Was Susan Collins’s “Yes” Vote the GOP’s Final Surrender to Trump?

Back in February of this year, Axios reported that Donald Trump had a plan for the midterms:

A source close to the White House tells me that with an eye to getting Republicans excited about voting for Republicans in midterms, the president this year will be looking for “unexpected cultural flashpoints” — like the NFL and kneeling — that he can latch onto in person and on Twitter. The source said Trump “is going to be looking for opportunities to stir up the base, more than focusing on any particular legislation or issue.”

I think we can accurately observe that the confirmation of the right-wing political operative and accused attempted rapist Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court counts as just such an “unexpected cultural flashpoint.” And as predicted, Donald Trump is taking full advantage of it. Since it happens to be the same “cultural flashpoint” that hit his campaign at roughly the same moment in 2016, when the “Access Hollywood” tape of him bragging about assaulting women was reported, he undoubtedly sees it as a winning strategy. It worked for him, after all.

Recall that after the tape hit and women started to come forward to say that Trump had assaulted them in exactly the way he described, he went on the offensive — in both senses of the word — by going before his cheering crowds and insulting the women as being too ugly to attack and declaring that they were all liars. He got angry. He promised to sue them all. And his crowds cheered him on. By this point in the campaign it had become nothing more than a rank racist misogyny festival, punctuated with chants of “Build That Wall!” and “Lock Her Up!”

Trump being Trump…

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