If you thought American politics wasn’t enough of a trashy reality television show already, buckle up. A feud is brewing between President Donald Trump and West Virginia Senate candidate Don Blankenship, a battle royale of cartoonishly evil, racist plutocrats that is as hilarious as it is deeply depressing.
This morning, President Trump took to Twitter in order to disendorse Blankenship for the seat held by “Democrat” Joe Manchin, pre-emptively disassociating himself with a candidate whose campaign has already gone off the rails.
To the great people of West Virginia we have, together, a really great chance to keep making a big difference. Problem is, Don Blankenship, currently running for Senate, can’t win the General Election in your State…No way! Remember Alabama. Vote Rep. Jenkins or A.G. Morrisey!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018
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Stung from the defeats of his chosen candidates in the Virginia governor’s race and in Alabama’s recent Senate race, Trump – or his advisors – have decided to stay away from Blankenship, who made headlines last week for a bizarre and openly racist attack ad targeting Mitch McConnell which uses the racial slur “Chinapeople” several times.
It’s ironic, because Blankenship is the ultimate Trump-era political candidate. A coal baron and millionaire who spent a year in jail because twenty-nine miners died due to his willful neglect of safety and health standards, his campaign has so far been characterized by casual racism and easily debunked lies, using the Trump playbook to a tee.
This has not been lost on Blankenship himself, who fired back this morning and declared that he himself was “Trumpier than Trump, and this morning proves it. The President is a very busy man and he doesn’t know me, and he doesn’t know how flawed my two main opponents are in this primary. The establishment is misinforming him because they do not want me to be in the U.S. Senate and promote the President’s agenda.”
“We all really like President Trump’s policies, but we know he doesn’t get things right. He recommended people vote for a guy that was basically accused of pedophilia in Alabama, my accuser is Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, it’s not anyone that I’ve damaged.
“It’s really sad that the pressure on the president and the misinformation and the untruths he’s been given would cause him to suggest that you vote for two guys that have failed you, because I will not fail you if I get to D.C.”
His decision to say that he is Trumpier than Trump himself is a surefire way to arouse the ire of our notoriously thin-skinned and jealous leader.
This is only the beginning of what is almost certainly going to escalate into a full-blown feud as the nihilistic energies of the Trump movement turn on the establishment which has (to some degree) subsumed him.
The current holder of the seat in West Virginia is Joe Manchin, a former Republican who votes with Trump 61% of the time and regularly stabs his fellow Democrats in the back. Clearly, something is very, very wrong in West Virginian politics – and we need to figure out a way to fix it as soon as possible.
— Reid J. Epstein (@reidepstein) May 9, 2017
Folks, if this isn’t rock bottom, we’re pretty close to it.
Support Paula Swearengin, a true progressive running for Senate in West Virginia!