Why not? “The fact is,” he said in today’s video announcement, “that European-Americans need at least one man in the United States Senate.” It’s an ethno-nationalist party now. Let’s find out how much the “ethno” part matters.
We may also get to see the limits of the objection to voting one’s conscience in a race between a Republican and a Democrat. Or maybe there are no limits. Who knows anymore.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee said Friday it will not back David Duke’s U.S. Senate bid in Louisiana.
Duke, a former KKK grand wizard, announced Friday that he would be running for the Republican nomination for Senate. However, Ward Baker, NRSC’s executive director, said within minutes on Twitter that the group would not back Duke.
“We will not support David Duke. Several GOP candidates in LA will have a great impact on our country. He is not one of them,” Baker tweeted.
There’s no primary in Louisiana, just one big election with all of the candidates on the ballot on November 8th. If anyone gets 50 percent, they win. If no one gets 50 percent, there’s a runoff between the top two finishers in December. Duke doesn’t need to pick a party, in other words, in order to make it to the general election. But he has picked one, however informally:
“I was the first major candidate in modern times to promote the term and policy of ‘America First,’” Duke said. “We cannot have free trade without fair trade.”
“I’m overjoyed to see Donald Trump and most Americans embrace most of the issues I’ve championed for years,” he said. ”I’ve always opposed these wars that lead our nation to disaster.”
There’s a non-zero (but very small) chance that Republicans will wake up on November 9th with Trump as president-elect, the Senate leaning 50/49 against the GOP, and Duke in a Senate runoff in Louisiana with a Democrat. What’s the party line on what to do in those circumstances, with Duke’s vote potentially decisive in confirming Trump’s Supreme Court appointees? Take moral exception to voting for Duke or quit virtue-signaling and save the Senate, you cuck traitor? If the answer is “vote your conscience,” as it appears to be in this case for the NRSC, how do we tell when the usual rules about doing your duty for a Republican nominee, no matter how objectionable you may find him, no longer apply? Plenty of Trump fans decided they were under no obligation to do their duty for Romney because he was a rich stiff who didn’t speak to working-class or nationalist concerns. They voted their consciences. At what point on the right-wing political spectrum on which Duke, Trump, and Romney exist does conscience supersede party loyalty?
Interesting point from Rod Dreher here:
David Duke on LA ballot = massive black & liberal/moderate white turnout. Duke puts Hillary in a better position to win this red state.
— Rod Dreher (@roddreher) July 22, 2016
Hard to believe Hillary would have a shot at a state Romney won by 17 points unless there’s a blue wave crashing nationwide that would render Louisiana irrelevant. Massive Democratic turnout behind a single Dem Senate candidate might get that candidate close to 50 percent, though, when the GOP would otherwise be favored to hold the seat. Even then, however, falling short of 50 would merely force a runoff between the Democrat and some Republican who probably won’t be Duke. The GOP would be favored to win that. It’s difficult to imagine the seat going blue, let alone going to Duke. But then I also thought it was ridiculous to think Trump would be nominated. Republican standards are higher than that!
Trump’s going to be pressed on this, of course, and he’ll offer his usual response of “I disavow.” Richard Spencer, a white-nationalist leader, was asked recently about that:
The phrase is comfortingly nonspecific, a disavowal of everything and nothing. And whatever Mr. Trump’s intentions, it has been powerfully reassuring to people on the far right.
“There’s no direct object there,” Mr. Spencer said. “It’s kind of interesting, isn’t it?”
Trump checks the box by saying he “disavows” but he tries not to get specific about what exactly it is that he’s disavowing. Reporters are going to pin him down on that. “Will you campaign against David Duke, Mr. Trump?” “Will you support him in a runoff, Mr. Trump?” More importantly, “Do you agree with Duke that he championed your core issues first, Mr. Trump?” Team Hillary is going to go nuts amplifying Duke’s comments about the common ground politically between him and Trump, which makes this a giant pain in the ass for the GOP the rest of the way. You’d think the white supremacists who are screeching at Cruz for not supporting Trump would have done what little they can not to hobble him themselves. Instead this. Oh well.