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Assault on America, Day 202: R’s and D’s fail to appreciate suicide missions result in death

Mark Sanford
The suicide mission.

It’s a term typically reserved for some sort of military operation where the odds of success are astronomically against the participants due to the enormous difficulty of the undertaking, the strength of the enemy waiting for them and the impossible nature of calculating what might go wrong in mid-mission. Of course we only tend to hear about the events where the valiant men and women come back alive -- otherwise it’s an anonymous salute to fallen comrades and a funeral procession to a nearby cemetery.

Political endeavors are rarely thought of in the same vein, though if you regularly observe American politics you’ll see enough hopeless ego-driven grandstanding charges to recognize a suicide mission when you see one. They’re easier to mount in the electoral arena because no one ends up a corpse -- yet still one wonders why the individuals even bother with the motion.

One recent example is former South Carolina congressman -- and legendary lothario -- Mark Sanford, who rumor has it is considering a primary challenge against President Trump next year. It doesn’t take a genius to declare Sanford’s chances of beating Trump in the GOP are just slightly north of absolute zero, but when it comes to political kamikaze runs, whoever said they’re waged by sane people for sound reasons?

John Ellis reported at PJ Media last week, “In an exclusive interview with Charleston, South Carolina's The Post and Courier, the ex-governor of South Carolina floated the possibility that he might challenge Donald Trump in the president's upcoming reelection campaign. Mark Sanford, who was defeated in his own congressional reelection bid after Trump encouraged South Carolina voters to replace him, told the newspaper that he would take the next month to decide if he's going to run for president or not. One key thing, if he does run: he will do so as a Republican.

“’The newspaper reveals that ‘Since leaving office in January, Sanford said he has been privately mulling whether to run for the nation’s highest office. He described the internal debate as a drumbeat that never went away.’”

Drumbeat? Isn’t Sanford really talking about a death march? It doesn’t matter how much someone might want to win an election -- and hope to be president -- but if the voters aren’t with that person, he or she isn’t going to win. If you don’t believe it, just ask the permanent premier of the presidential-campaign-losers-club, Hillary Clinton.

Ellis further explained how Sanford has another motivation for his windmill chasing quest, making his posturing all the more ego-driven. “[A]ccording to what Mark Sanford revealed, it doesn't appear that he's interested in winning. His goal is to force a conversation about the growing national debt, telling the paper, ‘I’m a Republican. I think the Republican Party has lost its way on debt, spending and financial matters.’”

Well, even someone who’s gone over the proverbial edge could be on the right track. Sanford’s 100 percent correct about the debt issue, but is mounting an unworkable attack against a popular sitting president a good way to call attention to the nation’s fiscal woes?

Presidential candidacies -- even those unambiguously masquerading as lost causes -- require a ton of things to get started. Sanford would need money, a campaign staff and a lot of good luck to even generate enough interest to draw media attention. Trump’s been polling at or above 90 percent Republican support for a long time now, which doesn’t leave much room for anyone to go against him intra-party, much less someone like Sanford who doesn’t possess an official presence in Washington right now.

The odd thing about it -- and many people have no doubt forgotten -- but once upon a time Sanford was viewed as a strong potential Republican contender for president. His conservative credentials were impeccable, he’s well spoken, good looking in the political sense, had the right kind of experience (governor of a ruby red state) and perhaps best of all, seemed to have his personal ducks in a row to mount a credible campaign for the highest office in the land.

Then he disappeared -- literally -- off the political radar screen. A little over ten years ago (at the end of June, 2009) Sanford announced he’d fallen in love with a married Argentinian woman -- whom he called his “soul mate” -- and still was trying to reconcile with his wife (they split). Revisiting this sorry and bizarre story brought to mind the old Meat Loaf song “I would do anything for love…but I won’t do that.

Things happen. Politicians (and people) fail and fall all the time. It’s just that Sanford’s struggle was carried out in front of the whole world, derailing his political career and stopping any talk of his being a viable Republican presidential candidate in its tracks. After the disaster that was John McCain’s 2008 primary and general election campaign, Sanford was seen by many as a rising conservative star who might reverse all the negativity and losing. After “Argentina,” however, it evaporated. (Note: Sanford and his soul mate broke up five years later -- so there’s not even a happy Harlequin ending to the romance!)

During his post-reveal years in Congress, Sanford regained some of his dignity and reputation as a fiscal-minded deficit hawk, but much of the goodwill vanished when he became a hypocritical #NeverTrumper and started sniping at Trump. As would be expected, Trump returned social media fire, Sanford lost a party primary challenge and the rest is history. Therefore, the former guv/congressman doesn’t have much of a foundation to base a run for dog catcher much less president. If Mark tries it -- and makes an even bigger fool of himself -- what’s the point?

At least in a military suicide mission there’s an element of honorable sacrifice. For Sanford to contemplate such a thing, it’s just stupid. Sure, he might attract a little bit of a following in his native South Carolina, but what would this accomplish? The last remnants of #NeverTrumpers could do better. Isn’t Sen. Mitt Romney hanging out at #NeverTrump’s unofficial headquarters (a.k.a. the establishment media) and begging for someone -- anyone -- to pay attention to him?

Contrast Sanford’s ridiculous self-promotional stunt to that of a candidate in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s district, a woman who’s running as a Republican to try and bump off the Democrat socialist darling. Stephen Green reported at PJ Media, “The not-so-inside talk has been whether Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's four-woman war against Nancy Pelosi would earn her a Democratic primary challenger next year, but her high-profile antics have drawn another Republican into the race to represent heavily Democratic NY14.

“Fox News reports that Scherie Murray, a 38-year-old New York businesswoman and Jamaica native (she emigrated as a child), has launched a campaign to unseat AOC next year. She told Fox, ‘There is a crisis in Queens, and it’s called AOC.’ Murray went on to say, ‘Instead of focusing on us, she’s focusing on being famous. Mainly rolling back progress and authoring the job-killing Green New Deal and killing the Amazon-New York deal.’”

Green’s reporting includes various polls indicating AOC is very unpopular -- both nationally and in her own district. Murray is just one of five Republicans (so far) vying to go up against the incumbent next year, which is a tough uphill slog in a district that’s rated Democrat +29. An intra-party Democrat challenger might have a better shot at knocking off the outspoken “Squad” member who can’t keep her mouth shut or her social media fingers idled.

Given the odds, does Murray’s quest qualify as a suicide mission? Not really. But it’s a sign that party candidates are feeling confident enough to stand up and run, even in districts where it’s seemingly fruitless to expend the effort. If Murray -- or any of the other NY 14 GOP dreamers -- is honest she’d admit her chances of going to Washington in January of 2021 aren’t good. But candidates have overcome greater obstacles -- and AOC is becoming a pariah in her own borough.

The greater lesson here is Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow leftist freshman losers are all hat and no cattle -- and President Trump’s instincts were correct again, despite what his establishment media judges are saying. Trump knows if 2020 Democrats are defined by AOC, Ilhan Omar and their ilk -- that voters will be turned off to the point where Republican candidates of all stripes and in all places look more attractive.

In politics if you don’t/can’t define yourself, your opponent definitely will. Trump’s been spending a lot of time defining Democrats lately. In his now-legendary North Carolina rally last Wednesday he devoted a healthy amount of time to talking about how awful the opposition is. It won’t bring droves of people into the Republican camp, but it will get people thinking.

If all’s fair in love and war, it’s doubly true when it comes to politics. Democrats have spent years trying to paint Trump as a racist -- and they’re still doing it -- but now they’re getting a little taste of their own medicine, and don’t like it. The best thing Trump could’ve done was get Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat leadership defending the “Squad.” How dumb and ignorant are they?

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With the media-generated anti-Trump sentiment running at hysterical levels among some people, there will be plenty of money available for an anti-Trump candidate - even a nonsense Republican. All Mark Sanford has to do is declare his candidacy and send out the internet calls for donations, and they will show up. He has no chance of winning an election, but he has a very good chance of gaining a lot of MONEY!