Opinion Republicans want Trump to take the midterm blame. Good luck with that.

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
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By Greg Sargent
Columnist |
November 11, 2022 at 12:59 p.m. EST


With Democrats on the cusp of keeping the Senate even as control of the House remains up for grabs, Republicans are escalating efforts to blame Donald Trump for the midterm debacle. Everyone from rising stars in the party to right-wing media personalities are hammering Trump, with some demanding that he delay plans to announce a 2024 presidential run next week.


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In a way, this represents an effort to get Trump himself to accept blame. If Trump were to act chastened or delay his announcement, it would constitute public acceptance of the verdict that the MAGA movement’s influence was largely responsible for the GOP’s underperformance.
Good luck with that.

The most obvious problem is that Trump will never admit that he and MAGA failed in any way. MAGA can only be failed, as Trump demonstrated when he declared Thursday that he had played his own role perfectly throughout the midterms, while simultaneously disavowing any responsibility in the actual outcome.






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More important, this effort to offload blame on Trump is mostly spin. Republicans are eager to erase the central role that the demise of abortion rights played in their midterm losses, because that could have ideological consequences that are much more difficult to reckon with. Pinning the outcome on Trump is one way to evade that.


No question, the MAGA movement and the profusion of radical election-denying candidates surely help explain what happened. Such candidates helped Democrats sweep governorships and lower offices in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — a big step toward rebuilding the “blue wall.”

But more information is emerging that underscores the role that the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade played in Tuesday’s results.
An analysis from the New York Times, for instance, demonstrates that Democrats overperformed in places where the fate of abortion rights was at stake. In the aforementioned blue-wall states, electing a GOP governor could have dramatically limited or ended them, since Republicans controlled all three legislatures. Democrats mostly won up and down the ticket.


In Michigan, an abortion-rights referendum was on the ballot — and Democrats grabbed control of both chambers in the state legislature. Something similar happened in normally red Kansas, where a Democrat was reelected governor. There are other examples of this pattern, and anti-choice referendums were defeated in red states like Kentucky and Montana.

But you can already discern signs that Republicans don’t want the backlash in favor of abortion rights to be the story of this election. In Michigan, the state GOP released a memo suggesting their gubernatorial nominee, Tudor Dixon, lost because her position on abortion (opposing it even in cases of rape or incest) was too extreme. This is an evasion: It’s supposed to suggest that a slightly less extreme anti-choice position might have fared better.
But Democrats scorched Dixon with ads warning not just of her extreme position on exceptions but also that the fundamental underlying right, and the question of whether abortions would be criminalized, were on the ballot. It worked: In Michigan, the referendum enshrining a right to reproductive freedom in the state constitution passed by solid majority.






“The Republican Party’s stance is that the right itself shouldn’t exist,” David Turner, senior adviser to the Democratic Governors’ Association, told me. “Voters understood that.”

If it’s true that Democrats overperformed in states where the fundamental right was at stake — as appears correct — then this threatens to be a long-term problem for Republicans. That’s because this right will continue to be at stake.
Longtime activist Cecile Richards notes that as antiabortion realities deepen in red states, this will only become more pressing as a national issue.
“We will be living in a country where half the states will have banned abortion,” Richards told me. “People are going to have relatives, family, friends who live in states where they can’t get health care any more.”
More and more people are experiencing the “impact of living in a state where really tragic things are happening,” Richards continued. “It’s going to get worse.”



There is also the possibility that more referendums will be on the ballot in 2024, including in key presidential battleground states like Ohio, Florida and Arizona. And in the 2024 GOP primaries, candidates will presumably be required to commit themselves to supporting a national abortion ban, perhaps elevating the stakes further.
“It will be very hard for Republican candidates to moderate,” Richards said.
No question, Trump and MAGA radicalization were key factors in this election. But GOP efforts to direct so much blame in that direction are just another way of evading discussion of another elephant in the room. And that one could long outlast Trump himself.

 

BlackNGoldBleeder

HR Legend
Jun 23, 2017
43,932
77,104
113
By Greg Sargent
Columnist |
November 11, 2022 at 12:59 p.m. EST


With Democrats on the cusp of keeping the Senate even as control of the House remains up for grabs, Republicans are escalating efforts to blame Donald Trump for the midterm debacle. Everyone from rising stars in the party to right-wing media personalities are hammering Trump, with some demanding that he delay plans to announce a 2024 presidential run next week.


Sign up for a weekly roundup of thought-provoking ideas and debates

In a way, this represents an effort to get Trump himself to accept blame. If Trump were to act chastened or delay his announcement, it would constitute public acceptance of the verdict that the MAGA movement’s influence was largely responsible for the GOP’s underperformance.
Good luck with that.

The most obvious problem is that Trump will never admit that he and MAGA failed in any way. MAGA can only be failed, as Trump demonstrated when he declared Thursday that he had played his own role perfectly throughout the midterms, while simultaneously disavowing any responsibility in the actual outcome.






ADVERTISING

More important, this effort to offload blame on Trump is mostly spin. Republicans are eager to erase the central role that the demise of abortion rights played in their midterm losses, because that could have ideological consequences that are much more difficult to reckon with. Pinning the outcome on Trump is one way to evade that.


No question, the MAGA movement and the profusion of radical election-denying candidates surely help explain what happened. Such candidates helped Democrats sweep governorships and lower offices in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — a big step toward rebuilding the “blue wall.”

But more information is emerging that underscores the role that the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade played in Tuesday’s results.
An analysis from the New York Times, for instance, demonstrates that Democrats overperformed in places where the fate of abortion rights was at stake. In the aforementioned blue-wall states, electing a GOP governor could have dramatically limited or ended them, since Republicans controlled all three legislatures. Democrats mostly won up and down the ticket.


In Michigan, an abortion-rights referendum was on the ballot — and Democrats grabbed control of both chambers in the state legislature. Something similar happened in normally red Kansas, where a Democrat was reelected governor. There are other examples of this pattern, and anti-choice referendums were defeated in red states like Kentucky and Montana.

But you can already discern signs that Republicans don’t want the backlash in favor of abortion rights to be the story of this election. In Michigan, the state GOP released a memo suggesting their gubernatorial nominee, Tudor Dixon, lost because her position on abortion (opposing it even in cases of rape or incest) was too extreme. This is an evasion: It’s supposed to suggest that a slightly less extreme anti-choice position might have fared better.
But Democrats scorched Dixon with ads warning not just of her extreme position on exceptions but also that the fundamental underlying right, and the question of whether abortions would be criminalized, were on the ballot. It worked: In Michigan, the referendum enshrining a right to reproductive freedom in the state constitution passed by solid majority.






“The Republican Party’s stance is that the right itself shouldn’t exist,” David Turner, senior adviser to the Democratic Governors’ Association, told me. “Voters understood that.”

If it’s true that Democrats overperformed in states where the fundamental right was at stake — as appears correct — then this threatens to be a long-term problem for Republicans. That’s because this right will continue to be at stake.
Longtime activist Cecile Richards notes that as antiabortion realities deepen in red states, this will only become more pressing as a national issue.
“We will be living in a country where half the states will have banned abortion,” Richards told me. “People are going to have relatives, family, friends who live in states where they can’t get health care any more.”
More and more people are experiencing the “impact of living in a state where really tragic things are happening,” Richards continued. “It’s going to get worse.”



There is also the possibility that more referendums will be on the ballot in 2024, including in key presidential battleground states like Ohio, Florida and Arizona. And in the 2024 GOP primaries, candidates will presumably be required to commit themselves to supporting a national abortion ban, perhaps elevating the stakes further.
“It will be very hard for Republican candidates to moderate,” Richards said.
No question, Trump and MAGA radicalization were key factors in this election. But GOP efforts to direct so much blame in that direction are just another way of evading discussion of another elephant in the room. And that one could long outlast Trump himself.

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Huey Grey

HR King
Jan 15, 2013
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This is why the Rs didn't learn a damn thing from the elections. Blame, blame, blame. It's all the GOP has got. They always need a scapegoat.

Trump is a disaster. But Rs need to admit they brought him here, followed his insane rhetoric, and promise to abandon the bullshit and start governing like real adults.
 

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