NEW—> Former congressmen Joe Walsh and Mark Sanford preparing to launch primary challenges to Trump, while Jeff Flake fields a flurry of recruiting calls and John Kasich heads back to New Hampshire.
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) August 21, 2019
That would be Joe ‘You Lie‘ Walsh, Mark ‘Hiking the Appalachian Trail‘ Sanford, and John ‘My Only Loyalty Is To My Own Self-Interest’ Kasich. None of them are fit to hold Weld’s glass of amber-colored liquid:
… The anti-Trump movement inside the Republican Party — long a political wasteland — is feeling new urgency to mount a credible opposition to Trump before it’s too late. With state deadlines for nominating contests rapidly approaching in the fall, potential candidates face pressure to decide on running within the next few weeks. So far, only former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld has declared that he is running, but he has struggled to gain traction.
Republicans considering bids, as well as those trying to draft other candidates, acknowledge that defeating Trump appears to be nearly impossible but argue that a recession or an unforeseen change in the political climate could weaken him enough to make a primary challenge more than a Never Trump fantasy…
Inside the White House, neither Trump nor his team consider Weld or the prospective candidates to be serious threats because there has been no evidence of a groundswell of grass-roots support behind them.
“There’s no discussion of any of them or any of that,” said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president. “None of them even has risen to the level of a nickname.”
The Republican National Committee is using aggressive measures to stave off any possible primary tussle. RNC members passed a resolution this year giving Trump the party’s “undivided support” and effectively merged with Trump’s campaign. “Republicans are firmly behind the president and any effort to challenge him in a primary is bound to go absolutely nowhere,” RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said in a statement…
At the center of the fledgling movement is Bill Kristol, a longtime conservative commentator, who has become a power broker for anti-Trump Republicans — and a target of scorn for Trump and his followers.
Kristol said he respects Weld, along with others who might run, but said his “dream scenario” would be for Trump to weaken this fall and a more prominent Republican decide to get in. This would have echoes of 1968, when then-President Lyndon B. Johnson’s reelection campaign was upended by Sen. Eugene McCarthy’s near upset in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, prompting Johnson to withdraw and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy to enter the race…
Spoiler alert: Bobby Kennedy was assassinated during his campaign, and McCarthy’s ‘Clean for Gene’ supporters (of whom my mom was one!) became the most maligned bunch of naifs & purity trolls until the emergence of a certain senator from Vermont.
None of these fakers are in it for anything but the publicity, and Bill ‘Always Wrong’ Kristol’s imprimatur only confirms that the best the Republican Party can hope for is a swift death before it can be further defaced by the parasites who’ve captured it.
This is an underlying theme of @TimAlberta's work (and ensuing promo tour), but it's hard to overstate how many people inadvertently boxed themselves in. And accidental victory made it that much harder to walk away, given that they knew exactly what/who he was.
— Liam Donovan (@LPDonovan) August 22, 2019