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Recently defeated Rep. Mark Sanford (R) SC

Think Congress Is Blindly Loyal To Trump Now?

Just Wait And See What Happens If Democrats Can’t Flip The House Or Senate In November

Democrats need to flip 23 seats in the House this year to gain a majority (assuming they also hold the seats of John Conyers who resigned in a sexual harassment scandal, and Louise Slaughter, who died in March). If they flip anything less, the net effect will be zero. In fact, less than zero.

Here’s why: 39 Republicans in the House have already announced their retirement this year (the largest number in 90 years), many of them so-called “moderate” Republicans. Others who haven’t been ultra-devoted to Trump are getting beaten with some regularity in primaries these days. And the Republicans coming in now to replace them are almost all much more radical, rabid, and unyielding in their loyalty to Trump.

Case in point this week: Republican Mark Sanford of South Carolina lost a primary contest to Katie Arrington, who ran a campaign largely consisting of bashing Sanford for “bashing our captain, President Trump”. Sanford’s been a long-time critic of Trump, starting back with pushing back against the President’s refusal to release his tax returns. Trump returned the favor by Tweeting in support of Sanford’s opponent on his way back from Singapore, and then gloating and taking credit after she won.

Sanford carries a lot of baggage, but his eccentric behavior at times served to endear him to voters, or at the very least they were quick to forgive him. That is, until he committed cardinal sin of disrespecting Trump. Sanford made national headlines a couple of years ago when as Governor of South Carolina he completely disappeared for a week, came back claiming to have been hiking the Appalachian Trail, until finally admitting he’d actually been shacking up with a mistress in Argentina. (And some analysts are saying the fact that he didn’t feel the need to campaign very much did him in as much as his criticism of Trump).

In case this very blunt lesson was lost on any other Republican candidate, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel (aka Mitt Romney’s niece) Tweeted:

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Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker’s characterizing it as a “Gosh, we might poke the bear” attitude. And “cult-like”. But he’s retiring too.

Or take the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Virginia (one of the people who’d like to come in to replace the likes of Corker), as Super Bowl champ, Virginian and social activist Chris Long points out in this Tweet:

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Fact is, this Congress hasn’t given Trump a lot of the legislation he’s wanted, unless it has also been a long-standing priority of Republican party leadership. As bad an opinion as Liberals may have of Paul Ryan, keep in mind he’s even more despised by the far-Right, and will certainly be replaced with someone far more radical for the uncomplicated fact that he is not running again either.

Over in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is playing Frankenstein: working on his own pet project of populating the federal courts with ultra-Conservative judges, while still apparently believing he can rein Trump in if the time comes.

So anything short of near 2 dozen fresh Democratic faces, and the transformation of the Legislative branch into a chamber of Trump disciples quickly becomes complete.

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