Election 2024 /

WSJ: The 2020 Election All Over Again Friday’s campaign exchange showed what we all have to look forward to

  |   By Polling+ Staff

One suspects the Wall Street Journal editorial board was not a fan of the 2020 campaign.

The WSJ editorializes:  The 2020 Election All Over Again

Friday’s campaign exchange showed what we all have to look forward to. Ugh.

Writes the WSJ:

“One tragedy of a 2024 rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump is that it would all be about the past—specifically, the last election. Who wants to relive that nightmare? Friday was a good illustration of what Americans can expect for the next 10 months if these two are the presidential nominees, as their campaigns fought over the events and legacy of Jan. 6, 2021.

Mr. Biden traveled near Valley Forge, Pa., to ring in the echoes of George Washington crossing the Delaware as a contrast to Mr. Trump. The 81-year-old President needed Jill Biden to guide him crossing the stage, but never mind. The news is that Mr. Biden unveiled his main campaign theme, which is that the events of Jan. 6 demonstrate that Mr. Trump will become a dictator if he wins again.

“Trump began his 2024 campaign by glorifying the failed violent insurrectionist—insurrection at our—on our Capitol. The guy who claims law and order sows lawlessness and disorder,” Mr. Biden said. “Trump is now promising a full-scale campaign of ‘revenge’ and ‘retribution’—his words—for some years to come. They were his words, not mine.”

This is Mr. Biden’s theme because he believes it, and he doesn’t have much else to run on. The public doesn’t buy his boasts about the benefits of Bidenomics. Disorder is spreading around the world, chaos prevails at the U.S.-Mexico border, and even most Democrats think he’s too old to run again. With an approval rating near 40%, he has no choice other than to make the election about the other guy. Scaring the country about MAGA and abortion is all he’s got.

Mr. Biden also loads up his case with hyperbole, such as his claim that “on that day,” Jan. 6. three years ago, “we nearly lost America—lost it all.”

No, we didn’t. A rabble ginned up by Mr. Trump stormed the Capitol, but there was never a chance that Mr. Trump would change the election result. His Vice President refused to go along, as did most people who mattered in his Administration and the judges he appointed who considered the evidence of election fraud. Congress voted to certify the electoral votes in short order after the Capitol was secured.

Yet Republicans who think this Biden theme won’t resonate with millions of voters are probably wrong. Mr. Trump’s behavior that day was contemptible, and by all accounts he refused for hours to act to stop the violence while he watched it unfold on television.

The polls show most voters agree, with a CBS News survey released on Sunday finding that 78% of Americans disapprove of those “who forced their way” into the Capitol, and 52% strongly disapprove. The latter includes 32% of Republicans, and 54% of independents, despite Mr. Trump’s increasing attempts to portray that day as heroic.

These poll numbers—which the Trump campaign can see—explain why the former President is trying to rewrite the history of that day. He’s even taken to calling the marchers who have been charged and convicted “hostages,” as if they were taken by Hamas. You can argue that some of the marchers were excessively charged or punished, but hostages? Republicans who mimic this rhetoric are playing into Mr. Biden’s campaign theme.

All of this underscores the backward-looking nature of a Biden-Trump rematch. Mr. Trump needs to claim the 2020 election was stolen to justify his behavior after Election Day and on Jan. 6. Mr. Biden needs to warn of dictatorship because the public dislikes the results of his policies. Both men are offering voters little or nothing about the future beyond more of the same rancor and polarization.

Americans deserve better. But if this is the choice the two parties offer, we’ll have no choice other than to cover the election as we always do. As for the voters, they will have ample cause to consider a third-party alternative—if No Labels can come up with one.”

One can only wonder if 2024 is indeed a Trump-Biden rematch where exactly the WSJ endorsement will go.