Trump hates losers, that’s one of the reasons he claims to still be president. Still, he has plenty among the 100 candidates, and counting, he supports the 2022 midterms.
With some of these losers, Trump already has buyer’s remorse. It encourages supernumerary competitors in some states to opt out. His pal Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, the guy in yellow at the january 6 rally, has yet to catch fire in its race for the seat of incumbent Alabama senator Richard Shelby, while another Trump candidate in control, Katie Britt, has already done so. Just before the State Party winter meeting on February 19, Britt made the pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago to kiss the ring and gave a speech in which she referred to Trump as commander-in-chief in the model of party god Ronald Reagan. Brooks is so fucked up.
Of course, this is the same Reagan who would be horrified by the ongoing cannibalism in violation of his 11th Commandment, not to speak ill of another Republican. On the contrary, Trump likes to purge Republicans who have strayed from his gospel, even if that means targeting incumbents traditionally protected by the party out of loyalty and because 93 percent of them re-election cruise.
But Trump can’t resist, and with bare teeth he has gone after two incumbent women, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, whom he hates for voting to impeach him. Despite the vendetta, Murkowski is likely to prevail but Cheney, for his added sin of serving on the Jan. 6 committee investigating Trump’s betrayal and having the misfortune to be from a state Trump won by 43 points, probably won’t. Yet she persists. Water rights lawyer Harriet Hageman isn’t strong enough to immediately clear the land and an aberrant poll, the anti-Cheney vote was sliced so thinly that Cheney came in second with 23% to the leader’s 25%. Cheney too won primary silver, raising $2 million last quarter with nearly $5 million in cash, compared to Hageman’s $443,000 she raised last quarter and her $380,000 in cash. To buttress Hageman, Trump has pressured the Wyoming legislature to drop legislation that could affect Cheney’s re-election chances by making it harder for voters to register as Republicans and vote for her.
In Missouri, the party is holding its breath this week to see what Trump will do in the packed Senate race. Trump is toying with former Gov. Eric Greitens, who is leading in most polls but who party strategists believe he can’t win in the general election, for good reason. Greitens left the state house in disgrace when he not only cheated on his pregnant wife, but blackmailed the hairdresser he cheated on her with. When they first met, Greitens stripped her, tied her up, forced her to perform oral sex, then threatened to post pictures of her so that “everyone will know what a little whore you are” if she said his name.
Trump, who is flexible, shall we say, when it comes to sexual offenses, asked his aides if the vicious assault may have been consensual, as Greitens claims. There’s also the fact that Don Jr.’s girlfriend. Kimberly Guilfoyle is a Greitens fan who is on her campaign team. The wink could be Greitens’ promise not to support Mitch McConnell (the “old crow“Trump hates more every day) if the GOP regains control. The New York Times reported this week that Greitens was spotted at Mar-a-Lago and met with Trump for 30 minutes.
Last Wednesday, radio host Hugh Hewitt repeatedly begged Trump to say he wouldn’t endorse Greitens. Trump wouldn’t.
Greitens is part of a pattern where Trump sees winners among losers who hurt women. No problem that former NFL star Herschel Walker, vying to face Sen. Ralph Warnock in Georgia, has been charged in court papers with put a gun to his wife’s head shouting, “I’m going to blow your brains out.” Although he denies his ex-wife’s request and a like by ex-girlfriend contained in a police report, it is admitted in a book which he wrote to have multiple personalities, violent tendencies, and suicidal urges. Walker’s son, Christian, a social influencer, will not help. His videos aren’t as damning as Greitens but definitely not a good look. A recent has him raving about gas prices, waving a nozzle, while wearing a $1,300 Givenchy sweatshirt.
In keeping with his ability to ignore misbehaving men, Trump’s first choice for an open Senate seat in the swing state of Pennsylvania was Sean Parnell, who lost custody of his children after testifying under oath that he strangled his wife and left her on the side of the road, and beat her son, leaving marks. Claims he has denied. He also said that working women ruined the marriage. After the decision, Trump was still going to hold a planned fundraiser for the candidate at Mar-a-Lago until Parnell reasonably resigned. Now Trump is weighing two other people who have since entered the fray, neither of whom lived in Pennsylvania until recently: reality show and real doctor Mehmet Ozand former loyal collaborator David McCormick, married to another Trump acolyte, Dina Powell. Since Trump is not known for his loyalty, his first instinct will be to go with Oz rather than a member of the Manhattan elite who rejected him, until aides present years of videos of the good doctor pushing quack remedies and nutritional supplements he was selling on the side. convince him not to.
There are primaries within primaries all over the country to see who can get mad enough to curry favor with Trump. At a minimum, a candidate must repeat out loud all of Trump’s lies and go all-in in his effort to overthrow the election. But to stand out, it helps to fall from the end of the world, like Josh Mandel, in Ohio, which calls for all public schools to be replaced by religious schools or news anchor Kari Lake in Arizona who wants Secretary of State Katie Hobbs jailed for presiding over the stolen election.
Seeing his return to Majority Leader compromised by Trump’s interference, McConnell is leading a behind-the-scenes effort to prevent “goofballs” from losing the mid-points. McConnell remembers the goofballs who ran in previous GOP Senate primaries like Christine “I’m not a witch” O’Donnell, Sharron Angle of Sharia hysteria and Scientology leanings, and Todd Aiken who believed women couldn’t get pregnant as a result of ” legitimate rape”. All three were crushed in the general election.
McConnell’s effort comes a bit late for Ohio where his critical primary race is so crowded it looks like Groucho Marx’s cabin at A night at the opera. So many people are running to fill the seat of retired senator Rob Portman, Trump has even noticed. He recently called on luxury car dealership Bernie Moreno to drop outafter spending $3 million of his own money selling Bentleys, embarrassing given he asked her to pass. According to PoliticsTrump feared that splitting the vote among so many candidates “could cost the MAGA movement a Conservative seat.”
He still has to worry about too many aspirants pursuing only one nomination, including Hillbilly Elegy author JD Vance, who dumped most of his previous positions to appeal to Trump, as the once-moderate former state treasurer Josh Mandel did. Portman rocked the race this weekend endorsing former party official Jane Timken and overnight, it surpassed a quarter of a million dollars in donations. We’ll see, when Trump’s endorsement arrives, if the recipient’s haul exceeds that.
If Republicans are to win the midterm elections as history tells it, it won’t be because of McConnell’s belated efforts, but because Trump is so afraid of being a loser a second time around, he regrets those who he created. But that doesn’t mean Trump’s group wins. He can always find more losers where these come from.