~ Where the Sun Will Never Set on Our liberty ~
In 1998, George W. Bush faced re-election in Texas. The Democrats controlled the U.S. House delegation and most statewide offices. The GOP has been making inroads but had not taken over statewide. Bush, elected in 1994 against Anne Richards, was running with a Democrat turned Republican named Rick Perry. Perry, the Commissioner of Agriculture, had blazed a trail for the GOP into statewide office in Texas in 1990, facing incumbent Jim Hightower, then embroiled in an FBI investigation.
Bush added to the ranks of statewide Republicans in 1994. In 1998, Perry sought the Lt. Governor’s seat after long-serving and very powerful Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, a Democrat, announced he would retire.
That year, Perry crossed the finish line with just over 50% of the vote and Bush won re-election with sixty-eight percent of the vote. Democrats down the ballot were crushed, and the GOP would go on to redraw Texas’s congressional lines to set up a GOP congressional majority we still have.
The echos of 1998 run through Florida.
DeSantis just saw a massive GOP wave in Florida while Republicans elsewhere say maybe ripples. In 1998, Republicans nationally underperformed expectations with a net zero gain in the Senate and a five-seat Democrat pick-up in the House.
Republicans in Washington went into rebellion against Gingrich, tossing him overboard. Republicans nationally gravitated towards the guy in Texas who’d just taken a purple state and locked it in bright red.
Now, in 2022, Republicans in Washington expecting a wave may throw Kevin McCarthy overboard. DeSantis made waves where few others did. Already, Ken Griffin, a major GOP donor, is Team DeSantis 2024. Griffin’s entry is what motivated Trump to get out of the door early.
That early maneuver by Trump, along with his attack on DeSantis right before the midterm election, is generating ire from the base today. Ken Griffin is owed thanks for forcing Trump to perform erratically enough that Trump gets some solid and deserved blame for the midterm outcome.
If, like in 1998, the base starts drifting organically to DeSantis and the large and midsize donors move his way, that sets the stage for a 2024 battle with Biden. The Democrats’ performance in the 2022 midterms means they can’t can Biden.
The big difference between 1998 and 2022 is Bush’s dad, the last one-term president, wasn’t out to sabotage his son before 2000. Trump clearly is out to sabotage DeSantis before 2024. But that might do more harm to Trump.
Trump, like Smaug the dragon, wants to lie on his gold and never use it. If the donors of the GOP show him he’d have to spend his own money, that might change things.
While there are a lot of really good candidates for the GOP in 2024, last night puts DeSantis front and center. Can he maintain the aura for two more years? Bush did in 1998 and became a two term President.
The GOP needs to unfamiliar itself with its not so great national midterm of 1998 for some lessons on how to proceed.
This is bit of a history lesson. It’s worth noting that Trump was not the ‘kingmaker’ in the midterms.
A couple of thoughts...
One of the reasons why there was such a red wave in Florida, and one that most have overlooked, is Republicans in Florida have been working hard to have election integrity. If every state did this, we really would see a red wave nationwide.
And this is one of the big things I beleived deminished a red wave in the midterms. Fraud is still a thing. The whole issue with mass mail-in ballots and taking days to figure out who won is simply unacceptable. And of course, it always seems to happen in Democrat controlled cities. As long as we don't clean up our elections in all 50 states, we are not going to see a red wave.
The other thing that hurt us is the GOP not backing America First candidates. In some cases, they activley campigned against them. For instance, Mitch McConnell supported the RINO Murkowski over Kelly Tshibaka in Alaska. Mitch also refused to support Blake Masters in Arizona. The GOPe was willing to throw the midterms if it meant making Trump look bad. So not only are we fighting the Dems at our front but our own GOP at the rear.
I'll throw in an extra food for thought. If anyone has been paying attention to the FTX scandel, there was a whole lot of shananiganns going on. The owner of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, was the second largest donor to the Democrats behind Soros. So we are learning that our tax dollars sent to the Ukraine were invested in FTX who inturn donated to majoriy Democrat, and a few RINO, causes. If that sounds like a money laundering scheme that's because it is. How much of that money played in the the midterms? The odds have been stacked against us.
So, a lot of these factors that went into the outcome of the midterms. Trying to blame Trump is, I beleive, inaccurate. He's a private citizen, winning the midterms was not even his responsibility. Why doesn't the GOP get any blame when it's actually their job to fight for Republcians, not against them? Still, the last time I checked, Trump's track record was 219 wins, 93% endoresment wins. I'm sure that number has changed since then but it's still pretty impressive.
As for Trump vs DeSantis. I think DeSantis has a bright future, but I don't think him running right now would be good for the party, and I'll tell you why. Everyone remembers the fractures that Trump vs Cruz caused. It took a long time for those wounds to mend. A Trump vs DeSantis face-off would be even worse. This is what Democrats and RINOs want to happen. This is why they are fawning over DeSantis.
However, I don't believe anyone has more poltical stock than Trump right now, not even DeSantis. In nearly every poll, he outperforms every other contender. Regardless of what the Media and Republican establishment says, this is still very much Trump's show.