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Rick Scott: Republicans lost because they were not sufficiently committed to my horribly unpopular ideas

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A challenge is afoot to put a creepy comic supervillain who wants Medicare ended now that he’s looted his fortune from it in charge of the Republican Senate conference:

Sen. Rick Scott announced a challenge to Mitch McConnell in a closed-door party lunch on Tuesday afternoon, the first such opposition that the Senate GOP leader is facing in 15 years at the helm.

Scott told reporters that he is “not satisfied with the status quo,” a clear criticism of McConnell’s nearly 16 years as leader. McConnell said afterward while Scott was free to run against him, he won’t lose to the first-term Florida senator.

The contest will come to a head on Wednesday, when GOP senators gather for leadership elections. At the beginning of the session, Republicans are expected to hold a vote on whether to delay the elections until the Georgia and Alaska Senate races have been determined. If the effort to delay the election fails, McConnell is expected to win another two-year term as GOP leader.

“I have the votes. I will be elected. The only issue is whether it will be sooner or later,” McConnell said. “I don’t own this job. Anybody in the conference that’s serving can challenge me. And I welcome” it.

Senate Republicans spent roughly three hours venting to each other about the party’s poor performance in the midterms, an unusually long meeting that exposed deep frustrations about the conference’s inability to capitalize on President Joe Biden’s middling popularity and rising costs. Republicans failed to flip any Democratic seats and are consigned to the minority for two more years, prompting some GOP senators to loudly complain in the private lunch that a lack of unified agenda cost the party.

Overrated as McConnell can be, his understanding that actually running on their policy agenda would be catastrophic is sound.

If I understand correctly, the postmortems of Republican elites in the wake of their humiliating losses seem to be a fight between “the freaks and bozos who lost winnable races were forced on us by the Democrat Party” and “these were actually great candidates with great platforms that could only be failed by the perfidy of Mitch McConnell.” Hard to say who will win since they’re both equally stupid!

Meanwhile, I remain as confident as ever that Trump would crush DeSantis in a head-to-head primary, not least because pro-DeSantis Republican elites would appear to have absolutely no idea what they’re doing:

“Let Trump run against himself” is a curious way if saying “let the clear Republican frontrunner take advantage of a monopoly of media coverage to consolidate his support, and that hope that party elites will magically unite around an also-ran.” Sure. My assumption until proven otherwise is that if Republican elites knew how to beat Trump they already would have done it.

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