Scoring the GOP’s second stringers

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Making Sense by Michael Reagan

You know how sometimes when you’re going 70 mph and suddenly a stupid fly in the car starts bothering the hell out you?

You know how it keeps buzzing around your head, landing on your windshield, and you have to open the window and try to shoo it out without crashing your car?

Well, Vivek Ramaswamy reminded me of that fly during the Republican primary debate Wednesday night.

The brash 38-year-old easily stole the show in the third Trump-less contest.

And he was dead right on a couple issues – especially when he attacked the liberal media and told the Republican National Committee to fire its loser-in-chief Ronna McDaniels.

Much of the time Vivek was like that fly – annoying.

But he said out loud what Republicans everywhere are saying – We’re tired of losing elections.

The debate came a day after disappointing losses for Republicans, who saw their candidates and/or issues lose to Democrats in Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia.

What happened in Virginia on Tuesday was a perfect example of how hapless Republicans are.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin, the terrific conservative who surprisingly won in 2021, worked overtime to try to get Republicans to hold on to their majority in the state House and take over the Senate.

But he not only failed to win the Senate, he lost the House and pretty much wrecked any chance of ever getting his policies passed.

Youngkin was seen as a possible 2028 Republican candidate, but he totally blew it.

He should have appealed to the same angry parents that voted him into office because of the way school boards were mistreating or ignoring them.

Instead, he pushed a strict abortion bill, spooking suburban women and causing them to come out in droves to vote against it and Republican candidates.

The losses in the states this week, which had nothing to do with the McDaniels and the RNC, may not mean a thing for the 2024 presidential election. But it was fresh evidence that the GOP has no clear message and no strategy.

Joe Biden is probably the worst and weakest president in recent U.S. history. Even Democrats and the liberal media know it.

But Republicans better pray Donald Trump stays as healthy as a college quarterback – and out of jail – because the debates are showing the second-stringers aren’t ready to play in the big game.

For example, the only people who had their answers on abortion right at the debate were Nikki Haley and Chris Christie. Both nailed it.

They said that striking down Roe and having abortion laws set by the states is what the GOP fought for for half a century, and working for a strict federal abortion law now was not just suicidal politics, it was impossible because it could never get 60 votes in the U.S. Senate.

As for debate, NBC gets points for putting on the fairest and best one so far.

Hardly any crosstalk. The moderators asked each candidate the same questions and gave them time to answer. And the questions didn’t sound like they were written by Keith Olbermann.

As for the debaters, Wednesday’s show could have been a rerun.

I love Ron DeSantis – as governor of Florida. But he’s a lousy debater who’s not getting any better.

Nikki Haley was probably the smartest person on the stage – especially on abortion. She’s so tough, if Trump wins next year, he should make her Secretary of Defense.

Tim Scott I feel sorry for. He’s a great senator but he comes off like a preacher caught in a bar fight.

Chris Christie isn’t going anywhere, but he actually answers the questions he’s asked. Plus he scolded the other candidates for their petty attacks on each other when the real enemy is Joe Biden.

And Vivek, the fly in your car that keeps landing on your forehead, had his moments.

But it was obvious again who won the night – Donald Trump. He always wins when he’s not there.

Copyright 2023 Michael Reagan, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Michael Reagan, the son of President Ronald Reagan, is an author, speaker and president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation. Send comments to [email protected] and follow @reaganworld on Twitter.