Will Trump pull an LBJ?

He had no intention of winning from the get-go. It was just him promoting himself and…well, himself. He needs attention and praise. On Election Night, he was telling people he’d be taking some trips and golfing as soon as the next day. He knew he’d lose and it was not something that would bother him.

When it became clear he was going to win, he and everyone else grew very, very quiet(Trump has spoken about this publicly, a rare glimpse inside his mind). It was incredibly disappointing to realize he would have to be President. He had no way of not going on to be President without looking like a huge loser.

I still don’t get why he didn’t just decide not to run for re-election. He’d go out a huge winner(uh, to him).

Trump is delusional, no doubt about it, and of course it’s quite possible he’d stick around and blame the loss on election interference, even if there’s zero evidence. But what drives Trump is, again, that enormous ego. Due to unfortunate circumstances, I had to learn a lot about narcissistic personality disorder, which I believe Trump has. The ego must be fed and protected at all costs. Any weaknesses, errors, or losses are projected onto others, who are then blamed. Once they lose the adulation they must have, narcissists will try to regain it at all costs; failing that, they leave.

Trump may very well ride into the elections believing he’ll beat the odds and win, just as he did last time. If the odds are really dismal, however, he just might find an excuse that makes him, in his own eyes and those of his fans, into a hero instead of a quitter and leave rather than face an ego-crushing defeat.

There’s still the wide-spread speculation that he’s worried about going to jail as soon as he isn’t prez anymore, especially if he loses this time while some statutes of limitations haven’t run out yet.


That tells you everything you need to know.

Sorry if it was mentioned upthread but here’s an interesting take on the narcissism angle.

He’s not going to drop out. That’s about as likely as democrats dumping Biden and getting something else. Less likely than that, I think.

I believe this is a worry for him, too.

Despite his stupidity and bluster (“Pollsters always undercount my voters, they should add 10 points to my numbers.”), Trump has recently accepted the fact that he is trailing. But never fear, he has enjoined Kushner to leap in and get those numbers back up.

I think a lot of republicans are watching the world burning and thinking, if this is happening under you, why should I expect it to be any worse under somebody else?

A lot of things, in a lot of different areas (e.g. civil unrest, covid, economy) are going to have to significantly improve by November for him to have a chance I think. Not impossible, but he’s gotta do some major course corrections.

If Trump loses the election, he has many people, organizations, or things to blame.

The Democrats. The media. COVID-19. The “deep state”. “Disloyal” former employees. “Black Lives Matter.” Voter “fraud”. “RINOs.” Political correctness. Twitter and other social media (a new one for him). And so forth.

If he steps down, he doesn’t have anyone to blame. The wall has not been built, so he can’t even say “I’ve done what I said I would do”.

Trump will fight to the bitter end.

I think it more likely Trump would pull a Wag the Dog than an LBJ.

If the Repubs show less loyalty to him than he expects of them, I can see him announcing on or just before election day that he has it on good authority that the election is rigged and for his supporters to stay home. This way he doesn’t lose because he is unpopular, but because he didn’t compete. This will also harm the Repubs, which will be his revenge on them and it could be the impetus to start his MAGA TV network afterwards.

I doubt he will drop out,but you never know. I was shocked he ran to begin with and even more shocked that he won.

Well, he can say it.

Unfortunately, alot of them are watching the world burning, and thinking, if things are this bad for me, how can I make sure they are worse for someone else. Then they’ll vote for Trump.

He’s already said it. Remember, Trump and his base live in an alternate reality.

At this point, I am thinking that either way the Democrats are going to wing big in November. If he pulls out at this point, he leaves all of the candidates that were running on the Trump political plan (everyone else is terrible, we are victims of their incompetence, brown people are bad) in the lurch because they lose their chief AND they lose the votes that he would draw. It’s too late in the cycle to retool a message, and too late to bring in another viable candidate, so you will get the safety net candidates if they do decide to go with someone else, and in the world of voter extremes right now, that isn’t getting it done, and politically would look weak.

If he does stay in the race, it will force either the R candidates to go down with the ship or break from him, and then risk facing the wrath, and alienating the voting base they absolutely need. Their only real hope is a hail Mary coming through, or Biden falling ill or saying something dumb enough to cost him the election. This election is not about issues at all, it’s a referendum on the Cheetoh, and everything and everyone tied to him. The past four years, in a sick and twisted way, are almost a best case scenario for the Democratic party long term.

All very interesting.

I see several folks have said something like “The Republicans will …”. I see that as a category error.

There is not one “the Republicans”. There are several. With wildly different agendas and constituencies.

As to Federal legislators and state-level elected officials … Some represent districts or states where Trump is God-King and his supporters are the electorate. Others where Trump is an embarrassment to all right-thinking R’s, but at least he’s preventing a D from sitting in his spot doing even more unspeakable things to our beloved Republic. And several shades in between.

Other significant R players, more in the executive, the judiciary, the think tanks, and the commentariat, are simply looking forward to going back to servicing their traditional patrons, whether that’s as deficit hawks, foreign policy hawks, strict constructionist hawks, shills for the CEO class, shills for Wall Street, shills for the defense industry, whatever.

Or simply as principled believers in traditional non-reactionary US (mostly white male) values as Reagan would have recognized them.

In the middle of the current southern-fried racism + NYC-style abject lawless greed shit show it is easy to forget that there were, and still are, such things as principled Rs; millions of them in fact. Whether I agree with their principles is a different question from whether they have any.

Factions with the R upper hierarchy would love to jettison Trump yesterday. Others still think his coat tails are valuable, perhaps even more valuable than he himself is. And an awful lot of the newest generation of opportunistic carpetbaggers owe their position and their ongoing access to the trough entirely to Trump; they know they’ll sink if he does.

By far the most interesting part to me, and I said as much shortly after the election, is how many other folks have carefully watched what worked with the MAGA crowd. Thank goodness Trump is such an incompetent tyrant. But he has shown the understudy wannabe tyrants how easy it is to get the American electorate to not only elect a tyrant, but then demand that their Dear Leader destroy the constitution in pursuit of naked power.

IMO that will be Trump’s lasting legacy: the need for us to fight the second US Civil War to save the constitution, whether at the ballot box or later in the streets. Unlike the first Civil War, the battle lines next time will be zipcode to zipcode, not state to state. Although as any CW history buff will gladly tell you, there were a lot of deeply divided states along and beyond the confederacy’s frontier last time.

Interesting times.

No chance Trump voluntarily steps aside as LBJ did. Not gonna happen.

Having said that I commented some time ago that Romney seems to me to be positioning himself for something. It could be nothing more than as a potential position of leadership for the GOP once the Trump era ends, whenever that may be. Or it could be in case a fight breaks out at the convention and the party decides to dump Trump. I find the idea of the latter happening to be unlikely in the extreme but hey, what do I know.

You (Theodore-Striker) said something pretty interesting there that popped a thought into my head.

Enough Rs are riding on Trump’s coat tails that maybe, just maybe, he’s about to blackmail the R party.

Here’s his top secret pitch: “If you don’t pay me $X and promise to route all DOD procurement for the next Y years through a Trump shell company I’ll resign at a time chosen to screw you all so bad you won’t be able to hold dog catcher in wacko-R central Idaho, much less anywhere sensible. Pay up or die in Nov.”

Just so we’re all clear, Lyndon Johnson didn’t “step aside”; he chose not to run for re-election. The only one to actually resign from office was Nixon.

I hope you’re right on both counts.

I agree that there is no clear path to a GOP claim that elections must be suspended–even if they (feds, state, and local) succeed in making the USA a hellhole of disease, homelessness, hunger, and crime by November. The polls are trending against them and they will know that will limit the plausibility of lies they may long to tell.

But tomorrow, a lot of Americans will be evicted from their homes, and as the days and weeks wear on, there will be even more thrown out. There will be an inevitable rise in crime. This has traditionally been catnip to Republicans—a mainstay of their messaging. ‘Only we can save you from these Bad, Bad people…’

I’m not as confident as you seem to be that they won’t take this opportunity to make that final push to eliminate democracy and the rule of law. It’s an unprecedented situation. Still, I hope you’re right.