Before the Georgia two-fer Senate bust burst the Trump mystique, there was Arizona

Almost lost in the unprecedented events of last week was the election of two Democratic U.S. Senator's in the conservative state of Georgia, Rev. Rafael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. With their elections, along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and two independents, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen' Angus King of Maine, the Democratic party will take control of the U.S. Senate.

Last week's victory by Warnock and Ossoff can be attributed to the organizational efforts of Stacey Abrams, who not only helped deliver the two Senate seats, she helped Joe Biden win the state in the presidential election. Additionally, incendiary comments from Trump leading up to last Tuesday's election also, according to several political analysts, hurt Republican turnout that helped defeat incumbent Sonny Perdue and interim Senator Kelly Loeffler.

While flipping the two seats gave control of the Senate to the Democratic party, there were Senatorial elections in 2018 and 2020 that were building blocks for the Republican loss of their majority. Two of those key races in Arizona, a conservative-leaning red state.

Readers will recall incumbent Republican Senator Jeff Flake decided not to run for reelection in 2018 after being threatened by Trump with a primary challenger. Flake made the mistake of not only taking a stand against Trump before his election but continuing to stand in opposition after he became president.

After Flake dropped out, a Trump enabling candidate, Martha McSally, earned the GOP nomination. Though she initially tried to distance herself from Trump, in the lead up to the election, the Trump centrifuge drew in McSally, and she soon was cozying up to the President.

McSally was rejected by enough voters in the conservative-leaning state and lost the Republican seat to moderate Democratic candidate Kyrsten Sinema. You can't help but wonder if incumbent Flake would have had a better chance of holding the seat?

Couldn't Republican see this early signal, along with the Congressional elections that year, as a repudiation of Trump? Apparently not. 

In 2020, McSally took another stab at the other seat, the one formerly held by John McCain against former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly. Once again, McSally positioned herself with Trump, and the result was the same - she lost by an even wider margin.

In two years, voters in a conservative state elected two Democratic challengers. Is it any mistake the stench of Donald Trump helped Sinema and Kelly plaster McSally as a Trump sycophant? 

So as we absorb the cowardice of most Republicans to stand up to Trump not only last week but in the previous four years, consider this - for all the fear invoked by Trump threats, did it ultimately help Republicans hold the U.S Senate? No, it did not, and along with the 2018 loss of the House of Representatives because of the Trump plague, their cowardice was misguided at a minimum and, as actions displayed last week, treasonist at worst. 

As we do the postmortem on the Trump presidency and especially the post-election period, we have to conclude that the political cowardice of Republicans to stand to Trump was unfounded - their allegiance was to their political hides and not to the preservation of our representative democracy.      


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