to Politico co-founder John F. Harris.
The U.S. Supreme Court that largely struck down abortion rights last week, and the Jan. 6 Committee continues to reveal shocking details about his involvement in the insurrection, and the twice-impeached former president seems to understand those two stories are linked in a profound way, Harris argued in his latest piece.
"Both stories move the national debate into arenas in which tactics that Trump has used so often and so skillfully in the past are far less likely to be effective," Harris wrote. "These tactics include denial, distraction and counter-accusation — all harnessed to the reality that modern political culture has trouble distinguishing big matters from small or staying focused on any matter for very long."
"This time seems different because both subjects are qualitatively different," he added. "Trump’s own words suggest he knows it."
Trump has publicly complained that Republicans made a mistake by boycotting the House select committee, and he's let it be known that he fears the overturning of Roe v. Wade will hurt him and other GOP candidates at the polls, but Harris said the two stories are substantial in ways that previous Trump scandals have generally not been.
"The signature of the Trump era is that it produced indignation and contempt without, in most cases, a concrete question of national policy that was plainly to be resolved by the outcome of the conflict," Harris wrote. "The question of border crossings, and the spectacle of children being detained in cages, was one exception. But for many of the arguments of Trump’s presidency, the argument itself — and the way it divided one tribe from the other — was the primary point. Were you thrilled by Nancy Pelosi ripping up a copy of Trump’s State of the Union address, or appalled by it? Were you more outraged by Trump’s galling effort to tie aid to Ukraine to his personal political ends, or by the fact that Hunter Biden was making lots of money in Ukraine trading on his family name? On and on and on."
"The two issues now before the country are unmistakably in a different category," he added.
About one in five pregnancies in the U.S. ends in abortion, but the court has now stripped that constitutional right from women, and Americans are finally beginning to understand just the lengths Trump took to invalidate millions of their votes -- and members of his inner circle are painting a picture of an unhinged and unstable leader willing to do anything to cling to power."Two breathtaking developments — one at the Supreme Court, the other across the street at the House select committee — have sent American politics into a whole new realm," Harris wrote. "By experience and temperament, this is not a realm in which Trump is well-equipped to prosper."