Posted originally on the conservative tree house on May 12, 2022 | Sundance
Perhaps you’ve noticed. For the past two nights Fox News and a host of corporate allies have been doing a full-frontal attack against Pennsylvania Senate Candidate Kathy Barnette.
The club reaction appears to have been triggered by a GOP Trafalgar poll showing Kathy Barnette in a close second place (23.2%), surging ahead of David McCormick (21.6%) and right on the heels of Mehmet Oz (24.5%). [Bartos 7.2%, Sands 6.5%]
In this outline I will explain the easily visible GOPe club moves without trying to support any particular candidate, that’s for Pennsylvania voters to decide. However, once you understand the background play, it might help clarify what the Keystone state voters are witnessing.
BACKGROUND. President Trump has endorsed Mehmet Oz. However, many people in the MAGA base are stuggling with that endorsement because they just don’t like the guy and question the bonafides of his sudden, seemingly convenient, MAGA-mindedness.
Meanwhile, David McCormick is the GOPe candidate from the mold of the typically Wall Street Mitch McConnell tribe.
McCormick is the quintessential corporate republican, or what might be described as the ‘establishment’ party choice. I would call McCormick the club candidate.
Kathy Barnette is the alternative favorite in the race for the MAGA base who just cannot bring themselves to support Oz. Barnette is the outsider and carries a fierce independent streak that appeals to frustrated voters who have had enough of the nonsense.
As a result, the top three in the race break down into McCormick as the Club candidate, while Barnette and Oz are splitting the MAGA vote. By my estimation the MAGA support looks like 60%(ish) Barnette and 40%(ish) Oz. What is happening now in this race is very Karl Rove-ian.
The Club for Growth (CfG) is seemingly more aligned with David McCormick and needs to split the MAGA base, so they funnel money toward Barnette in order to disrupt and diminish the professional MAGA endorsements of Team Trump.
Seeing Mehmet Oz struggling to get support, and seeing a rise in the polling for Kathy Barnette, Fox News Sean Hannity started to attack Barnette on Wednesday with a full-throated ridiculing of her campaign.
Hannity labels Barnette as an ‘unelectable extremist’ with a history of controversial statements, positions and tweets. After a 10-minute nasty attack segment, Sean Hannity then invites the previously scheduled Mehmet Oz to pile on. The total Wednesday attack program lasted almost 30-minutes on prime-time television.
Then Thursday (6pm), corporate Fox News Shannon Bream announces David McCormick will appear tomorrow (Friday) on Special Reports segment for a promotional interview. This makes sense because McCormick would be the corporate Fox News favorite republican in the mold of Marco Rubio.
During the 8pm hour (Tucker Carlson show) Fox News Corp then runs a promotional segment for Sean Hannity who says, “tune in at 9pm when we will go deeper into the controversial past of Kathy Barnette and expose her radical positions.”
As promoted at 9pm Hannity leads with another 15-minute attack against Barnette and then opens the floor to two other PA candidates, Jeff Bartos and Carla Sands, to continue the onslaught.
Destroying Barnette works for the agenda of Hannity (promoting Oz) and for the agenda of Corporate Fox News (promoting McCormick).
As a result, Kathy Barnette is taking fire from the GOPe Club, Corporate Fox News and the entirety of the Trump endorsement team which includes Sean Hannity and Ric Grennell. Trump Inc supporting Oz, while Fox Inc is supporting McCormick. This forms the gauntlet of the attack.
The beneficiary of this Rovian strategy is David McCormick.
Team McCormick is likely hopeful this onslaught will bring the destabilized Barnette wing of the MAGA base into his team; because the Barnette wing of the MAGA base will not support Mehmet Oz.
Both Oz and McCormick are sketchy to the ultra-MAGA base, but with McCormick the club alignment is what Mitch McConnell would call a “more approved” fit.
For the ultra-MAGA voter, with McCormick you get the openly Jeb Bush republican (Decepticon).
For the ultra-MAGA voter, with Mehmet Oz you get the closeted Mitt Romney democrat (RINO).
That’s why the majority of the ultra-MAGA voters were supporting Kathy Barnette in the first place, as an alternative to Oz. That’s why Donald Trump endorsing Mehmet Oz was received with such disdain by the base.
The Republican Club (McCormick) and the Trump Club (Dr. Oz) are both trying to bring down Kathy Barnette and saying she can never win the general election in Pennsylvania.
Are they correct? Well, that’s up to Pennsylvania voters to decide. The pundits will all tell you the suburban women’s vote is the deciding factor in Pennsylvania politics. Supposedly Dr Oz is more liked by that group of voters. I have no idea.
This type of battle is what primary voting contests are all about.
My only purpose in this outline is to explain why McCormick wants to split MAGA (the move by Rove), and why Trump is trying to avoid a split MAGA vote (to avoid McCormick).
For those still torn over what to do, my own advice is:
♦ Vote your heart in the primary contest.
♦ Vote pragmatically in the general election contest.
Bottom line, VOTE!