As the GOP-led Congress fails to fulfill its seven-year, oft-repeated pledge to repeal ObamaCare and fails to support meaningful immigration reform that includes securing our border (building the wall), right-leaning voters who put them in power are becoming more and more restless, frustrated, and angry.

Luther Strange’s primary drubbing in Alabama suggests that the Trump phenomena is looking less and less like a cult of personality and more and more like a Tea Party-inspired insurrection.

When then-presidential candidate Trump said that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any voters, many pundits and politicians marveled at his hubris while others rankled at the all-too-apparent truth of his statement. Trump supporters stuck with him through the Inside Edition tape release and the Trump University fiasco.  His opponents on both the left and the right were puzzled beyond measure, and for good reason.  These and any number of other problematic issues in Trump’s background would have derailed any politician.

That, though, is the key to the Trump-led insurrection, for an insurrection it is.  Trump is not a politician.

When Trump came onto the scene, the timing was exactly right.  The Tea Party had been thwarted by the combined efforts of Democrat and Republican elites in DC, helped along by a malignant propagandist media, but we were still out here, still angry, still determined to take our country back.

So when Trump started talking about making America great again, about how he could not be bought, about how he could get things done, alienated Americans rallied behind him.  As long-time LI readers know, I didn’t get it because I thought it was about Trump the man, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  Instead, the quasi-Tea Party style insurrection seems to be about more than Trump himself.  It’s about taking our country back . . . and while we’d like to do it with Trump, his involvement is not essential.

Alabama’s GOP primary for Attorney General Jeff Sessions Senate seat illustrates this point.  Though Trump campaigned for Strange and tweeted his praises (tweets he’s since deleted), the voters of Alabama were having none of it.  They voted instead for “the Ten Commandants judge” Roy Moore (whom Trump mistakenly called “Ray”).

Whether or not Moore wins the seat remains to be seen, but one thing is clear, Alabama’s Republican voters wanted no part of Strange who appeared to be a rubber stamp for anything Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put in front of him.  Trump’s support doesn’t appear to have made any difference at all; indeed, Trump’s support was negated by overwhelming distaste for McConnell and the do-nothing GOP-led Congress.

A Time for Choosing PAC provides insight into these dynamics.

Roy Moore’s victory in the Alabama Senate race is a stunning rebuke to Mitch McConnell and the Washington establishment.

Tonight should cause the President and the Senate Republican Conference to seriously evaluate whether or not McConnell has either the vision or political acumen to lead the Senate Republican Conference any longer. There is a good argument to be made that McConnell is now a dead weight around the necks of GOP Senators who have to face an angry GOP base in 2018.

Despite Trump’s endorsement, the Sunday night before the Primary, the race was still essentially tied.

Ultimately, Mitch McConnell and his team managed to convince Trump to double down for Luther again the day before the election . . . .  [W]e learned something very important during the primary: If you want to win Senate primaries, put Mitch McConnell on the ballot. [emphasis in original]

This puts Trump in an awkward position because while he has yet to lose significant support from his voters, he’s been put on notice, as has the GOP, that the clock is ticking and the voters who put them in power are watching and expecting substantive and long-promised change.

Challenges to Republican incumbents from the right are emerging in numerous 2018 Congressional races, signalling that Republican voters are getting tired of waiting and are more than willing to shake things up.  If Trump appears to align with these choices, he’s more than welcome, but if he’s not, Republican voters will vote for the more conservative candidate . . . whether Trump endorses him or her or not.

In addition to Alabama, Arizona is shaping up to be another battleground between the status quo in Washington and what voters actually want.  Sitting Senator Jeff Flake (R) and the more conservative former state senator Kelli Ward  Dubbed “toxic” by Trump, Flake has been outspoken in his disapproval of and disagreements with the president, and he’s urging Republicans to speak out against Alabama’s Roy Moore.

Earlier this month, FiveThirtyEight noted that Flake is trailing Ward by double digits and is in “big trouble.”

Jeff Flake is still in big trouble.

The latest survey from Democratic pollster GBA Strategies gives Kelli Ward (Flake’s opponent in Arizona’s GOP Senate primary) a 58 percent to 31 percent advantage over Flake. It’s the third poll released during the last month showing Ward with at least a 15-point lead. The same survey has potential Democratic nominee Kyrsten Sinema in front of Flake, 47 percent to 40 percent, in the general election.

Nevada Senator Dean Heller (R) is also facing a primary challenge from the right.  Nevada businessman and perpetual political candidate Danny Tarkanian has called out Heller for, among other things, his “no” vote on ObamaCare repeal.

The Washington Times reported last month:

“Dean Heller has broken one promise after another to the people of Nevada. He promised to repeal Obamacare, and in fact he voted for that two years ago, but when he had the chance to actually get it repealed, he voted against it,” Mr. Tarkanian said.

Mr. Heller was among the first critics of Mr. Trump and has kept his distance from the administration. His seat is seen as one of the most vulnerable incumbents next year and has been highly targeted by Democrats.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee announced they stood behind Mr. Heller’s re-election bid.

. . . .  Mr. Tarkanian issued a statement on his campaign website saying he would stand with Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky to bring about “real reforms.”

“I am a conservative Republican who supports the policies of President Trump to repeal Obamacare and end illegal immigration,” Mr. Tarkanian said in a statement. “I will continue to support President Trump’s policies that have led to a 20% increase in the stock market in just six months. I will join Senator Lee, Senator Cruz, and Senator Paul fighting for real reforms against the liberals in our party.”

West Virginia’s centrist Democrat Senator Joe Manchin is facing challenges from McConnell-endorsed former Democrat Evan Jenkins and the more conservative Patrick Morrisey. Morrisey, West Virginia’s current Attorney General, has been endorsed by Citizen’s United.

Breitbart reports:

The Citizens United Political Victory Fund (CUPVF) is backing Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, the conservative candidate for U.S. Senate in West Virginia, against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s hand-picked choice, Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV).

“CUPVF is proud to support conservative change agent Patrick Morrisey for U.S. Senator from West Virginia,” Citizens United president Dave Bossie, the deputy campaign manager of President Donald Trump’s successful 2016 presidential campaign, said in a statement provided exclusively to Breitbart News ahead of its public release. “Attorney General Morrisey is a conservative stalwart who will come to the U.S. Senate to fight for the interests of West Virginia, not the Washington establishment.”

“We support Patrick Morrisey for Senate because he has a proven record of results fighting for conservative West Virginia values and against the harmful liberal agenda of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton,” Bossie added. “Attorney General Morrisey was there to take on executive overreach at the Obama Environmental Protection Agency for the coal miners and he’s been there to support President Trump’s agenda taking on sanctuary cities and pushing for much needed tax reform. I look forward to working with Patrick Morrisey to enact President Trump’s conservative agenda when he gets to the Senate. I urge all Republican primary voters in West Virginia to support conservative outsider Patrick Morrisey for the United States Senate.”

Morrisey is emerging as a key conservative insurgent in West Virginia, while McConnell and his allies are pushing Jenkins—a former Democrat who once backed failed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for president back in 2008. The battle has become one of the flash points in the intra-GOP war.

It’s not clear that McConnell has gotten the message of his Strange defeat, but the natives are getting restless and won’t tolerate further political theater.  We wants wins, results.  And if the current crop can’t (or won’t) deliver, we’ll elect people who can (and will).

Kurt Schlichter over at TownHall puts it succinctly in his post, “GOP, Can You Hear Us Normals Now?”

Roy Moore is a message. And there are more messages coming in 2018.

Are you listening? GOP, can you hear us normals now?

See, we’re serious. The ritual sacrifice of Eric Cantor was not a fluke. The election of Donald Trump was not a fluke. None of this is a fluke. We really mean it. We want change. And if you won’t give it to us, we’ll fire you and elect someone who will.

The GOP has been acting as if Jeb! Bush won last November.  They appear to be doubling down on Democrat lite, but they’ve been put on notice.  As has, perhaps ironically, the president himself.

If Trump’s not careful, the Trump Train may well leave the station without him.


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