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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Sen. Warnock’s win in Georgia was another big loss for Trump

The outcome of the Georgia runoff Senate election spotlighted a fatal fall from grace for disgraced criminal Donald Trump, even from a growing list of Republicans who now realize his a threat to their party.
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Raphael Warnock deserved the win in the Georgia runoff election for Senator Tuesday in Georgia. Disgraced and criminal former president Donald Trump more than deserved his latest loss there, cementing his false claims of being a kingmaker for the Republican Party he has almost totally destroyed.

Warnock becomes the first African American to represent Georgia for a full term in the Senate, winning his reelection to fill a seat left vacant in the midterm. The preacher from Atlanta has established himself as a good Senator who serves Georgia well.

His opponent, former football star Hershel Walker, a self-declared conservative who paid for an abortion for at least one girlfriend while married and lied like Trump on just about everything, lives in Texas but was brought in by Trump to try and destroy Democratic chances of holding on to control of the Senate. A typical candidate for Trump to pick.

Notes New York Times columnist Ross Douthat:

The last Senate runoffs in Georgia fell on the 5th of January, 2021, which meant they were immediately overridden in the nation’s imagination by the events of Jan. 6. But everything that’s happened since has somehow brought us back around to where we stood just before the riot at the U.S. Capitol, with yet another Georgia runoff providing yet another case study in why the Republican Party desperately needs to move on from Donald Trump.

This time around the Trumpian influence was a little more indirect, but still important. He publicly encouraged his old U.S.F.L. pal Herschel Walker to run for Senate and helped to clear the field with his endorsement, ensuring that the G.O.P. would have a hapless, incompetent and morally suspect candidate in one of the year’s most important Senate races. And then he forced Walker to stagger through the runoff against Raphael Warnock in the shadow of Trump’s own low-energy campaign announcement, which was succeeded by Trump’s dinner with anti-Semites, which was succeeded by Trump’s call to suspend the Constitution in order to restore him to the presidency.

All of this predictably helped make the runoff a fractal of the larger 2022 pattern: Under Trump’s influence, with Trump’s preferred candidates, the Republican Party first sacrificed a potential Senate majority and then sacrificed one more Senate seat for good measure.

But most Republicans, who left their brains and common sense back somewhere, continue to embrace this man who faces charges of sedition, obstruction of justice, and fraud. On election day in Georgia, a New York jury convicted the Trump Organization, his wholly owned company, of tax fraud and other crimes on all counts.

In Georgia, the attorney general is preparing a case against Trump for trying to overturn the 2020 election results in that state by trying to convince election officials and the GOP governor to manufacture votes that did not exist and replace Electoral College electors with a fake list that would vote only for him.

Writes Thomas B. Edsall:

In the weeks immediately surrounding the midterm elections, Donald Trump called for the “termination” of constitutional rule, openly embraced the conspiratorial QAnon movement, pledged support for the Jan. 6 rioters and hosted, over dinner at Mar-a-Lago, the white supremacist Nicholas Fuentes and Ye (once known as Kanye West), both of whom are prominent antisemites.

Does every step Trump takes off the deep end make him a greater liability for the Republican Party, potentially leading to a second Biden term, the loss of the party’s precarious control of the House and an across-the-board weakening of Republican candidates up and down the ticket — from the U.S. Senate to local school boards?

Will Trump’s wrecking ball bid for the presidency fracture his party? Will Trump’s extremism prompt the mainstream right — Mitch McConnell, Ron DeSantis, Glenn Youngkin, Nikki Haley and all the rest — to rise up in revolt? How are the worsening intraparty fissures likely to play out over the next two years?

Most of the strategists and scholars to whom I posed these questions outlined scenarios in which a Trump candidacy is mainly helpful to the Democratic Party and its candidates. They often cited the hurdles confronting those seeking to nominate a more mainstream candidate.

“The Republican Party faces a lose-lose proposition as long as Trump is politically active,” Martin Wattenberg, a political scientist at the University of California-Irvine, told Edsall in an email.

He adds:

If Trump succeeds in getting the nomination again, it would seem that his brand is so damaged among Independents and some Republicans that he will be unelectable. And if Trump loses his nomination fight, it seems highly likely that he will charge that he is a victim of voter fraud and damage the legitimacy of the Republican nominee.”

Trump still has about 30% of the GOP voters who are so entranced by his lies and fake claims that they will vote for him no matter what. Recent polls suggest that percentage is shrinking.

The laws that he has flagrantly ignored are closing in on him and indictments are expected. Those who have participated in his criminal conduct are now seeking legal and political shelter to avoid going to prison.

Let’s hope the end is near for Trump and his cult of criminal cronies.


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