Republicans won’t start winning until they stop whining
Republican talking heads and thought leaders are mimicking former President Donald Trump with nonstop whining about “unfairness” and “double standards.” They are consequently taking our party down yet another losing path for 2024.
The argument to replace President Biden could not be simpler, but one should never underestimate the GOP’s ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Trump’s latest indictment will not be his last. He’s running out of money and time. Trump is certainly afforded the presumption of innocence, but Republicans should understand that the DOJ secures convictions in 99.9 percent of its cases. The indictment of Trump in Washington D.C. — a city that votes 92 percent Democrat — is not going to be one of those rare losses.
Trump’s indictment certainly appears unfair when compared to the Justice Department’s soft treatment of Hunter Biden’s felony firearm case or Hillary Clinton’s legal scandal over wiped servers and destroyed cell phones. But Republicans’ whining on every television network isn’t going to stop Trump from having to appear in court in front of a judge that has eagerly hammered Jan. 6 defendants with harsh sentences.
Rather, Republicans need to focus on the important issues affecting Americans. Inflation is hurting most families as the prices of food and energy have risen much faster than wages. The U.S. credit rating was just downgraded, bringing the strength of the U.S. dollar into question, and possibly leading to even higher interest rates.
The U.S. is on track to hit $1 trillion in annual interest expenses. China is infiltrating our software systems in ways that could shut down critical infrastructure. Russia’s prolonged war with Ukraine could escalate into a nuclear catastrophe. A chaotic Southern border, continued massive increases in the government debt and slow economic growth are additional major failures of the Biden administration.
If Republicans ignore these important issues and instead let a single individual control the narrative and focus of the party for the next year, then the Republican Party — and the republic itself — will be permanently damaged.
Democrats outspent Republicans in the last two election cycles. In some key races, Democratic candidates had millions more in election funds than Republicans, and Democrats won those races.
Trump will likely need over $100 million in legal fees, and he seems to be mostly paying his lawyers with money from small donors. He will be consumed by court appearances and legal proceedings, and he will likely be convicted of multiple charges prior to November 2024.
If Trump remains in the race, he will deprive the Republicans of the funds needed to win key swing states, all while firing up the left to turn out and vote like no other candidate can (including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)).
Polls, which are often poor predictors so far ahead of elections, only distract from this unpleasant reality.
Republicans’ anger and frustration are quite understandable and justified. But the only way to change the system is to win. And the only way to win is by nominating a candidate who can run a focused and fully funded campaign, has a positive pro-growth message, and can make this election a referendum on the Biden administration. And this candidate should serve two terms, to save the GOP from an unnecessary and expensive primary in 2028, freeing up resources for critical congressional races.
Republicans will not win by whining ad nauseam on television and in op-eds for the next 15 months. Rather, Republicans — and Americans — will win when we take back the White House, dismantle the bureaucrat state and ensure that unelected autocrats will never again be able to wage “lawfare” against political opponents.
Republicans need to stay on target. Democrats would prefer to focus on the single issue of Donald Trump, rather than the multitude of failures of the Biden Administration. If the GOP prioritizes winning the 2024 presidential election over winning a doomed court drama, then there may still be hope for the Republican Party and for America.
Hal Lambert, founder of Point Bridge Capital and the venture capital firm Star Castle Ventures, is former national finance chair for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former finance chair for the Republican Party of Texas.