Dean Clough

August 25, 2023

Portico Darwin: World Leader Pretend


<2 Minute Read
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Welcome to Friday. 

I followed through on what I said to Hunter Deuce:  I didn't watch Wednesday night's Republican National Committee debate.  What follows is all I've read or heard on the subject; it is from The Economist's daily news briefing yesterday.

Eight presidential hopefuls tussled in the Republican Party’s first debate ahead of the 2024 election.  Six said they would back Donald Trump if he received the party’s nomination, even if he were convicted in any of his four criminal cases.  Mr. Trump, the frontrunner, skipped the debate for an interview with Tucker Carlson, a right-wing commentator, on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

I have some questions for the 6 who would endorse Trump:

  • Do you believe in our nation's system of justice?
  • If so, what is wrong with the Trump indictments or convictions, should he be found guilty?
  • Do you think 3 different jurisdictions (New York, Georgia, and the Federal government itself) are all corrupt and/or conspiring against Trump?
  • If Hunter Biden is indicted by a Federal Special Prosecutor, as has Trump, will you feel that process is tainted also?  If not, why not?
  • Is there a crime Trump could commit that would make you change your mind?

Trump lost to Biden in 2020, lost the popular vote in two elections, and had zero coattails in every mid-term in which his name was a factor.  He now faces a total of 91 state and Federal felony counts, and I predict he'll be convicted on several.   

Yet 6 of the 8 candidates to lead our country are still with him.  I get that everybody is sick of condescending coastal elites banging on and on about this, thereby offending the all-important Trump voter (~25% of the electorate and falling).  But does that warrant this degree of sycophancy?   

Because isn't supporting Trump (or anyone) no matter what an excellent indicator of poor leadership ability?

For the record (I had to look this up separately), it was Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson who refused to endorse Trump.  They would have been joined by the rational Republican outlier Will Hurd, had he been allowed to participate.  

But these candidates for President of The United States would still endorse Trump if he were convicted of illegally sharing our nation's most secret information, and/or of attempting to overturn the 2020 Presidential election:

  • Ron DeSantis
  • Nikki Haley
  • Tim Scott
  • Mike Pence
  • Vivek Ramaswamy
  • Doug Burgum

I deeply question their judgment and will repeat Mr. Hurd's line: "If you are not strong enough to stand up to Trump, you are not strong enough to be President."

Do you agree?

I hope you have a great weekend.  Us? 

We're the final stage on the Tour de Pacific Coast.


A special shout-out to my friend Miguel Shannon.  He and I are forming a club of sorts, but it's all very hush-hush.

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.


Featuring the excellent subject track "World Leader Pretend", here are R.E.M. and the Killer and classic Green.

About Dean Clough