Republicans are flailing going into the midterms and they can't blame it all on Trump. They've done nothing for the past two years but repeal regulations that kept corporations from preying on the middle class and working poor, tried and failed to repeal Obamacare, making a hash of the healthcare market and increasing people's premiums in the process, and, of course, passed a massive deficit-exploding tax cuts for billionaires so unpopular they don't dare run on it as an accomplishment.
And that's aside from all the insanity of the Trump regime and the GOP's work to obstruct justice on its behalf. Once you add Trump into the mix, the once unassailable control of the Senate becomes a big fat question mark for the GOP:
Republicans have grown increasingly worried about losing control of the Senate, as President Trump’s approval rating tumbles and Democrats gain steam in key battleground races.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday sounded some of the most doubtful notes of Trump’s presidency that Republicans will keep the upper chamber of Congress, telling reporters, “I hope when the smoke clears, we’ll still have a majority.”
His comments came as Republican strategists and officials fretted over a fresh round of private polling on the Senate races, while public polls registered further erosion in Americans’ approval of Trump. “Shipwreck” was how one leading strategist described the situation, adding an expletive to underscore the severity of the party’s problems.
The problem is that their base has no idea this is happening. Republicans have known for over a year that the midterms were probably going to be a disaster which is why so many of them have retired. But the base? They watch Fox News, listen to AM Hate Radio, and read right wing hate sites. As far as they're concerned, everything is just peachy and Republicans are sailing to victory on Trump's coattails.
That means when Republicans are smashed to dust all across the country at every level from dog catcher to the Senate, they won't know what happened or why. As far as they're concerned, they're the majority of the country so how could they possibly lose? We saw a bit of this shock after the 2012 election when everyone in the country except for Fox News viewers knew Obama was coasting to victory. This time will be different.
After Republicans are demolished, Trump will not go out the next day and humbly admit his party took a "shellacking." He will not call for the parties to work together now that Democrats have control of Congress. Instead, he will rant and rave about how something doesn't smell right about this. He will, without a doubt, insinuate if not flat out say that the election results are illegitimate; that the Democrats cheated or that Russia rigged the vote. Trump will vow to fight the Democratic "coup" and call on his cult of rabid racists to do the same.
This, in turn, will trigger the rage and paranoia of his already borderline insane followers. After two years of wallowing in victory, the midterms are going to be a rude reminder that their political dominance is not set in stone. Before, they were lashing out because they (wrongly) thought they were untouchable. Now they'll lash out because they're afraid we're stealing "their" country from them. And this is before the almost inevitable attempt to impeach Trump.
It won't matter if it's "lone wolves" or white nationalist militias, the fear and rage that drives them will be the same: This was their big chance to make America white again and it just went up in smoke. If Republicans could be crushed this badly at the ballot, that means a Trump 2020 victory is not remotely guaranteed. No more Trump, no more white utopia. And for that, someone has to pay.
I'd dearly love to be wrong but I wouldn't bet against it. Buckle up, people. 2019 is going to be ugly as Trump.