A week from Tuesday, Ohioans go to the polls to pick their candidates. The Ohio Democratic Party is a partially undead corpse and the party worked to tamp down interest in the primaries, the thought being that if few people knew there were races or if the races appeared uncompetitive, their dull innocuous (or worse) candidates would slip into place. In Cleveland, the Ohio Democratic Party has an unpopular establishment corporatist, Shontel Brown, propped up by billionaire money, running against a grassroots progressive who scares the bejesus out of both political parties-- Nina Turner. (You can contribute to her GOTV field operation here.)
The Ohio Democratic Party's response to their party's Senate race was, basically, "Senate race? What Senate race? Tim Ryan is the Democratic Party candidate." But as much as they tried to hide-- and for as much as the mass media played along-- there is a challenger to corporate power: Blue America-endorsed Morgan Harper, the only alternative to the sickening more-of-the-same political garbage both parties are dishing out.
The Ohio Republicans are the dominant party, not because they have anything positive to offer people, but because they have successfully sold a negative message to a beaten-down electorate with extremely lower expectations. And that's just what the GOP is delivering. Their candidates are putrid from the top of the ticket to the bottom. But at least their primary contest for the open Senate seat is exciting. And in some ways it will culminate today when GOP fascist-in-chief, the president of Mar-A-Lago sets up his circus tent at the Delaware County Fairgrounds about 30 miles north of Columbus. Though Trump nearly lost the county to Biden in 2020, Delaware County has been a red bastion since 1856. FDR lost the county each time he ran!
This evening, Señor Trumpanzee-- between delineating his grievances against democracy-- will be making the case for J.D. Vance, the candidate neo-Nazi billionaire Peter Thiel bribed him to endorse in the lively, competitive primary. Trump's endorsement has certainly brought Vance a lot of cash but what it hasn't done is bring the party together. Josh Mandel, Mike Gibbons, Jane Timken and state Sen. Matt Dolan are still in the race and the first 3 are all bitter about the endorsement. Dolan is the Never Trump candidate and he didn't want Trump's endorsement. The most recent polling-- last week just before the Trump endorsement from GOP polling firm Trafalgar-- shows Mandel still out ahead with Vance gaining, Gibbons fading and no one else in contention. Trafalgar reported that about 55% of Ohio Republicans said that a Trump endorsement would make them more likely to vote for the candidate he told them to vote for.
Coke freak Trumpanzee Jr has been on the campaign trail with Vance all week, babbling his regular nonsense and bullshit. Yesterday, for example, he said "The MAGA Movement is strongly united behind my father’s endorsement of JD Vance, which you can see by the surge he’s seen in the polls since the endorsement. It’s unfortunate that career politician Josh Mandel is pushing his supporters, some of whom are on the dole, to boycott a Trump Rally. Very not MAGA of him!" Some of whom are on the dole??? Not very MAGA of him! As for unity... juts ask Club for Growth, which is running more anti-Vance ads on behalf of Mandel.
Trump sent Club for Growth president David McIntosh a message after hearing they were running the ad again: “Go fuck yourself."
Today's Columbus Dispatch reported that "Vance and [fomer Trump roadie Max] Miller are scheduled to speak, along with U.S. Rep. Mike Carey and Trump-backed 13th Congressional District candidate Madison Gesiotto Gilbert... No GOP candidates for governor secured a speaking slot, but former U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci is planning to attend. Gov. Mike DeWine made a previous commitment to attend an event honoring Ulysses S. Grant but has since tested positive for COVID-19. Trump has not endorsed anyone in that race, although he appeared to encourage Republicans to challenge DeWine after the governor acknowledged President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election."
Last night, on Tucker Carlson's highly hate fest, Vance said "The battle for Republicans is not just against the elites and not just against the left, it is against the leadership of our own party. We have to remember the leadership of the Republican Party sold us out on trade, the leadership of the Republican Party has fought consistently against strong and secure borders. So while Republicans keep on sending people to Washington, we keep on winning elections in the Republican Party, we don’t get the policy that we want, and we don’t get the policy we deserve because we keep sending basically scumbags who listen to the donors more than they do to their own voters. That is one of the reasons I am running. I think we finally need to have some Republicans who are not terrified of being called bad names by the media and are going to stand up for our own voters, our own people. Is life getting better in this country for normal Americans? The answer obviously is no and that simple question needs to be answered yes if we’re going to have a country worth living in."
Yesterday, New York Magazine ran a short essay by Ben Jacobs about why Vance claims he converted from vaguely mainstream conservatism to full-blown fascism. He once slammed Trump as a Hitler-like figure; he now worships Trump-- and Hitler. "His opponents," wrote Jacobs, "have attacked him as a flip flopper and painted him as an opportunist and a secret RINO, but he brushed off the criticism by portraying himself as an honest convert compared to others in the party. 'Something our voters respond to on the campaign trail is being told the truth,' he said. 'Yeah I had one beef six years ago and I have a different view today, this is why it changed is a hell of lot better than trying to pretend that you didn’t say something you said.' Vance contrasted this with other candidates in the race 'who all go down this rabbit hole' in trying to explain away their prior deviations from Trump. He was apparently referring to rivals Josh Mandel, the former state treasurer, Jane Timken, the former state party chair, and businessman Mike Gibbons. (A fifth candidate, state senator Matt Dolan is explicitly running to appeal to the Trump skeptical wing of the party. He is not expected to win.) Several candidates made repeated pilgrimages to Mar-a-Lago to beg for Trump endorsement, but none dealt with their apostasies head on in the way he has. As Vance tells it, there is an ongoing 'war for the soul of the Republican Party' with Trump on one side and 'the old guard' on the other. 'The reason Trump’s endorsement matters so much is that it signals to our voters who is on the right team,' he said. In his view, Trump was standing alone as the only check preventing the party going backwards to days when it was led by figures like Paul Ryan and John Boehner and 'that that has to change. He needs allies personally and again the agenda needs allies or we go back 5-10 steps over the next ten years. These people all try to say the MAGA words but [Republican voters] can tell they don’t actually believe it, they have no real view of what American trade policy should look like, they have no real view of what we should do with big tech,' Vance said. 'They just know our voters are kind of pissed off about it and it is very obvious that they just try to mouth the slogans.'"