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Opinion | Is Statue-Toppling a Monumental Error?

Gail: Commissions rule. For the minute.

Bret: Speaking of which, I was much struck by my former colleague Peggy Noonan’s latest column in The Wall Street Journal, “The Week It Went South for Trump.” Peggy nailed the 2016 race, and I think she might have nailed the 2020 race with this line: “The real picture at the Tulsa rally was not the empty seats so much as the empty faces — the bored looks, the yawning and phone checking.” She’s right: The evil Trump spell is broken, even with many of his rank-and-file. He’s gonna lose, unless Biden totally blows it.

Gail: I agree, but nervously. We’re all haunted by the specter of 2016.

One thing I worry about is all the Republicans who know Trump is an abomination but can’t bring themselves to say they’d vote for a Democrat. Even John Bolton — after all that traipsing around telling stories about how awful the president is — says he’s going to write in some other name. Ditto Mitt Romney.

I certainly don’t have any influence over those folks, but can’t you do something to turn them around?

Bret: If Bernie Sanders had been the nominee, I’d be writing in someone’s name, too. President Johannes Brahms has a nice ring to it. But the idea that a Biden presidency would be a threat to the Republic is laughable: It would be a return to politics as we used to know it before the proverbial sacking of Rome.

My pitch to the Romneys and Boltons of the world is simple: In order for their vision of sane conservatism to win, Trump’s insane vision must lose so decisively that it will be politically destroyed and morally repudiated by the broad majority of Republicans themselves. The bigger Biden’s margin of victory in November, the better it will be for normal conservatives in future Novembers. A vote for Biden now is a vote for a G.O.P. that has a future — in a country that has a future.

Gail: Bret, you’re the perfect Biden pitchman. Really, you deserve a statue.

Bret: Only if it is made of plastic and fits in a shoe box, Gail.

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