Patten: 2022 Tantrum Shows GOP Needs to Get Over Trump


The day after the Republican Party’s humiliating under-performance in Tuesday’s mid-term election, I received an email from Donald J. Trump. It begins:

“The RAID on my Mar-a-Lago home was nothing more than unhinged POLITICAL PERSECUTION against ME, YOUR President.”

There is no mention of the election results, Congress hanging in the balance, nor the parlous state of the country. It was just a reminder of how unfair people are to Donald Trump.

As someone whose life was turned upside down by a criminal conviction stemming from the Russia-probe (about which he whines later in the email – remember, he was not charged with anything then), I was not only unsympathetic. I was amazed at how tone-deaf a man can be.

As somewhat intelligent people, we must be able to hold two truths in our head at the same time: first, Trump was targeted as a candidate and a president. But – second – his problems and my own are not the same.

Now Trump’s own friends are urging him to delay his announcement about seeking the GOP nomination for president in 2024 until after the Georgia run-off. The obsessively self-concerned Trump already dampened enthusiasm for the Republican ticket this week by teasing his announcement on the eve of the midterm.

In a world where people think before opening their mouths, you wouldn’t even have to ask this indulgence of the man. But as long as Donald J. Trump is around, that’s not the world in which we live, is it?

Suddenly I was reminded what happened in Georgia two years ago. Then, Trump actively campaigned against two Republican senators whom he considered insufficiently supportive of him. Both lost, and the Democrats took the Senate.

As we try to do with a drunk and deranged uncle who went incontinent at the Thanksgiving dinner table five years ago, we try to forget past transgressions. Until, that is, he looks like he starts reaching for the Wild Turkey at this year’s gathering.

Way too much ink has been spilled in this country on why Donald Trump should go. We’ve lost more than a few souls to Trump Derangement Syndrome since the man took that famous ride down the escalator in his own tower in New York City in 2015. Folks have been talking about it being time to dump Trump so long that argument has almost lost its meaning.

But enough is enough. I am no longer interested in seeing what else he can screw up. The bottom line is Republicans just can no longer afford him anymore.

Put aside the moralizing and griping about style. If the Wicked Witch of Chappaqua had herself concocted in her evil laboratory some Frankenstein-esque monster to destroy the Republican Party from within, it would look no different than Donald Trump.

Sure, some Trump-backed candidates won on Tuesday. JD Vance in Ohio and Ted Budd in North Carolina, for instance, both won Senate seats. But more candidates whom he endorsed lost. In late 2017, I went down to Alabama to campaign against Roy Moore because he was a horrible candidate who hurt the party. Trump has no special gift for picking winners.

This morning the front page of the New York Post lays it out clearly: Donald Trump sabotaged our chances of making history this week. Maybe we’ll limp through the current uncertainty and end up barely controlling both houses of Congress before Christmas. It would help, though, if Trump didn’t screw up another Georgia run-off.

Today we have huge opportunity to say good-bye to Donald Trump. There were good times and bad. Lord knows the Republican Party needed to be shaken up, and Trump certainly energized new voters and changed us in many ways.

But he is not good at elections, and he needs to go.


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