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Today in Dissembling: Peter Meijer

When he was a member of the House, Republican Peter Meijer reached the limits of his tolerance with Donald Trump after the 1/6 insurrection. Meijer voted in favor of the second impeachment, and had some strong words about how Trump should not be the GOP's leader moving forward. These were apparently acts of conscience, since Meijer knew full well they would bring an end to his career in the House.

These days, however, Meijer would like to get back in the game. In fact, he'd like a promotion to U.S. Senator, representing the purple state of Michigan as a Republican. You can't get that job these days without being Trumpy and so Meijer is in the middle of trying to explain to Michigan voters that, when it comes to Trump, I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure that you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

As part of his "rehabilitation" (?) tour, Meijer just sat for an interview with Politico's Adam Wren. And Wren led off with the obvious question, namely "what changed?" Actually, it was a little longer than that; here's the full question:

When we last talked, I asked you whether you would support Donald Trump if he were the nominee in 2024. And you told me, "I have no idea how I would do that." As you launched your Senate campaign recently, you said, "When it comes to 2024 I'm going to support the Republican nominee." Did Trump change or did you?

And here is the answer:

It's something that I've grappled with. I think [former Trump Attorney General] Bill Barr's response has been, "I'll jump off that bridge when it comes to it." I would say one of the things that's really changed between then and now is my frustration at the cynical calculation that I've seen on the Democratic side.

From time to time, some have admitted as much and other times they haven't, or they've chosen not to kind of confess this desire [for Trump to win the nomination]. I don't think it's a controversial thing to say that the Democrats have kind of salivated—or at least this was the case going back towards the middle of this year before Biden's poll numbers imploded—they were salivating at the prospect of a Biden versus Trump rematch, thinking that given the president's weaknesses, his strongest chance of reelection was against Donald Trump. The substance of the Alvin Bragg indictment, I think, has been rightly viewed by folks across the spectrum as just quite spurious and politically motivated. And it's not the timing of the classified documents investigation because I think that timing—I don't take issue with that timing, it's hard to know the fundamental substance of that—but when it comes to a lot of the Jan. 6 related investigations, kind of election-related investigations...

I'll put it this way: Even if this substance is not political, the timing of it could not have been more calculated in order to support the reemergence and kind of bolster Donald Trump.

I may not feel this way if I saw the Democratic Party doing everything in their power to—if they truly viewed Donald Trump as the threat that they say he is, then if I saw them acting consistent with that, versus essentially forcing a game of chicken upon the American people—then I may have stayed where I was when we were having that conversation. But certainly right now, I'm just very much in "a pox on all houses" mentality.

If you can understand the logic here, you are cleverer than we are. It would seem his argument is: "The Democrats are bad, and aren't doing enough to stop Donald Trump, so I guess my only choice is to support Trump." Note also that the interview doesn't get any clearer or more comprehensible if you keep reading.

In any event, this is a question that Meijer is going to face over and over and over. And all he's come up with is a pile of verbal dog poop. From this, we draw two things. First, it's case study #272 that you cannot bridge the gap between Trumper and Never Trumper. Second, Meijer is never going to be a U.S. Senator from Michigan or from anywhere else. If he can't sell it hard that he's had a "come to Jesus" moment and realized that Trump is the bee's knees, the way Vance did, then he's not going to get anywhere near the votes he needs for the nomination, much less a general election victory. (Z)

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