One of the things the Donald Trump-aligned Republican populists are going to have to account for before they can move on from the midterm fiasco: They got took.
Trump epigones such as Steve Bannon and his acolytes think of themselves as hard-headed, cynical, scheming Machiavellians—you’ve heard all the stuff about “12-D chess” and thinking five moves ahead—but they are, almost to a man, suckers. And, like suckers everywhere, they always get took.
The Democrats rolled the dice in a big and bold way in the midterms, putting more than $40 million into the campaigns of the nuttiest nut-cutlets contesting the Republican primaries, hoping to advance the worst of the crackpots, coup-plotters, and conspiracy kooks to the general election. This was based on the theory that these howling moonbats would be easier to beat than would some boring, buttoned-down, golf-playing Republican type who might want to talk a lot about inflation rather than Jewish space lasers or the Venezuelan cyber-commandos who run our elections. It was cynical, undemocratic, and immoral—that is, everything you might expect from the mind of a Steve Bannon or a Rudy Giuliani.
Except for the fact that the Democrats won.