The New York Times published a deep dive into the “aftermath” of the Trump-backed Perdue run at the governor’s office in Georgia and reached several conclusions, all of which can be found in the article. The Time’s critical objective fact is set out below and their evaluation is fairly mundane. We’ll try a different tact.
“[Perdue] said Trump called him all the time,” said Martha Zoller, a former aide to Mr. Perdue who now hosts a talk radio show in Gainesville, Ga. “He showed me on his phone these multiple recent calls and said they were from the president.”
Ms. Zoller and a legion of other former Perdue aides and advisers told the former senator that running was a bad idea. He listened to Mr. Trump instead.
Now, Mr. Perdue is staring down an epic defeat at the hands of Gov. Brian Kemp, the Republican whom Mr. Trump has blamed for his 2020 loss more than any other person. The Perdue campaign is ending the race low on cash, with no ads on television and a candidate described even by his supporters as lackluster and distracted.
One sentence, and the resulting impact, is the point of publishing the piece and why it’s worth doing independently. It seems important to ask how it was that everyone around Perdue knew Perdue was running headfirst into a Trump fried chicken grease fire, while Perdue – not a political novice, would listen to Trump anyway? It is also worth looking at Trump’s influence on other races compared to this particular race and putting it all in a meaningful perspective.
Perdue’s aides were so uniformly correct because Perdue started out by violating a cardinal rule in top-tier politics. Perdue didn’t run with his own agenda and own motivation. He ran to serve Trump. Meanwhile, Trump never did any evaluation as to whether Perdue could beat Kemp. Trump only knew that there was no possible way Trump would allow Kemp to just walk back to the governor’s office without being punished. You do not rebuff Trump on something important and not expect him to exact maximum revenge. And, as everyone knows, there was literally nothing more important to Trump than Georgia as the first domino. A grand jury is currently empaneled to evaluate Trump’s desperation.
So there is number one. Trump’s absolutely personal and selfish need to exact revenge led to a decision so obviously stupid that everyone around Perdue said “Don’t do it!” MAGA dumb.
Second, the only chance Trump and Perdue had at succeeding where Perdue’s aides failed is that the decision had to be made before they measured “MAGA” effectiveness in endorsing candidates. Most Trump-endorsed candidates are not in contested elections. Trump’s picks running in contested races are wholly dependent upon the certain circumstances in that particular race, not necessarily Trump’s endorsement. Whereas Trump may have been able to drag J.D. Vance over the finish line in a four-way race, and perhaps the same with Oz in a three-way race, the results in those races still leave 60-70% of Republicans voting against Trump’s pick. In a two-man race in Georgia, 60% – at least, will go against Trump’s pick, except Perdue has nowhere to hide. That 60% are voting for the anti-Trump candidate. 60% wins a majority, even in Georgia.
Ultimately, there are two reasons this matters beyond some “inside baseball” political spectator sport or opportunities for schadenfreude and hearing Trump cry. First, Trump’s picks – when successful, pull the party hard right. Again, Vance is exhibit “A.” That is scary in and of itself. But abutting that concern is McConnell’s nightmare.
Kemp is going to win the Georgia race because any Republican is going to win the race for Governor in Georgia. But Trump’s picks of Vance, Oz, and Herschel Walker (Also in Georgia) may be so extreme or just so bizarre (Oz, Walker) that Trump is literally handing critical seats to the Democrats. No, there is no guarantee that Fetterman beats Oz (if Oz wins) in Pennsylvania. There is no guarantee that Vance loses, or even Walker (though that one is the most likely to be handed to the Democrats), but McConnell would see all of them as weaker candidates in a general election had McConnell been allowed to pick the winner.
Three seats, a mountain in the United States Senate, and McConnell pours another shot of Kentucky’s own Jack Daniels as his forehead perspires. Trump ended up just looking like a jackass in trying to exact revenge in the Georgia governor’s race. That’s cool, but nothing more. I
But if McConnell fails to win a majority there is almost no question that Trump’s picks will have something to do with it, whether definitive or not, and that’s not “cool” so much as a gift from God, evidence God exists and hasn’t given up on the United States. Because no Republican, MAGA or McConnell, should be entrusted with the U.S. Senate in acting upon the 2024 presidential race.
Think about that, mother Times.
Jason Miciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, while also studying scientific philosophy, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact for speaking engagements or any concerns.