Good News For Nebraska Democrats
There was lots of good news last week for the Democrats running for the U.S. House in Nebraska CD01 and CD02. Already, the GOP is imploding and opening the door to Democratic gains. The conventional wisdom that 2022 will be a good election cycle for the GOP is based upon the premise that the GOP won’t scare the voters with their corruption and radicalism.
Jeff Fortenberry’s corruption will be the key issue in his race against State Senator Patty Pansing Brooks. The developments last week couldn’t have been worse for the indicted CD01 incumbent. The judge — a Trump appointee — assigned to his case rejected his frivolous motions to dismiss. Fortenberry is going to trial — perhaps as early as February.
The Nebraska GOP has recognized Fortenberry’s dire legal plight. The Nebraska GOP has thrown Jeff Fortenberry under the bus. J.L. Spray, the Republican national committeeman, said this about Fortenberry’s problems: “The Republican Party has never shied away from contested primaries. Most of us think it’s a healthy thing.”
The Nebraska GOP is inviting other Republicans to take on the politically wounded Fortenberry. A well connected political insider told me on background that the Fortenberry campaign is more nervous than usual. He is hearing all kinds of rumblings about other potential candidates.
All of this of course is terrific news for Patty Pansing Brooks. History teaches us that scandal, corruption and a divided opposition frequently result in electoral upsets. Pansing Brooks is the strongest challenger that Fortenberry has ever faced.
A division in the GOP may bring down Representative Don Bacon. On January 4, disgraced, former one term president Donald Trump posted the following: ”Anyone want to run for Congress against Don Bacon in Nebraska?” This was the second time that Trump had called for a GOP challenger to Bacon. After Bacon voted for the Bi-Partisan Infrastructure plan, the former TV reality star called for a so-called “good and SMART America First Republican Patriot” to run against Bacon in the May primary election.
Trump’s opposition to Bacon is in follow up of five years of blind loyalty to Trump from the CD02 incumbent. Bacon voted with Trump 98% of the time in the 115th Congress and said “Hell yes!” when he voted to throw 20 million people off insurance in 2017. Bacon said it was an “easy choice” to endorse the re-election bid of the former TV reality star and even took a pledge not to criticize Trump!
If a Trump backed challenger takes on Bacon, it will doom his re-election bid. That challenger would drive Bacon even further to the right — if that is possible. Bacon would emerge from the primary as a wounded and very extreme nominee.
Due to the rampant extremism in GOP ranks, I’m not buying the conventional wisdom that 2022 will be cakewalk for the Republican Party. Their problem is that the likes of Donald Trump and Majorie Taylor Greene will be front and center everyday next fall. The likes of those radicals will scare the hell out of swing voters and convince them that the GOP isn’t fit to govern.
Even now, the most partisan and extreme members of the GOP House caucus have made it clear that they will be in charge if the GOP regains the majority. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL): “We are going to take power after this next election. When we do, it’s not going to be the days of Paul Ryan, and Trey Gowdy, and no real oversight, and no real subpoenas. It’s going to be the days of Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Dr. Gosar, and myself.” Gaetz added, “The notion that Republicans are going to take control of the House, and we’re going to hold hands in the warm spring rain with the Democrats and legislate is ludicrous.”
Recent polling indicates that the voters are catching on to the GOP’s obstruction and extremism. A brand new Suffolk University-USA Today poll indicates that the Democrats currently hold a 39% to 37% lead in the generic Congressional ballot. As recently as November, the GOP held an 8 point lead in the same poll. The voters get it.
In CD01, please support Patty Pansing Brooks. In CD02, Tony Vargas and Alisha Shelton are challenging Bacon. Let’s send them to D.C. and chase the money changers out of the temple of democracy!