Dealing with Michael Gableman in Wisconsin has been frustrating on the one hand, but one must admit, entertaining on the other. He can not do any damage in the near term as the 2020 elections were fairly conducted. But might his actions and provocative comments fester and cause problems for independent voters as they weigh Republican candidates in the fall midterms?
What the Badger State is watching play out is similar to a host of places around the nation where far-right voices are still waging their lost battle over the last election. Worse for the larger needs of the Republican Party are those candidates who have tethered themselves to this past election train, thinking it is a winning formula.
I was struck this weekend by the number of news stories that underscored the depth of miscalculation that conservative candidates are taking to play to the angriest and most misguided within the Republican Party.
Consider the Georgia primary for governor.
“The first 23 minutes of the debate revolved around Perdue’s efforts to blame Kemp for Donald Trump’s loss in 2020 and the senator’s defeat in 2021.”
As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution stated, “Many of Perdue’s allegations were flat-out false.”
Meanwhile in Michigan this weekend the state GOP Convention was held.
If this is the last time you ever hear the names Matt DePerno and Kristina Karamo, you’ll be lucky. They are the conspiracy-driven Trump-picked candidates for Michigan attorney general and secretary of state that the state GOP endorsed as candidates in its convention on Saturday.
Their outlandish insistence that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump has led to considerable fractures within the Michigan Republican Party. As such, they’re viewed as longshots who will be unable to unite the party, win over independents, and beat the incumbent Democrats, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
This weekend The Atlantic wrote at length about the highly-questionable nature of the Republicans this mid-term cycle, reminding readers of Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Sharron Angle, and Christine O’Donnell. Looking at what is unfolding in many places around the nation it might be summed up this way.
Yet the GOP may be stuck with candidates whose pockmarked, and in a few cases, scandal-filled, résumés could render them unelectable—or at least they would have in an earlier era.
Time will tell, for sure.
As we know, and as Senator Mitch McConnell conceded in a recent comment on this larger issue, “How could you screw this up? It’s actually possible. And we’ve had some experience with that in the past.”
The Republican Party thought the Tea Party movement a great idea, felt at one time Sarah Palin was a breath of fresh air and welcomed Donald Trump into their fold. But to do all that the party needed to trim back on logic, actual policy ideas, decorum, and self-respect.
The question that will be better answered in November is just how far the general voting public agrees, or not, with this rightward move by the GOP that often rejects proven facts. And certainly common sense.
And so it goes.