Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Trump Should Threaten to Support Loeffler and Dump Perdue


Trump may yet win this election. Or he may not. I believe that if he loses, there is solid evidence it will be as the result of fraud. But that’s not directly relevant to what I want to discuss in this post. Regardless of the outcome for Trump, I think it can be generally agreed that Trump grew the Republican coalition over the last four years. It can be further agreed that the massive turnout for Republicans this year was a direct result of Trump bringing out huge numbers of voters, many of whom wouldn’t have bothered if Trump had not been on the ballot. As a result of that enthusiasm directly attributable to Donald Trump, the Republicans gained seats in the House that they were expecting to lose, they held the Senate (so far), and they improved their standing in Governorships and State Houses across the country. The Republican Party owes Trump a huge debt of gratitude. But are they bothering to actually express any of that gratitude? I would argue that they are publicly paying lip service to Trump while privately expressing relief that he may soon be out of their hair. And that’s why they are barely bothering to lift a finger to help “stop the steal.” I’d like to see Trump dish out some punishment to these Republican swamp types along the lines of what he’s done to Democrats over the past four years. It’s time for Trump to play hardball, and I think he should throw his first pitch in Georgia.

I guess I should warn you that I’m speaking from the perspective of a conservative who is disgusted with the Republican Party and who wants Trump to be the agent of change that the Party needs. Trump is the guy who is transforming the Republicans (gutting them would be a more descriptive term) from just another party of the swamp into an America first, economic/nationalist populist party of the middle class. He’s created a new coalition with working class voters, conservative minority voters, voters wanting less foreign intervention, and socially more liberal voters who previously thought their only option was to vote for Team Blue, but who are now disillusioned with the progressive, intersectional elements that are pushing the Democratic Party off of a cliff.
The Senate is now 50 to 48. The two Georgia Senate seats are critical for Republicans if they want to keep the Senate out of Democratic hands. A 50/50 Senate with Kamala Harris as a tie breaker is a horrible vision of our dystopian future if Republicans lose those two seats. The prospect of a Democratic House, an (essentially) Democratic Senate, and a Democratic president is just too terrible to contemplate, though, to be honest, we need to start contemplating it pretty soon, because it is certainly possible if not likely. So Republicans really need to do all they can to support wins for David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. But for people like me, the prospect of supporting the likes of Perdue and Loeffler is unappetizing to say the least. They are both swamp Republicans and they, along with most of the Republican elites, are offering Trump no help in turning back the steal in Georgia. In an ideal world, they would both lose as a result, and under ordinary circumstances, I’d be quite happy to see them go. But not now. Not this year. There’s too much at stake. Just like FDR had to ally with Stalin to beat Hitler, we must now hold our noses and ally with Purdue and Loeffler to defeat the prospect of a Democratic majority in the Senate. 
Or maybe we don’t. 
Maybe we don’t have to completely capitulate to the swamp. Trump still has some cards to play. Whether conventional Republicans like it or not, Donald Trump has leverage. Win or lose, Donald Trump IS the Republican Party, and he can demand conditions. And if Republicans don’t accommodate him, Trump is in a position to demonstrate just what a powerful force he can be going forward, and he can start in Georgia.
Look at the current situation in Georgia. More specifically look at the numbers from the November Senate races:  (Click to Enlarge)

If I was a Republican candidate for the US Senate in Georgia, I don’t think I would feel too confident about the January election based on these numbers. Especially if my name was David Perdue. Perdue led Jon Ossoff by only 1.8% or a mere 88,098 votes. The Libertarian candidate got 2.2% of the vote or 106,767 votes. The Libertarian covered the spread between the two majority candidates. That almost never happens. The disposition of his votes in the runoff will determine who wins in January. I spent 10 years as a Libertarian, and believe me when I tell you, if you’re a Republican and your political future rests on the electoral decisions of a bunch of Libertarians, you are in big trouble. And if your Republican vote turnout depends on the coattails of the most popular Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan, and that candidate isn’t on the ballot in January, YOU’RE SCREWED!!
Loeffler’s prospects aren’t much better. Even if you add all of Doug Collins’ votes to hers, that only puts her at 45.9%, and a lot of the also rans in that race were Democrats whose votes can be presumed to go to Loeffler’s Democratic challenger in the runoff. I’m sure Loeffler and Perdue will both be the beneficiaries of huge amounts of campaign money, but so will the Democratic candidates. And Democratic enthusiasm will be off the charts at the prospect of taking back the Senate. Republican enthusiasm? Well that depends. With the support of Donald Trump, the Republicans might have a chance. Without that support, Republicans are toast; especially if they have not taken any measures to eliminate the factors that contributed to the voter fraud that lost Trump the race in November. Factors such as huge numbers of mail in ballots most of which were processed without signature checks. Factors such as large numbers of those mail in registrants having P.O Boxes or mail drops listed as their physical address which directly contradicts the law. If large numbers of those illegally registered voters had voted in person, one might presume that they were innocent mistakes. The fact that they overwhelmingly voted by mail means the chances are pretty good that most of those ballots were fraudulent. I’m going to take the liberty of putting those votes in the Democratic column in January if the voter rolls are not purged beforehand, and that means goodby Republican Senate. 
So what can be done? What does Trump want? What should he demand? Well first of all, he must demand that the purging of illegal registrations from the voter rolls be done sooner rather than later, and the data confirmed from that purge be used to argue that the November race was tainted. That should be used as grounds to compel Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Raffensburger to not certify the election results. Failing that, it should be used as grounds for a lawsuit contesting the consent decree entered into by Raffensburger that established the practice of foregoing signature checks. He had no authority to do that without the state legislature prescribing that in law. And failing that, the Republican state legislature in Georgia should put forward an alternate slate of electors to the Electoral College and let Congress sort it out.
For the life of me, I can’t understand why the officials in Georgia are not willing to do this without being threatened. One suggestion is that if a remedial signature match was to be performed properly, the Governor and Secretary of State would be exposed as having been incompetent or worse, complicit in fraud. Regardless, the prospect of winning or losing two Senate seats rests in the balance. Does the swamp hate Trump so much that they are willing to pay that price?
If Trump gets cooperation, he should do everything in his power to campaign in favor of the two Republican Senate candidates. If not, he should instruct his followers to stay home. Let’s see how the Republican Party will fare in two years with Trump every bit as adversarial to the Republican Party as it has been to him. I suspect that Trump won’t have to do this. The threat of his withdrawing his support should be enough.
Or how about this? Trump threatens the Republican Party with picking one Senator to support and one Senator to abandon? If the Senator he supports wins, that preserves the Senate majority for the Republicans (just barely) while still sending a powerful message to the party hierarchy. Don’t take Trump for granted. I suggest Trump supports Loeffler and abandons Perdue. Loeffler’s candidacy is to complete the term of Senator Johnny Isaakson who retired prematurely for medical reasons at the end of 2019. Loeffler was appointed to the seat and is now running to complete the rest of Isaakson’s term which will expire in 2022, just two years from now. If Trump is forced out due to Republicans’ unwillingness to fight for him, there’s a good chance he will spend the next two years building his political movement, and the #1 item on his agenda should be to primary Loeffler, say by supporting another run by Trump loyalist Doug Collins. I’d be willing to bet that two years of Trump railing against the Party for having betrayed him would do wonders for Collins’ chances the second time around. And I bet that Trump would be more successful in reshaping the Republican Party while out of office than he would be if elected now for four more years. 
I may be wrong about Trump’s influence, and I may be underestimating the risks of such a strategy, but if the prize is a reconstituted and realigned Party instead of just the same old Lesser of Two Evils Republicans, then I’d sure like to see Trump attempt it.