Republicans finally manage to get Trump worried about the midterms—but only because it affects Trump

Matthew Woitunski / Flickr Donald Trump...
Matthew Woitunski / Flickr

For months, Republicans have been trying to get one desperate message through Donald Trump’s impenetrable ego firewall: The midterm elections are coming, and if he doesn’t tone down the BS, it’s going to be bad for Republican candidates. Finally, the idea that voters are outraged has made it past the outer garrison and Trump understands that there’s … something … something about the midterms. But as Politico reports, Trump has quickly translated this concept into the most Trumpian terms—screw the Republicans, these elections are a threat to Trump.

Trump has increasingly cautioned his party against allowing the House, and even the Senate, to fall into Democratic control, voicing fears about his certain impeachment if that happens.

Yes, it might also stop the nation from being sabotaged by legislation like the Republican “Give all the money to the already rich, and maybe a few of them will be nice enough to toss you some crumbs” tax bill. If Democrats can grab the Senate, it might even stop Trump from stacking the courts with judges whose only previous experience with the law was breaking it. But Trump has jumped straight to the most critical item: If Democrats have control of the Congress, there will be no more friendly Nunes—Meadows—Ryan blanket ready to swaddle Trump in love, no matter what.

“We have to keep the House because if we listen to Maxine Waters, she’s going around saying, ‘We will impeach him,’” Trump said at a recent rally in Michigan, referring to the Democratic congresswoman from California.

“We gotta go out and we gotta fight like hell and we gotta win the House and we gotta win the Senate,” he added.

In an election where Republicans are desperately trying to make each race local, and the biggest issue weighing on the GOP is Trump, the one message that has made it through to Trump is: Make this race about me, me, me.

When Donald Trump says that “everyone” says no collusion, what he means is Devin Nunes plus Fox & Friends. But the House is not just his source of reassuring propaganda. For Trump, having Republicans in the House is a huge deal. Because (mark down this date) Donald Trump is right: The difference between having Republicans in place when Mueller completes his report, and having Democrats in control of the House is night and day.

Which is why, now that Republicans have gotten through to Trump that the midterms are an issue, his response has been to increase his attacks against Robert Mueller and the investigation. After all, if Trump ends the investigation now, he can be sure of getting a cheer from the Nunes contingent, and a washing-his-hands-of-it by Paul Ryan.

Giving Trump the gift of the world’s biggest get out of jail free card would likely cause even greater damage to Republican chances in the fall. But … that’s an issue for someone besides Trump. If he can skate now, he’s more than happy to hang the party out to dry. He’s more than happy to hang anyone out to dry, as he’s demonstrated time and again.

If Trump waits out the end of the investigation, and it really doesn’t come down until a new crop of Democrats are seated, he’s absolutely right to be scared. Meaning that all Republicans may accomplish in making Trump frightened about the midterms, is making their situation worse.

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