No sense makes sense Charles Manson
O-tay, somebody is gonna have to walk me through this one. I know we’ve all been unfairly transplanted to the barren steppes of Trumpmenistan, but in what parallel universe does the salvation of the Republican Senate in the 2018 midterms turn out be the least popular President in history prior to Trump?
That’s right, the Alfred E Newman of politics is staggering back into the saddle again, and riding off to the rescue. George W Bush, Dick Cheney’s personal Howdy Doody, is charging into battle to save the delicate balance of GOP power in the Senate. And here I thought, with generic polling showing the Democrats +14, and political analysts beginning to speak earnestly of a slim, but definitely doable path for Democrats to regain the Senate in November, it couldn’t get any better than this. What a dumbass I am!
A quick history lesson. This is George W Bush we’re talking about here. This is the man who plunged us into the two longest, and most futile wars in US history, and nearly plunged the world into a global financial meltdown. The same President, that in 2008, they drained the fuel tanks from Air Force One, and pulled the battery cables from the armored Suburban, to keep him from opening his mouth in public to campaign for GOP candidates. And now, he’s going to stem the tide of the blue wave in the Senate?
Completely ignoring the basic political absurdity of this desperate move, there are two major problems with this 11th hour salvation. The first, most obvious one, is that Der Gropinfuror has spent the last three years trashing Bush Lite the way a rock band trashes a hotel room. Trump excoriated Bush constantly on the campaign trail, for everything from the war in Iraq, to his policies, to his economic flubs. And he hasn’t been much more gentle since taking office. How do vulnerable GOP Senate incumbents, in places where Bush could carry some sentimental benefit, cozy up to Bush, never knowing if Trumpenstein is going to toss off an enrages tweet about Bush, alienating the Trump base that they are desperately trying to hold on to?
But the second, more insidious problem for the GOP, is Trump’s long history of the double entendre, and subliminal messages to his supporters. Trump has a sneaky way of saying things he doesn’t want to say, but saying it in such a way that his fevered base gets the message that he doesn’t really mean it. After all, it’s not like he’s never campaigned for losers before. He campaigned for Luther Strange in the Alabama primary, then back stabbed him for being a weak candidate and stumped for Roy Moore, his real preference, only to claim later he was only doing it for show, he didn’t mean it. This is why his upcoming rally for Ted Cruz in Texas is so awkward. Cruz doesn’t need Trump screwing up his base, and does anybody think that the Trump base will honestly believe that all is forgiven by Trump towards Cruz? If Trump twitter bombs Bush’s efforts, it kills that incumbent with the Trump base for associating with Bush. And if Trump makes goo-goo noises towards Bush’s efforts, does Trump’s base take it as a snide, insincere “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” approval that they should disregard?
I can’t understand why Bush is doing this in the first place. It can’t be his loyalty to the Republican party, because that party doesn’t exist anymore, this is now the party of Trump. His wife Laura gave a very sharp public spanking to Trump over his child separation policy. But the biggest risk for Bush in this move is the one to his reputation. Time has not been particularly kind to Bush since he left the White House, and the pale glow of nostalgia of old line Republicans towards Bush in the era of Trump has not infected the rest of the population. Interjecting himself into this campaign, stumping for GOP Senate incumbents who have shown slavish loyalty to The $1 Store Caligula, is not going to improve his standing with anybody who doesn’t support Trump and his nihilistic antics.
Such is the state of the Republican party of 2018. The last least popular President in history is going to try to save a GOP majority for the least popular President in history. You just can’t make this shit up.