With or without Trump, GOP insurgency plans for a civil war in 2018 midterms (The Washington Post link): The next Republican revolution began last week on a bright blue bus parked at a nighttime rally in Montgomery, Ala., days before a firebrand GOP candidate won the state’s Senate primary.
But unlike previous Republican revolutionaries, the hard-line figures who stepped out to cheers did not want to yank the party to the right on age-old issues such as taxes or spending. They wanted to gut it and leave its establishment smashed.
Fury infused these insurgents’ raw remarks as did a common theme: The Republican Party has failed its voters, and a national cleansing is needed in the coming year, regardless of whether President Trump is on board.
Longtime Republicans see a charged civil war on the horizon.
“There is an emotional component,” former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R) said of the frustrations of Trump’s core backers, who have grown increasingly vocal. “They want someone to kick over the table. And my advice to every Republican is: You better have an edge, or you become the problem.”
The next day, Moore – a conservative jurist who had waved his gun at a campaign rally and arrived on horseback to cast his vote – won the Republican special election primary against Luther Strange, an incumbent backed to the tune of millions of dollars by McConnell, the National Rifle Association, the Chamber of Commerce – and Donald Trump himself.
It was a defeat for Trump, who for once had allowed his head to rule his heart, but not for Trumpism, of which Moore is a worthy avatar. It was equally a coup for Bannon, seldom heard in public during his spell as Trump’s campaign manager and White House chief strategist, but now startlingly transformed into a firebrand speechmaker armed with a rightwing website, Breitbart News, against the Republican establishment.
Kurt Bardella, a former media consultant for Breitbart, said: “It was very important to Steve to show that he’s more than one-trick pony. After Steve left the White House, Alabama was his first visible show and he wanted to win this one to show that he is just as strong, if not stronger, than he was before and that he will continue to be an influential force during the Trump presidency and beyond.”
There is an urgency at Breitbart to capitalize on the grassroots energy that propelled Moore past incumbent Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) in a race that is being hailed on the right as a watershed moment in the fight against the GOP establishment.
“I think a lot of people’s greatest fears about this movement and how powerful it is were confirmed yesterday,” Marlow said.
“We see this race in Alabama as a confirmation of our values. We’re in the early stages of a process in which we’re seeing the Republican establishment lose influence and power despite their vast coffers of money. That’s a trend that I think will continue. I think the establishment sees the writing on the wall.”
Moore’s victory was a blow to President Trump, who endorsed the incumbent. It was a bigger loss for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), whose allied super PAC burned through millions of dollars, only to see their candidate lose by nearly 10 points.
Now, Breitbart and Bannon will turn their attention to election fights in nearly a dozen other states, including Nevada, Arizona, Tennessee, Mississippi, Utah, West Virginia, Nebraska, Montana and Wisconsin.
In a late September special election to determine permanent ownership of the Senate seat formerly held by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, upstart conservative Roy Moore, former chief justice of the state supreme court, defeated appointed Sen. Luther Strange, whose sins were the fact that he was an incumbent, and he was supported by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
"I am sick — up to here — with these do-nothing Republicans," said Johnny Creel, 56, who runs a small insurance agency in suburban Birmingham, just down the road from Strange's neighborhood. "I love the judge because he doesn't back down. Luther has jumped in to bed with Mitch McConnell."
Moore won easily, despite being massively outspent by McConnell and his allies in Washington, ceding just four of 67 counties to Strange. He is the heavy favorite to win the seat outright in a December special general election against Democrat Doug Jones. Even Trump's endorsement couldn't save Strange.
Now the disgust that led to Strange's ouster threatens to engulf Republicans up and down the ballot for next year's mid-terms.
Mod: The alt-right wing of the GOP has now begun to eat its own. A process that will both enable sweeping Democratic victories in 2018, followed by the impeachment of Traitor Trump. Should be quite a bonfire. Just remember, you likely heard it here first.