On Wednesday, writing for The Week, columnist W. James Antle III broke down how former President Donald Trump is derailing Republican nominations for the midterm battle next year by creating a "GOP circular firing squad" with his endorsements.
"Trump endorsed Michigan state Rep. Steve Carra's Republican primary challenge against influential longtime 'RINO Congressman Fred Upton' (the ex-president's choice of words)," wrote Antle. "'Upton has not done the job that our Country needs, for years has talked about leaving office and not running again, and he voted for Impeachment of the President of the United States on rigged up charges,' Trump added. 'He doesn't deserve to keep his seat.'"
Meanwhile, wrote Antle, "Trump had already endorsed Army veteran Sean Parnell for the Republican senatorial nomination in Pennsylvania. But he hadn't yet dismissed the retiring GOP incumbent as 'Senator 'Gloomy' Pat Toomey.' Trump said Toomey did not understand how the two of them carried the state together in 2016 because the senator is 'not the sharpest tool in the shed.'"
These sorts of fights only incidentally have to do with policy — they are generally a result of Trump's personal grievances. He has gone after lawmakers who have voted to impeach him, or criticized his lies and conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election.
"Republicans clearly appreciate Trump's attitude," concluded Antle. "The jury is still out on how on board they are with the full populist program — and whether that, rather than the aforementioned combativeness, is really the Trumpism that could outlive Trump's political career."
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