McConnell Endorses Herschel Walker For GA Senate Because, Well, What’s The Point Of Anything Anymore?
Mitch McConnell has come around on Herschel Walker as the GOP candidate for next year's US Senate race in Georgia, and we're sure it's a coincidence that the GOP establishment is rallying behind such an obviously terrible candidate so soon after Republicans killed yet another Democratic voting rights bill.
McConnell released this glowing review today:
I am happy to endorse Herschel Walker for U.S. Senate in Georgia. Herschel is the only one who can unite the party, defeat Senator Warnock, and help us take back the Senate. I look forward to working with Herschel in Washington to get the job done.
You'll recall that McConnell originally had some reservations about the former football star with zero political experience. He considered Walker's past a vulnerability. This summer, McConnell's crony Josh Holmes shared a link on Twitter to an Associated Press article detailing Walker's violent behavior, which included allegedly putting a gun to his ex-wife's head. Holmes tweeted: "This is about as comprehensive a takedown as I've ever read. My lord." That didn't seem like praise.
NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Leigh Ann Caldwell remarked that McConnell was "parading [former Senator David Perdue] around the Capitol this past week in full visibility of reporters." He'd discussed a rematch with aspiring Disney villain Kelly Loeffler, who lost her first actual election to Warnock. McConnell met with former Trump national security official Latham Saddler, as well as other possible candidates without a history of domestic violence.
So, that's how McConnell spent his summer vacation: He was desperate to avoid pissing away a decent chance at regaining one of the two Senate seats Donald Trump helped the GOP lose this year thanks to his Big Lies. It seemed like Trump wanted Warnock to win a full term. He latched onto Walker, a personal friend who was busy living in Texas just a few months ago.
Back in June, Trump told conservative talk show host Buck Sexton:
I had dinner with [Walker] a week ago. He's a great guy. He's a patriot. And he's a very loyal person, he's a very strong person. They love him in Georgia, I'll tell you.
I think he'd win. I think it would be very, very hard to beat Herschel. They have the ballads, they made ballads to Herschel. They still sing them all the time. So I think beating him would be very tough. And I think he's going to run.
There are no Herschel Walker ballads, folk songs, or even light spirituals. The only thing that comes close is when they used to play George Clinton's “Atomic Dog" when Walker played for the University of Georgia Bulldogs. But Walker is no longer a "damn good dawg." He's even admitted that his groveling support for Trump has cost him friends.
"How could in a country like America you disagree with someone that you now want to injure that person or you just don't want to talk to them no more? Where did it get that you become a country like that?"
January 6 happened. This is no longer a difference of opinion over marginal tax rates. That's what is bonkers about Trump's assertion that former Texas resident Walker is somehow beloved in Georgia. He's not going to budge the needle among Warnock's rock-solid Black voter support, and Loeffler already dominated among white voters (71 percent to 29 percent). That just wasn't enough given Georgia's diverse electorate. However, we're getting into numbers and facts and that's not Trump's jam. What matters most to him is that Walker is “loyal." Precedent shows that Trump defines loyalty as unwavering obedience to him, over both the law and your own wife he calls ugly. Senator Walker would prove a reliable flunky, just like Senator Tommy Tuberville.
Trump hates Mitch McConnell and has openly called for his replacement as minority leader. McConnell might think it's easier to avoid provoking Trump, but he could end up retaking the Senate at the cost of his own power. Couldn't happen to a worse person.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."