In the lately observed flurry of news, multiple leading media organizations have shared views suggesting that the exclusion of ex-President Trump from Colorado’s primary ballot by the Supreme Court of the state acts as a fillip to his re-election potential.
Several opinion pieces such as those published in CNN, The L.A. Times, and a feature story from NBC News stressed that this action, rooted in the provisions of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, is likely to bolster rather than hinder his future political trajectory. A related discourse was put forth by Mark Barabak in his Tuesday column where he depicted this judicial action as an unintended ‘festive gift’ to Trump from the Colorado Supreme Court.
In an exploration of the tipping scales of public opinion, Barabak conveyed that despite this verdict being initially greeted with cheer by Democrats and opponents of Trump, it might, in fact, lose its significance over time. The writer highlighted that this apparently targeted move, implemented by Democrat-nominated justices in Colorado, might actually consolidate Trump’s standing among Republican supporters, evidenced by a surge in his popularity post the initial indictments.
Barabak went on to infer that this decision is likely viewed by Democrats as a favourable progression in their struggle with the ‘Trump issue’. Such legal strategies, as seen in Colorado and those being contemplated in California and additional states, are anticipated to eliminate Trump from the voting assembling and thereby conclude his political ascendancy.
However, Barabak sternly warned the Democrats against relying on such seeming shortcuts, as this wouldn’t necessarily mar Trump’s political resurgence, even amidst the celebratory aura surrounding the court’s verdict.
In concluding his thoughts, Barabak emphasized the need for Democrats to thwart him at the hustings, as is conventionally done. He went on to stress that the courtroom is an inappropriate venue for dictating the result of a presidential election, drawing parallels to the Supreme Court’s intervention in the closely contested 2000 election.
Echoing this sentiment in a separate piece at CNN.com, Damon Linker, a seasoned political science lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, deemed the Tuesday verdict of the Colorado Supreme Court as ‘strikingly misguided’. Even as he labeled Trump as an ‘authoritarian-in-the-making’ that could endanger American democracy, he expressed disappointment in the belief that the 14th Amendment could be effectively leveraged to bar him from power, sadly asserting it to be a ‘facade’.
Linker then articulated the crux of the issue, stating that ‘Trump’s considerable influence is fundamentally a political concern, which suggests that any strategies for his defeat should not deviate from the political environment.’ Attempting to sideline him via alternate avenues would only enhance his influence, warned Linker.
The lecturer went on to explain that although a ruling of this nature could hinder a conventional politician, it serves conversely to stoke the fire of a populist figure like Trump. He could harness this development to intensify the populist narrative, the ‘us versus them’ dichotomy, which forms the backbone of his appeal. Moreover, he voiced concern at the prospect of other state courts implementing a similar ruling, thereby eroding faith among Republicans in the judiciary.
Linker then voiced the alarming likelihood of such a series of events undermining the credibility of the nation’s judicial arm, particularly for Republican voters and for valid reasons. He proposed that the most beneficial outcome of this chain of events would be a firm and swift dismissal of the Colorado ruling by the US Supreme Court, thereby reinforcing the notion that no state has the jurisdiction to outrightly disqualify Trump from pursuing a presidential tenure.
Additionally, like Barabak, Linker cautioned that Trump’s unique brand of politics cannot be quashed by courtroom maneuvering and can only be countered democratically. He reiterated his stance that Trump must be defeated through democratic means, not via the intervention of lawyers and judges.
In a parallel review of events, NBCNews.com shared an article exploring the perspectives of ‘political insiders’ across party lines who predict that this verdict by Colorado’s Supreme Court could act as a springboard for Trump’s bid to secure the Republican nomination. This assertion was validated by the swift scramble by Republican elected officials to rally behind Trump, following the court’s ruling last Tuesday. The report also contained the foreboding ideation held by some Democrats that it could potentially give him an edge in the coming November.
Citing the fallout from previous indictments that correspondingly bolstered Trump’s support base, the authors opined that the Colorado verdict was a catalyst for even deeper Republican support as Trump sought to lever it to his advantage. The NBC piece succinctly put it as: ‘Trump is capitalizing on the immediate political dividends,’ lucidly reflecting the response triggered by the ruling in favor of his nascent fundraiser.
In a closer look at the Democratic response, the NBC report featured concerns among party members, such as former advisor to Obama, David Axelrod, who stated that the court decision was perversely advantageous to Trump, metaphorically referring to his looming legal issues as ‘propellants’ for his campaign. The report brings to light the analogous views of Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis who observed, ‘The optics generated by this verdict, absent any definitive resolution on his indictments, simply amplify the Trump victim complex.’
With a note of apprehension, Kofinis confided that, perplexing as it may seem to Democrats, this development could paradoxically invigorate Trump’s position. Irrespective of our perspectives on these unfolding events, the overall narrative unequivocally underscores an escalating concern about the volatile landscape of American politics and its far-reaching impacts.