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Already, the 2022 battle for the United States Senate is veering into Crazytown. The Republican primaries in both Ohio and Missouri—neither of which is a swing state anymore, by the way—have attracted members of the conservative Undead from whom I had hoped we’d heard enough for one lifetime.
In Missouri, the local Republicans are quaking because former Governor Eric Greitens has rolled back the stone and is “mulling” a run for the Senate seat being vacated by the retirement of Roy Blunt. Greitens was a rising national GOP star until he resigned in the middle of a grotesque sex scandal. From The Guardian:
A woman with whom he admitted having an extra-marital affair told a Missouri house investigative committee Greitens restrained, slapped, shoved and threatened her during a series of sexual encounters that at times left her crying and afraid. He was alleged to have taken a compromising photo and threatened to blackmail the woman. Greitens said the allegations amounted to a “political witch-hunt” but eventually bowed to Republicans and Democrats who called for his resignation. His departure elevated Republican Mike Parson, the lieutenant governor, to the governor’s office.
Politico managed to find some anonymous Republican campaign officials to meep about how terrible it would be were Greitens to win the nomination. But, make no mistake. If Missouri Republicans want Greitens, they’ll get him, and if they do, the national Republican Party will be lined up right behind them, scattering campaign money in his path.
Some Republicans are skeptical that Greitens will be able to gain traction and say he’ll have a ceiling of support given his substantial baggage. But others think they would be in for a fight. A December survey of likely Republican primary voters, conducted by Remington Research Group, found Greitens trailing Blunt just 43 percent to 32 percent, indicating that he maintains a base.
Of course, he does.
Meanwhile, in Ohio, we have the return of Josh Mandel, who apparently has spent his time in exile imbibing deeply at the Fountain of Stupid. In fact, Mandel has gotten his campaign to replace Rob Portman off to such a whoppingly mendacious start that local journalists are wondering how much of his crapola they are obligated to catapult into the campaign slipstream. From Cleveland.com:
The issue is that Mandel has a history of not telling the truth when he campaigns – he was our PolitiFact Ohio “Pants on Fire” champion during his first run for Senate because of the whoppers he told. More recently, he is given to irresponsible and potentially dangerous statements on social media. He’s proven himself to be a candidate who will say just about anything if it means getting his name in the news. We have not dealt with a candidate like this on the state level previously.
And this was a state that sent Jim Trafficant to Congress.
At issue was a statewide mask mandate and other measures enacted by Governor Mike DeWine to alleviate the pandemic. Mandel looked at Texas and Mississippi and went straight to the banana farm. The newspaper decided to ignore him, and it was quite clear why it chose to do so.
We ultimately decided not to write about Mandel’s call for DeWine to lift his coronavirus restrictions. Mandel is pretty much a nobody right now, a nobody begging for people to notice his Tweets a year ahead of the Senate primary. Just because he makes outrageous, dangerous statements doesn’t mean it is news…
…We are proud of our role as a center of discourse, with a diversity of viewpoints you can find nowhere else in the state. But we do not knowingly publish ridiculous and idiotic claims. Mandel did not want to have a debate with our columnist as much as he wanted to use our platform to get attention with demonstrably false claims about the virus.
That’s unquestionably refreshing. But Mandel already has pocketed the endorsement of the Club For Growth, and both he and his likely primary opponent, Jane Timken, thus far have been debating which of them is the Trumpiest Trumpkin. So things are looking up there, for sure.
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