Ann Coulter: C'mon, let's take out Mitch McConnell in November

Ann Coulter: C'mon, let's take out Mitch McConnell in November

I won’t be participating in the effort but I think it’s a fine idea to start the post-election party bloodletting early. Until something changes meaningfully about the pandemic and/or Trump’s approach to it, there’s nothing to say about November. Trump’s on track to lose, probably badly. And if he does, there’ll be an unholy cyclone of recriminations followed by a power struggle over what a post-Trump GOP should look like.

Why wait? Start the purges now.

Coulter’s effort is actually a counter-purge. McConnell’s the one trying to purge Kris Kobach by spending big money against him in the Kansas Senate primary. He tried to recruit Kansas native Mike Pompeo to run for that seat but Pompeo ended up passing. Kobach is the biggest name left in the field, with his only real competition coming from GOP Rep. Roger Marshall. Cocaine Mitch has at least three reasons to dislike him. One is that Kobach’s a populist, a stalwart border hawk who wasn’t above taking a sustained interest in Barack Obama’s birth certificate back in the day. People like that aren’t as easily controlled by McConnell inside the caucus as establishmentarians are.

Two is that Kobach’s proved he’s capable of losing a big statewide race against a Democrat, falling five points short in the gubernatorial election in 2018 — in Kansas. He’s not Roy Moore but he’s Moore-ish in the sense that he seems to have already alienated enough of his state’s Republican majority to make what should be an easy victory in a red state needlessly competitive.

Three is that McConnell knows what the GOP is up against this fall. Even Kansas isn’t safe from turning blue if you believe Republican internal polling. Kobach is an especially risky choice in a climate like that. The GOP may still have a modicum of influence over the Senate next year if Democrats end up with a narrow majority since centrists like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema will be wary of left-wing policy programs, but every seat that’s added to Schumer’s margin gives a would-be President Biden more room for defections.

So … why not turn Kentucky blue too by electing Democrat Amy McGrath and let ’em go hog wild?

Three million dollars is a big ad buy in a rural state like Kansas:

After CNN reported on the effort Monday night, [Plains PAC] publicly announced its plans on Tuesday morning, attacking Kobach’s record and saying his loss in the 2018 gubernatorial race means he can’t win a Senate race in November. The group said it will launch a multimedia campaign — worth $3 million — with its first ad emphasizing Kobach’s “ties to white nationalists.”

“Kris Kobach gave Kansans the most liberal governor in our history,” Plains PAC Executive Director CJ Grover said in a statement. “Kansas Republicans support President Trump and his positive vision for America, but not Kobach’s consistent affiliation with a toxic ideology explicitly rejected by the President and Kansans of all stripes. Plains PAC’s mission is to remind primary voters why a vote for Kobach is too big a risk for our future.”…

The group’s media buyer, Mentzer Media Services, has worked on behalf of Republicans, including Senate candidates and the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC affiliated with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Kobach’s campaign called the “white nationalist” charge garbage, stressing that they immediately severed ties with an independent contractor when they found out he held those views.

Coulter’s probably right that the only way to teach establishment dark-money groups to stay out of primaries is to take a scalp from one of their heroes. If McConnell gets to scalp-hunt, populists get to scalp-hunt too. An obvious distinction is that Plains PAC is hunting in a primary whereas Coulter’s going nuclear by hunting in a general election, with a Democrat the direct beneficiary of the “Stop Mitch” push. But a Democrat will benefit indirectly in Kansas from the PAC’s gambit against Kobach if he emerges as the nominee anyway, since the “white nationalist” stuff might stick to him in the general election campaign. And if the attacks on him work and Marshall ends up winning the primary, it’s an open question how many disgruntled Kobach fans will turn out for Marshall in the fall after their guy was savaged. Seems like a clusterfark in the making no matter what happens, which is very on-brand for the GOP in 2020.

As for Trump, he’s been quiet about this race as far as I’m aware. No doubt he’d prefer Kobach over Marshall, but (a) he’s probably spooked by Kobach’s dismal showing in 2018 and doesn’t want to gamble any of his own political cred on him and (b) McConnell’s doubtless begging him to hold off on endorsing, knowing that Trump declaring his support for Kobach might decide the primary. If anything, Mitch probably has Trump lined up to campaign for Marshall in case he defeats Kobach, as maybe only POTUS has the juice to convince Kobach voters not to hold a grudge against the nominee.

Given the way things are going for Trump right now, I wonder if Marshall would even want that endorsement. Better to keep his distance, run his own race, and trust that Kansas Republicans who turn out for Trump against Biden will pull the lever for him too, however reluctantly.

Anyway, before the purges begin, I think it’s heartwarming that ardent populists like Coulter are capable of aligning with ardent anti-Trumpers like the folks at the Lincoln Project (George Conway, Rick Wilson) in a common cause. The LP is trying to sink McConnell and other Republican senators as punishment for their years of loyalty to the president. Now here’s Coulter trying to sink McConnell as punishment for his years of machinations against populists. Together, the sky’s the limit on the number of red Senate seats these two rascally factions might potentially flip this fall. Two ads here for your enjoyment. Our unity is our strength.

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David Strom 8:01 AM on March 27, 2023