The dictionary defines ‘grift’ as ‘a petty or small-scale scam’. What happens to the Republican Party trumps that and jeopardizes the Republican takeover of Congress. Not enough people are willing to discuss it.
The financial disclosure numbers are out. Together, the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee have $80 million. Again, this is the combined amount of both parts. Former President Donald Trump’s Save America PAC has $99 million in cash, more than the two major political parties.
Unfortunately for Trump-endorsed candidates like Herschel Walker in Georgia, Adam Laxalt in Nevada, Blake Masters in Arizona and Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, the former president chose to pay his legal and travel expenses, not fund his favored candidates. . According to the financial disclosure report, Save America PAC spent about $150,000 to beat Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., in her primary, $3.8 million in legal fees and $800,000 in travel and events.
Senate Republicans, who are jostling to take over this chamber of Congress, have had to make cuts. Masters is one of those candidates the GOP is walking away from. Publicly, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said other conservatives were stepping in so McConnell could focus on other races. Privately, Masters was not a good candidate and Trump did not step in to help. McConnell wants to win the Senate, not save Trump’s candidates from themselves. The Masters can still win, but he needs Trump and others to help him.
When the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago, Republicans saw their poll in the generic ballot fall apart. They went from Democrats in the lead to Democrats in the back. Even if the poll is wrong, most pollsters agree that the polling trends reflect reality quite well. If so, the more Trump is the central attraction, the worse the GOP is.
In Georgia and Nevada, two states lost by Trump, Republicans are ahead of their Democratic rivals. Whereas national polls tend to be biased toward Democrats, with Joe Lombardo ahead in Nevada for governor and Adam Laxalt ahead for the Senate; Kerri Lake to become governor in Arizona; and Brian Kemp ahead of the governorship in Georgia with Herschel Walker tied, one has to wonder how they can do so well in the states the Democrats managed to steal in 2020. Trump supporters will say, “Wait,” but of course, if they win, then that’s either further proof that he wasn’t robbed, or only Trump is capable of having an election robbed.
Either way, it’s time to move on and move on. The constant media obsession with Trump is designed to throw the GOP off its game. In August, it worked. But the party has regrouped and is poised to win the House and likely win the Senate. They’ll do it with Trump keeping his $99 million, no doubt still ready to take credit for the wins.
Republicans had a transactional relationship with a man who gave them a lot of good public policy and good judges. But this transaction came at a cost – mostly distraction and self-absorption. As we pass 2022 and head into 2024, the party really needs to consider whether it wants a runoff with a man who, if he wins, could only serve four years. Literally any other Republican has the potential for eight years.
Some Republicans now argue that a Trump ticket with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis makes sense. Except that Trump has moved his residence to Florida. The United States Constitution penalizes presidential tickets when the presidential and vice presidential candidates are from the same state. Votes from that state’s Electoral College do not count. That would start the GOP with a 30-vote deficit in the Electoral College.
Trump has done a lot of good for the GOP. He saved the country from Hillary Clinton. He eliminated Iran’s master terrorist. He ensured the nation could emerge from the shadow of Roe v. Wade. It stopped a humanitarian crisis on the border that President Joe Biden recreated. Now, as the GOP battles to win, it’s sitting on $99 million better deployed to save America from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Biden. If Trump doesn’t use that money to help his own endorsed candidates, it might be time for donors and Republican voters to redirect their attention elsewhere.
— To learn more about Erick Erickson and to read articles by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.