Two days ago, Donald Trump said that Mehmet Oz should just “declare himself the winner,” in Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate primary because it would make it harder to steal away. Yesterday, Trump posted a command to Truth Social “Stop Finding Votes!” and put up “Rigged?” in all caps. Today, as Oz stands one-tenth of one percent ahead of Dave McCormick with approximately 15,000 votes remaining to be counted, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board shamed Trump for interfering and made the self-serving argument that Trump could be handing a winnable seat to the Democrats. The big picture, the horror, where this fits in, whether this country can even hold elections with MAGA candidates and voters, gets ignored.
As the Pennsylvania count drags on, the feud within the GOP between “moderates” and the MAGA wing continues to bubble to the surface and the Wall Street Journal effectively told Trump to shut up for the greater good, which is both precious and offensive:
The votes in Pennsylvania aren’t all counted, and already President Trump is hinting that he might cry fraud if his endorsed candidate falls behind. On Wednesday his Senate pick, the TV doctor Mehmet Oz, led the GOP primary by roughly 2,500 votes. But some 105,000 mail ballots from both parties were yet to be tallied…
… “If [Oz opponent David] McCormick wins the final count, will Mr. Trump smear him as an election thief? Would GOP voters believe that nonsense? Pennsylvania has closed primaries, so everybody who voted for Mr. Oz or Mr. McCormick must be registered as a Republican,” the editors added that the former president could end up crippling Republican voting efforts when the n November midterm election rolls around.
Would the GOP voters believe that nonsense? It would seem as though the editors at the Journal need to get out of the Financial District a little. The MAGA voters have believed it for two years. But the fact that Trump is saying it could happen within the Republican party itself (as opposed to the general election) makes it ridiculous? No, it is intolerable to the WSJ because Trump’s fascist instincts may end up hurting a Republican (McCormick) and the GOP itself, which is what makes this so dangerous. The editors have a sense of deja vu and mention Georgia in 2020.
The Journal the writes a summation that is both embarrassingly earnest while also frighteningly irresponsible:
“Don’t bet what’s left of your 401(k) on whether Mr. Trump has learned his lesson. His advice to Mr. Oz is also a warning about how Doug Mastriano, the GOP’s gubernatorial nominee, might react to a loss in the fall. Mr. Mastriano is the underdog against Democrat Josh Shapiro. If Mr. Mastriano falls short, will he and Mr. Trump claim it was due to some kind of massive coordinated fraud scheme that amazingly can’t be proved?” they speculated, before adding that candidate Oz should — unlike Trump — accept his loss if that is what the voters decide.
“GOP candidates are understandably eager to win Mr. Trump’s endorsement, but it could come with pressure to shout fraud when zero evidence for it exists. Whether Mr. Oz wins or loses, he would do his country a service if he publicly refused this turn toward conspiracy politics.
What? Trump’s endorsement may come with the unwanted duty to agree that American electoral legitimacy must be sacrificed at the altar of MAGA? And, if so, it would be better if Trump stayed out of it? If the Wall Street Journal wanted to buttress faith in democracy and oppose Trump’s continued recklessness, the editors should do it with the force and candor required and not water it down with an almost offensive statement about Trump learning lessons, and letting the voters decide. The Journal has been forceful about Trump’s dangerousness coming out of January 6th.
But it’s an election year and the Journal is addressing Trump’s issues prior to a November vote that will settle control of Congress, so the “moderate-wing WSJ Editors” can only go so far in waving a finger at Trump. After all, that’s a winnable seat. They don’t want to be rude or anything.
Jason Miciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, while also studying scientific philosophy, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact for speaking engagements or any concerns.