Ah, spring. Life is revitalized, and hope renewed. Winter is in the rear view mirror, and the promise of a long, lazy summer fills the windshield. Cast your mind back two years to the spring of 2017. The hopeful, sparkly dew of anticipation in a brand new administration, the smell of freshly cut corruption, and wafting in the breeze, the antiseptic odor of a looming Mueller wash down.
But as spring faded into summer, an unexpected sound was heard. When a new baby comes home, the parents normally look forward to the “patter of little feet.” But, inexplicably, the Trump Crime Family was greeted with the thunderous sound of clomping elephants feet. Starting in the late summer of 2017, the GOP herd started stampeding for the exits, fleeing the onset of an unusually cold and long winter in 2018. The effect was especially chilling in the GOP dominated House, with a near record number of Trump induced “retirements.” The Senate fared considerably better, due simply to the fact that there were so few vulnerable GOP incumbents running in 2018.
Well, ere we are, in the spring of 2019, and can late summer be that far off? Unlike 2018, there are 20_ GOP incumbents up for reelection in 2020, and if the 2018 midterms showed us nothing else, it rewrote the meaning of “vulnerable” when applied to Republican incumbents.We have already seen our first defection, Tennessee senior Senator Lamar Alexander is waving goom-bye to the walking cesspool that is the Trump Republican party.And I dare to say that he won’t be the last.
Strangely enough, I am not looking to see a large number of forced retirements from the now minority GOP House. Most of the Republican House members with either a conscience, or a sense of shame, fled the 88 car pile up in 2018. What’s left are die hard Trumpistas, who will follow Glorious Bleater anywhere. Likewise, the handful of remaining “sane GOP House members who survived 2018 will likely feel that their constituencies were nuanced enough to separate them from Trump. They’re ignoring another two years of population migration, as well as the increasing stench emanating from Trumpenstein, but we shall see.
The Senate is where the action is going to be, and it could be an entertaining show. What GOP incumbents fear most in crossing Trump is the backlash of a primary from the right. But what they’re ignoring is the fact that Trump’s base is not big enough to win a general election. As Trump continues to become more and more unhinged as the pressure on him increases, vulnerable senators are going to be forced into more and more votes in which they have to choose between paying tithe to the graven idol of Trump, or maintaining face with the mainstream voters they are going to require for reelection.
The Senate vote on the resolution to block Trumps national emergency was a perfect example. Susan Collins voted to stop Trump, but this is nothing new. Collins has bucked Trump before, but without consequence due to her strong appeal to her voters. But Collins is especially vulnerable this year, the women in her state are highly unlikely to forgive her for her Kavanaugh vote, and any Democratic challenger will make that a centerpiece argument. John Cornyn isn’t exactly a paragon of popularity in Texas, and his vote backing Trump basically flipped double barrel birds to his constituents who own land at the border, opening them up to the loss of some of that land through eminent domain to build the wall.
Joni Ernst is up for reelection in Iowa, a state that wasn’t particularly friendly to the GOP in 2018, and which is also home to a majority population of farmers, who are being hammered by Trump’s tariffs. Thom Tillis is up for reelection in North Carolina, a state with the GOP being slammed with an election fraud scandal, as well as having his state be a host to numerous military bases and installations, which could see a lot of lost revenue if money scheduled for military construction in North Carolina is diverted to the wall instead. It also doesn’t help that he penned an op-ed saying he couldn’t support the order, and then caved to Trump when it came to a vote.
The crown jewel in this $0.99 store birthday tiara is none other than Yertl the Turtle himself. Right now, Mitch McConnell’s popularity rating in Kentucky is at a Filene’s Basement sale price of 33%. And a whopping 58% of his constituents say that, after giving him a Senate shelf life longer than a Twinkie, his “sell by” date has finally been reached. Word is that the Democrats may be recruiting former fighter pilot Amy McGrath, who barely lost a close election to the House in 2018, to run against McConnell in 2020. Either her, or any other well qualified candidate, properly backed by the DNC and the DSCC,could spell big trouble for McConnell.
From late July, and going past Labor Day, is going to be a critical time to watch. That’s when incumbents start to take the pulse of their constituents in preparation of a primary, and start to do some honest internal polling to take the temperature of the local body politic. The problem for those who have stood up to Trump is that they invite a primary from the right, where Trump loonies will likely make up the largest voting bloc. The problem with those who have been sufficiently subservient to Der Gropinfuror is that, in doing so, they have voted against the best interests of the majority of their constituents, making general election more difficult. And, hanging from the branch like a well fed hawk, is what will likely be a well qualified, grassroots backed, credibly funded Democratic opponent, ready to swoop down and peck at every bone headed vote or statement that incumbent has made in the last three years.
So yes, the 2020 democratic primaries are at long last upon us, and exciting times they are. My advice is to keep an eye on MSNBC, their prime time hosts are holding town halls in primary states, and they’re trying to feature all candidates, and asking pertinent questions. This should be a valuable source to find out what a less known candidate stands for, and how they handle themselves under pressure. But, as we weave our way towards fall, keep one eye on the news, and let’s see just how many GOP critters finally learn that Donald Trump was in fact a rigged coin. Any way you flip it, it comes up “tails, you lose!”
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