Delighted to welcome Will Saletan to Team Bulwark.
Let’s start with some news from flyover country, specifically the Wisconsin GOP’s crackup: Via Vice News:
Accusations of slander. Leaked documents. Fake news pushed by a right-wing conspiracy website. Staff forcibly reassigned. Angry warnings from former President Donald Trump.
Wisconsin Republicans have broken into open warfare over how far to push Trump’s election lies, pitting conspiracy theorists who think the 2020 election was outright stolen against Republicans who merely want to make it harder to vote.
The story, until now, has basically been the establishment’s attempt to appease the crazies without actually setting themselves on fire. It is not going well.
It shows that no matter how far establishment Republicans go in trying to please Trump and his most hard-line supporters, they still risk his wrath if they don’t fall in line on his demands. And it’s a clear sign of what kinds of laws Wisconsin might get if Republicans win unified control of the state in this fall’s midterms. …
“The conspiracy theorists have taken over the party,” said Wisconsin state Sen. Kathy Bernier, a Republican, whose election bill Trump attacked this week.
The internal split is about to get worse, as the party gears up for what looks to be a nasty primary for governor. The GOP bigs have coalesced around former Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, but a candidate fueled by billionaire Richard Uihlein’s money is launching an insurrectionist challenge.
Kevin Nicholson, a former Marine and losing candidate for U.S. Senate who once called former Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch "dumb as a bag of hammers," announced Thursday that he would be running against her for governor, shaking up the race in the key battleground state
Nicholson is already threatening to fire the state party chair and refers to other electeds as part of what he calls a “machine.”
Kevin Nicholson, an all but declared GOP candidate for governor, made clear on Saturday he's planning to run an insurgent campaign after he admonished the leader of the state Republican Party in front of a Manitowoc County crowd and promised to push him out of his job.
In brief video footage of a Manitowoc County Republican Caucus event, Nicholson blasted what he called the "machine" of Wisconsin Republican politics that he claimed was not working to win elections but instead to provide jobs for politicians.
Bottom-line: In normal times Republicans in Wisconsin would be poised to have a good year, but they now find themselves stuck with a ticket headed by RonAnon for U.S. Senate, and what now promises to be an expensive primary for governor that could devolve into an Ohio-like cage match over who is more MAGA.
Meanwhile, since we are talking about Wisconsin, there’s a new national poll from Marquette University Law School with some interesting (and surprising) 2024 numbers: