The prospect of former President Donald Trump being indicted by the Manhattan Criminal Court over hush money payments to Stormy Daniels has sparked a flurry of speculation about the political ramifications of such a move. Are Democrats really so stupid to think that they can get away with such a blatantly partisan abuse of power?
While the charges themselves are ludicrous, and Trump most certainly has no reason to be concerned about the possibility of legal ramifications. I’m sure that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office knows this as well. But, that’s not really the point, is it?
The goal here is to appeal to the left-wing base, which has wanted to indict Trump for anything from the moment he decided to run for president. They’ve been itching to see Trump in handcuffs for years, and if the reports are to be believed, they may get it — regardless of whether it’s justified, they want it and demand it. It’s the kind of thing you might expect in a banana republic or a Third World dictatorship, not in what was once considered the shining example of freedom and democracy in the world.
Many predict that this move will backfire dramatically on the Democrats.
“If this happens, Trump will be re-elected in a landslide victory,” Elon Musk tweeted in response to a report about Trump’s potential pending arrest.
He’s not alone in thinking this way. “If they handcuff Trump, he is your next president,” Scott Adams predicts.
Trump Defense Lawyer Joe Tacopina agrees. “I believe this will catapult him into the White House.”
Matt Walsh of the Daily Wire has another theory. “They want Trump to be the Republican nominee,” Walsh tweeted Saturday, referring to the Democrats. “That’s obviously the play here. There is no other conceivable reason to arrest and perp walk him on a bulls—t misdemeanor charge. I might be overestimating the tactical intelligence of the idiot power-hungry hacks behind this. But if there is any political strategy then that has to be it.”
It’s a fascinating theory, for sure, but I think it gives Democrats too much credit and ignores some key facts. As I previously pointed out, Democrats, including the thugs in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, have been desperately trying to pin something on Trump for years. The party base believes Trump is guilty of something, even if they don’t know what that is, so there’s enormous pressure to give the base what they want.
Where Walsh’s theory also goes wrong is that if Democrats believe that arresting Trump would boost him in the GOP primaries, which they believe would give them the best chance of holding onto the White House, there’s no reason to believe it wouldn’t also boost him in the general election.
Let’s not forget how the impeachments of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump backfired. Clinton’s impeachment proceedings were widely seen as a partisan attack, and he emerged from the ordeal with a higher approval rating than before. Similarly, Trump’s impeachment over a phone call boosted his support among his base, and he was seen as likely to cruise to reelection until the COVID-19 pandemic crippled the economy and gave Democrat governors in battleground states a pretext to change election laws to favor their party in the presidential election.
If Trump is indicted and possibly even arrested, it could seriously damage the public’s perception of the justice system. Trump could use this situation to his advantage, portraying himself as a victim of a justice system that has gone too far. Whether Democrats will admit it or not, that’s a message that could resonate with independent voters who fear that our nation is becoming a banana republic.