As The Washington Post points out, Eric Greitens “resigned the Missouri governorship in disgrace, facing criminal charges and allegations that an extramarital affair had turned violent.”
Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks essentially served as the hype man at Donald Trump’s so-called “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6 that preceded the deadly ransacking of the U.S. Capitol at the hands of a rabid mob.
And Twitter temporarily suspended the account of former Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel after he targeted immigrants and migrant children with slurs like “Muslim Terrorists” and “Mexican Gangbangers.”
Courtesy of Donald Trump, all three right-wingers are running for their state’s open Senate seat and stand a very good chance of winning the GOP primary and potentially the general election.
Greitens put “defending Trump’s America-first policies” front and center at his announcement to run. Rep. Brooks broke his news while standing alongside one of Trump’s most racist, xenophobic former White House aides, Stephen Miller. And in Ohio, Mandel is running as a tech-busting, science-denying, immigration hard-liner.
While red states like Alabama and Missouri might be out of reach for Democrats, swingier states with open seats like Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania pose bigger risks for Republicans, who hope to net one seat in the midterms in order to reclaim the Senate majority. Meanwhile, the GOP’s main pickup opportunities in Arizona and Georgia could easily be squandered if more GOP Trumpers decide to make a go of it.
That prospect has set Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on an almost inevitable collision course. There’s nothing in the world McConnell wants more than to retake control of the upper chamber. And there’s almost nothing more in the world Trump wants than to stick it to McConnell.
In fact, in a Fox News podcast released this week, Trump groused, “We need better than Mitch McConnell.”
Indeed, we do—the nation deserves better. But Trump isn’t sending his best people—or maybe he is, and they’re just tragically horrible.
The silver lining here is that Trump might ultimately manage to stick it to McConnell while helping to keep the Democratic Senate majority intact.
“You have candidates that want to keep re-litigating the past instead of litigating what Democrats are doing now — that is a very problematic approach for Republicans,” said Jessica Taylor, an analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.
History is on the side of Republicans gaining seats in a midterm election where Democrats have unified control of government. But Trump already has a proven record of defeat—costing the GOP control of the House, the Senate, and the White House. Now Republicans are signed up for yet another round of Trump’s Midas touch and the roster is already coming together nicely.