Am I crazy or are Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell going through an absolutely epic celebrity divorce? Earlier this week, McConnell published a column in The Wall Street Journal in which he said that, “There is no question former President Trump bears moral responsibility” for the January 6 MAGA riot, and that his behavior lately has been “unconscionable.” Basically, McConnell stopped 1 sentence short of calling Donald Trump a Tony Soprano-level crook who would be in jail if it wasn’t for the fact that Senate Republicans have Constitution-sized manginas.
In response, Trump issued 2-page statement that pretty much called McConnell everything that the Fake News Media has been calling him for years: a “dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack.” Wowzers.
I personally am loving this tabloid divorce. And it is 100 percent fair to say that whoever wins will have full custody of the Republican Party going forward.
This is about more than just whose pole Sean Hannity will wax for the next 4 years. The Trump-McConnell breakup will effect the GOP from the ground up.
First of all, there is the issue of candidate recruitment. If Trump is the face of the Republican Party, then it is certain that GOP candidates will be heavily skewed towards meme candidates whose primary appeal is their ability to Own the Libs. Basically, the average Republican will be somewhere between Josh Hawley and Marjorie Taylor Greene, and heavily focused on the Culture Wars.
If Mitch McConnell gets the upper hand in this divorce, then we’ll see a return to candidates whose loyalties are to party and policy (and not just Trump). These pols will fill the space between Paul Ryan and Josh Hawley.
This connects to the second big issue, which is raising the donor cash needed to win.
I will 100 percent eat my shoe before I believe that the average GOP megadonor likes Trump. But these guys are also human beings, and that means they’re interested in backing candidates who can actually win. The reason why people spend millions of dollars buying elections is so that they can have personal influence over the winners. So it would be a monstrous self-own for donors to go heavy against Trump candidates, and then find themselves on a blacklist if and when MAGAs start winning again. It simply won’t happen — billionaires are too smart to make that mistake.
So as long as Trump lurks as a credible threat, non-lobotomized Republicans will have a difficult time raising money. That means it’s critical for McConnell to both de-ball Trump and prove that he himself is willing to put his own credibility on the line in this intra-party feud. If he can’t nut-up, then donors won’t either – which is away Cocaine Mitch has ordered this first hit in the WSJ.
Now, the question lots of people in the Fake News are asking is this: if Mitch McConnell is going to spend his spare time writing anti-Trump nastygrams… why didn’t he just use some of those legendary parliamentary tactician moves and convict him?
Put another way, when you have the chance to whack Tony Soprano – why not pull the trigger?
Well, I personally don’t care, because SSG is about betting and there is no way to gamble on the past. So let’s think about the future, where the winnings are: Mitch McConnell is going to be in the Senate for the next 6 years, where he will probably be the Republican Leader.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump is pretty much a political prisoner in Florida and has been muzzled by the Fake News Media. And it’s going to get worse. Trump is probably going to get the full OJ Simpson treatment; and by that I mean, he might have been acquitted by the Senate, but he’ll spend the rest of his life in court bleeding out every dollar and ounce of social credibility he has left.
The evidence is clear here. At the end of the Russia Probe, Robert Mueller basically said that Trump committed crimes that were outside his mandate and that anyone who wanted to find them should JUST LOOK HERE. McConnell all-but-echoed this in his WSJ piece that was literally titled, “Acquittal Vindicated the Constitution, Not Trump.”
When your former spouse starts offering-up dirt on you, you know it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
But unlike Mueller, who was constrained by his office; and McConnell – a divorcee scorned, but under gag order until a settlement was reached – Democratic state Attorney Generals and liberal activists (usually they are the same thing) are going to be going absolutely loco on Trump these next few years.
Expect to see a lot of ambitious politicians trying to build their careers on a record of service that includes, “I indicted Trump” and “I confiscated $50 million of Trump’s assets and redistributed it to cute racially diverse kids.”
In my opinion, the level of opportunism and grift we are going to see from zealous liberal prosecutors and attorney generals will rival the legendary performance Republicans put in in 2005, when basically every boneheaded conservative who needed to raise money from Pro-Lifers chartered a jet to Florida to get a selfie with the convalescent Terri Schiavo.
So what does this mean for a betting strategy? In the short term, Trump will likely have an advantage over McConnell and this will be reflected in the next season of GOP primaries. Trump is the face of the Republican Party and his candidates will score some big wins.
But as time goes by, the damages Trump will sustain from all of these lawsuits will erode his credibility with the public. He’s going to bleed-out financially in court, and as past misdeeds come to light, he’ll find it impossible to do business on a scale that’s sufficient to cover the $300 million in debt he owes in the next 4 years.
Can Trump pull off yet another comeback? That really comes down to his ability to perpetuate his signature MAGA grift.
Since losing the election, Trump has raised over $200 million to combat voter fraud but pocketed the vast majority for his own purposes. Whether he uses this money to pay his legal bills, buy a media company, or back loyal candidates remains to be seen. But what seems likely is that unless Trump can un-muzzle himself, the public will move on and find new things to be outraged about and a new ringleader to channel it. Trump himself might become obsolete in the very world he created.