After the Department of Justice released the redacted version of the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant for Mar-a-Lago, the Murdoch-owned New York Post ‘s front page last Saturday didn’t try to cover up the damage with some Trumpista conspiracy theory.
The main headline on the front page read: “Worst Kept Secrets.” The sub-headlines read: DOJ releases heavily redacted affidavit behind raid.” “FBI claims Trump kept nation’s secrets insecure,” “Docs mixed with press articles and mementos,” and “Obstructed safe removal for months.”
i found that a bit odd given News Corp.’s usual proclivity to bend over backwards to defend Trump.
But an unusually harsh New York Post editorial posted online Tuesday evening indicates that the rats may be deserting the sinking Trumptanic in order to save the GOP in the midterm elections. The editorial was headlined: “Republicans must move beyond Trump — to keep the focus on Biden’s disasters.”
The editorial must have hit Trump hard because he immediately lashed out in a post on his Truth Social platform in which he said the New York Post was “once my favorite newspaper” and suggested that the editorial was a defense of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The Kentucky senator has indicated that poor quality Senate candidates (backed by Trump) have hurt Republicans’ chances of regaining control of the Senate.
The New York Post’s editorial began by noting:
Attorney General Merrick Garland’s raid on Mar-a-Lago has ex-President Donald Trump back in the news. That’s a problem for Republicans, who need to move beyond him.
Yes, Trump did much good in his four years: Notice how Democrats have opted not to repeal his tax cuts. But he lost in 2020 because too many Americans — especially moderates — had gotten sick of his self-indulgent behavior. Since then, his egomania has only grown.
Until the raid, Republicans were considering a talented field of potential 2024 candidates. Trump’s lead in the polls over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (currently the most likely alternative) had been edging down for months. DeSantis even came out on top in a survey in bellwether New Hampshire.
But now Trump has pulled back up — and there’s a direct link to how GOP prospects in this year’s midterms have turned less rosy.
The editorial then included a link to a Twitter thread by conservative pundit Ben Shapiro who wrote warned Republicans that they are playing into Democrats’ hands by focusing on Trump rather than on Biden’s policies, jeopardizing what be huge gains on Nov. 8.
And then the editorial goes on to list what the GOP should be focusing on: Biden’s “insane student-loan giveaway,” “spending blowouts — stoking inflation,” “the Afghanistan bugout … that likely emboldened Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine,” and opening the southern border to several million “illegal migrants and … the invasion of drug cartels and the killer drug fentanyl pouring onto our streets.”
All of this the Post editorial writers believe “should make for a Republican landslide in November, as GOP voters show up in force, dispirited Dems stay home and independents vote against the party that’s wrought all these disasters.”
Of course, this also is delusional thinking. It entirely overlooks the negative reaction to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade’s guarantee of abortion rights.
And the leopard has not really changed its spots. The Post just thinks there should be a new leader of the pack And today’s front page is indicative. There is a headline that blares: “Great Wide Open” with a sub-headline reading: “Border chief: “Illegal migrants rushing in because o ‘no consequences’ from Biden.”
The only thing standing in the way of this great red wave, according to the Post editorial, is Donald J. Trump.
If the focus is on Trump instead, enraged Democrats will unite, pause their intercine warring while independents will abstain or vote against the GOP.
Yes, Trump still has most of his true believers. But most Republicans would rather the ex-president went away, so the party can figure out where it’s going in the post-Trump future.
That is, how to solidify what could be a natural GOP majority, incorporating all the voters who reject Democrats’ increasingly disturbing social and economic agendas — which play only to the obsessions of the woke cultural elite.
Those GOPers know Trump’s already an albatross: His “stolen election” derangement in late 2020 is why Dems control the Senate now, and his endorsements in this year’s primaries have helped saddle Republicans with enough weak Senate candidates this year that retaking the chamber seems increasingly out of reach. …
The House outlook still leans the GOP’s way — but Democrats are starting to imagine they have a chance to hold on.
The Post editorial stuck in the knife further by noting that “for all the tens of millions Trump has raised since leaving the White House, he hasn’t yet spent any of it even to help the candidates he’s endorsed.”
Trump immediately fired back in a series of posts on Truth Social, doubling down on the Big Lie. He accused the FBI of telling Facebook that Hunter Biden’s “Laptop from Hell” was Russian disinformation” — a “fake statement” that “changed the outcome of the Election by millions of votes.”
He argued that McConnell was to blame for Republicans losing both Senate runoff elections in Georgia, giving Democrats control of the chamber.
“If anything, The New York Post Editorial Board (whatever happened to them?) should be talking about the brand new revelation of the fired Trump hating ‘Special Agent’ In Charge of the horrendous, and unnecessary, Mar-a-Lago Break-In,” Trump wrote.
“Sadly, the Media in our Country is so afraid of being sued that they never want to mention anything having to do with the corrupt Election of 2020!” he continued.
And if you want to see an example of the disarray within GOP ranks just look at the comments to the New York Post editorial and Ben Shapiro’s Twitter thread where Trump supporters and critics are arguing back and forth.
Now it remains to be seen how Fox News is going to play this. Fox News often takes its cues from stories planted first in the New York Post or Wall Street Journal. But Fox News is also concerned about ratings and ad revenues.
My educated guess is that Fox News’ prime-time hosts are going to play down or avoid Trump’s legal problems resulting from the top secret documents that the FBI found at Mar-a-Lago. The emphasis most likely will be on hysterical fear-inducing rants about Biden’s policies
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.