High Profile Republicans Flocking to NY to Defend Trump

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the polling on Trump's trial must look pretty amazing. 

Given how pusillanimous most elected officials are, there is hardly another explanation for why so many prominent Republican elected officials are making a pilgrimage to the New York City courtroom where Trump is being tried for a crime that nobody can explain. 

As Trump's poll numbers skyrocket and enthusiasm for his candidacy blossoms, the fear that usually attends to hitching oneself to a potential criminal has evaporated. 

That's pretty notable. Most people assume Trump will be convicted in the trial (I am still holding out hope that justice will prevail, as I am, at base, an optimist), but even elected officials don't seem to worry that it will matter to the public. In fact, they are flocking to stand by Trump

The left and the Mainstream Media claim that this shows that Trump can intimidate mainstream Republicans, but I doubt that this is the explanation. Not because it's not true in many cases, but for a simpler reason: congressmen care more about getting reelected than almost anything else. If they thought it would hurt them they wouldn't go.

House Speaker Mike Johnson represents the latest, high-profile Trump surrogate to accompany the former president at his criminal trial, blasting the proceedings as a sham on Trump’s behalf and criticizing those Trump cannot due to his gag order.

“These are politically motivated trials and they are a disgrace. It is election interference,” the Republican House leader told reporters this morning in the park outside the Manhattan courthouse, alleging that Democrats are keeping Trump off the 2024 campaign trail.

Alleging? Democrats ARE keeping Trump off the campaign trail. This isn't a conspiracy theory; it is a fact. Cooping up the Republican candidate for president in a courtroom all day is by definition keeping him off the campaign trail, and it isn't only Republicans who don't like it. The polls show that Americans are reacting very badly to the lawfare. 

The speaker followed a pattern set by Republican Sens. Rick Scott, J.D. Vance and Tommy Tuberville, who came to court with Trump earlier in his trial and used the same speaking points.

“President Trump is a friend and I wanted to be here to support him,” Johnson said

Johnson is getting a ton of flak from his right flank, so he has an obvious motive for showing up to support Trump. But he is also in desperate need of contributions to get more members elected in order to remain Speaker, meaning he has calculated that backing Trump in as high a profile way as possible is likely to help that effort. 

He's pretty clearly right. Trump keeps rising in the polls as Democrats get more desperate to hurt him in the courtrooms. 

Michael Cohen is on the stand slandering Trump, which is in itself an indication of how desperate Alvin Bragg is. Cohen would be a great witness given his former closeness to Trump and his central role in paying off the hush money. Except for the fact that he is a proven perjurer who has been blasting Trump for years. 

It's hard to convince the public that a known liar with an axe to grind is the best witness for the prosecution. Nor, for that matter, was Stormy Daniels. 

Even CNN analysts have been blasting the trial, and CNN has been in competition with MSNBC for Trump hatred. The trial is that embarrassing. 

The lawfare has backfired--and Republican elected officials know it and trying to capitalize on it.  

They smell victory. Not that the smell of victory ensures that it is cooking on the grill. 2022 looked like it would be a great year for Republicans, and that didn't happen. 

But Trump is up big in the swing states, and that is something new. He is up by smaller margins in the national polls, which is a shocker. Trump's paths to victory have always been through losing the popular vote but winning the electoral college. 

This time he could win the popular vote. That's huge. 

It's still early, but these numbers are looking really bad for Biden and good for Trump. 

This is, of course, largely due to Biden's failed presidency, but I think that you can't underestimate the significance of the lawfare. It is so manifestly political that Americans see through the facade. 

This is not what an advanced democracy should look like, and people are repelled. Good. 

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