Having lost in 2020, he’d be more likely to lose in 2024, for he’d lack the advantage of incumbency and would seem more like yesterday’s man. But that might apply only in the general election.

What about the primary? There are many possible candidates in the Republican 2024 field, such as Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and others, in addition to Cotton and Crenshaw, already mentioned. But could any of them beat Trump in the presidential primary? Who’d bet against the most famous person in the world running as a comeback candidate, the cheated once-and-future champion? It may be doubted that any of the impressive figures in the GOP has the wattage to do that.

Surely it will have dwindled in four years. Yes, probably, but how much? The possibility is distinctly there for a Republican nightmare, of Trump crashing back on to the political scene, incapable of winning in the general election but unbeatable in the primary.