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Where is the Republican message?
Labor Day is behind us; election season 2022 is now officially underway. Three-quarters of the nation thinks we are heading in the wrong direction, we have an epically unpopular president and the GOP has gone mute. Instead of blasting Democrats for the flood of undocumented people and illegal drugs crossing our southern border, the soft-on-crime laws that have undermined the safety of our communities, for the trillions of dollars spent on liberal wish-lists and 40-year high inflation, Republican Party leaders are bickering about the quality of our candidates. Seriously?
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., charged with overseeing the battle to retake control of the Senate, is squabbling with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whom he accuses of trash-talking Republican candidates. In a recent op-ed in the Washington Examiner, Scott does not single out McConnell by name but says Republicans’ undermining GOP contenders is “an amazing act of cowardice, and ultimately, it’s treasonous to the conservative cause.”
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Several days earlier, the Kentucky Republican voiced doubts about his party’s ability to flip the senate, citing “candidate quality” as a possible problem.
Scott maintains that voicing skepticism about GOP candidates is a veiled criticism of Republican voters, who chose those candidates. He writes, “Much of Washington’s chattering class disrespects and secretly (or not so secretly) loathes Republican voters.” He does not say the obvious: they also loathe Donald J. Trump.
That’s why candidates scorned by McConnell and other establishment Republicans are mainly those boosted by former President Trump. On that list are several whose races are critical to the GOP winning back the senate, and to giving Mitch back his Majority. This is personal; McConnell blames Trump for losing the senate seats in Georgia that handed Democrats control of the senate, and rightly so. But now is not the time for nursing past grievances.
After all, that’s what Trump did – he convinced Georgia voters that the system was rigged and their votes wouldn’t count. Look how that turned out.
Instead of slamming the GOP contenders in toss-up states like Pennsylvania and Arizona, how about focusing on the Democrat candidates? Both those states have recently been deemed “lean Democratic”, instead of “toss-up” by University of Virgina Center for Politics and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball because of “candidate weaknesses.” It’s almost as if he’s channeling Mitch McConnell.
Take Pennsylvania, where Dr. Mehmet Oz is running against Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and behind in the polls. While the liberal media has little good to say about Oz, a brilliant cardiac surgeon and successful TV personality, there has not been much scrutiny of Fetterman, the state’s progressive lieutenant governor. Because the Democrat had a disabling stroke just before the state’s primary, he has not made many appearances on the campaign trail. That’s good news for Democrats, since the more voters hear from the far-Left candidate, the less likely they will be to vote for him.
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Fetterman is the man-child who has never grown up. He lived off his parents and sister (who sold him his current house for one dollar) until the age of 49, all the while cultivating a popular public image based on his huge stature and propensity to dress like a teenager – complete with large tattoos and hoodies.
Even his policies reek of immaturity. His plan to “Make Washington Accountable“, for instance, includes policy gems like “Make More S**t in America;” he no doubt considers that really, really cool.
More important, despite claims on his campaign website of “championing the same core principles for the last 20 years”, he actually is the ultimate “swing” politician – swinging with the wind, that is.
In a prior (losing) run for the senate, Fetterman signed a pledge to ban fracking and supported an end to leasing of federal lands for oil and gas drilling. At the time, he called producing oil and gas “a stain on our state and natural resources.”
This year he has changed his tune, promising to preserve “the union way of life for the thousands of workers currently employed or supported by the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania…” I guess he needed those blue-collar votes after all.
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Fetterman’s biggest credential was serving as mayor of Braddock, Penn., a town of fewer than 2,000 people, where the population actually fell during his time in office.
Today, Fetterman is ducking for cover, refusing to debate his opponent. He cites his health as an issue, though his campaign team assures voters he’s quite OK.
Fetterman is rightly afraid of debating Oz, who is smart and accomplished. Attacks on Oz have focused on “flaws” like being successful and making a lot of money. Oz was ridiculed for calling a veggie plate “crudité” – but he was talking about inflation – which Democrats own.
Fetterman is all sizzle and no steak; Pennsylvania voters deserve better.
Like Oz, Blake Masters in Arizona, who was endorsed by Trump, suffers from establishment disdain. Recently, the Senate Leadership Fund, the Republican group connected to Mitch McConnell, canceled $8 million in ad support for Masters.
The GOP novice is running against incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly, a Biden apostle who has voted with the president over 94% of the time. The race is a toss-up; Kelly must defend Biden’s indefensible policies including an open border, the president’s unfair student loan bailout and Democrats’ massive spending that has pushed inflation sky-high.
Masters, a former venture capitalist, is supremely unwoke. The Left hates him for that; for example, he’s forthright in suggesting that Vice President Kamala Harris was perhaps not the best candidate for the post, but rather offered other (wink, wink) advantages. With Harris’ approval rating even worse that Biden’s, a lot of voters probably agree.
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The GOP is struggling to “manage” Donald Trump’s influence on his party. Without his millions of supporters, few candidates can win. But Democrats are equally tied to Joe Biden, whose approval ratings are today worse than Trump’s.
McConnell and others need to step aside and let voters consider: are they better off under Biden than they were under Trump?
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