2022: The Year In Losing Senate Loons
Democrats held the Senate this year! Hooray! We can continue confirming judges!
For a long while, that didn't seem possible. President Joe Biden's approval ratings were in the toilet. Inflation was up. The supply chain was farkakte, and last December, Sen. Joe Manchin pulled the plug on Build Back Better.
However, Democrats managed to defend every US Senate seat that was up for re-election and even flipped Pennsylvania, expanding their majority to a modest but mighty 51 seats. This weakens the hold Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have over Biden's domestic agenda, and Sinema immediately acted out by declaring herself a free agent.
Sorry, Mitch, It’s Not GOP ‘Candidate Quality.’ You Guys Just Suck.
Rev Sen Raphael Warnock Sends Herschel Walker Back To Texas
PA Senate Debate: Dr. Oz Supports State Legislatures' Right To Choose Terrible Abortion Bans
Creepy Ghoul Blake Masters Not Winning Over Voters In Arizona Senate Race
Republicans can't rely on grotesque gerrymanders for Senate race elections, just plain-old voter suppression. It's almost a fair fight. Any fool with an "R" after their name was going to prevail in deep-red Missouri, Ohio, or Florida, and they did! But control of the Senate came down to true swing states.
MAGA loons might win flaming red House districts, but they just couldn't pull off a statewide victory. This is why Senate — say it with us, y'all — Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tempered enthusiasm about a supposed "Red Wave" as far back as August.
"I think there's probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate," McConnell said. "Senate races are just different, they're statewide, candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome."
This was right after the Republican Senate primaries, and McConnell more or less pointed at the nominees and said, "You believe these losers?"
Donald Trump campaigned hard for "man of the people" Dr. Mehmet Oz, whom Senator-elect John Fetterman pantsed on the regular. It was a joy to watch.
Now I personally consider "veggie tray" a dull name for food. Would you call a charcuterie board "meat plate"? "Crudités" sounds like your mouth is vacationing in Paris, but Oz couldn't even assemble a crudités platter like a normal effete.
The genius Republicans in Arizona decided to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly with creepy Victorian ghost doll Blake Masters. You'd probably pass on Masters for the lead in an American Psycho remake. It's just too much. Masters was a better fit for the weird alien that starship Capt. Mark Kelly would've met during first contact.
Here's Masters discussing abortion while holding a TIE fighter (the evil Empire's vehicle). He sucked so much at this.
GOP NH Gov. Chris Sununu Not Interested In Going To Senate To Do Nothing For Two Years
Mitch McConnell Serpent-Talking Maryland GOP Gov Larry Hogan Into Running For Senate
How Does New Hampshire GOP Senate Idiot Don Bolduc Know You're Not Using A Litterbox RIGHT NOW?
Don't worry. We're not forgetting Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker, the perpetual scandal motion machine. "George Santos" would soon dethrone him as the Republican Party's most enthusiastic and persistent liar, but man did Walker drop some whoppers: Was he actually an FBI agent? (No.) Was he a college graduate? (Nope.) Was he valedictorian at his high school? (LOL ... no.)
Let's not forget all his spare children and abortion funding. Nonetheless, it took a solid effort from Sen. Raphael Warnock to keep this gibbering idiot out of the Senate.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu would've had a good shot at unseating Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan, but instead she curb-stomped election denier Don Bolduc, whom Trump blamed for losing because Bolduc belatedly embraced democracy (slightly) during the general election. Trump seemed to think his losing candidates would've sucked less and won more if they were as unhinged as he is.
Of course, McConnell all but begged Sununu and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to run for Senate and they refused. McConnell even sent his wife to "Draft Hogan," and it was still a firm no. (If I send my wife to ask a favor, you're gonna do that shit.) That has less to do with Trump and everything to do with the obstructionist, do-nothing hell hole McConnell created all by his loathsome self.
Enjoy 2023 from the minority, Mitch.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."