Mitch McConnell And The 'Moderates' Really Think They're Going To Take GOP Back From Trump
Mitch McConnell | United States Senator Mitch McConnell spea… | Flickr

Looks like Charlie Kirk isn't the only one worried about sexual anarchy. The New York Times reports that The Grownups™ are belatedly trying to wrest back control of the GOP from the orange-haired parasite that colonized it and now threatens to subsume the entire entity.

"In conversations with senators and would-be senators, Mr. McConnell is blunt about the damage he believes Mr. Trump has done to the G.O.P., according to those who have spoken to him," writes reporter Jonathan Martin. "Privately, he has declared he won’t let unelectable 'goofballs' win Republican primaries."

GOOFBALLS.

That's a weird way to describe Herschel Walker -- the former Georgia football player with admitted mental health issues, a history of alleged violence against his partners, and an inability to speak clearly on any issue -- whom Trump saddled the party with in the Georgia Senate race. Or Kari Lake, Trump's pick for the Arizona gubernatorial race, for whom no conspiracy theory is too preposterous and who has a nasty habit of appearing with Nazis and QAnon supporters. Or Katie Arrington, whom Trump just endorsed to primary sitting Republican Rep. Nancy Mace, who flipped her seat in 2020, but has shown insufficient fealty to the Dear Leader since then.


The article focuses on Arizona's current Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican who is term-limited out and would be a terrific candidate to run against Democratic Senator Mark Kelly in any normal year. But Ducey got crosswise with Trump for failing to overturn the results of the election, and has been the target of relentless attacks since then, as has Arizona Secretary of State Mark Brnovich. McConnell tried desperately to get Ducey to run, promising support from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) in a race that could determine the balance of power in the chamber. Even former president George W. Bush worked to persuade Ducey, but no dice.

Brnovich is currently running in the Republican Senate primary, which remains wide open, with close to half of Republicans currently undecided. A rational person wielding Trump's power over the party would anoint Brnovich, sparing Republicans the expense and drama of a contested primary. Peter Thiel is prepared to dump infinity cash on his sock puppet Blake Masters, and solar executive Jim Lamon just paid tens of thousands of dollars to air a spot during the Super Bowl that showed him pretending to shoot at Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and Mark Kelly, whose wife Gabby Giffords literally survived being shot in the head.

A rational person would repeat this trick in Ohio and Missouri as well, where chaotic primaries threaten to allow weirdos like Josh Mandel or Eric Greitens to jeopardize what should otherwise be winnable seats. And a rational person would certainly not go looking for someone to challenge Alaska GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski, who lost the Republican primary in 2010 and held onto her seat as a write-in candidate. But Trump is no one's idea of a rational person, so he's going to let Republican candidates piss away a hundred million dollars while beating each other over the heads with sticks for another three months. FFS, he got some rando to run against Alabama Governor Kay Ivey over some imagined slight from two years ago. Who does that?

So Mitch McConnell and the so-called moderates are quietly trying to recruit non-insane candidates to run for office, assuring them Trump's power is waning.

“No one should be afraid of President Trump, period,” Sen. Susan Collins warbled.

Naturally Trump responded with his usual gravitas and typos:

Funny thing about Susan Collins, who is absolutely atrocious, and has been for a long time, I won Maine 2, by a lot, and those hard working people attended a rally of many thousands. Just one word about her and the fact that she didn’t help the fisherman, as their rights were taken from them from the federal government, and the lumberjacks, she would have had no chance to win. But I remained silent and positive and allowed her to have her victory. She would have lost in a landslide. Gee, aren’t I nice?

Here on Planet Earth, Trump lost Maine by nine points, while Collins, who did not endorse Trump, won by the same margin.

But McConnell's recruitment efforts have been similarly, if more politely, rebuffed. In addition to Ducey, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declined to run against Democrat Chris Van Hollen, despite entreaties by Collins, Senator Mitt Romney, and an approach to Hogan's wife Yumi by McConnell's wife Elaine Chao. New Hampshire's popular Governor Chris Sununu similarly passed up a chance to challenge Maggie Hassan. Meanwhile, Trump is making candidates pinky promise to vote against the "Old Crow" McConnell for party leader as the price of his Senate endorsement, and the RNC is going after Rep. Liz Cheney for crimes against Trump.

The Republicans should be holding hands and marching lockstep toward November. Instead they're stabbing each other in the neck.

And still that old weirdo is shouting into the void:

Could somebody please inform the low-rated political shows that plague our Sunday morning programming that my Endorsement of candidates is much stronger today than it was even prior to the 2020 Election Scam. I am almost unblemished in the victory count, and it is considered by the real pollsters to be the strongest endorsement in U.S. political history. There are plenty of existing politicians who wouldn’t be in power now were it not for my Endorsement (like the Old Crow!). The Fake News does everything within their power to diminish and belittle but the people know, and the politicians seeking the Endorsement really know!

And he ain't wrong! He can absolutely make or break a candidate in the Republican primary. The problem is that he chooses candidates not based on their electability or fitness for office, but on loyalty alone. Hogan and Sununu were never going to trek down to Mar-a-Lago to kiss the ring and cough up $25,000 for a MAGA-themed fundraiser, so they were out, and with them any realistic chance of flipping those two seats (if indeed you think Hogan could have beaten Van Hollen, which, as a Maryland resident, I do not).

So Mitt and Mitch and Dubya and Susan are frantically pumping the brakes in a car that is all the way over the cliff and tumbling swiftly toward the ravine below.

Ah, well, Dems in disarray.

OPEN THREAD.

[NYT]

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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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