Dangerous and Unadmired

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID). (Detail of photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Follow the bouncing Crapo:

Of all the congressional Republicans who’ve struggled with Donald Trump’s candidacy, arguably no one’s story is funnier than Sen. Mark Kirk’s (R-Ill.). The Illinois Republican endorsed Trump, then un-endorsed Trump, then endorsed David Petraeus, then endorsed Colin Powell, then un-endorsed Powell, then said he no longer wanted to talk about it.

But if Kirk’s story is the most amazing, Sen. Mike Crapo (R) of Idaho is a competitive second ....

.... Yes, the Idaho Republican initially endorsed Trump. Then Crapo un-endorsed Trump. Soon after, the incumbent senator, up for re-election this year, said he’s an undecided voter. Yesterday, Crapo came full circle, re-endorsing the presidential candidate he un-endorsed two weeks ago.


This is important: Of all the unbelievable insanity we have witnessed through the 2016 electoral cycle, just how much of it is unbelievable, and why?

To wit, what happened in Missouri, with the Show-Me State getting so vicious that suicide has marked the last two election cycles, is unbelievable; the 2016 gubernatorial race didn’t even get out of the first quarter of 2015 without a death toll, and those two deaths come less than a year after an electoral-related suicide in Mississippi. The joke about how this is your Republican Party is pretty inappropriate right about now.

Then again, the question does provide some contrast. Because here is another version of unbelievable: Were you told beforehand to expect such outcomes, just how dubious would you be?

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answers a question at a news conference before a campaign rally in Hampton, New Hampshire, 14 August 2015. (Detail of photo by Reuters/Brian Snyder)Because this is the year when Republican voters sent Donald Trump to the Big Show. At what point before he declared his candidacy would you have accepted any prediction, projection, or prognostication suggesting how much of what we have seen?

What is unbelievable about the Trump phenomenon is that it just would not have been fair to Sen. Crapo, or his Illinois colleague Sen. Kirk, or any number of Republicans struggling to justify their continued support for the GOP nominee, should we have expected such poor behavior of them.

Steve Benen continues, pointing to the fact that Crapo, unlike his Illinois colleague, comes from “one of the nation’s reddest red states” and “is considered a very safe bet for re-election”. His graceless flip-flop-flip reminds why this particular dive is always dangerous: ninety-nine out of a hundred at least bellyflop, as nobody seems to be able to bring that last rotation all the way around to a flip; even if they do pull it off, the judges aren’t impressed without some higher degree of difficulty, like a blindfold and flaming chainsaws; springboard or platform, the inevitable result is a plummet; and when you get going fast enough, water is just like concrete inasmuch as the landing really, really hurts.

This is significant of something, or, at least, ought to be: Consider how far we are from a discussion in which part of an Idaho voter’s assessment of their U.S. Senate candidates includes questions regarding what manners of intellect, integrity, and faculty Mr. Crapo, the Republican incumbent, demonstrates by so rashly attempting such a doomed and unadmired stunt.

It should go without saying: “Vote for me because I’m an ethically derelict idiot!” does not sound or appear among the stronger electoral pitches. Then again, this is Idaho, these are American voters, and this is the year when Republicans decided Donald Trump best represented their personal and shared values.


Image notes: Top ― Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID). (Detail of photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Right ― U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answers a question at a news conference before a campaign rally in Hampton, New Hampshire, 14 August 2015. (Detail of photo by Reuters/Brian Snyder)

Benen, Steve. “GOP senator flip-flop-flips on supporting Donald Trump”. msnbc. 25 October 2016.


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