The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Despite the Media’s Deranged Obsession, Not Everything Is About Trump

Posted on | July 21, 2022 | Comments Off on Despite the Media’s Deranged Obsession, Not Everything Is About Trump

Wednesday, there was a glitch on the Fox News signal, so I switched the home-office TV over to CNN and wow! If you haven’t watched CNN lately, it’s basically, “January 6 now, January 6 tomorrow, January 6 forever,” to paraphrase a certain Alabama Democrat. They’re leading every hour with some kind of Trump/“insurrection” angle, as if nothing else happening in the world could be of interest to a TV news audience.

How did CNN cover Tuesday’s Maryland primary? Do you even have to ask? TRUMP! TRUMP! TRUMP! You see, Trump endorsed delegate Dan Cox in the GOP gubernatorial primary, while outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan (who is term limited) endorsed former state Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz. Cox won and — ZOMG! — this crazy extremist kook is doomed in November because Trump. Except, maybe not:

It’s not clear whether Trump’s endorsement, however, was the key element in Cox’s win. That’s because the Democratic Governors Association spent more than $1 million in ads arguing that Cox was too conservative for the state. While the group insisted the ads were aimed at damaging Cox in a possible general election, the move was widely seen as Democrats trying to ensure that the candidate with lesser chance of appealing to a general electorate wound up winning the GOP primary.

Maryland has been a deep-blue Democrat stronghold since anyone can remember, and the fact that Hogan was able to win two terms as governor says a lot about how the stench of Baltimore has made the state more competitive for Republicans. The idea that Democrats would be able to “fix” the race by spending a million bucks in support of the supposedly “unelectable” Cox is an unproven hypothesis. In the Democratic primary, USMC veteran Wes Moore beat out former DNC chairman Tom Perez, and if it’s unlikely that Cox can beat Moore, it’s by no means certain that Schulz would have done better. And if the anticipated “red wave” arrives in November, Cox could win anyway.

Nevertheless, everybody fixated on the Trump angle (“Hogan won’t support Trump-backed Maryland governor candidate,” as the headline in The Hill declared) and nearly ignored what happened in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, where local legislator Neil Parrott scored a big win in the GOP primary over Matt Foldi, a former Free Beacon reporter who was endorsed by Hogan, Mike Pompeo and Kevin McCarthy, among other big-name Republicans. Before the primary, Foldi boasted: “We put the race on the radar. The Republican Party is completely united behind me in Maryland.” Unfortunately for Foldi and his supporters, somebody apparently neglected to inform voters in the 6th District of how “completely united” they were, as Parrott got 64% of the voter to Foldi’s 15% — a whopping 4-to-1 landslide. But guess how the Daily Beast headlined it? “Former Washington Free Beacon Reporter Backed by Don Jr. Gets Trounced in GOP Congressional Primary,” as if (a) the endorsement by Donald Trump Jr. was the most important thing about Foldi’s candidacy and (b) a vote for Parrott was a vote against Trump. This is completely false, because Parrott is a strong conservative who was first elected to the Maryland legislature as a local Tea Party organizer. The Washington Post noted:

In May 2020, he sued Gov. Larry Hogan (R) to challenge his emergency pandemic orders.
That said, Mr. Parrott has spent more than a decade trying to make it harder to vote. He proposed a voter ID bill during his first year in the assembly. After the 2020 election, Mr. Parrott traveled to Philadelphia to analyze provisional ballots in an effort to help Mr. Trump, and maintains that 1 to 2 percent of ballots he reviewed had signatures that didn’t appear to match the voter’s original registration form. He introduced legislation last session, which didn’t go anywhere, that would have required signatures on ballots in Maryland to exactly match those on registration forms.

So it’s not like Parrott is a RINO type, and yet the fact that Foldi was “backed by Don Jr.” is held out as signifying . . . what? It doesn’t matter. All the media care about is finding some way to connect everything to Trump, because they’re still in the throes of an irrational fixation. Meanwhile, my friend John Hoge shares thoughts from Carroll County:

Can Cox win in November?
Maybe. Democrats outregister Republicans by more than 2:1, but I haven’t noticed much in the way of Democrat candidate yard signs or bumper stickers in most of the state. Democrat turnout for the primary was only 16.7 %, compared to 23.8 % for Republicans. Joe Biden’s approval/disapproval polling is -12 % (37/49) in Maryland. And Wes Moore won the Democrat primary with only 36 % of the vote, so he may have trouble generating turnout in November.
Meanwhile, Cox’s showing here in Carroll County suggests he is developing an enthusiastic following. Republicans have a 2:1 registration advantage in our red county, but yesterday’s turnout was so lopsided that Cox’s vote total was 141 % of the total vote in the Democrat primary in Carroll County.
If those relative levels of enthusiasm hold, Cox might win. If Moore can frighten enough Democrats by running against Trump, he may win.

We’ve got about 16 weeks to go until the November mid-terms, and we’ll just have to wait and see what happens then. If, as I expect, Republicans score a “red wave” landslide coast-to-coast, we can expect to see GOP candidates like Cox and Parrott win races that, on paper, may not seem very winnable. And if the “red wave” happens, I would dare hope it will cause the media to belatedly realize their Trump obsession wasn’t really helpful to Democrats. November 8 can’t come soon enough.



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