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Ohio Embraces The Republican Civil War

Ohio's 16th congressional district begins around Parma and Strongsville southwest of Cleveland, takes in Medina, heads east to Stark County, while skirting blue-leaning Akron, encircling it on the west, south and east, courtesy of the Republican district boundary drawers in the state legislature. The southern part of the district has one of the most uneducated and backward populations in America-- some say it is the home of DUMB-- Wayne County, a huge Amish homeland where everyone drops out of school after the 8th grade and registers to vote Republican as soon as they can. Since 1940 the only Democratic presidential candidate to win the county was LBJ. Last year Trump won Wayne County with 67.7% of the vote, up from 64.3% in 2016. They liked what they saw in the intervening 4 years. Like I said, home of DUMB. And that has to worry Congressman Anthony Gonzalez. Oh, he did fine in Wayne County when he first won election in 2018, beating Democrat Susan Palmer massively and by a lot more than in Cuyahoga, Stark and Medina counties, the other 3 that are in the district. Wayne performed for him at an R+32 rate. You could run a rabid raccoon on the GOP line in Wayne County and it would win.

But Gonzalez's problem isn't winning the 2022 general election; it's being able to even compete in it. A Trumpist announced he's targeting Gonzalez and this afternoon, Señor Trumpanzee released the following statement:

Max Miller is a wonderful person who did a great job at the White House and will be a fantastic Congressman. He is a Marine Veteran, a son of Ohio, and a true PATRIOT. Current Rep. Anthony Gonzalez should not be representing the people of the 16th district because he does not represent their interest or their heart. Max Miller has my Complete and Total Endorsement!

Miller is a neo-fascist like Trump and he's running against Gonzalez next year. Gonzalez, a mainstream conservative, has never been much of a Trumpist but he was one of 10 Republicans to vote in favor of impeachment. And now Trump-- and a whole lot of Trumpists want him out of his congressional seat.

This past year, Trump won in OH-16 with a hefty 57%. On the same day, Gonzalez did even better-- 63.2%-- presumably because more independents were amenable to voting for him while not willing to vote for Trump. But next year... well, Gonzalez admits he's in trouble. "You have to love your country and you have to adhere to your oath more strongly than you do your job, and I don't know what political fate will play out. If my fate is ultimately that I don't get to come back, I will do that at peace... I don’t live my life in fear of primaries. I didn’t do it for the first two years, and I’m not going to do it for the next two years."

Miller, who hails from a super-wealthy Cleveland family, was basically a roadie for the Trump campaign and then in the White House, wouldn't be able to win an election for dog-catcher but... the GOP has gotten pretty weird and this is Ohio, where the Democratic Party is as lame as the Florida Democratic Party and utterly incapable of recruiting a plausible candidate in abandoned districts like OH-16. Miller bought a house in the district-- which he's never lived in-- so he could claim to be a resident. Two other crackpot Trumpists are also running: Jonah Schulz and Christina Hagan.

Trump is expected to endorse fascist candidates running against Liz Cheney (either Bryan Miller or Anthony Bouchard), Adam Kinzinger (Gene Koprowski), Peter Meijer (Tom Norton), Fred Upton (Ezra Scott), Jaime Herrera Beutler (Joe Kent, Heidi St. John or Wadi Yakhour), Dan Newhouse (Brad Klippert), Tom Rice (Russell Fry, Ken Richardson, Justin Davison, Mark McBride, Jeanette Spurlock or William Bailey), David Valadao (Chris Mathys). The 10th Republican, John Katko, is cackled by the local GOP and doesn't seem to have a primary opponent, at least not yet. Trump lost the district both times he ran.

Trump is also determined to oust Senators John Thune (SD) and Lisa Murkowski (AK). Murkowski is probably safe but if Trump finds a plausible candidate against Thune and goes to South Dakota to campaign against him, he might be able to pull it off. Trump has tried talking Kristi Noem into doing it and she turned him down. Some of the possible Alaska candidates been tossed around are Sarah Palin, Laura Ingraham and Mike Dunleavy, the current governor.

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