Trump endorses ‘Eric’ in weird bid to double his chances of declaring victory tonight

Donald had been putting off an endorsement in the Missouri Senate primaries, mostly because resigned ex-governor and now-infamous Republican candidate Eric Greitens is such an unrelenting scumbag that a new story exposing him as a serial-killing cannibal and collector of human gall bladders was never seen as entirely outside the realm of possibilities. Not that Trump has a problem with any of that, mind you, but national Republicans have been worried that endorsing a sentient version of monkeypox would turn a winnable Senate race into an utter fiasco—and, if Greitens pulls off a Tuesday win, reset the “will journalists discover his serial-killing cannibal murder dungeon” clock.

Donald was faced with a dilemma and, like an absolute freaking toddler, planned out what he, in his pea-brained ways, thought was an act of true genius. Yeah, he endorsed “Eric.” No last name. In a Missouri Senate race with two front-running Erics.

Both Erics immediately claimed victory because Republicanism is an absolute clown show. From top to bottom, a nose-honking pie-juggling performance in which both policy stances and campaign promises are flushed down the toilet in favor of telling voters that elections are rigged, covering your faceholes during a pandemic is bad, and Black people are coming to give your kids books that will hurt their feelings.

In the first few minutes after Trump announced his endorsement of “Eric,” the main question was whether the Trump camp was cynically attempting to blur who Trump was actually endorsing so that he stood twice the chance of being able to claim victory, if one of the Erics won, or if the team is just so damn incompetent that they somehow didn’t realize their announcement was ambiguous. It was a rhetorical question, really; it took only a matter of hours to confirm that, yes, it was the hilariously cynical version.

Politico reports that in an animated Trump-world meeting between Trump, Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel, Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle, and maybe others, somebody actually proposed endorsing “Eric,” the ambiguous version, and Trump, a self-described genius who deems himself the most clever person in quite possibly the entire world, went with it.

Who does Trump support? Either of them! If one loses, the other might win—and Trump can badmouth the loser for all that cannibal-related baggage while claiming he was responsible for the success of the other.

A clown show. It’s all a complete clown show. Team Trump could have just sat this one out—the default approach—and avoided being tarred with anyone else’s baggage or losses, but Guilfoyle was apparently very insistent that Trump should ally with creepshow Greitens, McDaniel thought maybe endorsing yet another violent sex predator would be a bad move, and Trump’s ego couldn’t stomach not announcing something, even if that something was utterly ridiculous. Wonderful.

The capper is that Trump had hinted to both Eric Greitens and Eric Schmitt that they’d be getting his endorsement before the announcement was made, and both of them were caught by surprise when the resulting statement also endorsed their hated rival. Another Trump signature move—using whatever small scrap of power somebody gives him to humiliate his would-be allies.

“The dual endorsement was a small victory for Senate Republicans,” notes The Washington Post, because senators were worried (and fairly convinced) Trump would endorse the violent cretin Greitens, who Trump appeared to have quite a bit of affinity for as a fellow sex predator. Sen. Rick Scott and coup-backer Josh Hawley wanted Greitens to lose today’s race and were pushing Trump to endorse Schmitt to make that happen. If those senators really are seeing Trump’s clown-show stunt as a “small victory,” they’re harder up than we thought.

And Guilfoyle, for her part, isn’t taking Trump’s no for an answer. She immediately put out her own video declaration that it was the violent Greitens who was the real “favorite of the MAGA movement,” a move to proclaim herself a MAGA decider that Donald might, and we can only hope, see as an act of insubordination.

As for the likely effect of Trump’s non-endorsing endorsement? It’s not likely to count for much, though both candidates are trying to take advantage of the extremely late Trump entry to try to trick their most gullible supporters into thinking Trump’s “Eric” endorsement was aimed mostly at them.

There is, however, another way to look at this. Sure, Donald Trump has attempted a childish stunt that will give him twice the chance of being able to brag that his candidate won. But it’s also now absolutely assured that a Trump-endorsed candidate in the race will lose. It’s 100% certain. The man has locked in one for the defeat column.

So … there you go.

Daily Kos will be covering tonight’s primaries nationwide, so buckle in. Trump’s endorsements have gone nearly exclusively to pro-coup Republicans who have publicly refused to recognize the legitimacy of the current U.S. President, and tonight will be yet another test of whether greater Republicanism intends to embrace that stance as a requirement for office or an embarrassment that needs to be discarded. We all have our own bets on that.


Morning Digest: Will Trump’s last-minute endorsements move the needle in Missouri or Michigan?

GOP insiders are desperately trying to derail Eric ‘RINO-hunting’ Greitens’ U.S. Senate bid

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