Opinion | Campaign

Juan Williams: GOP infighting is a gift for Democrats

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Christmas came early for Democrats last week.

Gift number one arrived from House Republicans.

A GOP congresswoman literally called a fellow Republican member "trash." The other woman responded via emojis by describing her tormentor as a clown who is full of bat droppings.

Yes, it is low-brow fun for Democrats to watch Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) feud with Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.).

Gift number two was far bigger - as in, more serious.

The conservative majority on the Supreme Court handed the Democrats an energized voting bloc of suburban women in 2022 by setting off what Justice Sonia Sotomayor called a "stench."

That stink-bomb came from six Republican nominees to the court, including three nominees of former President Trump. During oral arguments, they signaled a readiness to overturn a woman's right to abortion.

Given that 59 percent of Americans favor the status quo of legal, nationwide abortion according to the Pew Research Center, the victory is primed to blow up in the GOP's face.

How politically damaging to the GOP will it be for the Supreme Court to issue a party-line vote to cancel abortion rights next year, just as the midterm campaigns are heating up?

A Washington Post-ABC poll recently found "three-quarters of Americans say abortion access should be left to women and their doctors."

And there is one more gift for Democrats that will keep on giving until Election Day 2022.

Trump is brawling with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) over control of the GOP.

There was a peek inside that box of backstabbing last month when Trump attacked McConnell, denigrating him as "you Old Broken Crow."

Trump also described McConnell's Senate leadership as riddled with "incompetence" and called him a "fool." Why?

Trump wants government to be broken, not serving people under President Biden. So, he is mad that 19 Senate Republicans voted for Biden's infrastructure bill in August - and that 13 House Republicans did the same thing just last month.

Trump's name-calling can still fire up right-wing talk radio shows.

But it is a turn-off for mainstream Republicans and swing voters outside the Trump personality cult.

Last month, New Hampshire's Gov. Chris Sununu, the Republican best positioned to challenge Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan, said he is not getting in the race.

The same pattern holds in Vermont, where Gov. Phil Scott, the best GOP candidate in a blue state, shows no interest in running for Senate even though Sen. Pat Leahy (D) is retiring.

And it is also true in Arizona, where Gov. Doug Ducey, the Republican with the best political record in the state, has ruled himself out of running against Sen. Mark Kelly (D).

Trump frequently lashes Ducey for saying the state's 2020 presidential election was fairly won by Biden. Now Ducey has no appetite for facing Trump Republicans in a Senate primary.

In Pennsylvania, the Trump candidate, Sean Parnell, has already imploded. Parnell's estranged wife testified that he abused her. Now he is out of the race after losing a child custody battle.

In Georgia, Trump's candidate is former football star Herschel Walker, who is also facing reports of past domestic violence. McConnell recently endorsed Walker. But it was an act of desperation because no better candidate is willing to take on a Trump candidate.

Walker's lack of political experience and troubled past make him a weak candidate. His only strength is his backing by Trump.

And that's not all.

In Nevada, Trump's favored Senate candidate is Adam Laxalt, the former attorney general who later, as state co-chair of the Trump 2020 campaign, sued to reverse Biden's win in the state. He is running with the support of Trump imitators, including Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo).

These low-grade Trump candidates are hurting McConnell's chance to gain Senate seats next year and once again become Majority Leader.

Meanwhile on the state level, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is not running for reelection. And in Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine is facing a challenge for his seat from a Trump booster.

Trump's self-destruction is pulling down anyone in the GOP who refuses to kowtow to him.

The list begins with McConnell, who condemned Trump's claim of the 2020 election being a "Big Steal."

That's why Trump sees advantage in calling for McConnell's ouster.

"It's not infrastructure and we had 19 Republicans voting for it," Trump said in a recent Fox Business Network interview where he criticized the infrastructure bill. "What a shame. But Mitch McConnell gave [us] this. That guy should resign as the leader."

For his part, McConnell has been strategically restrained. When asked about Trump, he told CNN in October, "I do think we need to be thinking about the future and not the past."

All that means is that McConnell sees no tactical advantage in taking on Trump at this moment. But if Republicans are looking for someone who can win elections, they know they are better off with McConnell.

Through sheer hardball tactics and devotion to the conservative cause, McConnell stole a Supreme Court seat from President Obama by blocking Merrick Garland's nomination until a Republican - Trump - was in the White House.

Trump, by contrast, lost the House and the Senate, and lost the popular vote in two presidential elections.

This December, trouble with Trump is the ghost of Christmas past, continuing to haunt the GOP.

It is a gift to Democrats.

Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.

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