In Act III, Scene 4, William Shakespeare had Hamlet explain to his mother how he will have an enemy be “hoist on his own petard.” That is the enemy, the Engineer, will see his own plan blow up in his face.
The “engineers” in GOP primaries this year cheerfully and completely tied themselves to the Republican Felon-Presumptive, Donald J. Trump.
Candidate after candidate metaphorically clutched Trump’s pant leg as he dragged them across a political event stage, or hyphenated their names with his in radio and TV ads. “I’m with Trump!” or “Trump’s with Me!” were painted on campaign signs.
Anti-Semitic tropes were paired with anti-democratic positions and on election night, Trump crowed that his political power was undiminished while his squires basked in his reflected glow.
“These are primaries,” I said week after week. These are Trump Republicans. That was mostly true, but in some cases Democrats crossed over to vote for the most unacceptable of the candidates in a Republican primary; a tactic with which I was uncomfortable, but appears to be working in some cases.
Now, these candidates who woke up and went to sleep praising Trump’s name are busily erasing any mention of Trump from their campaign literature, their campaign websites, and their campaign speeches.
Trump? Didn’t he follow James K. Polk? Don’t remember much about him.
Trump helped nominate candidates so flawed that Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, via NBC News,
“downplayed expectations of Republicans capturing control of the Senate in the fall elections, describing ‘candidate quality’ as an important factor.”
Sarah Palin, who was endorsed by Trump in her bid to fill a vacancy in the U.S. Congress created by the death of Rep. Don Young got beaten this week by a Democrat, Mary Peltola, who will be the first native Alaskan to represent the state.
Was a time when Palin was treated like a political goddess. Now, she is one of the (to stay with our Shakespearian theme) Three Witches from Macbeth.
“Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”
With just outside two months to go to election day, many Republican candidates facing Democratic and Independent voters are trailing in the polls.
In analyzing a poll taken for the Wall Street Journal, national political reporter John McCormack wrote:
“Democrats are entering the homestretch before November’s election in better shape than earlier this year, boosted by gains among independent voters, improved views of President Biden and higher voting enthusiasm among abortion-rights supporters.
The poll showed Democrats with a modest lead in what is called the “generic vote:” which party would you support without naming a candidate. Ds led Rs by three percentage points 47-44. But the real news is that same question in March yielded a five point lead for the Rs. So in the past five months Democrats have moved the needle by a significant eight percentage points.
Same thing when the poll took the temperature of independents.
“Among political independents, typically the key to victory in close elections, more voters now favor a Democratic candidate for Congress than a Republican, 38% to 35%. In March, Republicans led among independents by 12 percentage points.”
That’s a seismic shift of 15 percentage points.
It is still likely that Republicans will take control of the House, but an expected 60+ seat switch may be off the table.
With the Three Stooges of Republican U.S. Senate candidates losing ground – Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, J.D. Vance in Ohio, and Blake Masters in Arizona – it is becoming more likely, though far from a certainty, that Ds will maintain control of the U.S. Senate come next January.
Atop all this are Trump’s growing legal troubles. It is unlikely that the Department of Justice will indict Trump prior to the fast-approaching election, if ever, but that Special Grand Jury in Georgia has no comparable “60-day rule” and might just issue an indictment or two prior to November 8.
The House January 6th Committee has promised at least one more hearing this month and, so far, those hearings have landed heavy blows on Trump and his cadre of pillow-clutching weirdos.
Beware, if not the Ides of March; then the Eighth of November. We’ll see whether Republicans’ devotion to Trump have them being hoist on their own petards.
See you next week.