I’m walking on sunshine, oh, oh. I’m walking on sunshine, oh,oh. I’m walking on sunshine, oh, oh. And don’t it feel good? Katrina and the Waves Walking on Sunshine
God, some days it’s good to be alive! Trump built his entire persona on being a vindictive son of a bitch, ready to wait however long as needed to pay back any slight. His own White House press secretary rejoiced in telling the press, When President Trump gets hit, he hits back 3 times harder. And he doesn’t care how long he has to wait.
Except maybe not. Following the votes after his second House impeachment hearing, Trump carefully put together a hit list of every GOP member who voted against him, both House and Senate. He gleefully took to whatever is left of his social media presence to celebrate every GOP House member that retired rather than face a Trump inspired primary.
But bluff and bluster only gets you so far in life. I have written repeatedly how Trump has the political coattails of a windbreaker. His magic only works for him. And it’s proven true in 2022 as well. In open seat races, Trump is doing fine. He has managed to push 3rd rate losers like JD Vance, Herschel Walker, and Mehmet Oz over the finish line. But against actual incumbents, not so good. His two most hated enemies, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who defied him to change the 2020 GA election count, both cruised to victory, avoiding costly runoffs in the process.
And the along came Tuesday. Of the 10 heretics in the US House who voted to impeach Trump after the 2nd hearings, at least 5 of them came from the state of California. And on
Tuesday night, in the California jungle primaries, will wonders never cease? All 5 GOP incumbents survived the primaries, and will go on to the general election in November.
This is the new reality that the GOP writ large is going to have to come to terms with. While Trump personally may well be the most popular GOP politician, he hasn’t yet established dictatorial control over the voters. California GOP voters that may personally like Trump were not ready to jettison GOP incumbents who made good faith votes in congress that the voters themselves may have believed right.
And this is just the primaries. Going into the general election, with a much wider swath of the general population voting, it begs the question for the GOP, How much Trump is too much Trump? Because there are a shit load of competitive House districts out there where Trump’s Big Lie might be wearing thin. The primaries are a chance for parties to fine tune their general election messaging. Will the GOP pay attention? Don’t touch that dial.