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Negative Trump Coattails Good for Senate

Thank you Donald for your key role

Tom H. Hastings | 10/18/2016, 4:20 p.m.
For Trump, everything is a contest and he is the best at every one.
Tom H. Hastings

Donald Trump is in love.

Like any narcissist, he sees his heart’s desire in the mirror and is pathologically incapable of transferring that love of self to others, except to love what they can do for him—financially, sexually, politically, or simply helping him be in the spotlight.

For Trump, everything is a contest and he is the best at every one. If he doesn’t win, others obviously cheated or his helpers failed him. He has made exactly zero mistakes in his life that weren’t caused by others, as he sees it.

It has all caught up with him at last, and the Trump circus tent is collapsing. Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate are scrambling to escape the suffocating mess. Some renounce their endorsements, some express regretful continuation of support for the Trumpwreck, and some avert their eyes, curl up, and just hope to survive the election.

But imagine a US Senate out from under the blockading, bludgeoning control of the Republicans. I’m not suggesting the Democrats are particularly good for those who want peace and justice, but they are light years better than the likes of Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson, Rob Portman, Jeff Sessions, Tom Cotton, Lindsey Graham, John McCain and the rest of the corporate-loving, New Jim Crow, anti-education, war-profiteer-champions who have been running the Senate for the past two years.

The Republicans running for Senate—mostly incumbents—who are most vulnerable include Johnson (Wisc.), McCain (Ariz.), Portman (Ohio), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Pat Toomey (Penn.) and Kelly Ayotte (N.H.). Congressman Joe Heck (Nev. is running for the seat being vacated by retiring Harry Reid and Congressman Todd Young is running for the seat vacated by retiring Dan Coats (Ind.). All these Republicans are threatened by Trump’s tailspin. My operative word, I confess, is schadenfreude today.

Like any true narcissist, Trump is certain that everyone else is at fault for his poor performance and the only response is to attack, excuse, justify, blame, and lash out some more. If his dysfunctional displays cost both the White House and the Senate, we may see a decent Supreme Court in the future and that could mean overturning Citizens United and other rotten, anti-democracy decisions.

We might see the U.S. join the rest of the world in signing and ratifying the International Criminal Court, the Comprehensive Test Ban and other international laws and treaties benefitting all of humankind. We might even see some glimmer of peace in our time as well as development of US infrastructure instead of the vast war machine that consumes half your tax dollars every year.

The Senate needs to flip for the good of all Americans. Thank you, Donald Trump, for your key role in all this. Carry on with your bellowing, blaming Tweetment!

Tom H. Hastings is assistant professor of conflict resolution at Portland State University and founding director of PeaceVoice.