JD Vance: Ohio’s new servile, self-seeking sycophant of a US senator
This commentary originally appeared in the Ohio Capital Journal.
After two years of relentless lies from Donald Trump about the 2020 election — lies that sparked a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol to try to overturn a free and fair U.S. election — Ohio’s U.S. Senator-elect JD Vance says it’s not traitor Trump’s fault that the Republicans failed to create a national red wave in 2022.
No, it’s… small donors? Or something. Everything but Donald Trump’s fault.
Vance’s op-ed in The American Conservative, “Don’t Blame Trump,” gives Ohioans a taste of the shameless, self-deprecating sycophancy Vance is willing to indulge in as he bows to Trump in abject servitude.
He is so desperate to absolve Trump of any blame that he fails to see the obvious contradiction in his argument to increase voter turnout in the interim by limiting voter access.
It was Vance’s first major political statement after winning the U.S. Senate election this month: licking the boots of an authoritarian who set out to try to destroy the machinery of America’s electoral systems by installing scurrilous toads in positions of election authority in swing states , and fail miserably.
Donald Trump was beaten by voters across the country in 2018, beaten in 2020, beaten in the 2020 Georgia runoff for control of the Senate, and beaten again in 2022. In announcing his 2024 presidential candidacy, Trump vows to continue sucking all the oxygen out of the Republican room for another two years.
If you ignore all your faculties of intelligence, good judgment and common sense, Vance’s argument that it is actually the small donor game that triggered the 2022 election, and not the reality TV star trying to destroy American democracy for his own myopic self-interest, may be reasonable. But otherwise it’s just more butt-kissing.
Vance found himself on the wrong end of the MAGA movement in 2016, likening Trump to “America’s Hitler.”
Now, having committed himself to Trumpism and renounced any kind of actual beliefs or personal dignity, the national tide is rolling back on Trumpism, and Vance is riding it out to sea.
The spectacle serves as a fair warning: This is what happens when you pretend to be what you think others want you to be, instead of being true to yourself. In politics, it doesn’t get more hack than that.
Vance seems to believe that doubling down on Trumpism’s constant chaos, dysfunction, division, resentment, pettiness, revenge, grievance, corruption, fraud, waste, abuse, and hate practices is the way forward for national Republicans, as long as they up their ground game and support for small donors.
As a game plan, I can’t say it won’t continue to work in Ohio, which is no longer a swing state and no longer politically relevant nationally.
But in the swing states and national elections themselves, it’s a good way to ensure continued humiliation. As for forces trying to destroy democracy in America, I can’t say I’m opposed to it.
The Ohio Capital Journal is part of the States Newsroom, a network of news agencies supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. The Ohio Capital Journal maintains editorial independence. Contact editor David DeWitt with questions: [email protected]. Follow the Ohio Capital Journal on Facebook and Twitter.