With Donald Trump’s reelection efforts circling the drain, the news for the entire Republican Party is beyond dire. Stories today in both HuffPost and The New York Times painted pictures of panicking Republicans staring directly at a tsunami, with little they can do to avoid its crashing waves.
“The political environment is as tough as I’ve ever seen it, we have Republican-held seats under siege, and Democrat candidates have a huge financial edge,” Senate Majority PAC president Steven Law told the HuffPost. That’s Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s super pac. Meanwhile, The New York Times reported that “in a conference call with a group of lobbyists, Mr. McConnell vented that the party’s Senate candidates are being financially overwhelmed because of small-dollar contributions to ActBlue, the online liberal fund-raising hub.”
But the problem isn’t the money. It’s that those Republicans are losing, and don’t have their historical financial advantages to drown out Democratic challengers and incumbents.
Their billionaires are no longer setting the terms of the debate, and shaping the political environment to their advantage. And with Trump as an anchor (and unwilling to let his party’s candidates get space between them), the situation is beyond dire for the party that built and enabled Trump.
This is all nightmarish enough for Republicans, but there is one way things can get worse. As I wrote earlier this week:
As I’ve said over and over again, people’s minds are made up. You won’t see big swings in public opinion. But we don’t need big swings to dramatically change the results of this election. If 1-2% of Americans swing away from Trump and the Republicans, and maybe 5% of Trump’s most ardent supporters stay home, dejected at their impending loss and broken hero, then we’re talking about picking up 20 more House seats instead of single digits. We’re talking a Senate that goes from 50-50 or 51-49 Democratic to 55-45.
In other words, the GOP’s dire situation can get that much worse if Trump supporters merely stay home. And the worse his numbers get, and the crazier and more erratic his behavior, and the weaker and more out-of-control he looks, the more likely that is to happen.
But there is one new wildcard: What if some of Trump’s base of support decides to only vote for Trump, and they ignore the rest of the ballot? What if it was Trump himself that suppressed the Republican Party’s vote? Apparently, that’s what he’s trying to do now!
Ranting about Attorney General Bill Barr on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show and his inability to indict Obama administration officials without them having broken any actual laws, Trump unloaded on his own party. “This is what I mean with the Republicans. They don’t play the tough game. If this were the other side, you would’ve had 25 people in jail for the rest of their lives,” he ranted. “We caught them cold. And we have people that don’t know how to do anything about it. It’s horrible.”
It is also those dastardly Republicans like former House Speaker Paul Ryan who are ruining … Fox News!
“Fox is a whole different ballgame,” Trump continued. “Fox is a much different thing than it was four years ago.” [...]
Trump referred to Fox as “a big obstacle” and said, “Fox is a problem. When Roger Ailes ran Fox, I mean, Roger had a strong point of view that’s totally gone. And I think it’s influenced by Paul Ryan. He’s on the board, I can’t believe it.”
So to recap, Republicans are weak, and they’re also destroying Fox News. So … why would Trump supporters vote for any of them? In fact, this is exactly the problem Sen. Lindsey Graham faces in South Carolina, where his inability to consolidate Republican support has him running well behind Trump in this conservative state. All you need is a couple more points worth of Trump supporters refusing to support those weak, cowardly Republicans, to help Senate Democrats win Trump states like Alaska, Kansas, Montana, South Carolina, and Texas (assuming Biden doesn’t flip Texas outright).
Hopefully this isn’t just his drugs talking. Hopefully he spends the rest of the month airing his anti-Republican grievances, at every stop and interview along the way. The more he shit-talks his party, the same party that enabled him to destroy the country, the better for Democratic candidates this November.
Because it doesn’t happen often, but it looks like we finally agree on something that Trump is saying: His party is a real piece of shit.