Have you noticed all the Republicans tearing out their hair about how Trump must be defeated for the nomination because he will lose in 2024? Do you think Chris Sununu, Mo Brooks, Pat Toomey, Mike Pence, Chris Christie, John Thune, Mitch McConnell and other Republican Trump detractors are friends of America’s working families? They’re not, not even a little. They were our enemies before Trump and they are still our enemies and always will be.
Yesterday, Jonathan Karl asked former GOP Speaker Paul Ryan what lessons the Republicans should learn from the disappointing midterms results. Ryan was ready with his answer: “I personally think the evidence is really clear. The biggest factor was the Trump factor. Just look at how Chris Sununu ran ahead against— ahead of Bolduc in New Hampshire. Look at where Kemp ran ahead of Walker in Georgia. So, I think we would have— clearly have won the Senate had we had traditional Republicans in the general election like these governors did. I think we would have won places like Arizona, places like Pennsylvania, New Hampshire had we had a typical and traditional conservative Republican, not a Trump Republican. So, I think what we now know, it's pretty clear is, with Trump we lose. So, I don't mean this personally, it's just— it's just evidence. We lost the House in '18. We lost the presidency in '20. We lost the Senate in '20. And now, in 2022, we should have and could have won the Senate. We didn't. And we have a much lower majority in the House because of that Trump factor. So, I think it's just— it's palpable right now. We— we get past Trump, we start winning elections. We stick with Trump, we keep losing elections. That's just how I see it.”
OK, we want to see them keep losing, no? Karl asked Ryan what happens if Trump gets the nomination again. Ryan: “We probably likely lose the White House. We just did in '20. So, I think we probably lose the White House with Trump. And if there's someone not named Trump, my guess is we win the White House… I think he's unelectable because that suburban voter— you think he's more popular since the '20 election with the swing voter in America or less? … I think he's going to continue to lose altitude because we want to win. And we know with him we lose. We have a string of losses to prove that point. And there are a lot of really good, capable conservatives who people I think like that are more than capable of not only being good conservatives in office but can win elections.”
How many times did Ryan say the GOP wants to dump Trump for one reason, that they want to win elections? He even talked about how proud he was about what he accomplished— the tax break for multimillionaires and billionaires— when he ran for Vice President and while he and Trump were working together. Fuck Paul Ryan! Paul Ryan may be anti-Trump but he’s also anti-working class. And so are all of the Republicans opposing Trump now. Paul Ryan is goat vomit and the Republican Party is pig diarrhea.
We should reexamine the DCCC/DSCC MAGA strategy. I’m absolutely, positively not advocating it for anything by rooting purposes… not even for prayer. But the strategy did work well to defeat the GOP by helping MAGA candidates win their primaries. It was a simple plan— elevate unelectable MAGA candidates over more electable mainstream conservatives. And the Democrats spent tens of millions of dollars doing just that. And it mostly worked.
The biggest single example was Democratic billionaire and Illinois governor, J.B. Pritzker, spending about $10 million of his inheritance to push MAGA crackpot and walking joke Darren Bailey, who had been endorsed by Trump. Republican billionaire Ken Griffin spent millions on Richard Irvin while another billionaire, fascist Richard Uihlein, spent tens of millions pushing Bailey. Together, the 3 billionaires spent over $70 million on the primary. The Democratic Governors Association put another $25 million in to help Bailey. Bailey won the 6-man primary with 57.7% of the vote. Irvin came in third with 14.9% for all those millions Griffin spent on his campaign. But in the general, the Democratic strategy seems to have paid off (although there is no way of knowing if Irvin would have done better or worse against Pritzker than Bailey did.
The same strategy worked in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race, where Democrats did all they could to make sure MAGAts turned out for psychopath Doug Mastriano instead of the vaguely more mainstream but still very right-wing Lou Barletta. Mastriano won hugely in a 9-person primary where he garnered 43.8% to Barletta’s 20.2%, Bill McSwain’s 15.8% and Dave White’s 9.6%. (No one else got to 5%.) And then in the general… Democrat Josh Shapiro kicked Mastriano’s ass, 3,017,200 (56.4%) to 2,233,820 (41.8%). Remember, Pennsylvanians went with Trump in 2016 and went with Biden in 2020, but still gave Trump 48.8% of their vote. Over a million more Pennsylvanians voted for Trump than for Mastriano, despite Trump’s strong endorsement for the crackpot state legislator. In fact, Trump won over 300,000 more votes in 2020 than Shapiro did in 2022, showing why this was a high-risk strategy.
The strategy failed in several races. In Colorado for example, Democrats tried boosting lunatic fringe MAGAt Ron Hanks in the Senate race with a $4 million investment. They failed and O’Dea, a mainstream conservative neat him, 54.5% to 45.5%. Did it matter, not really. Democratic Michael Bennet easily beat O’Dea and there’s no way to know if he would have beaten Hanks by more (or less)— nor does it matter, other than wondering if that $4 million could have been better spent elsewhere.
The strategy was certainly useful in New Hampshire, where the Democrats had a pitifully weak incumbent, Maggie Hassan, who needed all the help she could get. She’s a vile, GOP-lite, anti-working class turd who voted with the Republicans against raising the minimum wage ands he deserved to be beaten-- and probably would have been beaten by mainstream conservative Chuck Morse, who’s very much like Chris Sununu politically. But the Democrats spent millions to make sure unelectable MAGAt Don Bolduc won the primary and even Hassan-haters were never going to back a full blown Nazi like Bolduc. Of course, Republicans did and Bolduc beat Morse in the 11-man primary by a narrow 2,000 votes (37.1% to 35.8%)… and then went on to be crushed by the weakest Democratic incumbent of the cycle. No one voted for Hassan other than robotic blue voters but enough people voted against Bolduc's fascist approach to give Hassan a 331,996 (53.6%) to 275,287 (44.4%) win she didn't deserve… even while Sununu was reelected governor in a 352,987 (57.2%) to 256,774 (41.6%) rout over Democrat Tom Sherman.
It’s worth noting that the DCCC strategy in New Hampshire also worked, helping to give weak Democratic incumbents Chris Pappas and Ann Kuster a pair of unelectable lunatic opponents who could just as well have been Marjorie Traitor Greene and Madison Cawthorn. Pappas, a New Dem freshman, was looked at as being especially vulnerable but he beat MAGA freak Karoline Leavitt handily, 54.0% to 46.0%.
Similarly, in Michigan, weak Blue Dog Democrat Hillary Scholten, who had been defeated by Peter Meijer in 2020, benefitted by the DCCC boosting another MAGAt imbecile, John Gibbs, who defeated Meijer in the primary and went on to see Scholten flip the seat red to blue with a double digit win. Was that because she was a suddenly better candidate than she was in 2020? Of course not. But Meijer appealed to the district’s mainstream orientation and Gibbs’ bizarre ideology— taking away women’s right to vote for example— might have been more appropriate in the Texas or Oklahoma panhandles than in western Michigan.
I hope the Democrats don't get into the habit of using this strategy. It's not going to always work and the risk would be potentially saddling us with dangerous MAGAt crackpots. And as far as Trump... I doubt any rational Democratic strategist is going to advocate spending any effort of money on boosting him-- even if he is a weaker candidate than DeSanctimonious or most of the rest of the Republicans eager to take on Biden, Kamala or Mayo Pete in 2024.