There Is No ‘Trump Problem’

Former President Donald Trump on December 19, 2023, at a campaign event in Waterloo, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

It’s our miserable fate to spend the holidays this year listening to people complain about “anti-democratic” attempts to strike a presidential frontrunner from the ballot who were adamant about disqualifying Barack Obama in 2008 absent proof of his status as a natural-born citizen.

Thank the Colorado Supreme Court for that. On Tuesday they left a ruling under the tree that’s equal parts noble and silly.

There’s no universe in which the United States Supreme Court will throw a major party’s presumptive nominee out of the race in the thick of a presidential campaign. Whatever the legal merits of the case that Donald Trump engaged in “insurrection” within the meaning of the 14th Amendment, the court won’t detonate its institutional legitimacy by denying the twisted American right its choice of nominee less than a year before an election. There’s never been a less suspenseful major SCOTUS ruling in my lifetime. It might even go 9-0.

That’s the silly part of the Colorado decision. The four judges who formed the majority to disqualify Trump did so knowing that they’ll be overruled and that it won’t be close when they are.

Which is quite a thing to do given the momentous political consequences that will flow from this, most of them benefiting Trump. In time, it may come to be seen as something much worse than “silly.”

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